What is the purpose of this document?
Bowden Jones Solicitors are committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information.
This privacy notice describes how we collect and use personal information about you during and after your working relationship with us, in accordance with the legislation and regulations for which we must comply.
Bowden Jones Solicitors are a "data controller". This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. We are required under data protection legislation to notify you of the information contained in this privacy notice.
We may update this notice at any time.
It is important that you read this notice, together with any other privacy notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal information about you, so that you are aware of how and why we are using such information.
Data protection principles
We will comply with data protection law. This says that the personal information we hold about you must be:
1. Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
2. Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
3. Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes.
4. Accurate and kept up to date.
5. Kept only as long as necessary and in line with our current obligations for retention under current legislation and regulation.
6. Kept securely.
The kind of information we hold about you
Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).
There are "special categories" of more sensitive personal data which require a higher level of protection.
We will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:
• Personal contact details such as name, title, addresses, telephone numbers, and personal email addresses.
• Date of birth.
• Marital status
• National Insurance number.
• Financial Information when supplied in connection with your case.
• Bank Details
• Identification Materials, including but not limited to driving licence, passport, utility bills and others.
We may also collect, store and use the following "special categories" of more sensitive personal information if relevant to your case/ matter:
• Information about your race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and political opinions.
• Information about your health, including any medical condition, health, psychiatric and sickness records.
• Genetic information and biometric data
• Information about criminal convictions and offences.
• Child/ Social Services Files
• Income and Financial Records
The aforementioned lists are not exhaustive and we may from time to time need further information from you that could be considered either “personal information” or “sensitive personal information”. When this information is required you will be notified of the same along with the reasons for its requirement.
How is your personal information collected?
We collect personal information about our clients in order to satisfy our record requirements and to effectively carry out client instructions. We may sometimes collect additional information from third parties including but not limited to employers, Her Majesties Revenue & Customs (HMRC), Her Majesties Court & Tribunal Service (HMCTS), The National Probation Service and Mortgage Providers.
We will collect additional personal information in the course of your instructions.
How we will use information about you
We will only use your personal information when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal information in the following circumstances:
1. Where we need to carry out your instructions.
2. Where we need to comply with a legal obligation.
3. 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.
We may also use your personal information in the following situations, which are likely to be rare:
1. Where we need to protect your interests (or someone else's interests).
2. Where it is needed in the public interest [or for official purposes].
Situations in which we will use your personal information
We need all the categories of information in the list above primarily to allow us to provide our services and to enable us to comply with legal obligations. In some cases we may use your personal information to pursue legitimate interests of our own or those of third parties, provided your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests. The situations in which we will process your personal information are listed below.
• Providing details to the Legal Aid Agency when making or evidencing an application for Legal Aid Funding, or when required to do so under our contract with the Legal Aid Agency.
• Providing details when legally required to HMCTS.
• Providing details to the Land Registry
• Providing details to 3rd Party Experts instructed in your case.
• Providing details to your Mortgage Company.
• Providing details to Instructed Counsel & Partners in respect of your instructions.
• Business management and planning, including accounting and auditing.
• Gathering evidence for possible complaint.
• To prevent fraud or money laundering as required under the legislation and regulations imposed on us.
Some of the above grounds for processing will overlap and there may be several grounds which justify our use of your personal information.
If you fail to provide personal information
If you fail to provide certain information when requested, we may not be able to perform our services or we may be prevented from complying with our legal obligations.
Change of purpose
We will only use your personal information for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your personal information for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.
Please note that we may process your personal information without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.
How we use particularly sensitive personal information
"Special categories" of particularly sensitive personal information require higher levels of protection. We need to have further justification for collecting, storing and using this type of personal information. We have in place an appropriate policy document and safeguards which we are required by law to maintain when processing such data. We may process special categories of personal information in the following circumstances:
1. In limited circumstances, with your explicit consent.
2. Where we need to carry out our legal obligations.
3. Where it is required under the legislation and regulations imposed on us from time to time.
Less commonly, we may process this type of information where it is needed in relation to legal claims or where it is needed to protect your interests (or someone else's interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public.
Do we need your consent?
We do not need your consent if we use special categories of your personal information in accordance with our written policy to carry out our legal obligations or contractual services. In limited circumstances, we may approach you for your written consent to allow us to process certain particularly sensitive data. If we do so, we will provide you with full details of the information that we would like and the reason we need it, so that you can carefully consider whether you wish to consent.
Information about criminal convictions
We may only use information relating to criminal convictions where the law allows us to do so. This will usually be where such processing is necessary to carry out our obligations and provided we do so in line with our data protection policy.
Less commonly, we may use information relating to criminal convictions where it is necessary in relation to legal claims, where it is necessary to protect your interests (or someone else's interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public.
We envisage that we will hold information about criminal convictions.
