Privacy and Data Policy

The partners and staff at Saunders Law take your privacy very seriously and recognise the trust you place in us, by sharing your personal and private data with us.

Please read this privacy policy carefully as it contains important information on who we are and how and why we collect, store, use and share your personal data. It also explains your rights in relation to your personal data and how to contact us or supervisory authorities in the event you have a complaint. This policy also needs to be read alongside our Website Privacy Policy.

When we use your personal data we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal data for the purposes of the GDPR. Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, the GDPR, other relevant UK and EU legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality. We are also authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Key terms

It would be helpful to start by explaining some key terms used in this policy:

We, us, our

Saunders & Partners LLP – trading as Saunders Law

Data Protection Officer

 

Data Protection Assistant Officer

Matthew Purcell - Partner

gdpr@saunders.co.uk / 0207 632 4300

 

Abigail Buxo – Office Manager

Abigail.buxo@saunders.co.uk / 0207 632 4300

Personal data

Any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual

Special category personal data

Personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs or trade union membership

Genetic and biometric data

Data concerning health, sex life or sexual orientation

Personal data we collect about you

The table below sets out the personal data we may collect in the course of advising and/or acting for you.

Personal data we will collect

Personal data we may collect depending on why you have instructed us

Your name, address and telephone number

Information to enable us to check and verify your identity, eg your date of birth or passport details

Electronic contact details, eg your email address and mobile phone number

Information and documentation relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representation

Your financial details so far as relevant to your instructions, eg the source of your funds if you are instructing on a purchase transaction

Your National Insurance and tax details

Your bank and/or building society details

Details of your professional online presence, eg LinkedIn profile

Details of your spouse/partner and dependants or other family members, eg if you instruct us on a family matter or a will or a matter involving these individuals

Your employment status and details including salary and benefits, eg if you instruct us on matter related to your employment or in which your employment status or income is relevant

Your nationality and immigration status and information from related documents, such as your passport or other identification, and immigration information, eg if you instruct us on an immigration matter or if this information is relevant to your matter

Your employment records including, where relevant, records relating to sickness and attendance, performance, disciplinary, conduct and grievances (including relevant special category personal data), eg if you instruct us on a matter related to your employment or in which your employment records are relevant

Your racial or ethnic origin, gender and sexual orientation, religious or similar beliefs, eg if you instruct us on discrimination claim

Your trade union membership, eg if you instruct us on discrimination claim or your matter is funded by a trade union

Personal identifying information, such as your eye colour or your parents’ names, eg if you instruct us to incorporate a company for you or arrange other services on your behalf for which this information is required

Your medical records, eg if we are acting for you in a personal injury claim or other claim where you suffer injury

This personal data is required to enable us to provide our service to you. If you do not provide personal data when we ask for, it may delay or prevent us from providing services to you.

How your personal data is collected

We collect most of this information from you either in person, via email, via the telephone or via fax. However, we may also collect information:

  • from publicly accessible sources, eg Companies House or HM Land Registry;
  • directly from a third party, eg:
    • sanctions screening providers;
    • client due diligence providers;
  • from a third party with your consent, eg:
    • your bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor;
    • consultants and other professionals we may engage in relation to your matter;
    • your employer and/or trade union, professional body or pension administrators;
    • your doctors, medical and occupational health professionals;
    • any other person you authorise us to collect from.
  • via our website—we use cookies on our website (for more information on cookies, please see our cookies policy) or via our web contact form.
  • via our information technology (IT) systems, eg:
    • case management, document management and time recording systems;

How and why we use your personal data

Under data protection law, we can only use your personal data if we have a proper reason for doing so, eg:

  • to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;
  • for the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract;
  • for our legitimate interests or those of a third party; or
  • where you have given consent.

A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use your information, so long as this is not overridden by your own rights and interests.

