Privacy

Our Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully to understand why data is being collected and what we do with that data once in our possession. When we collect your personal data we are regulated by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies to the United Kingdom and across the European Union. Under the terms of the GDPR we are responsible as the “Controller”of your personal data.

We may change the privacy policy of the terms of business from time to time by amending this page.

Further information about data privacy may be found in our terms of business letter.

Please do not hesitate to contact Kate Hamilton if you have any queries regarding our policy. Kate Hamilton can be contacted at keh@cornwall-law.com.

What personal data do we collect?

Your name, address, telephone numbers, email address, date of birth, national insurance number (if appropriate).

Information to enable us to check and verify your identity to enable us to comply with Anti Money Laundering Regulations, e.g. your passport or driving licence details.

Information relating to your case which will enable us to ensure the appropriate person at our firm can assist you.

Details of any other parties to enable us to undertake a conflict check to ensure we can act for you.

Police and Medical records may be collected if we are ordered by the Court to obtain such records.

On what basis we can process your information?

Data Protection law states we are allowed to use personal information only if we have a proper reason for doing so. This includes sharing it outside @Cornwall Law LLP. The law states we must have one or more reasons for processing it;

  • to fulfil a contract we have with you - it is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party, or to take steps prior to entering into a contract with you. The retainer between you and @Cornwall Law LLP, which is made up of our terms of business letter, sets out the terms of the contract and the services we will provide; or

  • when it is in our legitimate interest, except where our interests are overridden by the interests, rights or freedoms of affected individuals (such as you). To determine this we shall consider a number of factors, such as what you were told at the time you provided your data, what your expectations are about the processing of the data, the nature of the data, and the impact of the processing on you;

  • when it is our legal duty, it is necessary in order to comply with mandatory legal obligations to which we are subject under EU or UK law, or

  • when you consent to it

  • when there are vital interests, i.e. when it is necessary for us to process the personal data to protect someone’s life

  • when there is a public task, i.e. we need to process personal data ‘in the exercise of official authority’. This covers public functions and powers that are set out in law or to perform a specific task in the public interest that is set out in law.

  • special category data - we can only process this where we have both a lawful basis and a separate condition for processing special category data.

  • criminal offence data - this can only be processed where we have both a lawful basis and either legal authority or official authority for the processing.

What we use your personal information for;

  • to verify your identity and establish the source of funding in any transaction;

  • to undertake conflict checks to ensure we can act for you and to ensure we do not act against you;

  • to carry out appropriate anti-fraud checks (by conducting online searches using a third-party identity provider). Please note that this will not affect your credit rating

  • to communicate with you during the course of providing our services, for example providing you with advice and dealing with your enquiries and requests;

  • to prepare documentation to complete transactions and commence legal proceedings on your behalf;

  • to carry out obligations arising from any contract entered into between you and third parties as part of your legal matter;

  • to seek advice from third parties in connection with your matter, such as Experts and Counsel;

  • to prevent money laundering or terrorist financing in accordance with financial crime regulations;

  • to develop and carry out marketing activities;

  • to make and manage client/supplier payments;

  • to collect and recover money that is owed to us;

  • to manage risk for us and our clients;

  • to obey laws and regulations that apply to us;

  • to respond to complaints and seek to resolve them;

  • to run our business in a proper and efficient way which includes managing our financial position, business capability, planning communications, audit and governance; and

  • to exercise our rights set out in agreements or contracts.

Where we collect personal information from.

Data you give to us;

  • When you enquire about our services;

  • When you communicate with us by either telephone, emails and letters;

  • When you use our website;

  • When you apply for vacancies directly;

  • When you send us unsolicited personal data;

  • When you instruct us to advise/represent you;

We may collect personal information about you from third parties during the course of providing our legal services. The processing of this information will be necessary for the progression of your legal matter and to enable us to act in your best interests as your legal representative.

