Privacy Policy

Introduction

We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

Everyone has rights with regard to the way in which their personal information is handled. During the course of our activities we will collect, store and process personal information about our customers, suppliers and other third parties, and we recognise that the correct and lawful treatment of this data will maintain confidence in the organisation and will provide for successful business operations.

This policy sets out the basis on which any personal information we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal information and how we will treat it.

For the purpose of UK data protection laws, the data controller is BPE Solicitors LLP or St James House, St James Square, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 3PR.

Data protection principles

When processing your information, we must comply with the six enforceable principles of good practice. These provide that your personal information must be:

  • processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner,
  • processed for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes,
  • adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary,
  • accurate and kept up-to-date,
  • kept for no longer than is necessary, and
  • processed in a manner than ensures appropriate security.

Information you give to us

We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal information about you, including:

  • Identity Data, such as your name, marital status, title, date of birth, gender, job title and your employer,
  • Contact Data, such as your home and work addresses, personal and work email addresses and personal and work telephone numbers,
  • Document Data, such as copies of your passport, driving licence, utility bills, etc,
  • Medical Data, including your physical and mental medical history, and details of any medical conditions,
  • Third Party Data, namely Identity Data, Contact Data, Document Data and Medical Data relating to your family members, business colleagues and other contacts,
  • Financial Data, such as bank account, salary and payment card details,
  • Transaction Data, including details about payments to and from you, and other details of services you purchase from us,
  • Technical Data, including IP addresses, your log-in data, browser type and version, time-zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access our website,
  • Profile Data, such as your username, password, purchases or orders made by you, your interests, preferences, feedback and survey responses,
  • Usage Data, including information about how you use our website, products and services, and
  • Marketing Data, such as your preferences in receiving marketing from us and our third parties, and your communication preferences.

‘Special category’ data

  • Information relating to your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health, criminal convictions, sex life or sexual orientation, or certain types of genetic or biometric data is known as ‘special category’ data.
  • During the course of providing you with legal services, we may collect ‘special category’ data about you, particularly if we prepare your will, advise you in relation to divorce proceedings, bring an employment or discrimination claim on your behalf, buy or sell a company with large number of employees, or bring certain types of court claims on your behalf.

How we collect your personal information

We may obtain personal information by directly interacting with you, such as:

  • meeting with you in our offices, at events or elsewhere,
  • receiving your instructions to provide legal services, and in the performance of those legal services,
  • logging onto the wi-fi network in our offices,
  • filling in forms on our website,
  • participating in discussion boards or other social media functions on our website,
  • giving us your business card,
  • entering a competition, promotion or survey organised by us, or otherwise providing us with feedback,
  • subscribing to our services or publications, or otherwise requesting marketing material to be sent to you, or
  • corresponding with us by phone, email, letters or otherwise.

We may obtain personal information via automated technology when you interact with our website by using cookies, server logs and other similar technologies.

We may also collect personal information about you from third parties or publicly-available sources, such as:

  • your family members, your business colleagues and other contacts,
  • the ‘other side’ in any dispute or negotiation for which we’re acting on your behalf,
  • your professional advisers and business networks with which both you and we are connected,
  • analytics providers (such as Google),
  • advertising networks,
  • providers of technical, payment and delivery services, and
  • by conducting searches of publicly-available databases or social media sites, such as Companies House, DueDil, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the electoral register.

How we use your personal information

We will only use your personal information when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal information in the following circumstances:

  • you have given us consent,
  • we need to perform a contract we are about to enter into, or have entered into, with you,
  • where it is necessary for our or a third party’s legitimate interests, and your interests and rights do not override those interests, or
  • where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.

We will only use ‘special category’ information:

  • provided we have your explicit consent to use it,
  • where we believe that we need to use that data to protect your vital interests where you are not able to provide us with your explicit consent,
  • where it is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest,
  • where you have previously made that data public knowledge,
  • if we need to use that data to establish, exercise or defence legal claims, or
  • where there is some other legal basis that allows us to use that information.

