HRS Family Law Solicitors Ltd
- What is this policy?
HRS takes privacy extremely seriously and we are committed to protecting it.
This policy explains when and why we collect personal information about you, how this information is used, the conditions under which it may be disclosed to others and how it is kept secure.
This policy may change from time to time. This is version number 1.
This policy was last updated on 24/05/2018.
- Who we are
HRS Family Law Solicitors Ltd is a private company registered with companies house and limited by shares. We are the data controller in relation to the processing activities described below. This means that we decide why and how your personal information is processed. Our registered address is 204A Wolverhampton street Dudley DY11ED.
Our Managing Director is responsible for our data protection functions. He is Clive Iain Rebbeck based at our Dudley office.
- How we collect your personal information
When you use our website, our products or services, interact with us online, or by phone, email or otherwise, the categories of information that we collect about you are as follows:
Personal information you give us;
This is information about you that you give to us by entering information via:
- our website
- our mobile applications
- our social media accounts, e.g. via Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter
- corresponding with us by phone, email, in person, at an interview or otherwise,
and is provided entirely voluntarily.
This includes information provided at the time of registering to use our website; subscribing to the services we provide through our site; posting material; participating in our initiatives; purchasing or requesting products or services; creating, using and managing an online account with us and engaging in correspondence with us by phone, email or otherwise. If you complete any surveys that we ask you to complete for research purposes, we will collect information in such circumstances as well.
The basic personal information we may ask for, or you may choose to give us, includes your name, date of birth, national insurance number, your address, email address and phone number. We may retain details of any enquiry you make to us and records of any correspondence with us. We may also ask for, or you may choose to give us, other information for specific purposes, e.g. additional information to represent you properly; information on any relevant activities or interests you may have; sensitive personal information (now called ‘special category data’); and information including your opinions and experience of instructing the firm.
We will keep to a minimum the information we ask for and keep.
We also sometimes automatically collect the following information when you interact with us: e.g. details of transactions you carry out through the website, and your visits to our site, including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data, weblogs and other communication data, and the resources you access.
At times we may receive information on individuals from other sources, e.g. from a representative of another law firm in the course of our business when acting on your behalf, from the Courts or from Government agencies such as Local Authorities, Cafcass amongst others.
If you are submitting this information as such a representative or contact, you confirm that it is true and correct and that you will not provide us with any information which constitutes personal data unless you have ensured that you have obtained all necessary consents or other legal justification and/or provided any required notices to the data subject, or that you are otherwise permitted to provide such information to us, so that we can use it for the purposes and on the bases set out in this notice.
- How we use your personal information
The purposes for which we use your information and the legal basis under data protection laws on which we rely to do this are explained below.
Where there is a LEGITIMATE INTEREST
We may use and process your personal information where it is necessary for us to pursue our legitimate interests as a business, or those of a third party, for the following purposes:
Our professional obligations
- as a member of the Law Society;
- in compliance with our regulator the SRA;
- to verify the accuracy of data that we hold about you;
- to create a better understanding of you as a client;
- to correspond or communicate with you as a client;
- to correspond or communicate with others;
- to conduct internal research and to compile management information;
- for the management of queries, complaints, or claims;
To carry out marketing
- for marketing and advertising activities (other than where we rely on your consent to contact you by email or text with information about our products and services or share your details with third parties to do the same, as explained below);
- for analysis to inform our marketing strategy, and to enhance and personalise your customer experience when you buy products and services from us;
To fulfil online delivery and security
- to ensure that our online content is presented in the most effective manner for you and your computer;
- to allow you to participate in interactive features of our services, when you choose to do so;
- for network and information security in order for us to take steps to protect your information against loss or damage, theft or unauthorised access;
- for prevention of fraud and other criminal activities;
- operating and managing contracts with our suppliers and service recipients; and
- for the establishment and defence of our legal rights.
Where there is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT
We will use your personal information to comply with our legal obligations: (i) to assist any public authority or criminal investigation body as required; (ii) to identify you when you contact us; (iii) to verify the accuracy of data we hold about you; and/or (iv) to comply with a request from you in connection with the exercise of your rights.
Where it is required to complete or perform a CONTRACT with you
We may use and process your personal information where we have supplied you (or continue to supply you) with our services, including advice, assistance and legal representation.; where you (contracting as an individual) are supplying us with products and services; where we have arranged for the supply of another company’s products or services to you; or where you are in discussions with us about any new service. We will use this information in connection with the contract for the supply of products or services when it is needed to carry out that contract with you or for you to proceed.