The table below explains what we use (process) your personal data for and our reasons for doing so:

What we use your personal data for

Our reasons

To provide legal services to you

For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract

Conducting checks to identify our clients and verify their identity

Screening for financial and other sanctions or embargoes and to ensure we are satisfied as to the source of funds which you may use to instruct us

Other processing necessary to comply with professional, legal and regulatory obligations that apply to our business, eg under health and safety regulation or rules issued by our professional regulator

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Gathering and providing information required by or relating to audits, enquiries or investigations by regulatory bodies

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Ensuring business policies are adhered to, eg policies covering security and internet use

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to make sure we are following our own internal procedures so we can deliver the best service to you

Operational reasons, such as improving efficiency, training and quality control

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to be as efficient as we can so we can delivery the best service for you at the best price

Ensuring the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to protect our intellectual property and other commercially valuable information

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Statistical analysis to help us manage our practice, eg in relation to our financial performance, client base, work type or other efficiency measures

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to be as efficient as we can so we can delivery the best service for you at the best price

Preventing unauthorised access and modifications to systems

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to prevent and detect criminal activity that could be damaging for us and for you

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Updating client records

For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, eg making sure that we can keep in touch with our clients about existing and new services

Statutory returns

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Ensuring safe working practices, staff administration and assessments

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, eg to make sure we are following our own internal procedures and working efficiently so we can deliver the best service to you

External audits and quality checks, eg for Lexcel, ISO or Investors in People accreditation and the audit of our accounts

For our legitimate interests or a those of a third party, ie to maintain our accreditations so we can demonstrate we operate at the highest standards

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Exercising our right to a lien over your papers or other security

For our legitimate interests

The above table does not apply to special category personal data, which we will only process with your explicit consent for the purposes of providing you with legal services. Your consent to our processing this data is obtained when you either send this to us or authorise us in writing to obtain this special category personal data, from others.

Promotional communications

We may use your personal data to send you updates (by email, text message, telephone or post) about legal developments that might be of interest to you and/or information about our services.

We have a legitimate interest in processing your personal data for promotional purposes (see above ‘How and why we use your personal data’). This means we do not usually need your consent to send you promotional communications. However, when we intend to use your personal data for marketing communications, we will seek your consent. 

We will always treat your personal data with the utmost respect and never sell OR share it with other organisations for marketing purposes.

You have the right to opt out of receiving promotional communications at any time by:

  • contacting us by email at: gdpr@saunders.co.uk
  • telephone us and asking to speak to the Data Protection Assistant Officer.

We may ask you to confirm or update your marketing preferences if you instruct us to provide further services in the future, or if there are changes in the law, regulation, or the structure of our business.

Who we share your personal data with

We will share personal data with:

  • professional advisers who we instruct on your behalf or refer you to, eg barristers, medical professionals, accountants, tax advisors or other experts;
  • other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions eg costs drafts-people, insurance providers;
  • our client enquiry software and case management software companies;
  • our insurers and brokers;
  • external auditors, eg in relation to ISO or Lexcel accreditation and the audit of our accounts;
  • our bank;
  • external service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, eg typing services, marketing agencies, document collation or analysis suppliers;]
  • our regulator or other professional body.

We only allow our service providers to handle your personal data if we are satisfied they take appropriate measures to protect your personal data. We also impose contractual obligations on service providers to ensure they can only use your personal data to provide services to us and to you.

We may disclose and exchange information with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.

We may also need to share some personal data with other parties, such as potential buyers of some or all of our business or during a re-structuring. Usually, information will be anonymised but this may not always be possible. The recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations.

Where your personal data is held

Information may be held at our offices and those of our group companies, third party agencies, service providers, representatives and agents as described above (see ‘Who we share your personal data with’).

Some of these third parties may be based outside the European Economic Area. For more information, including on how we safeguard your personal data when this occurs, see below: ‘Transferring your personal data out of the EEA’.