As a law firm we have an obligation to make you aware of anything that is relevant to your matter. When we obtain information about you from a third party rather than from you directly, we will notify you of any relevant information within a reasonable period and provide you with details including the type of data and source it came from. Data from third parties we work with;

  • Individuals that introduce you to us;

  • Recruitment agencies;

  • Social networks;

  • Other parties involved in the legal proceedings (such as the solicitor acting on the other side);

  • Financial institutions (such as banks involved in financing the transaction);

  • Other professional services firms (such as accountants and tax specialists);

  • Public information sources (such as Companies House);

  • Government bodies (such as HM Land Registry for details of your property) and

  • Law enforcement agencies.

How long we keep your data for?

We will only retain your information for as long as is necessary to:

  • Carry out the legal work;

  • Maintain records according to rules that apply to us;

  • Establish or defend of legal claims that could be made against us;

    Comply with legal obligations under EU/UK law (anti-money laundering regulations say your identification and source of funds information must be kept for a minimum period from conclusion of the matter) and

  • Enable us to undertake conflict checks in future matters.

Typically we will store the information for ten years from when your matter is closed if you are a paying client of the firm or for three years where we have provided free advice to you. If you are a fee paying client then you will receive a file closure letter at the end of your matter which will confirm the time we will keep your data for.

As regards the recruited applicants whose data are stored in their personal file, the retention period of their data related to the selection procedure follows the period of storage of the personal file, which is six years.

The retention period for data relating to the non-recruited applicants, and unsolicited personal data, the documents related to these candidates are kept for a period of six months after which time they are destroyed.

Who your information will be shared with?

Based upon the services you need we may pass your details to selected people or organisations (data processors) to carry out certain activities on our behalf. For example, personal information you provide may be disclosed to our agents, who may keep a record of that information, eg we pass your file to a firm of Law Costs Draughtsmen who assist us by preparing Bills of Costs for submission to the Legal Aid Agency and/or the Court.

We may pass your information to any third parties where required to do so in the course of providing legal services, or where we are obliged by law. This will include, but is not limited to:

  • A court or tribunal where we are acting for you in a dispute or litigation;

  • HM Revenue & Customs, regulators and other authorities;

  • Our professional indemnity insurer in the event a claim is made against us in order to defend ourselves;

  • The solicitors acting on the other side of your matter;

  • Healthcare professionals, Social and Welfare organisations;

  • Expert Witnesses or Legal Counsel to obtain advice or assistance on your matter;

  • Other professionals and service providers (such as insurance brokers, where you wish to take out an insurance policy as part of a transaction);

  • Any disclosures to law enforcement agencies where required by law (in particular the prevention of financial crime and terrorism);

  • Our regulators including the SRA, Law Society of Scotland, and Law Society of Northern Ireland in connection with any ongoing regulatory investigation;

  • The bank or building society or other lender providing finance in the transaction and

  • External auditors who may carry out independent checks of your file as part of our accreditations, e.g. LEXCEL.

We may also share your personal information if the make-up of @Cornwall Law LLP changes in the future:

  • We may choose to sell, transfer, or merge parts of our business, or our assets. Or we may seek to acquire other businesses or merge with them.

  • During any such process, we may share your data with other parties. We'll only do this if they agree to keep your data safe and private.

  • If the change to our firm happens, then other parties may use your data in the same way as set out in this notice.

We also employ third party services to support our practice and the services we offer you. They cannot do anything with your personal data unless we have instructed them to do so. These services include the following;

  • IT provider

  • IT Consultant

  • Confidential Document Shredding Service

  • External Storage Unit

  • Cleaner

  • Accountants

  • Law Costs Draughtsman

At the outset of your matter we may not be aware of all the other parties involved as this will depend on the specific nature of the work.

Security of your data.

Your data will be held on secure servers within the European Economic Area ("EEA") with all reasonable technological and operation measures put in place to safeguard it from unauthorised access. Where possible your identifiable information will be encrypted or minimised when stored in our systems.

Sending data outside of the EEA.

We will only send your data outside of the European Economic Area ('EEA') to:

  • Follow your instructions

  • Comply with a legal duty

If we do transfer information to agents outside of the EEA, we will make sure that during the transfer process it is protected in the same way as if it was being used in the EEA. We'll use one of these safeguards:

  • Where possible transfer it to a non-EEA country with privacy laws that give the same protection as the EEA. Learn more on the European Commission Justice website.