Purposes for which we will use your personal information

We may use your personal information for a number of different purposes. For each purpose, we are required to confirm the ‘legal basis’ that allows us to use your information, as follows:

 

Purposes for which we will use the information you give to us

Legal basis

To register you as a new client and verify your identity

It will be necessary for the performance of the contract between you and us, and necessary for us to comply with a legal obligation to which we are subject under the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering legislation

To process your instructions and, if accepted, to provide the legal services to you (including managing payments, fees and charges)

It will be necessary for the performance of the contract between you and us

Where you are acting as a representative of a company or organisation, then to register that company or organisation as a new client

It will be necessary for us to comply with a legal obligation to which we are subject under the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering legislation, and it will be necessary for our legitimate business interests, namely with a view to performing legal services

Where you are acting as a representative of a company or organisation, to process your instructions and, if accepted, to provide the legal services to that company or organisation (including managing payments, fees and charges)

It will be necessary for our legitimate business interests, namely with a view to performing legal services

To obtain further information about you, any company or organisation you represent, and the matter that is the subject of the legal services we have agreed to provide

It will be necessary for our legitimate business interests to ensure we are fully aware of all issues relating to the matter that is the subject of the legal services we have agreed to provide

To collect and recover money owed to us

It will be necessary for our legitimate business interests, namely to ensure we receive payment for legal services that we have provided

To notify you about changes to our terms of business or this privacy policy

It will be necessary for our legitimate business interests, namely to ensure you are aware of our current terms and conditions

To administer our website and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes, to allow you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so, to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising we serve to you and others, and to deliver relevant advertising to you and to make suggestions and recommendations to you and other users of our website about goods or services that may interest you or them

It will be necessary for our legitimate business interests to ensure you receive the best experience possible when accessing and using our website. We will comply with our cookie policy when processing this information

To enable you to participate in a prize draw, competition or complete a survey

It will be necessary for our legitimate business interests, namely to study how clients, prospective clients, referrers and other third parties use our services, to develop them and help grow our business

To enable us to generate and provide you with access codes and/or passwords to log onto the wi-fi network in our offices

It will be necessary for our legitimate business interests, namely to keep a record of who logs onto our wi-fi network because we may, in certain circumstances, be liable for the transmission of unlawful material via that network

To provide you with information about special offers and other services we provide that are similar to those that you have already received from us

Where you have previously received marketing communications from us, then it will be necessary for our legitimate business interests, namely to ensure you continue to receive communications that you have previously agreed to receive

Where you specifically ask us to provide you with certain marketing communications s, then it will be necessary for our legitimate business interests, namely to ensure we provide you with the communications that you have requested

In all other cases, we will only do this if you give us your consent

To invite you to corporate events, such as seminars, workshops, charity golf days and corporate hospitality

It will be necessary for our legitimate business interests to ensure you are aware of the latest legal developments in relation to the legal services we have provided to you, or are providing to you, or otherwise to develop our relationship with you outside of the working environment

Where you would not normally have a reasonable expectation of receiving such invites from us, we will only send you invites if you agree

 

We will only use your personal information for the purpose(s) 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 information 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 information without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.

What if you cannot or will not provide us with your personal information

It is a statutory requirement for you to provide us with certain information, namely sufficient information to verify your identity. If you do not provide us with that information, we will be unable to accept your instructions and provide you with legal services.

It is also a contractual requirement for you to provide us with certain information. If you do not provide us with that information, we may be unable to accept your instructions and/or provide you with the full range of our legal services and advice.

Cookie policy

Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our website. A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer's hard drive.

We use the following cookies:

  • Strictly necessary cookies. These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website, use a shopping cart or make use of e-billing services.
  • Analytical/performance cookies. They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.
  • Functionality cookies. These are used to recognise you when you return to our website. This enables us to personalise our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region).
  • Targeting cookies. These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our website and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose.

You can find more information about the individual cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them in the table below:

Cookie

Purpose

loc

geolocation, used to help providers determine how users who share information with each other are geographically located (state level)

mus

unclassified

uid

unique user ID that recognises the user on returning visits

uvc

detects how often the social sharing service, AddThis, encounters the same user

xtc

registers the user’s sharing of content via social media

ASP.NET_SessionId

maintains user state across page requests

UMB_UCONTEXT

stores an ID which is needed to use the Umbraco CMS, It does not store any identifiable personal information about the user

UMB_UPDCHK

stores non-identifiable configuration information, which is needed to use the Umbraco CMS. It lets the system know the next time to check for updates.

