Confidentiality and protecting individuals’ data rights
We are AJJB Law Limited. Our registered office is at 3rd Floor West, Bowling Mill, Dean Clough, Halifax, HX3 5AX. Registered Number: 12194958, Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority(SRA): 665180
Our Information officer is Caroline Burston who may be contacted at the above address or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. We will collect information about individual clients and organisation clients’ staff 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.
2. In some cases we may hold more ‘sensitive’ information about an individual 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.
3. 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).
4. As a client we may 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 for you to ‘opt out’ of future communications in every communication we send. If you already know that you don’t want to receive these messages then you can opt out now by emailing us via our website.
5. 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 will 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).
6. We do not use your personal information to make ‘automated decisions’ which affect you.
7. Generally speaking we will not share your information with third parties unless this is part of the work on your legal matter. For example, lawyers frequently may need to send certain information about clients to other lawyers working on the matter, to Court or to government bodies. 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 be accessed appropriately and kept confidential (among other GDPR requirements). Similarly we may occasionally need to share client matter information with our professional indemnity insurers and their advisers. If you instruct us jointly with another client then it will be necessary to share certain information relevant to you with the corresponding joint client in order to fulfil your instructions to us.
8. While we reserve the right to destroy non-original material at any time after the conclusion of your matter, we generally retain files for a period of 6 years after payment of the final bill and then destroy them thereafter. At the end of a case original documents will be returned to you but if we both agree we may retain certain originals for longer than this time period. 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.
9. We do normally have a right to payment of any outstanding costs before releasing a whole file to you but individuals may arguably have a separate right under the GDPR to access certain ‘personal data’ without charge. This may include having it in a particular electronic format (‘portable’ format).
10. Our general contact details are set out in our covering letter and the contact details for our information officer can be found on our website. 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.
11. While we are regulated as a firm of solicitors by the SRA if you have a complaint about how your personal information is being used which we have not been able to address you may also be able to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) directly. You can learn more about the ICO and personal data rights at: www.ico.org.uk