Barker Gooch & Swailes Solicitors – Privacy Policy

We take your privacy very seriously. Please read this privacy policy carefully as it contains important information on who we are and how and why we collect, store, use and share your personal data. It also explains your rights in relation to your personal data and how to contact us or supervisory authorities in the event you have a complaint.When we use your personal data, we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal data for the purposes of the GDPR. Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, the GDPR, other relevant UK and EU legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.

Key Terms

It would be helpful to start by explaining some key terms used in this policy:

We, us, our

Barker Gooch & Swailes Solicitors

Personal data

Any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual

Special category personal data

Personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership
Genetic and biometric data

Data concerning health, sex life or sexual orientation

Personal Data We Collect about You

Below sets out the personal data we will or may collect in the course of advising and/or acting for you.

Personal data we will collect

  • Your name, address, and telephone number
  • Information to enable us to check and verify your identity, e.g. your date of birth or passport details
  • Electronic contact details, e.g. your email address and mobile phone number
  • Information relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representation
  • Information to enable us to undertake a credit or other financial checks on you
  • Your financial details so far as relevant to your instructions, e.g. the source of your funds if you are instructing on a purchase transaction

Personal data we may collect depending on why you have instructed us

  • Your national insurance and tax details
  • Your bank and/or building society details
  • Details of your professional online presence, [e.g. LinkedIn profile]
  • Details of your spouse/partner and dependents or other family members, e.g. If you instruct us on a family matter or a will
  • Your employment status and details including salary and benefits, e.g. if you instruct us on matter related to your employment or in which your employment status or income is relevant
  • Your nationality and immigration status and information from related documents, such as your passport or other identification, and immigration information, e.g. if you instruct us on an immigration matter or in which your immigration status may be relevant
  • Details of your pension arrangements, e.g. if you instruct us on a pension matter or in relation to financial arrangements following breakdown of a relationship
  • Your employment records including, where relevant, records relating to sickness and attendance, performance, disciplinary, conduct and grievances (including relevant special category personal data), e.g. if you instruct us on matter related to your employment or in which your employment records are relevant
  • Your racial or ethnic origin, gender, and sexual orientation, religious or similar beliefs, e.g. if you instruct us on discrimination claim
  • Your trade union membership, e.g. if you instruct us on discrimination claim or your matter is funded by a trade union
  • Personal identifying information, such as your eye colour or your parents’ names, e.g. if you instruct us to incorporate a company for you
  • Your medical records, e.g. if we are acting for you in a personal injury claim or in relation to a matter where your employment history and prospects could be relevant, such as the financial consequences of the breakdown of your relationship.

This personal data is required to enable us to provide our service to you. If you do not provide personal data we ask for, it may delay or prevent us from providing services to you.

How Your Personal Data Is Collected

We collect most of this information from you direct. However, we may also collect information:

  • From Publicly Accessible Sources, e.g. Companies House or HM Land Registry
  • Directly from a Third Party, such as:
    • Sanctions Screening Providers
    • Credit Reference Agencies
    • Client Due Diligence Providers;
  • From a Third Party with Your Consent, such as:
    • Your Bank or Building Society, Another Financial Institution, or Adviser
    • Consultants and Other Professionals We May Engage in Relation to Your Matter
    • Your Employer and/or Trade Union, Professional Body, or Pension Administrators
    • Your Doctors, Medical, and Occupational Health Professionals
  • Via Our Information Technology (IT) Systems such as 
    • Case Management
    • Document Management and Time Recording Systems
    • Reception Logs

How and Why We Use Your Personal Data

Under data protection law, we can only use your personal data if we have a proper reason for doing so, such as:

  • To Comply with Our Legal and Regulatory Obligations;
  • For the Performance of Our Contract with You or to Take Steps at Your Request before Entering into a Contract;
  • For Our Legitimate Interests or Those of a Third Party;
  • Or, Where You Have Given Consent

A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use your information, so long as this is not overridden by your own rights and interests.

Below explains what we use (process) your personal data for and our reasons for doing so:

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- To provide legal services to you

Our Reasons

- For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- Conducting checks to identify our clients and verify their identity
- Screening for financial and other sanctions or embargoes

- Other processing necessary to comply with professional, legal, and regulatory obligations that apply to our business, e.g. under health and safety regulation or rules issued by our professional regulator

Our Reasons

- To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- Gathering and providing information required by or relating to audits, enquiries, or investigations by regulatory bodies

Our Reasons

- To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- Ensuring business policies are adhered to, e.g. policies covering security and internet use

Our Reasons

- For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to make sure we are following our own internal procedures, so we can deliver the best service to you

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- Operational reasons, such as improving efficiency, training, and quality control

Our Reasons

- For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to be as efficient as we can so we can deliver the best service for you at the best price

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- Ensuring the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information

Our Reasons

- For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to protect our intellectual property and other commercially valuable information

- To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- Statistical analysis to help us manage our practice, e.g. In relation to our financial performance, client base, work type or other efficiency measures

Our Reasons

- For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to be as efficient as we can so we can deliver the best service for you at the best price

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- Preventing unauthorised access and modifications to systems

Our Reasons

- For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to prevent and detect criminal activity that could be damaging for us and for you

- To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- Updating and enhancing client records

Our Reasons

- For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract
- To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
- For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, e.g. making sure that we can keep in touch with our clients about existing and new services

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- Statutory returns

Our Reasons

- To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- Ensuring safe working practices, staff administration and assessments

Our Reasons

- To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

- For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, e.g. to make sure we are following our own internal procedures and working efficiently so we can deliver the best service to you

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- Credit reference checks via external credit reference agencies

Our Reasons

- For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. for credit control and to ensure our clients are likely to be able to pay for our services

What We Use Your Personal Data For

- External audits and quality checks, e.g. CQS accreditation and the audit of our accounts

Our Reasons

- For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to maintain our accreditations so we can demonstrate we operate at the highest standards

- To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

The above does not apply to special category personal data, which we will only process with your explicit consent.