XSRF-TOKEN

cookie that is used for storing CSFR token

XSRF-V

helps with site security in preventing cross-site request forgery attacks

_atrfs

unclassified

_atuvc

updates counter on a website’s social sharing function

_atuvs

makes the user see the updated count if they share a page with AddThis social sharing

_ga

used to distinguish unique users

_gat

used to throttle request rate

_gid

registers a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website

Please note that third parties (including, for example, advertising networks and providers of external services like web traffic analysis services) may also use cookies, over which we have no control. These cookies are likely to be analytical/performance cookies or targeting cookies.

You block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our website.

Except for essential cookies, all cookies will expire after a maximum of two years.

Disclosure of your information

We may share your personal information with the parties set out below :

  • any other parties in relation to your legal matter to the extent we reasonably consider that it is appropriate or in your best interests for us to do so (including courts and tribunals, your professional advisers, the ‘other side’ and their professional advisers, witnesses, professional experts and foreign attorneys who assist us with providing specialist non-UK legal advice),
  • professional advisers and business networks with which we are connected,
  • our outsourced IT services provider, TaylorMade, together with providers of wi-fi, IT and system administration services to our business, including Aerohive Networks, Dropbox, One Drive, Google Drive and other online cloud and data-room providers,
  • our professional advisers (including solicitors, bankers, auditors and insurers),
  • our quality assurance assessors,
  • credit-reference and fraud prevention agencies,
  • HM Revenue & Customs, the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, the Law Society, the Legal Ombudsman, the Legal Services Board, the National Crime Agency, the Serious Fraud Office and any other regulators and other authorities who require reporting of processing activities in certain circumstances,
  • business partners, suppliers and sub-contractors to the extent we consider it reasonably necessary for us to perform legal services,
  • analytics and search engine providers that assist us in the improvement and optimisation of our website, and
  • 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 information in the same way as set out in this policy.
  • We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal information and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal information for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal information for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

Where we store your personal information

All information you provide to us is stored on our secure servers in the United Kingdom, or on secure cloud-based services in a country within the European Economic Area.

We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely, including taking the following safeguards:

  • Entry controls. Access to our offices is secured by means of electronic entry controls. The main building reception is staffed at all times, and our office reception is staff during normal working hours.
  • Secure lockable desks and cupboards. Desks and cupboards are kept locked when not in use if they hold confidential information of any kind.
  • Methods of disposal. Paper documents are disposed of by shredding in a manner that ensures confidentiality.
  • Equipment. Our internal policies require that users lock or log-off from their computer when it is unattended.
  • Firewalls and encryption. We apply industry-standard firewall protection and encryption technology.
  • Training. We ensure our employees are trained in the importance of data security.
  • Electronic access. All data stored electronically is password-protected. Where we have provided an authorised user with a password, that user is responsible for keeping this password confidential and is not permitted to share the password with anyone.
  • Payment details. Where appropriate, we will send payment and banking details by secure messaging system to reduce the risk of those emails being unlawfully intercepted.
  • Overseas transfers. Whenever we transfer your personal information outside the United Kingdom, we ensure a similar degree of protection is afforded to it by ensuring that we apply appropriate safeguards (either by transferring data only to recipients in the European Economic Area, to recipients in countries approved by the European Commission, to recipients that are party to the EU-US Privacy Shield, or by using specific contracts approved by the European Commission).

