Who we are
We respect your privacy and are committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy notice informs you how we look after your personal data supplied to us and tells you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.
1. Important information and who we are
Purpose of this privacy notice
This privacy notice aims to give you information on how your personal data is collected and processed by us in the course of us:
- providing services to you (or quoting to provide services to you);
- providing services to your employer (or quoting to provide services to your employer); or
- maintaining another business relationship with you or your employer (for example, where you are a supplier to us or you are an accountant or another professional with whom we work).
BHW Solicitors Limited is the controller and responsible for your personal data (collectively referred to as “BHW”, “we”, “us” or “our” in this privacy notice).
We have appointed a data protection supervisor whose role includes oversight of all matters relating to the protection of your personal data and dealing with questions in relation to this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact our Data Protection Supervisor using the contact details below.
Postal address: The Data Protection Supervisor, BHW Solicitors Limited, 1 Smith Way, Grove Park, Enderby, Leicester LE19 1SX.
Email address: email@example.com
You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (www.ico.org.uk). We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.
Informing us of changes
It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.
2. The data we collect about you
Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).
The personal data about you that we collect, use, store and transfer will depend upon our relationship with you and, where you are a client, the type of work that you instruct us to carry out for you.
Where you are not an individual client
If you are not our client but are instead employed or engaged by one of our business clients, or you are a supplier or other professional contact, we will process limited personal data, usually limited to your name, telephone numbers, email addresses and, potentially, your home address.
Where you are a director, shareholder, partner or LLP member of one of our business clients, or you are a trustee or beneficiary of a pension scheme or trust, then we may request, and keep copies of, various ID documents (e.g. driving licence, passport, bank statements, bills) which we will use to carry out online ID verification. We are required by law to do this for the purposes of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.
If you are an individual supplier of goods or services to us, then we may also have your bank details for the purposes of paying you.
Where you are an individual client
If you are an individual client of BHW, then we will process more personal data about you, which may include (but is not limited to) the following:
- Your name, date of birth, property addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers
- Bank account details (if we need to pay any money to you)
- Various ID documents (e.g. driving licence, passport, bank statements, bills)
- Details of your employment and salary (if we are advising you in respect of a dispute)
- Details of your employees (if you are a sole trader or partner in a partnership)
- Details of your assets and liabilities and details about your family (if we are advising you in respect of Wills and estate planning)
If you are instructing us to buy, sell, re-mortgage or transfer equity in a property, then we may also hold the following information:
- Address of the relevant property
- Details of your mortgage(s)
- Bank statements and other information relating to proof of source of funds (which may relate to both you or any family or friends who gift money to you for use in a property purchase)
- National Insurance number (if we need to submit a Stamp Duty Land Tax application for you)
We may also collect, use and share aggregated data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated data may be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law, as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. However, if we combine or connect aggregated data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy notice.
More sensitive personal data
In certain circumstances, for example, if you instruct us to deal with an employment dispute relating to alleged discrimination against you, we may process more sensitive information about you, known as “special category” data under the General Data Protection Regulation. Special categories of data are those that include details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, or information about your health and genetic and biometric data.
We can process this data only with your consent though we may not be able to provide services to you if you do not consent (e.g. where those services relate specifically to your discrimination claim). We treat all such information with the strictest confidence.
Visitors to our offices
For health and safety reasons, we record all visitor arrivals and departures in our electronic system. This will include your name and, where appropriate, the company you represent.
If you fail to provide personal data
Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract we have with you and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to provide services to you. In this case, we may have to terminate our professional relationship but we will notify you if this is the case at the time.
3. How is your personal data collected?
Your personal data is usually collected directly from you, whether face-to-face, by telephone or by you completing a form. If you are not an individual client of BHW, we may receive your name and contact details from your employer or your colleagues.
If you are referred to us (for example, by a developer, estate agent or accountant) then we may receive some preliminary information from that referrer, such as your name and contact details.
4. How we use your personal data
We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data as follows:
- Where you or your employer are a prospective client, to start our engagement process with you
- To provide legal services to you or your employer
- To maintain our business relationship with you or your employer
- Where you supply ID documents, to carry out online ID verification, which we are required by law to do for the purposes of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing
- Where you supply bank statements or other source of funds information in respect of a property purchase, to fulfil our legal obligations in respect of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing
- To comply with other legal obligations
- To carry out marketing to you (but always subject to the legal restrictions on electronic and telephone marketing and to your right to object to further marketing)
- To notify you of updates to this privacy notice
We may use your contact details to send you our email newsletters or other information about our services. You may contact us at any time to be removed from our newsletter database or simply click the unsubscribe link in any email.