Promotional Communications

We may use your personal data to send you updates (by email, telephone, or post) about legal developments that might be of interest to you and/or information about our services or new services.

We have a legitimate interest in processing your personal data for promotional purposes (see above ‘How and Why We Use Your Personal Data’). This means we do not usually need your consent to send you promotional communications. However, where consent is needed, we will ask for this consent separately and clearly.

We will always treat your personal data with the utmost respect and never sell OR share it with other organisations for marketing purposes. You have the right to opt out of receiving promotional communications at any time by contacting us by letter or email.

We may ask you to confirm or update your marketing preferences if you instruct us to provide further services in the future, or if there are changes in the law, regulation, or the structure of our business.

Who We Share Your Personal Data with

We routinely share personal data with:

  • professional advisers who we instruct on your behalf or refer you to, e.g. barristers, medical professionals, accountants, tax advisers or other experts;
  • other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions, e.g. your mortgage provider or HM Land Registry in the case of a property transaction or Companies House;
  • credit reference agencies;
  • our insurers and brokers;
  • external auditors, e.g. in relation to CQS accreditation and the audit of our accounts;
  • our banks;
  • external service suppliers, representatives, and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, e.g. search providers.

We only allow our service providers to handle your personal data if we are satisfied they take appropriate measures to protect your personal data. We also impose contractual obligations on related service providers to ensure they can only use your personal data to provide services to us and to you.

We may disclose and exchange information with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations. We may also need to share some personal data with other parties, such as potential buyers of some or all of our business or during a re-structuring.

Usually, information will be anonymised, but this may not always be possible. The recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations.

Where Your Personal Data Is Held

Information may be held at our offices and those of our third-party agencies, service providers, representatives and agents as described above (see ‘Who We Share Your Personal Data with’).

How Long Your Personal Data Will Be Kept

We will keep your personal data after we have finished advising or acting for you. We will do so for one of these reasons:

  • to respond to any questions, complaints or claims made by you or on your behalf;
  • to show that we treated you fairly;
  • to keep records required by law.

We will not retain your data for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this policy. Different retention periods apply for different types of data and cases. We hold your personal data on our client matter files. Normally, we do not retain our files in connection with client matters for more than 15 years. We may destroy those files in less than 15 years if it appears appropriate to do so. 

However, we may retain records of the existence of the files and their subsequent destruction indefinitely. We also retain accounting records relating to your transactions in accordance with our Professional Accounting Regulations.

If we are instructed by you to store an item in safe-keeping at our offices, such as a Will or title deeds, these will be retained in accordance with your instructions. We may retain records of the retention of these items and where appropriate their release back to you indefinitely.

Transferring Your Personal Data out of the EEA

To deliver services to you, it is sometimes necessary for us to share your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), such as:

  • With Your and Our Service Providers Located Outside the EEA
  • If You Are Based outside the EEA
  • Where There Is an International Dimension to the Matter in Which We Are Advising You

These transfers are subject to special rules under European and UK data protection law. If you would like further information, please contact us (see ‘How to Contact Us’ below).

Your Rights

You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge:

Access

The right to be provided with a copy of your personal data

Rectification

The right to require us to correct any mistakes in your personal data

Restriction of processing

The right to require us to restrict processing of your personal data—in certain circumstances, e.g. if you contest the accuracy of the data

Data portability

The right to receive the personal data you provided to us, in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format and/or transmit that data to a third party—in certain situations

To object

The right to object:
- at any time to your personal data being processed for direct marketing (including profiling);

- in certain other situations to our continued processing of your personal data, e.g. processing carried out for the purpose of our legitimate interests.

Not to be subject to automated individual decision-making

The right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing (including profiling) that produces legal effects concerning you or similarly significantly affects you

For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, please contact us, or see the Guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you would like to exercise any of those rights, please:

  • Write to Us (See below: ‘How To Contact Us’)
  • Provide Enough Information to Identify You (e.g. Your Full Name, Address, and Client or Matter Reference Number)
  • Provide Proof of Your Identity and Address (a Copy of Your Driving Licence or Passport and a Recent Utility or Credit Card Bill)
  • Inform Us of What Right You Want to Exercise and the Information to Which Your Request Relates

Keeping Your Personal Data Secure

We have appropriate security measures to prevent personal data from being accidentally lost or used or accessed unlawfully. We limit access to your personal data to those who have a genuine business need to access it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality. We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

How to Complain

We hope that we can resolve any query or concern you may raise about our use of your information. 

Changes to This Privacy Policy

This privacy policy was published on 24th May 2018 and last updated on 14th September 2018. We may change this privacy policy from time to time.

How to Contact Us

Please contact us by post or email if you have any questions about this privacy policy or the information we hold about you

Our contact details are shown below:

Address

Barker Gooch & Swailes, Woodside House, 37 The Green, Winchmore Hill, London, N21 1HT

Phone

Get in Touch

Woodside House,
37 The Green,

Winchmore Hill,
London,

N21 1HT

Business Hours

Monday 09:00 - 13:00 14:00 - 17:00

Tuesday 09:00 - 13:00 14:00 - 17:00

Wednesday 09:00 - 13:00 14:00 - 17:00

Thursday 09:00 - 13:00 14:00 - 17:00

Friday 09:00 - 13:00 14:00 - 17:00

Useful Information

Barker Gooch & Swailes is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

SRA Registration Number: 46569


We carry Professional Indemnity Insurance and contribute to the Law Society’s Compensation Fund.


Privacy Policy

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