This Privacy Statement explains in detail the types of personal data we may collect about you when you use our services. It also explains how we will store and handle that data and keep it safe. There is a lot of information in this statement, but we want you to be fully informed about your rights but if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
This Privacy Statement is dated May 25th 2018. It may be changed from time to time to reflect any changes to the way in which we process your personal data or changing legal requirements. When changes are made an updated Privacy Statement will be posted on our website or by other appropriate means and the changes will take immediate effect.
Who is responsible for your data?
As your solicitors Harwood Solicitors is the Controller and is responsible for the processing of your personal data. Harwood Solicitors (“we”, “us” in this Privacy Statement) is a Partnership authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our SRA authorisation number is 564347 and we are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, Registration No. ZA032280.
Angela Grabowska has been appointed Information Security Manager for the partnership. Should you have any enquiries in relation to your personal data please contact Angela Grabowska on email@example.com
Why do we use your personal data?
The main reason for asking you to provide us with your personal data is to allow us to carry legal work on your behalf and as instructed by you. The following are examples, although not exhaustive of how we may also use your personal information for our legitimate business interests:
- Fraud prevention.
- Direct marketing.
- Network and information systems security.
- Data /analytics /enhancing, modifying or improving our services.
- Identifying usage trends.
- Determining the effectiveness of promotional campaigns and advertising.
When do we collect your personal data?
The information we hold about you may be gathered from a variety of sources. The primary one will be the information you provide yourself:
- When you instruct us to act on your behalf in the provision of legal advice and
- When you visit our offices.
- When you visit our website.
- When you engage with us on social media.
- When you contact us by any means with queries, complaints etc.
- When you ask us to email you information about our services.
- When you book any kind of appointment with us or book to attend an event.
- When you comment on or review our services.
We may also gather information in the following ways:
- When you’ve given a third party permission to share with us the information they hold about you for example an estate agent.
- We collect data from publicly available sources (such as Land Registry) when you have given your consent to share information or where the information is made public as a matter of law.
In addition you may provide information relating to someone else – if you have the authority to do so and information may be passed to us by third parties in order that we can act on your behalf. Typically these organisations can be:
- Banks or building societies.
- Panel providers who allocate legal work to law firms.
- Organisations that have referred work to us.
- Medical or financial institutions which provide your personal records.
What sort of personal data do we collect?
- If you instruct us to act on your behalf we will request your personal details such as your name, gender, date of birth, address, email and telephone numbers.
- In certain types of work we will process personal data which is by its nature is more sensitive. This type of information may include your racial or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, political opinions, health data, trade union membership, philosophical views, biometric and genetic data. This type of data is only processed if absolutely necessary for the purposes of carrying out client instructions.
- If you contact us for an initial enquiry which does not immediately result in an instruction we may have collected your personal contact details.
- We will keep records of any communication between yourself and any member of our team. For example, we collect notes from our conversations with you, e-mails, details of any complaints or comments you make, web pages you visit and how and when you contact us.
- We keep copies of documents you provide to prove your age or identity where the law requires this (including your passport and driver’s licence). This will include details of your full name, address, date of birth and facial image. If you provide a passport, the data will also include your place of birth, gender and nationality.
- Details of your visits to our websites or apps, and which site you came from to ours.
- Personal details which help us to recommend other services which might be relevant to you.
- Payment card information.
- Your comments and reviews regarding our services.
- Your social media username, if you interact with us through those channels, to help us respond to your comments, questions or feedback.
- CCTV may be in operation at our office locations and your image may be recorded if you visit our premises.
How do we use your data?
We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:
- Where we need to perform the contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you.
- Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
- Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.
- In the case of special or sensitive personnel data, where you have consented and/or it is necessary for the establishing or defence of legal claims.
The following are some examples, although not exhaustive, of what we may use your information for:
- Verifying your identity.
- Verifying source of funds.
- Communicating with you.
- To establish funding of your matter or transaction.
- Processing your legal transaction including but not limited to providing you with advice; carrying out litigation on your behalf; attending hearings on your behalf; preparing documents or to complete transactions.
- Keeping financial records of your transactions and the transactions we make on your behalf.
- Seeking advice from third parties; such as legal and non-legal experts.
- Responding to any complaint or allegation of negligence against us.
- To provide you with any other information that you request from us.
- To comply with our legal and professional responsibilities.