Where you have provided CONSENT
We may use and process your personal information where you have consented for us to do so for the following purposes:
- to use your special category data (formerly known as sensitive personal data) for any purpose we state expressly, e.g. to comply with legal, statutory or regulatory requirements. We will always request your explicit consent before using any special category personal information about you;
- if you: (i) register for an account with us online; (ii) sign up to one of our newsletters via our website or other mediums if applicable; or (iii) refresh your marketing preferences when responding to a request from us to do so;
- for marketing activities, in order to contact you by email or text with marketing information about our products and services, including client benefits provided by others (except where we may rely on Legitimate Interests as described above);
You may withdraw your consent for us to use your information in any of these ways at any time.
- Data anonymisation and use of aggregated information
Your information may be converted into statistical or aggregated data in such a way as to ensure that you are not identified or identifiable from it. Aggregated data cannot be linked back to you as a natural person. We may use this data for analytical and research purposes.
- Others who may receive or have access to your personal information
Our suppliers and service providers
We may disclose your information to our third-party service providers, agents, subcontractors and other organisations for the purposes of providing services to us or directly to you on our behalf.
Such third parties may include cloud service providers, currently LEAP; hosting, email and content providers; marketing agencies and administrative services providers; payment processing companies who will process your debit/credit card securely if you purchase goods or services from us.
When we use third party service providers, we only disclose to them any personal information that is necessary for them to provide their service and we have a contract in place that requires them to keep your information secure and not to use it other than in accordance with our specific instructions.
If you sign up to attend one of our events, we may share your name and employer or organisation with fellow attendees and sponsors of that event for their information, but will not share your contact details for marketing purposes without your consent.
Other third parties
We may share personal information with third parties to facilitate our work as a legal services provider, e.g. we may share the contact details of clients with other law firms, the Legal Aid Agency, the Law Society, the Solicitors Regulation authority, HMCTS.
Other ways we may share your personal information
We may transfer your personal information to a third party if we're under a duty to disclose or share it or to comply with any legal obligation, to detect or report a crime, to enforce or apply the terms of our contracts or our legal rights or to protect the rights, property or safety of our visitors and customers. We will always take steps with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected. We will transfer your personal data to a third party if you change Solicitor or representation.
- Where we store your personal information
On occasion, the information you provide to us may be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). By way of example, this may happen where any of our servers or those of our third-party service providers are from time to time located in a country outside of the EEA. These countries may not have similar data protection laws to the UK. Where possible, we will seek to work with service providers whose servers are located within the EEA. As far as we are aware LEAP uses the amazon server based within the EEA.
If we transfer your information outside of the EEA in this way, we will take steps to ensure that appropriate security measures are taken with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected as outlined in this policy. These steps include imposing contractual obligations on the recipient of your personal information or ensuring that the recipients are subscribed to ‘international frameworks’ that aim to ensure adequate protection.
- How long we keep your personal information
We keep personal information for as long as necessary to ensure we can deliver our services and in line with our legal and regulatory requirements. This policy reflects legal requirements, our regulatory and compliance functions and other applicable considerations to determine the appropriate retention period.
We do not retain personal information in an identifiable format for longer than is necessary. At present all client files are retained for 6 years but all LEAP information is held indefinitely due to the need to check for future conflicts of interest.
- Security and links to other sites
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of your information transmitted to our website and any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your personal information, we put in place reasonable and appropriate controls to ensure that it remains secure against accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, or unauthorised access.
Our website may contain links to other websites run by other organisations. This policy does not apply to those sites so we encourage you to read their privacy statements. We cannot be responsible for the privacy policies and practices of other websites even if you access them using links that we provide. In addition, if you linked to our website from a third-party website, we cannot be responsible for the privacy policies and practices of the owners and operators of that third-party website and recommend that you check the policy of that third party.
It is possible to switch off cookies by setting your browser preferences.
- Our marketing
We may collect and process your data to receive marketing information directly from us by email and text in the following ways:
- If you are a client or former client we may contact you with marketing information about our products and services, except where you indicate you would prefer otherwise;
- If you contract with us for our services, we may contact you with marketing information in the ways mentioned in the notices presented to you as part of that transaction, except where you indicate you would prefer otherwise.
- If you register with us online, we will ask you if you would like to provide your consent to receive marketing information directly from us, by asking you to confirm your preferences.
- If you do not provide full information instructions or payment and have not indicated that you would prefer otherwise, we may remind you by phone or email about the position.
- If you attend for advice, an interview or contact us in any way we will contact you to ascertain if you wish to contract with us further or at all.
From time to time, we may ask you to refresh your marketing preferences by asking you to confirm that you want to continue receiving marketing information from us.