Some of the data that we collect from you may be transferred to third parties (for example, to Dropbox and other cloud providers, and any foreign lawyers or attorneys that we use to provide advice on non-UK legal matters) who will store the data at a destination outside the United Kingdom. We will let you know when we engage any foreign lawyers or associates. If you are concerned about the levels of data security in those countries, please let us know and we will endeavour to advise what steps will be taken to protect your data when stored overseas.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our website; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

How long we will store your personal information

The length of time that we will store your data will depend on the ‘legal basis’ for why we are using that data, as follows:

 

Legal basis

Length of time

Where we use/store your data because it is necessary for the performance of the contract between you and us

We will use/store your data for as long as it is necessary for the performance of the contract between you and us

Where we use/store your data because it is necessary for us to comply with a legal obligation to which we are subject

We will use/store your data for as long as it is necessary for us to comply with our legal obligations

Where we use/store your data because it is necessary for our legitimate business interests

We will use/store your data for as long as it is necessary for our legitimate business interests, or such earlier time as you ask us to stop. However, if we can demonstrate the reason why we are using/storing your data is more important than your interests, rights and freedoms, then we will be allowed to continue to use/store your data for as long as it is necessary for our legitimate business interests

Where we use/store your data because you have given us your specific, informed and unambiguous consent

We will use/store your data until you ask us to stop

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal information, we consider the amount, nature and sensitive of the personal information, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal information, the purposes for which we process your personal information and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

Further details relating to periods of retention, methods of destruction and receiving a copy of your file from us prior to destruction are set out in our standard terms of business.

Your rights

You have various legal rights in relation to the information you give us, or which we collect about you, as follows:

  • You have a right to access the information we hold about you free-of-charge, together with various information about why and how we are using your information, to whom we may have disclosed that information, from where we originally obtained the information and for how long we will use your information.
  • You have the right to ask us to rectify any information we hold about you that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  • You have the right to ask us to erase the information we hold about you (the ‘right to be forgotten’). Please note that this right can only be exercised in certain circumstances and, if you ask us to erase your information and we are unable to do so, we will explain why not.
  • You have the right to ask us to stop using your information where: (i) the information we hold about you is inaccurate; (ii) we are unlawfully using your information; (iii) we no longer need to use the information; or (iv) we do not have a legitimate reason to use the information. Please note that we may continue to store your information, or use your information for the purpose of legal proceedings or for protecting the rights of any other person.
  • You have the right to ask us to transmit the information we hold about you to another person or company in a structured, commonly-used and machine-readable format. Please note that this right can only be exercised in certain circumstances and, if you ask us to transmit your information and we are unable to do so, we will explain why not.
  • Where we use/store your information because it is necessary for our legitimate business interests, you have the right to object to us using/storing your information. We will stop using/storing your information unless we can demonstrate why we believe we have a legitimate business interest which is more important than your interests, rights and freedoms.
  • Where we use/store your data because you have given us your specific, informed and unambiguous consent, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time.
  • You have the right to object to us using/storing your information for direct marketing purposes.

If you wish to exercise any of your legal rights, please contact our Assurance Manager, Susannah Eaton, by writing to the address at the top of this policy, or by emailing us at dataprivacy@bpe.co.uk.

You also have the right, at any time, to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office if you believe we are not complying with the laws and regulations relating to the use/storage of the information you give us, or that we collect about you.

Opting out of receiving marketing communications

You can ask us to stop sending you marketing communications at any time by contacting our Assurance Manager, Susannah Eaton, by writing to the address at the top of this policy, or by emailing us at dataprivacy@bpe.co.uk.

Automated decision-making

We do not use automated decision-making processes.

Third party links

Our website may include links to third-party websites, plug-ins and applications. Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third-party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements. When you leave our website, we encourage you to read the privacy notice of every website you visit.

Identifying you as a client of the firm

If you are a business client, we may identify you as a client of the firm in our marketing material or in legal directories, although we will never publicly disclose any confidential information about your legal matters without having obtained your prior consent. If you do not agree to us identifying you as a customer of the firm, please notify our Assurance Manager, Susannah Eaton, by writing to the address at the top of this policy, or by emailing us at dataprivacy@bpe.co.uk

If you are an individual client, we will also ask for your consent before identifying you as a client of the firm.

Changes to our policy

Any changes we make to our policy in the future will be posted on our website and, where appropriate, notified to you by email or via social media. Please check our website frequently to see any updates or changes to our policy.

Contact

Questions, comments and requests regarding this policy are welcomed and should be addressed to our Assurance Manager, Susannah Eaton, by writing to the address at the top of this policy, or by emailing us at dataprivacy@bpe.co.uk.