Privacy Notice to Clients of Bedfords Solicitors
How we use your information
We will collect information about you and keep this on our computers, in our email, in cloud storage and on paper for a certain period of time. The main reasons for this are to:
- deliver the legal services we have agreed in contract to provide to you. For example, we may use your information to write letters on your behalf or prepare legal documents to help you with your matter;
- comply with the law. For example, as solicitors we have to perform ‘conflicts of interest’ checks for new cases against a list of current and former clients. We also have a legal duty to report suspicious activity to the National Crime Agency (‘NCA’) if we suspect money laundering.
In some cases, we may hold more ‘sensitive’ information about you such as about health. This may be necessary to pursue your legal matter. We are permitted to use such information to provide legal advice to you or in connection with equality legislation.
You can withdraw consent to your information being used in a particular way but this may limit what more we can do for you (if anything).
As a client we may also in the future send you a newsletter or similar and find that most clients find this helpful. We rely upon the ‘legitimate interest’ we have in maintaining contact with former clients to do this in data protection law and your agreement for the purposes of the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations (which can be implied under these Regulations). However, we will never share your information with third parties to market to you and will not contact you about non-legal services. We will make it quick and easy to ‘opt out’ of future communications in every communication sent. If you already know that you don’t want to receive these messages then you can opt out now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Your information may be kept on computer servers within the European Union. If at any point information is stored on computer servers outside of the EU we have selected countries which are either approved for this purpose (under Article 45 of the General Data Protection Regulation or ‘GDPR’) or are located where we are happy that the safeguards in place in that country to protect your information are appropriate (under Article 45 of the GDPR).
We do not use your personal information to make ‘automated decisions’ which affect you.
Will you share my information with anyone else?
Generally speaking, we will not share your information with third parties unless this is part of the work on your legal matter. For example, we may need to send certain information about you to other lawyers working on the case, to Court or to government bodies such as the Land Registry. In rare circumstances we sometimes need to make reports of suspicious activity to the NCA. We do also work with some trusted contractors or consultants who may have access to your information such as service providers or copiers. All contractors have a contract with us which requires that your information is accessed appropriately and kept confidential (among other GDPR requirements).
How long will you keep my information?
Generally speaking, files are destroyed after 6 years. Certain original documents or files may need to be kept longer if there is a big risk of destroying something which is needed. We will also always keep a small amount of information after file closure to do conflicts of interest searches in the future to comply with our professional duties.
Can I see what information you hold about me?
We do normally have a right to payment of any outstanding costs before releasing a whole file but you do have a separate right under the GDPR to access your ‘personal data’ without charge. This may include having it in a particular electronic format (‘portable’ format). Please contact Akhtar Khushi at email@example.com if you would like to request a copy of your personal data.
What if I have other questions or concerns?
Our general contact details are set out in our covering letter and our information officer is: Akhtar Khushi, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact this individual if you want to exercise one of your data protection ‘rights’ and in particular if you:
- wish to complain about how your personal data is being used;
- wish to request that our records about your personal information be corrected or deleted;
If you have a complaint about how your personal information is being used which we have not been able to address please note that you may be able to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) directly.