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Introduction

We take your privacy very seriously. 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 our supervisory authorities in the event you have a complaint.

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.

Key Terms

Key terms used in this policy:

We,us, our:                                          Ashworths Solicitors LLP

Data Protection Officer:                       Brendan Dean (bdean@ashworths.co.uk)

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;
  • data concerning health or sexual orientation

Personal data we collect about you

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

Personal data we will collect
Your name, address and telephone number.

Information to enable us to check and verify your identity, eg your date of birth, passport details, driving licence details or other officially sanctioned proof of identification.

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

Information 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.

Information about your use of our IT, communication and other systems, and other monitoring information.

Personal data we may collect depending on why you have instructed us
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 or other people living with you, eg to enable us to comply with our obligations to your mortgage lenders if you are borrowing money.

Your employment status and details including salary and benefits, eg where your income is relevant to our obligations to your mortgage lenders if you are borrowing money or when we are assessing your source of funds.

Your nationality and immigration status and information from related documents, such as your passport or other identification, and immigration information.

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 are applying to us for a job.

Personal identifying information, such as your eye colour or your parents’ names, eg if you instruct us to incorporate a company for you.

This personal data is required to enable us to provide our service to you. If you do not provide personal data 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. 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;
  • credit reference agencies;
  • 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;
    • via our information technology (IT) systems, eg:
    • case management, document management and time recording systems;
    • automated monitoring of our websites and other technical systems, such as our computer networks and connections, and access control systems, communications systems, email and instant messaging 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 and why
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

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.

· For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to be as efficient as we can so we can deliver 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 deliver 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 and enhancing 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.

Marketing our services to existing and former clients; third parties who have previously expressed an interest in our services and third parties with whom we have had no previous dealings:

· For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to promote our business to existing and former clients.

Credit reference checks via external credit reference agencies

· For our legitimate interests or a those of a third party, ie for credit control and to ensure our clients are likely to be able to pay for our services

External audits and quality checks, eg for CQS, 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

The above table does not apply to special category personal data, which we will only process with your explicit consent.

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, including exclusive offers, promotions or new services.

We deem that 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, where consent is needed, we will ask for this consent separately and clearly.

We will always treat your personal data with the utmost respect and never sell or share it with other organisations.

You have the right to opt out of receiving promotional communications at any time by contacting our offices by email at info@ashworths.co.uk

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 routinely 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 your mortgage provider or HM Land Registry in the case of a property transaction or Companies House;
  • credit reference agencies;
  • our insurers and brokers;
  • external auditors, eg in relation to ISO or Lexcel, or CQS 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 or document archiving or collation;
  • our third party IT support company who host our off-site backups.

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 relating 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.

We will not sell your personal data to any third party.

Where your personal data is held

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

How long your personal data will be kept

We will 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. We will usually not hold your data for longer than 16 years from completion of your transaction with us (except in the case Wills which will be kept for a period of 99 years) and you will be notified at the end of the transaction how long we will hold your data which will be stored electronically.

When it is no longer necessary to retain your personal data, we will delete it.

Your rights

You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge:

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, if it does not conflict with our obligations to retain your data.
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:

· 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:

  • complete a data subject request form—available on request; or
  • email, call or write to us; and
  • let us have enough information to identify you (eg your full name, address and client or matter reference number);
  • 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.

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.

How to complain

We hope that we 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].

Changes to this privacy policy

This privacy policy was published on 1 July 2018 and was last reviewed on 7 March 2020.

How to contact us

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

Our contact details are:

The Managing Partner

Ashworths Solicitors LLP

The Old Exchange

12 Compton Road

Wimbledon

London

SW19 7QD

T: 0345 370 1000

We are happy to discuss your requirements with you and to advise in general terms on all aspects of the transaction and the estimated legal cost. Please either contact us by telephone or email us at: info@ashworths.co.uk

CALL US: 0345 370 1000

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