We will only collect information about criminal convictions if it is appropriate given the nature of your instructions. We will use information about criminal convictions and offences in the following ways:
• When representing you at a Police Station, Magistrates Court, Crown Court or any other Court or Tribunal.
• When required to do so under the legislation and regulations imposed on us from time to time.
We have in place an appropriate policy and safeguards which we are required by law to maintain when processing such data.
Automated decision-making takes place when an electronic system uses personal information to make a decision without human intervention. We will only use automated decision-making in the following circumstances:
1. Where it is necessary to carry out your instructions and appropriate measures are in place to safeguard your rights.
2. In limited circumstances, with your explicit written consent and where appropriate measures are in place to safeguard your rights.
If we make an automated decision on the basis of any particularly sensitive personal information, we must have either your explicit written consent or it must be justified in the public interest, and we must also put in place appropriate measures to safeguard your rights.
You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making, unless we have a lawful basis for doing so and we have notified you.
We do not envisage that any decisions will be taken about you using automated means by us directly, however we will notify you in writing if this position changes.
We may have to share your data with third parties, including third-party service providers and other entities in the group.
We require third parties to respect the security of your data and to treat it in accordance with the law.
We may transfer your personal information outside the EU.
If we do, you can expect a similar degree of protection in respect of your personal information.
Why might you share my personal information with third parties?
We will share your personal information with third parties where required by law, where it is necessary to administer the working relationship with you or where we have another legitimate interest in doing so.
Which third-party service providers process my personal information?
"Third parties" includes third-party service providers (including contractors and designated agents) and other entities who may become involved whilst auctioning your instructions.
How secure is my information with third-party service providers?
All our third-party service providers and other entities in the group are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information in line with current legislation and regulation. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with your instructions.
What about other third parties?
We may share your personal information with other third parties. We may also need to share your personal information with a regulator or to otherwise comply with the law.
Transferring information outside the EU]
We will only transfer the personal information we collect about you when instructed by you to do so.
We have put in place measures to protect the security of your information. Details of these measures are available upon request. We will not provide information that would jeopardise the security of our data storage facilities.
Third parties will only process your personal information on our instructions and where they have agreed to treat the information confidentially and to keep it secure.
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. Details of these measures may be obtained on request, however we will not provide information that would jeopardise the security of our data storage facilities.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.
How long will you use my information for?
We will only retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. Details of retention periods for different aspects of your personal information are available in our retention policy which is available on request. To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.
In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal information so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case we may use such information without further notice to you. Once we have completed our services to you we will retain and securely destroy your personal information in accordance with our data retention policy and applicable laws and regulations.
Rights of access, correction, erasure, and restriction
Your duty to inform us of changes
It is important that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal information changes whilst you are using our services.
Your rights in connection with personal information
Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:
• Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
• Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
• Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information 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 information where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
• Object to processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (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. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes.
• Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
• Request the transfer of your personal information to another party.
If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please contact the fee earner instructed in writing.
No fee usually required
You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal information (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with the request in such circumstances.
What we may need from you
We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access the information (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is another appropriate security measure to ensure that personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.
Right to withdraw consent
In the limited circumstances where you may have provided your consent to the collection, processing and transfer of your personal information for a specific purpose, you have the right to withdraw your consent for that specific processing at any time. To withdraw your consent, please contact the instructed Fee Earner in writing. Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your information for the purpose or purposes you originally agreed to, unless we have another legitimate basis for doing so in law.
Data protection officer
We are not required under the current legislation and regulations imposed on us to appoint a Data Protection Officer to oversee compliance with this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the Fee Earner instructed. You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues or to our other regulating and or complaints bodies including but not limited to the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Legal Ombudsman.
Changes to this privacy notice
We reserve the right to update this privacy notice at any time, and we will provide you with a new privacy notice when we make any substantial updates. We may also notify you in other ways from time to time about the processing of your personal information.
If you have any questions about this privacy notice, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Uses made of the information
We use information held about you in the following ways:
- Information you give to us. We will use this information:
- to carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into between you and us and to provide you with the information, products and services that you request from us;
- to provide you with information about other services we offer that are similar to those that you have already used or enquired about;
- to provide you with legal advice, to act for you on legal matters or to provide any other professional services we may offer;
- to notify you about changes to our service;
- to ensure that content from our website is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer.
- Information we collect about you. We will use this information:
- to administer our website and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes;
- to improve our website to ensure that content is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer;
- to allow you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so;
- as part of our efforts to keep our website safe and secure;
- to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising we serve to you and others, and to deliver relevant advertising to you;
- to provide you with legal advice, to act for you on legal matters or to provide any other professional services we may offer;
- To make suggestions and recommendations to you and other users of our website about services that may interest you or them.
- Information we receive from other sources. We may combine this information with information you give to us and information we collect about you. We may use this information and the combined information for the purposes set out above (depending on the types of information we receive).