Privacy Policy

This Privacy Statement explains the types of personal data we may collect about you when you use our services. It explains how we will store and handle that data and keep it safe. As your solicitors A & M Solicitors Limited is the Controller and is responsible for the processing of your personal data. A & M Solicitors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number 623383). Details of the SRA's Code of Conduct can be found at http://rules.sra.org.uk. A & M Solicitors Limited (No. 9682878) is registered in England and Wales and our registered office is St John's House, 42 St John's Place, Stoneygate, Preston, Lancashire PR1 3XX, England.

Your personal data and our use of it

The main reason we ask you to provide us with your personal data is to enable us to carry out your matter in accordance with our client care letter and terms and conditions of business. We may however use your personal information for our legitimate business interests, for example, but not limited to, the prevention of fraud, marketing, network and information systems security, data / analytics / enhancing, modifying or improving our services, identifying usage trends.

The information we hold about you may be gathered from a variety of sources but principally yourself, for example, when you instruct us to act on your behalf in the provision of legal advice and services, when you visit our offices or website, when you contact us by any means, when you book an appointment. We may also gather information when you've given a third party permission to share with us the information they hold about you, from publicly available sources, when you have given your consent to share information or where the information is made public as a matter of law. You may also provide information relating to someone else - if you have the authority to do so and information may be passed to us by third parties in order that we can act on your behalf. Typically these organisations can be Financial Institutions such as Banks or building societies or Medical institutions which provide your personal records.

If you instruct us to act on your behalf we will request your personal details such as your name, gender, date of birth, address, email and telephone numbers, education training and employment details, your racial or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, political opinions, health data, biometric and genetic data. If you contact us for an initial enquiry which does result in an instruction we may have collected your personal contact details. We may also keep records of any communication between you and us. We keep copies of documents you provide to us prove your identity or assist your matter. We may process information gathered by the use of cookies in your web browser, payment card information and our comments and reviews regarding our services.

We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to such as:

  • Where we need to perform the services the subject of the retainer;
  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests;
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation;
  • In the case of special or sensitive personnel data, where you have consented and / or it is necessary for the establishing or defence of legal claims.

We may use your information for, amongst other things, to verify your identity or source of funds, to communicate with you, to conduct your matter including providing you with advice, preparing documentation and applications, litigation and representation, keeping financial records of your matter, seeking the advice of third parties, responding to complaints or allegations of negligence against us, providing you with information you request, to comply with our legal and professional obligations, and other legitimate reasons such as internal compliance and security.

Retention of data

The protection of your personal data is important to us and we have put in place high standards of technological and operational security in order to protect data from loss, misuse, alteration or destruction. We have strict policies and procedures regarding client confidentiality applicable internally to our staff and externally to all third parties which might have access to the data.

Your personal information will be retained, in paper and / or electronic form, only for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes for which the information was collected, or as required by law or as long as is set out in any relevant contract you may have with us. This will include as long as it is necessary in order to conduct your matter and for six years from the conclusion or closure of your matter (in case you, or we, need to re-open your case). Deeds relating to unregistered property may be kept indefinitely.

Sharing of data

Some of the information that you provide will be protected by legal professional privilege unless and until the information becomes public. We have an obligation to keep your information confidential.

In order to fulfil our obligations to you and in order to run our business it may be necessary to share your personal data with third parties including but not limited to Courts and Tribunals, the Home Office, the Legal Aid Agency, Independent Barristers or Counsel and Chambers, Solicitors, Solicitors Regulation Authority, Experts, Translators, Interpreters, External Auditors and Contracted Suppliers. In these circumstances we provide only the information they need to perform their services and they may only use that data for the specified reasons. We will ensure that they are contractually obliged to ensure that your privacy is respected and protected at all times and if we stop using their services, any of your data held by them will either be deleted or rendered anonymous.

There may be some uses of personal data that may require your specific consent. If this is the case we will contact you separately to ask for your consent which you are free to withhold or give and later withdraw at any time.

If you reside outside the EEA or your case involves persons or organisations or courts and tribunals outside the EEA then it may be necessary to transfer some of your data to that country outside of the EEA for that purpose. If you are in a country outside the EEA or if the instructions you provide come from outside the EEA then it is inevitable that information will be transferred to those countries. If this applies to you and you wish additional precautions to be taken in respect of your information please indicate this when providing initial instructions.

Some countries and organisations outside the EEA have been assessed by the European Commission and their data protection laws and procedures found to show adequate protection, however most do not. If your information has to be transferred outside the EEA, then it may not have the same protections and you may not have the same rights as you would within the EEA. We will not transfer personal information outside the EEA except as necessary for providing legal services or for any legal proceedings.

Consent

We rely on your explicit consent to process your information provided when you instructed us to act on your behalf in accordance with our terms and conditions of business. You have the right to withdraw this consent at any time but this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing activity carried out prior to the withdrawal of your consent. Where we also rely on other bases for processing your information you may not be able to prevent processing of data.

Your rights over your personal data

You may make a "data subject access request" for a copy of the personal data we hold about you (such as your name, address, contact details, date of birth, information regarding your health etc. This does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to the documents that contain this data) and to check that we are lawfully processing it. If you wish to make a request, please do so in writing to our Data Protection Officer Gary Till or contact the person dealing with your matter. In most situations you will not be charged for making an access request and we will usually provide the personal data within one month of the date of the request.

You may request any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you be corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.

You may request us to delete or remove your personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request for erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

You may object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.

You may ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data's accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.

You may request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.

You may withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

To protect the confidentiality of your information, we will ask you to verify your identity before proceeding with any request you make under this Privacy Policy. If you have authorised a third party to submit a request on your behalf, we will ask them to prove they have your permission to act.

Marketing

We may contact you for the purpose of marketing and this is carried out on a legitimate interest basis. This means that we may use your personal data that we have collected in accordance with this Privacy Policy to contact you about our products and services which we feel may interest you. The marketing communications may be provided to you by social media channels, email or post. We will never send marketing communications via SMS or call you without your specific consent nor do we ever pass on or sell your details to a third party.

Whenever we collect your personal data, you will be provided the opportunity to 'opt out' to receiving marketing communications from us. Opting out does not prevent you from subsequently opting back in.

We will only ever use non sensitive personal information to target individuals with marketing materials; such as name, address, telephone, email, job description and previous areas of interest. Sensitive information or specific details will never be used for marketing purposes. We may use personalisation to collect analytics to inform marketing and produce relevant content for the marketing strategy as this helps us to improve client service.

If you do not wish us to continue to contact you in this way, please notify us of this. Your details will be removed immediately from any marketing activities. Once unsubscribed, you may still receive transactional emails from us regarding your legal matter.

Complaints about the use of personal data

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer Gary Till. If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are not processing your personal data in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). You can contact them by calling 0303 123 1113 or go online to www.ico.org.uk/concerns.

(Please note we can't be responsible for the content of external websites.)