  • Where possible transfer it to organisations that are part of Privacy Shield. This is a framework that sets privacy standards for data sent between the US and EU countries. It makes sure those standards are similar to what is used within the EEA. You can find out more about data protection on the European Commission Justice website.

How you can access and update your information.

You have a right to request a copy of the personal information we hold about you, known as a data subject access request. You also have the right to request that information we hold about you which may be incorrect, or which has been changed since you first told us, be updated or removed. These requests are free of charge and can be sent to Kate Hamilton, @Cornwall Law LLP, 11 Edward Street, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3AR or to keh@cornwall-law.com.

How you can object to us using your personal data or withdraw consent?

You have the right to object to our use of your personal information, or to ask us to delete, remove, or stop using your personal information if there is no need for us to keep it. This is known as the 'right to object' and 'right to erasure', or the 'right to be forgotten'.

There may be legal or other official reasons why we need to keep or use your data. But please tell us if you think that we should not be using it.

Please note that if you want us to restrict or stop processing your data this may impact on our ability to provide our services. Depending on the extent of your request we may be unable to continue acting for you and be forced to immediately cease acting. In these situations you would remain liable for the fees and disbursements incurred to date.

You can ask us to restrict the use of your personal information if:

  • It is not accurate.

  • It has been used unlawfully but you don't want us to delete it.

  • It not relevant any more, but you want us to keep it for use in legal claims.

  • You have already asked us to stop using your data, but you are waiting for us to tell you if we are allowed to keep on using it.

If you want to object to how we use your data or ask us to delete it or restrict how we use it or, please contact Kate Hamilton by email at keh@cornwall-law.com

Moving your information to another organisation.

You have the right to request that we send a copy of the personal data we hold about you to another organisation for your own purposes, for example when you are dealing with a different service provider. If you would like us to move, copy, or transfer your information to another organisation please let us know. We will respond to you within one month after assessing whether or not this is possible, taking into account the technical compatibility with the other organisation in question.

Automated decision making.

We do not use your information for automated decision making.

Our Complaints Policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients.  When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it.  This will help us improve our standards.  If you have a complaint, please contact Karen Furness with the details. 

 What will happen next?

 We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.

We will then investigate your complaint.  This will normally involve passing your complaint to the relevant department head, Karen Furness or Paul Simons, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you. 

Karen Furness or Paul Simons will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint.  S/he will do this within fourteen days of sending you the acknowledgement letter. 

Within three days of the meeting, Karen Furness or Paul Simons will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions agreed with you. 

If you do not want a meeting, or it is not possible, Karen Furness or Paul Simons will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his or her suggestions for resolving the matter, within twenty one days of sending you the acknowledgment letter. 

At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for an appropriate alternative such as review by another local solicitor or mediation to review the decision. 

We will write to you within fourteen days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. 

If you are still not satisfied you can contact:

Legal Ombudsman

PO Box 6806

Wolverhampton

WV1 9WJ

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Tel: 0300 555 0333

 

The time limit for referral of complaints is six years from the date of the act or omission, or three years from when you should have known about the complaint.   The Legal Ombudsman’s website contains further information regarding complaints. 

 If we have to change any of the timescales about we will let you know and explain why. 

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data not in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office. Their website contains details about how to report a concern.

Complaints to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

The SRA deal with complaints where firms or regulated individuals may have breached the SRA Principles.

If we are unable to resolve your complaint regarding poor service then you should take the matter up with the Legal Ombudsman. If the Legal Ombudsman thinks the complaint involves a breach of the SRA Principles they will refer the case to the SRA. The SRA have detailed information about the SRA complaints procedure and what the SRA regulate on their website.

The SRA do not have the power to award compensation for a poor service or to reduce or refund legal fees.

You can also report a firm or a regulated individual to the SRA for non-payment of professional fees (such as expert’s fees) if

  • you have a County Court judgement in respect of the fee, and

  • the judgement relates to the practice in connection with providing a legal service.