Privacy Notice

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 whether you are a client, website user, applicant or other third party. 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.

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

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

We, us, our MacDonald Oates Solicitors LLP
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 will or may collect in the course of advising and/or acting for you. If you are using our website or are an applicant or other third party, please see below for information relevant to you. However, many of the principles and the information  in this notice apply to all third parties.

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

Information to enable us to undertake a credit or other financial checks on you

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 spouse/partner and dependants or other family members, eg if you instruct us on a family matter or a will

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 employment records eg if you instruct us on 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 medical records, eg if we are acting for you in a disability discrimination  claim

 

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;
  • 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;

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 make decisions about your recruitment ( if you are an applicant) For our legitimate interest in making recruitment decisions and for any necessary steps required before entering into a contract with you
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
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

Marketing our services to:

—existing and former clients;

—third parties who have previously expressed an interest in our services;

—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. We ask whether our clients would like to consent to any marketing and this will be set out in your own terms and conditions.

The above table does not apply to special categories personal data, which we will only process with your explicit consent or where it is necessary in order to deal with a legal claim as part of your matter.

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;
  • our insurers and brokers;
  • external auditors, eg in relation to ISO accreditation and the audit of our accounts;
  • our banks

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.

Website users, Applicants and other third parties

Website

If you fill in our contact us page on our website, or send us an enquiry, we will use the personal data you provide in order to get in touch with you and to allow us to respond to your query.

Your personal data will be stored long enough for us to respond to you and then either you will become a client or your personal data will be deleted after a reasonable period unless you have consented at the time for us storing your data for some other reason.

Applicants

If you make an application via our vacancy page of our website or otherwise, we may use the personal data you provide, together with any personal data provided by other parties such as recruitment agencies, to decide on whether to recruit you.

Your personal data will be stored for long as necessary to make any recruitment decision. If you are unsuccessful your personal data will be held for no longer than 12 months. If you are successful and engaged as an employee, you will be provided with and covered by our internal Data Protection Policy & Privacy Notice.

Other third Parties

If you are a contractor with us but not a client, we may require personal data in order to perform the contract with you or for our legitimate interests depending on the nature of the services or work provided.

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.

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
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

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 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].

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: MacDonald Oates LLP Solicitors, Knockhundred Row, Midhurst, West Sussex,GU29 9D. Tel: 01730 816711.