- Where we have other legitimate reasons, such as for internal compliance and security purposes.
How we protect your personal data
The protection of your personal data is of the utmost importance to us. Client confidentiality has always been fundamental to the relationship between a lawyer and their client and the protection of your data while it is in our care is integral to this.
- We have put in place high standards of technological and operational security in order to protect data from loss, misuse, alteration or destruction.
- We have strict policies and procedures regarding client confidentiality which apply to both internally to our personnel and externally to all third parties which might have access to the data.
- We use sophisticated cyber security software to protect our computer systems.
How long will we keep your personal data?
Your personal information will be retained, usually in computer or manual files, only for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes for which the information was collected, or as required by law or as long as is set out in any relevant contract you may have with us. For example:
- As long as it is necessary in order to carry out your legal work.
- For a minimum of 7 years from the conclusion or closure of your legal work in case you, or we, need to re-open your case for the purpose of defending complaints or claims against us.
Who do we share your personal data with?
In order to fulfil our obligations to you as a client and in order to run our business it is necessary sometimes to share your personal data with trusted third parties. In these circumstances we provide only the information they need to perform their specific services and they may only use that data for the specified reasons. In addition we will ensure that they are contractually obliged to ensure that your privacy is respected and protected at all times and if we stop using their services, any of your data held by them will either be deleted or rendered anonymous.
Examples of these third parties include:
- Court or Tribunal.
- Solicitors acting on the other side.
- Asking an independent Barrister or Counsel for advice or to represent you.
- Non legal experts to obtain advice or assistance.
- Translation Agencies.
- Contracted Suppliers.
- External auditors or our Regulator; e.g. Lexcel, SRA, ICO etc.
- Providers of identity verification.
- Any disclosure required by law or regulation; such as the prevention of financial crime and terrorism.
- If there is an emergency and we think you or others are at risk.
There may be some uses of personal data that may require your specific consent. If this is the case we will contact you separately to ask for your consent which you are free to withhold or give and later withdraw at any time.
What are your rights over your personal data?
You have the right to:
- Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it. A request for access to your personal data means you are entitled to a copy of the data we hold on you – such as your name, address, contact details, date of birth, information regarding your health etc but it does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to the documents that contain this data. If you wish to make a request, please do so in writing to our Information Security Manager or contact the person dealing with your matter. In the vast majority of situations you will not be charged for making an access request.
- Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.
- Request erasure of your personal data – (“Right to be forgotten”). This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request for erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.
- Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.
- Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.
- Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.
- Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.
To protect the confidentiality of your information, we will ask you to verify your identity before proceeding with any request you make under this Privacy Notice. If you have authorised a third party to submit a request on your behalf, we will ask them to prove they have your permission to act. This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.
The following are examples, although not exhaustive, of how we may collect your personal information for marketing purposes:
- You sign-up to receive one of our newsletters.
- You submit an online enquiry.
- You follow/like or subscribe to our social media channels.
- You take part in competitions or promotions.
- You agree to fill in a questionnaire or survey on our website.
- You ask us a question or submit any queries or concerns you have via email or on social media channels.
- You post information to our website or social media channels, for example when we offer the option for you to comment on, or join, discussions.
- When you leave a review about us on a public social media site.
- You rsvp and/or attend one of our events.
Whenever we collect your personal data, you will be provided the opportunity to ‘opt out’ to receiving marketing communications from us. We hope you will find our communications useful but if you choose to opt out we must always comply with your request. Opting out does not prevent you from subsequently opting back in.
We will only ever use non sensitive personal information to target individuals with marketing materials; such as name, address, telephone, email, job description and previous areas of interest. Sensitive information or specific details will never be used for marketing purposes. We may use personalisation to collect analytics to inform marketing and produce relevant content for the marketing strategy as this helps us to improve client service.
If you do not wish us to continue to contact you in this way, you can either follow the unsubscribe instructions on any of our email communications to you or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org Your details will be removed immediately from any marketing activities. Once unsubscribed, you may still receive transactional emails from us regarding your legal matter.
Complaints about the use of personal data
If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Information Security Manager Angela Grabowska. If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are not processing your personal data in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
(Please note we can’t be responsible for the content of external websites.)
We hope this Privacy Notice has been helpful in setting out the way we handle your personal data and your rights to control it.
If you have any questions that have not been covered, please contact our Information Security Manager who will be pleased to help you. Angela Grabowska can be contacted at