This policy explains why we may collect personal information about you, what we do with that information and with whom we may share it.

  1. Who we are

Williamson & Barnes Solicitors is a partnership authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA no. 59698).  We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO no. Z6732170).

The partner responsible for data protection compliance is Nathan Bowles.  Enquiries relating to personal information may be submitted by:

  • Post: Williamson & Barnes, 12 Queen Street, Deal, Kent CT14 6EU
  • Telephone: 01304 373154
  • Email: legal@williamson-barnes.co.uk
  1. The information that we collect and how we collect it

 The information that we collect will depend on the nature of the legal work you have asked us to carry out.  In most cases this may be limited to basic personal information, such as your name, contact details and date of birth.  We may also collect information about your financial circumstances.

In some circumstances we may also collect more sensitive information, such as information about your health; membership of any trade unions; criminal convictions; your religion; or your racial/ethnic origin where it is relevant to the work we do for you.

Most of the information we collect will have been provided by you.  We may also receive information from other sources to enable us to undertake your legal work, such as financial or medical organisations, or other professionals such as accountants.

  1. Why we need it

The principal reason for collecting personal information is to enable us to carry out the legal work on your behalf.

Other permitted reasons for collecting and processing personal information include:

  • when we have a legal duty (e.g. to comply with anti-money laundering or prevention of terrorism legislation);
  • when we have a legitimate business interest (e.g. to undertake business research or analysis, or to prevent fraud or a conflict of interest);
  • when you have given us your consent.
  1. Sharing your personal information

We do not sell or rent your personal information to third parties.

We may share some of your personal information with third parties to enable us to carry out the legal work on your behalf or for the other permitted reasons mentioned above.  Examples include:

  • Certainty – The National Will Register;
  • Courts & Tribunals (e.g. Office of the Public Guardian, Employment Tribunal, County Court and High Court);
  • Solicitors acting for the other side in a contentious matter;
  • HM Land Registry;
  • HM Revenue & Customs (e.g. for income tax/inheritance tax/stamp duty land tax returns);
  • Barristers or other legal expert (e.g. to provide advice or represent you, or to advise on issues relating to laws outside England & Wales etc.);
  • Non-legal experts (e.g. medical practitioners, translators, valuers or surveyors etc.);
  • Financial institutions (e.g. banks, building societies, mortgage providers, stockbrokers and financial advisers);
  • Insurance brokers and companies;
  • Third party suppliers or contractors (e.g. for verifying ID, our case management system provider, IT support, email and cloud storage hosts);
  • Regulators and auditors;
  • Fraud prevention and law enforcement agencies.

In most cases your personal information will not be transferred outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). Sometimes, however, it may sometimes be necessary to transfer personal information outside the EEA, e.g. when dealing with the estate of a deceased person which includes assets held outside the EEA.  If we do transfer your personal information outside the EEA it will because you have given consent or we have a legal reason to do so, and we will ensure that adequate safeguards are in place to protect your privacy rights as outlined in this policy.

  1. Retaining your personal information

We will keep your personal information only for as long as is necessary for the purposes described above.  In most cases we will retain your information for a minimum period of 7 years from the conclusion of the work to comply with legal and regulatory requirements, and to deal with any complaints or claims which may arise.

It will sometimes be necessary to retain your personal information for a longer period.  For example:

  • Court of Protection, Powers of Attorney, Wills and related documents may be retained for a minimum period of 7 years from the date of death;
  • Information relating to trusts may be retained for a minimum period of 7 years from the date upon which the trust terminates;
  • Some matrimonial matters (e.g. financial orders, maintenance, arrangements for children) may be retained for a minimum period of 7 years from the date that the financial order or arrangements end;
  1. Your rights

You have the right to:

  • Request access to the personal information we hold about you;
  • Request a copy of the personal information that we hold about you;
  • Have any inaccurate or incomplete personal information that we hold about you corrected and updated;
  • Object to, or request that we restrict, our processing of your personal information;
  • Request that your personal information is deleted when it is no longer required for the purposes for which it was collected;
  • Withdraw your consent for us to process your personal information.

In some circumstances we may be legally entitled to refuse to comply with a request or to continue processing your personal information without your consent if we have another legitimate reason for doing so.

Before replying to a request we will take steps to verify the identity of the person making the request.    We will not release personal information relating to any person other than the person making the request.

We aim to provide a response with one month of receipt of a request.  If the request is complex this period may be extended by up to a further two months.  If this applies we will notify you that the reply period has been extended and the reason why.

To exercise these rights, or to raise a complaint about the use of your personal information, please contact us using the details in section 1. If you are not satisfied with our response you may submit a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office: www.ico.org.uk