This notice explains why and when we will collect your information, what we use it for, who has access to it, how we protect your data, how long we will keep it for, as well as your rights.
Clients- This notice should be read along side the terms of business you will have signed at the beginning of your engagement with this firm.
Who we are
Data is collected, processed and stored by GCA Solicitors. We are the data controller of your data.
GCA Solicitors is a partnership authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA number 47907. Our VAT number is 196 5061 42.
Our contact details are as follows:
Address: Suite 6
3 Park Terrace
Bedfordshire LU1 3HN
Telephone: 01582 410041
If emailing us in relation to data protection, please use the following header:
“For the attention of Emma Halpin: Data Protection”
Our data protection officer is Emma Halpin who can be contacted via the above details.
Our website and services are not aimed towards children because children are generally represented by their parents or guardians. If you are a child and require further information regarding how we process your data, please contact our data protection on the details above.
What we need
What information we require from you depends on what you have asked us to do on your behalf. This Notice is intended for clients or prospective clients only. In most cases, the information we require will be limited to basic information (such as name, contact details, financial information, gender, date of birth etc.) as opposed to sensitive information (such as your ethnicity, religion, sexuality, biometric data etc.) We do not collect sensitive data.
Sources of information
Your information could be obtained from various sources, including the following: –
- Provided by you
- Provided by third parties, such as:
- Estate agents
- Referee organisations
- Panel banks and building societies
- Councils/ Pension providers/ medical organisations
- By someone else (with your authority)
Why we need it
We require your information in order to fulfil what you have asked us to do, namely to represent you and complete legal work on your behalf. For example, your divorce, representation in relation to a settlement agreement, to complete the sale or purchase of your property etc.
Examples of what we may use your information for is below. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list
- Opening of your file
- Verifying your identity
- Corresponding with you and other organisations in relation to your matter
- Undertaking legal obligations to you and on your behalf for example complying with Court orders, submitting your Stamp Duty Land Tax
- Providing you with legal advice
- Responding to any complaint or allegation of negligence against us
Who has access to it
We have a data protection management system in place in order to manage the processing of your data. We will not sell your data or share your information for marketing purposes.
In most cases, only GCA Solicitors will use your information. Below are some examples of when we may share your information: –
- HM Revenue and Customs e.g. for stamp duty or inheritance tax purposes
- HM Land Registry e.g. in order to register your property purchase
- Barristers e.g. to represent you or provide advice on your matter
- External auditors e.g. Lexcel, Law Society, SRA, ICO etc.
- Insurance companies
- Banks and building societies
- Experts e.g. accountants, surveyors etc.
- Disclosure require by law or regulation
Where we are sharing your data with third parties, and we have a contract with them, we will ensure that the third parties are only using your data as we have instructed them unless you have explicitly consented for them to use your information otherwise. If you are entering into contract personally, it is your responsibility to ensure that the company complies with the appropriate law with companies.
How do we protect your personal data
Our computers are password protected and we make use of technological protection such as firewalls and data encryption.
We have a “clear desk policy” in areas where the public have access and where possible and practical, have physical safeguards (such as locked filing cabinets and key safes) in order to keep your data safe.
How long will we keep it for
Your data will be retained for as long as required to fulfil the job you have asked us to do; or as required by law; or as long as set out in our terms of business to you. For example:
- Will files will be held indefinitely
- Minimum of seven years following the completion of your matter
Our legal basis for processing
We rely on the following legal grounds to process your data:
Performance of a contract: We may need to collect and use your personal information to enter into a contract with you or to perform a contract that you have with us. For example, to provide you with advice or correspond with you and third parties in relation to your matter.
Legitimate interests: Where we otherwise consider such use of your information as not detrimental to you, within your reasonable expectations and necessary to fulfil our legitimate interests, we may use your personal information.
Legal obligation: We are bound by certain legal requirements and may be required to disclose your information by law including anti-money laundering regulations, tax laws and other regulatory provisions.
Consent: You may be asked to provide your consent in connection with certain services that we offer. To withdraw your consent to such use, please contact Emma Halpin on the details provided within this notice.
What are your rights?
You are entitled to access the data we hold. You are not entitled to the documents which contain this data. If you would like to make a request, please contact Emma Halpin via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post (GCA Solicitors, Suite 6, 3 Park Terrace, Manor Road, Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 3HN)
Under certain circumstances you are also entitled to the following: –
1 Right to be informed- this is fulfilled by this notice
2 Right to rectification- you have the right to have incomplete or inaccurate data rectified
3 Right to erasure/ to be forgotten- you have the right to request the deletion or removal of your data. This right only applies in specific circumstances.
4 Right to withdraw your consent- where we are using consent as the legal basis for processing your data, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time
5 Right to information relating to whether the provision of personal data is a statutory or contractual requirement
6 Right to restrict processing- this involves us freezing our processing. We will still hold your data but will be unable to do anything with it
7 Right to data portability
Please note that your exercise of the above rights may mean that we are unable to continue to act for you. In these circumstances, we would cease work at the earliest opportunity and you will be liable for any fees incurred up to that point.
If data is incomplete or inaccurate, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can amend our records accordingly and notify any relevant third parties so that they are able to do the same.
We do not use your data for automated decision making.
If you have a concern regarding the way that we are processing your data, please contact Emma Halpin, using the above details who will investigate this further.
If you are not satisfied by our response or do not think we are processing your data in accordance with the law, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).