How long your personal data will be kept

We may keep your personal data after we have finished advising or acting for you. We will do so for one of these reasons:

  • to respond to any questions, complaints or claims made by you or on your behalf;
  • to show that we treated you fairly;
  • to keep records required by law.

We will not retain your data for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this policy. Different retention periods apply for different types of data and further details are provided in our Data Retention Policy.   In general:

  • If you have made an enquiry with this firm, but did not go on to enter into a retainer with this firm, we will not retain your data for longer than three months from the last contact we had with you – after this point your personal data will be deleted or annoymised;
  • If you retained this firm to provide you with professional services, we will retain your personal data for six years from the end of our retainer. Further information about what happens at the end of your case and the retainer is contained in our terms of business and in the retainer (client care letter).
  • At a point earlier than the above, at your request as long as such request is in compliance with the law and our regulatory obligations.

Transferring your personal data out of the EEA

To deliver services to you, it could be necessary for us to share your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), eg:

  • with your and our service providers located outside the EEA;
  • if you are based outside the EEA;
  • where there is an international dimension to the matter in which we are advising you.

We will, however, ensure that all transfers comply with data protection law and all personal data will be secure.

Your rights

You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge unless we have a good reason in law to refuse your request to exercise these rights, such  as where we are unable to comply by virtue of a court order or legislation, or if we are exercising a contractual lien (security) by withholding access to your full file due to unpaid professional fees or disbursements;

Access

The right to be provided with a copy of your personal data

Rectification

The right to require us to correct any mistakes in your personal data

To be forgotten

The right to require us to delete your personal data—in certain situations

Restriction of processing

The right to require us to restrict processing of your personal data—in certain circumstances, eg if you contest the accuracy of the data

Data portability

The right to receive the personal data you provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and/or transmit that data to a third party—in certain situations

To object

The right to object:

—at any time to your personal data being processed for direct marketing (including profiling);

—in certain other situations to our continued processing of your personal data, eg processing carried out for the purpose of our legitimate interests.

Not to be subject to automated individual decision-making

The right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing (including profiling) that produces legal effects concerning you or similarly significantly affects you

For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, please contact us or see the Guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you would like to exercise any of those rights, please:

  • request a data subject request form from our Data Protection Assistant Officer or your legal advisor at this firm; or
  • email, call or write to our Data Protection Officer—see below: ‘How to contact us’; and
  • let us have enough information to identify you - your full name, address and date of birth;
  • let us have proof of your identity and address (a copy of your driving licence or passport and a recent utility or credit card bill); and
  • let us know what right you want to exercise and the information to which your request relates.

If you have any difficulty in complying with any of the above, please contact or visit us in a way that suits you and we will work with you to understand and process your request and assist you to exercise your rights.

Keeping your personal data secure

We have appropriate security measures to prevent personal data from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed unlawfully. We limit access to your personal data to those who have a genuine business need to access it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

If you want detailed information from Get Safe Online on how to protect your information and your computers and devices against fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other online problems, please visit www.getsafeonline.org. Get Safe Online is supported by HM Government and leading businesses.

How to complain

We hope that our Data Protection Officer can resolve any query or concern you may raise about our use of your information.

The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the European Union (or European Economic Area) state where you work, normally live or where any alleged infringement of data protection laws occurred. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at https://ico.org.uk/concerns or telephone: 0303 123 1113.

You may also be able to complain to the Legal Ombudsman if your query or concern arises out of the service we have provided to you: www.legalombudsman.org.uk/

Changes to this privacy policy

We may change this privacy policy from time to time but the version in force will also be available on our website.

How to contact us

Please contact us our Data Protection Officer by post, email or telephone if you have any questions about this privacy policy or the information we hold about you.

The quickest way to contact us is by email: gdpr@saunders.co.uk.   Or you can telephone us on 0207 632 4300.

Alternatively, you can write to us:

Saunders Law, Essex Hall, 1 Essex Street, London, WC2R 3HY

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