We may contact you with marketing information by post and telephone by using your personal information or with targeted advertising delivered online through social media and platforms operated by other companies using their profiling tools, or by using your personal information to tailor marketing to improve its relevance to you, unless you object.
You can amend your marketing preferences at any time by contacting Mel Nicholls by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Third party marketing
We will never provide your information or data to third party organisations for them to contact you directly with marketing information about their products and services.
You have the right to opt out of our use of your personal information to provide marketing to you in any of the ways mentioned in this privacy notice. Please see below.
- Your rights
You have specific rights in relation to your personal information under data protection law. In relation to certain rights, we may ask you for information to confirm your identity and, where applicable, to help us to search for your personal information.
Except in rare cases where additional time may be required, we will respond to you within one month from either (i) the date that we have confirmed your identity, or (ii) where we do not need to do this because we already have this information, from the date we received your request.
Accessing your personal information
Under data protection laws you have a legal right to ask to see a copy of the personal information that we hold about you. Such requests are called subject access requests.
If you would like to make a subject access request please email Mel Nicholls with sufficient details for her to assist you.
You will also need to provide one form of identification and proof of your address, for example, staff pass, driving licence, utility bill, and if appropriate, and information about the source or location of the information you are requesting.
At HRS we keep a database for marketing purposes, a database for client services run by LEAP and client files for ongoing and cases completed within the last six years. We also keep a billing database and accounts information.
Further information about subject access requests can be found on the Information Commissioner's website https://ico.org.uk.
We may not provide you with a copy of your personal information if this concerns other individuals or if we have another lawful reason to withhold that information.
Correcting and updating your personal information
The accuracy of your information is important to us and we are working on ways to make it easier for you to review and correct the information that we hold about you.
In the meantime, if you change your name or address/email address, or you discover that any of the other information we hold is inaccurate or out of date, please let us know by contacting us by email.
Withdrawing your consent
Where we rely on your consent as the legal basis for processing your personal information, you may withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us by email.
If you would like to withdraw your consent or object to receiving any direct marketing to which you previously opted-in, you can do so using the unsubscribe tool in that communication (if it is an email), or by writing to us by email. If you withdraw your consent, our use of your personal information before you withdraw is still lawful.
If you have provided consent for your details to be shared with a third party, and wish to withdraw this consent, please also contact the relevant third party to amend your preferences.
Objecting to our use of your personal information and automated decisions made about you
Where we rely on our legitimate business interests as the legal basis for processing your personal information for any purpose(s), as outlined, you may object to us using your personal information for these purposes by emailing or writing to us at the address at the end of this policy. Except for the purposes for which we are sure we can continue to process your personal information, we will temporarily stop processing your personal information in line with your objection until we have investigated the matter. If we agree that your objection is justified in accordance with your rights under data protection laws, we will permanently stop using your data for those purposes. Otherwise we will provide you with our justification as to why we need to continue using your data.
You may object to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes and we will automatically comply with your request. If you would like to do so, please email or write to us at the address at the end of this policy.
Erasing your personal information or restricting its processing
In certain circumstances, you may ask for your personal information to be removed from our systems by emailing or writing to us at the address at the end of this policy. Unless there is a reason that the law allows us to use your personal information for longer, we will make reasonable efforts to comply with your request.
You may also ask us to restrict processing your personal information where you believe it is unlawful for us to do so, you have objected to its use and our investigation is pending or you require us to keep it in connection with legal proceedings. In such circumstances we may only process your personal information if we have your consent or are legally permitted to do so, for example for storage purposes, to protect the rights of another individual or company or in connection with legal proceedings.
Transferring your personal information in a structured data file ('data portability')
Where we rely on your consent as the legal basis for processing your personal information or need to process it in connection with a contract we've entered into, you may ask us to provide you with a copy of that information in a structured data file. We will provide this to you electronically in a structured, commonly used and machine readable form, such as a CSV file.
You can ask us to send your personal information directly to another service provider, and we will do so if this is technically possible. We may not provide you with a copy of your personal information if this concerns other individuals or we have another lawful reason to withhold that information.
Complaining to the UK data protection regulator
We'd like to be able to resolve all your concerns, and we hope that we can do so. Where we haven't been able to do this, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if you are concerned about the way we have processed your personal information. Please visit the ICO's website for further details.
- Changes to this policy
We may review this policy from time to time and any changes will be notified to you by posting an updated version on our website. We recommend you regularly check for changes and review this policy whenever you visit our website. If you do not agree with any aspect of the policy you must immediately notify us and cease using our services.
- Contact us
Please direct any queries about this policy or about the way we process your personal information to the Managing Director’s PA by email on email@example.com.
CIR 240518 v1.