Browns Solicitors (Buckinghamshire) Limited is a law firm and company registered in England under number 08804286 and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 607911. Its registered office is First Floor Albert House Queen Victoria Road High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP11 1AG.
What type of information will we collect from you?
The personal information we collect will depend on the nature of the services we are providing and what we are contracted to do for you. Typically, this might include the following:
- Contact details (including your name, address, date of birth, and email address)
- Photographic identification and proof of address documents (to carry out due diligence)
- Professional information (such as job title, previous positions, and professional experience)
- Banking and financial details (to establish the source of funds where a transaction is involved)
- Details of visits to our website (which enable our website to remember information about you and your preferences). Please read our 'Cookies Policy' for further details.
Where necessary to act in your best interests, and for the establishment, exercise, or defence of your legal matter, we may need to process information which is very sensitive in nature such as diversity and health related details. In some circumstances we may need to share this information with third parties, for example a court or tribunal. If you volunteer sensitive personal data, you will be allowing us to process it as part of engaging our services.
On what basis can we process your information?
The legal grounds for processing your personal data are as follows:
- 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 us, which is made up of our terms and conditions of business and engagement - letter, sets out the terms of the contract and the services we will provide. - It is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests, 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. - It is necessary in order to comply with mandatory legal obligations to which we are subject under EU or UK law.
Information collected from you about other people In commercial matters, in the course of providing our legal, financial and other professional services to you we will hold and use personal information about you, your officers and/or your employees. When you provide personal information to us relating to your officers or employees, you confirm that you are allowed to do so. You should ensure that those individuals understand how their data will be used by us. In personal matters you may be providing other third party data to us, for example details about your family members, in which case we will use such data as a data controller in our own right and will comply with data protection legislation in relation to use of that data. You must have the authority to disclose personal data if it relates to someone else and all data disclosed should be complete, accurate and up to date. Children Our services are not aimed at children and in private client matters involving children, the children will be represented by their parents or guardians. Where we act for you in private matters involving children, we shall explain to you why we need the information and how it will be used, both when we initially collect the data and as your matter progresses.
What we are going to do with your information?
We will hold and use personal information about you in the following ways:
- Verify your identity and establish the source of funding in any transaction. - 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. - Communicate with you during the course of providing our services, for example providing you with advice and dealing with your enquiries and requests. - Prepare documentation to complete transactions and commence legal proceedings on your behalf. - Carry out obligations arising from any contract entered into between you and third parties as part of your legal matter. - Refer you to another department within Browns Solicitors about additional legal services which may benefit you. - Statistical purposes so we can analyse figures to help us manage our business and plan strategically for the future. - Seek advice from third parties in connection with your matter, such as legal Counsel. - Respond to any complaint or allegation of negligence against us. - Prevent money laundering or terrorist financing in accordance with financial crime regulations.
Information we collect about you from others
Information may be passed to us by third parties in 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. Typically these sources may include:
- 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). - Government bodies (such as HM Land Registry for details of your property). - Public sources where this relates to you or your organisation (for example Companies House).
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 - Establishment or defence of legal claims (for example negligence claims) that could be made against us. - Compliance 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).
Typically, we will store the information for at least six years from the date of your final bill.
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. 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:
- Government bodies (such as HM Land Registry or HM Revenue and Customs for property related work). - The solicitors acting on the other side of your matter. - Legal counsel or other experts 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 regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority in connection with any ongoing regulatory investigation. - Our professional indemnity insurer in the event a claim is made against us in order to defend ourselves. - The bank or building society or other lender providing finance in the transaction. - External auditors who may carry out independent checks of your file as part of our accreditations.
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. We will not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes.
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 any identifiable information will be encrypted or minimised.
Measures when transferring your data to others
There may be occasions where we need to send your data outside the EEA. This would cover situations where we need to deal with international aspects of your matter and instruct overseas organisations to assist. Some organisations may be located in countries outside of Europe where data protection laws are not as strict as they are in the UK. Where your personal data is being transferred outside the EU, we will undertake an assessment of the level of protection in light of the circumstances surrounding the transfer. We will make sure that any transfers are not repetitive and only limited to the minimum amount of information possible. In certain circumstances we may need to seek your consent unless there is an overriding legal need to transfer the information. 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, is updated or removed. These requests are free of charge and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org How you can object to us using your data You can ask us to limit the way in which we are using your information or object to certain types of processing. We will do our best to comply with your request unless we have to use the information for legitimate business or legal purposes. 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. Any queries or concerns about the way in which your data is being used can be sent to email@example.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. Complaints about the use of your personal data If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact us to have the matter investigated by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 UK data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office. Further details can be found at www.ico.org.uk or 0303 123 1113.
COMPLAINTS HANDLING POLICY
We are committed to providing a high-quality service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards and ensure that we provide you with the service to which you are entitled.
Who to contact
If you are unhappy with any aspect of the service which you have received or the costs which you have been charged it is often best to raise your concerns immediately with the Director responsible for the work. You were supplied with their contact details when you first instructed us.
However we understand that you may wish your concerns to be more formally investigated – particularly if your complaint relates to a Director or you are unhappy with any response you have already received.
If you want your complaint to be formally investigated please write to John Brett at our High Wycombe office.
What will happen next?
We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint letter within three days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure. Responsibility for investigating your complaint will be assigned to the member of the firm best placed to carry out the investigation. He/she will normally review the file and speak to those who carried out the work. If appropriate you may be invited to a meeting to discuss, and hopefully resolve, your complaint. If we propose a meeting you will be contacted within 14 days of the sending of the acknowledgement letter. If a meeting takes place we will write to you within 3 days after it takes place confirming what took place and setting out any solutions which were agreed with you. If a meeting is not possible, or you do not want to meet, we will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint setting out any suggestions for resolving the matter. We would normally expect to send this reply within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter. If we are not able to send you a full reply within that period we will update you and tell you when we expect to be able to write to you again.
At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you should contact us again and we will arrange for someone unconnected with this matter to carry out a further review. This further review will normally be conducted by the Managing Partner or the Compliance Partner but at our discretion we may decide that the review should be carried out by another senior member of the firm.
We will write to you within 21 days of receiving your request for a review confirming our final decision on your complaint and explaining our reasons
You may have a right to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. You cannot normally refer a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman unless 8 weeks have passed since your complaint to us, but you may do so earlier if we have notified you of our final decision and you remain dissatisfied. The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted via their website www.legalcombudsman.org.uk, or by telephone 0300 555 0333 or write to them at:
Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 15870 Birmingham B30 9EB