This privacy notice explains the types of personal data we may collect about you when you interact with us. It also explains how we will store and handle that data and how we will keep it safe.
What is Howells LLP?
Howells LLP are a limited liability partnership law firm. For simplicity, throughout this notice, “we” “us” and “Howells” means Howells LLP.
Explaining the legal basis upon which we hold your data.
The law on data protection sets out a number of different reasons for which an organisation such as Howells may collect and process your personal data. This includes: –
Contractual obligations – In most circumstances, we need your personal data to comply with our contractual obligation to deliver legal services for you or to consider a legal case that you may wish us to take on.
Legal compliance – If the law requires us to, we may need to collect and process your data for example to pass on details of people involved in fraud or other criminal activity to law enforcement.Consent
In specific situations we can collect and process your data with your consent, for example when you opt into receiving email newsletters for example by ticking a box.
When do we collect your personal data?
We collect your personal data when: –
You contact us by telephone, email, through our website or by attending at our offices to deal with your case or to make an enquiry about using our services
At marketing or networking events, where we will only collect your personal data and store the same if you opt in to us using your personal data for marketing purposes.
If you are one of our clients or have signed up to our updates or events, we may use your personal information for the purposes of providing you with further information about our services, including sending legal updates, publications and details of events and webinars, that may be of use to you. If your consent is needed, we will ask for it separately and clearly. If you are not a client but have signed up for marketing (including legal updates, publications and invitations to events) we will use your personal information on the basis that you have given us your consent.
Where we carry out marketing via email or other electronic means we will also comply with our obligations under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. We use your personal information to carry out client satisfaction surveys on the basis of our legitimate interests in order to receive feedback as a business and improve our services that we provide to clients.
If you want us to stop contacting you with marketing information, please email: email@example.com
What sort of personal data do we collect?
We collect data that may include your name, gender, date of birth, address, national insurance number, telephone number, email address, as well as the same information in relation to other members of your family and any other information necessary in order to deal with your case for you. We may also have copies of documents that you use to provide proof of your age or identity or address such as passports, driving licences or utility bills.
How and why do we use your personal data?
We use your personal data in order to see whether or not we can deal with an enquiry that you make in relation to provision of our legal services. We also use your personal data to deal with your legal enquiry should we take your case on. We do not need your consent to use your personal data to deliver legal services which you have requested or in relation to which you have made an enquiry, we do however need your consent to send you marketing materials and will only do so if you opt in to receiving such documents.
How we protect your personal data.
We know how much data security matters to all our clients. With this in mind we will treat your data with the utmost care and take all appropriate steps to protect it. We secure access to all areas of our website using end to end encryption via TLS/SSL. All client data is stored in a secure data centre in the UK with physical access controlled by biometric security.
How long will we keep your personal data?
Whenever we collect or process your personal data, we will only keep it for as long as is necessary for the purpose for which it was collected. At the end of that retention period, your data will either be deleted completely or anonymised, for example by aggregation of other data so that it can be used in a non-identifiable way for statistical analysis and business planning. Where we have dealt with a legal query or case for you, your data will usually be kept for a minimum period of 6 years.
Who do we share your personal data with?
We sometimes share your personal data with trusted third parties. These include barristers, medical experts, other experts, legal aid auditors, Lexcel auditors, most of whom are regulated themselves to protect your personal data. When we provide your data to them, we do so on terms and conditions which make it clear that: –
The information is provided purely for them to perform the specific purpose for which we have sent it to them e.g. to prepare an expert’s report.
They may only use your data for the exact purpose that we have specified in our contract with them.
They will only keep your personal data for as long as is necessary to comply with their contractual obligations to us.
Where your personal data may be processed.
Your personal data may be processed on our paper files, on our computerised case management system or in folders where we keep details of clients who have opted into receiving marketing information
What are your rights over your personal data? An overview of your different rights
You have the right to request:
Access to the personal data we hold about you, free of charge in most cases.
The correction of your personal data when incorrect, out of date or incomplete.
In some circumstances, where we have no lawful basis for holding your data or where the lawful basis is consent, you can ask us to delete your data;
That we stop using your personal data for direct marketing (either through specific channels, or all channels).
That we stop any consent-based processing of your personal data after you withdraw that consent.
You have the right to request a copy of any information about you that Howells holds at any time, and also to have that information corrected if it is inaccurate. To ask for your information or to have it amended, please contact Sam Bentley, Howells Solicitors, 15-17 Bridge Street, Sheffield, S3 8NL, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we choose not to action your request we will explain to you the reasons for our refusal.
Our Data Protection Officer (DPO) is Graham Hogarth, email address email@example.com
Your right to withdraw consent
Whenever you have given us your consent to use your personal data, you have the right to change your mind at any time and withdraw that consent.
Where we rely on our legitimate interest
In cases where we are processing your personal data on the basis of our legitimate interest, you can ask us to stop for reasons connected to your individual situation. We must then do so unless we believe we have a legitimate overriding reason to continue processing your personal data.
You have the right to stop the use of your personal data for direct marketing activity through all channels, or selected channels. We must always comply with your request.
Checking your identity
To protect the confidentiality of your information, we will ask you to verify your identity before proceeding with any request you make under this Privacy Notice. If you have authorised a third party to submit a request on your behalf, we will ask them to prove they have your permission to act.
How can you stop the use of your personal data for direct marketing?
You simply need to click unsubscribe in any email communications that we send to you. We will then stop any further emails being sent. Alternatively, please telephone us to ask us to stop sending you marketing communications.
Contacting the Regulator.
If you feel that your data has not been handled correctly, or you are unhappy with our response to any requests you have made to us regarding the use of your personal data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. You can contact them by calling 0303 123 1113 or go online to www.ico.org.uk/concerns (opens in a new window; please note we can’t be responsible for the content of external websites).If you are based outside the UK, you have the right to lodge your complaint with the relevant data protection regulator in your country of residence.
If you live outside the UK For all non-UK customers
By using our services or providing your personal data to us, you expressly consent to the processing of your personal data by us or on our behalf. Of course, you still have the right to ask us not to process your data in certain ways, and if you do so, we will respect your wishes.