The legal bases on which we will rely for our processing are that the activities are either necessary to provide services to you, necessary for our legitimate interests or those of your employer or are necessary to comply with a legal obligation. In addition, where we process any special categories of personal data, we will rely on your explicit consent for us to do so.
We make sure we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative) and your rights before we process your personal data for our legitimate interests or those of your employer. We do not use your personal data for activities where our interests or those of your employer are overridden by the impact on you (unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted to by law).
Change of purpose
We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose.
If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.
Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.
5. Disclosures of your personal data
Where you are only a prospective client, we will not share your information with any third parties without your consent.
If you are an employee of a client or one of our professional contacts, we may need to share your contact details with other professionals or client contacts.
Where you are a client, we may have to share certain of your personal data with the parties set out below for the purposes set out in paragraph 4 above:
- HM Revenue & Customs (for example, if we are submitting a Stamp Duty Land Tax application for you, or we are submitting a shares stock transfer form for stamping)
- HM Land Registry (if you instruct us to deal with a property transaction)
- Other professionals appointed by you or by us (including barristers or other experts)
- Courts or tribunals (if you instruct us to deal with commercial or employment disputes)
- Executors of your Will following your death (for matters relating to the administration of your estate)
- Our professional indemnity insurer (we may be required to provide certain client information when we make a claim or for the purposes of obtaining cover)
- Our accountants and general compliance consultants (who review a random selection of our client files from time to time)
- Third parties to whom we may choose to sell, transfer, or merge parts of our business or our assets. Alternatively, we may seek to acquire other businesses or merge with them. If a change happens to our business, then the new owners may use your personal data in the same way as set out in this privacy notice
In addition, your personal data may be hosted or shared using third-party infrastructure or software providers, data sites or systems, and external IT contractors and suppliers may have access to your personal data in the process of providing services to us.
We may also share data with third parties (including police or government bodies) to detect and avoid fraud or other criminal activity.
Finally, where you are a business client (or a key contact at a business client) or you are one of our professional contacts, we may pass limited personal data (such as your name, email address and telephone number) to legal service research bodies (such as The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners) so they may talk to you about your experience of dealing with BHW Solicitors.
We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.
6. International transfers
Some of our third-party software solutions may be hosted outside the UK or European Economic Area (EEA) so their processing of your personal data will involve a transfer of data outside the UK/EEA.
Whenever we transfer your personal data out of the UK/EEA, we ensure a similar degree of protection is afforded to it by ensuring at least one of the following safeguards is implemented:
- We may transfer your personal data to countries that have been deemed to provide an adequate level of protection for personal data by the European Commission.
- Where we use certain service providers, we may use specific contracts approved by the European Commission which give personal data the same protection it has in Europe.
- Where we use providers based in the US, we may transfer data to them if they are part of the Privacy Shield which requires them to provide similar protection to personal data shared between the UK/EEA and the US.
7. Data security
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.
8. Data retention
How long will you use my personal data for?
Where you are a client, we will retain your file for 15 years, at which point it will be destroyed.
Where we hold your personal data as an employee of a client or as one of our suppliers or professional contacts, we will usually delete your data 5 years after our business relationship ceases (other than where your personal data may be held with a client file, in which case it will be destroyed as above).
In some circumstances you can ask us to delete your data: see below for further information.
In some circumstances, we may anonymise your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes in which case we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you.
9. Information about your family and friends
Where you are a client and provide us with either:
- information about your adult dependants (for example, for the purposes of preparing your Will or carrying out estate planning); or
- bank statements or other source of funds information from your family or friends who have gifted money to you for the purchase of a property,
you must ensure you have consent from those people before providing that information to us.
It is not practicable for us to send a privacy notice to those people (and it may well breach our obligations of confidence to you if we do send out such a notice).
10. Your legal rights
In certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data, as set out below.
If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out below, please contact us using the contact details at the start of this privacy notice. We may not have to comply with your request but we would explain why if we believe we are entitled to refuse.
Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.
Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove 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 of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.
Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (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.
Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to 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.
Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. Where our systems allow, we will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to information which is processed by automated means. We do not currently hold personal data in a form that is readily portable and it is unlikely we would be able (or required) to comply with such a request.
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 services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.
No fee usually required
You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.
What we may need from you
We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.
Time limit to respond
We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.
This notice was last amended on 1st February 2022.