This Privacy Notice is effective from 19 March 2020.
Girlings Solicitors LLP is committed to protecting your personal information. Whenever you provide such information, we are legally obliged to use your information in line with all applicable laws concerning the protection of personal information, including the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and as from 25 May 2018, The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
This Privacy Notice sets out how we, Girlings Solicitors LLP, collect, store and use information about you when you use or interact with our website, www.girlings.com and where we otherwise obtain or collect information about you.
- We have a “Legitimate Interest” as defined by the GDPR in carrying out the obligations as set out in this Privacy Notice.
- To opt-out from receiving marketing communications please click the ‘unsubscribe’ link in the latest marketing communication you have received, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information we collect when you visit our website
We collect and use information from website visitors in accordance with this section and the section entitled Disclosure and additional uses of your information.
Web server log information
Use of website server log information for IT security purposes
Our third party hosting provider collects and stores server logs to ensure network and IT security and so that the server and website remain uncompromised. This includes analysing log files to help identify and prevent unauthorised access to our network, the distribution of malicious code, denial of services attacks and other cyber attacks, by detecting unusual or suspicious activity.
We have a legal obligation to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk of our processing of information about individuals. Recording access to our website using server log files is such a measure.
Use of website server log information to analyse website use and improve our website
We use the information collected by our website server logs to analyse how our website users interact with our website and its features. For example, we analyse the number of visits, unique visitors we receive, the time and date of the visit, the location of the visit and the identity of any referrer.
We use the information gathered from the analysis of this information to improve our website. For example, to change the information, content and structure of our website and individual pages based on the content users engage with most and the duration of time a user spends on particular pages.
Cookies are data files which are sent from a website to a browser to record information about users for various purposes.
You can reject some or all of the cookies we use on or via our website by changing your browser settings but doing so can impair your ability to use our website or some or all of its features.
Information we collect when you contact us
We collect and use information from individuals who contact us in accordance with this section and the section entitled Disclosure and additional uses of your information
When you send an email to the email address displayed on our website we collect your email address and any other information you provide in that email (such as your name, telephone number and the information contained in any signature block in your email).
Where your message relates to us providing you with services or taking steps at your request prior to providing you with our services (for example, providing you with information about such services), we will process your information in order to do so.
Storage of your information
Emails you send to us are stored on our own self-hosted servers.
Website contact form
When you contact us using our website contact form, we collect your name, telephone number and email. We also collect any other information you provide to us when you complete the contact form.
If you do not provide the mandatory information required by our website contact form, you will not be able to submit the website contact form and we will not receive your enquiry.
Transfer and storage of your information
Messages you send us via our contact form will be stored within the European Economic Area on our own third party server, hosted by Moore Wilson New Media Limited.
When you contact us by phone, we collect your phone number and any information provided to us during your conversation with us.
We do not record phone calls unless we tell you that we are going to do so.
Transfer and storage of your information
Information about your call, such as your phone number and the date and time of your call, is processed by our third party telephone service provider National Telecoms UK.
Information about your phone call is stored by our third party telephone service provider within the European Economic Area.
If you contact us by post, we will collect any information you provide to us in any postal communications you send us.
Information we collect when you become a client
When you instruct us to provide you with legal or professional services, we will collect your name, passport or other identification document information, email address, billing address, company name (if applicable), VAT number (if applicable), phone number, age, and any other information necessary to provide you with the services you requested.
If you do not provide this information, we may not be able to enter into a contract with you or provide you with services.
We need the Mandatory Information set out above to establish who the contract is with and to contact you to fulfil our obligations under the contract.
We have a legal obligation to issue you with an invoice for the services you purchase from us whether or not you are VAT registered. We also have a legal obligation to keep accounting records, including records of transactions.
We also collect optional information from you, such as additional contact information (mobile phone number, landline number, alternative email addresses), information about how you heard about us and information about any other products or services you may be interested in.
For further information, see ‘Marketing communications’ in this section below.
For existing clients who have been receiving marketing communications as at 24 May 2018 the Firm will continue to contact you by electronic (email) and postal means with legal developments, event invitations and Firm news, unless you ask us not to by clicking unsubscribe in the latest marketing communication you have received, or by writing to us by email at email@example.com, or by writing to us by post or contacting the marketing team on 01227 768374.
For clients after 25 May 2018, the following applies:
It is within our Legitimate Interests as a law firm to use your personal data to form a view on what we think you may require, or what may be of interest to you and send you information on the Firm, its services and events as well as any legal developments you may find helpful.
We will send you marketing communications in relation to similar services to the services you requested when you made contact with us if you do not opt out from receiving them in the Privacy Notice Summary sent to you with our Letter of Engagement.
Upon providing your information to us you can opt-out from receiving marketing communications in relation to other services which we offer and which are similar to those which you are purchasing from us, by clicking unsubscribe in the latest marketing communication you have received, or by writing to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing to us by post or contacting the marketing team on 01227 768374.
Transfer and storage of your information
Other parties with which the Firm has a relationship
Individuals, with whom the Firm has a relevant and appropriate relationship are recognised as a legitimate interest for both parties and on this basis we will provide information which we consider relevant about our services, updates on legal developments, event invitations and Firm news by email and post.
Information collected or obtained from third parties
This section sets out how we obtain or collect information about you from third parties.
Information received from third parties
We receive information about you from third parties. These may include financial advisors, tax advisors, solicitors acting for other parties in the transaction, banks and mortgage lenders, insurance companies (for indemnity), anti-money-laundering checking agencies, medical experts, social services.
It is also possible that third parties with whom we have had no prior contact may provide us with information about you.
Information we obtain from third parties will generally be your name and contact details, but will include any additional information about you which they provide to us.
Reason why necessary to perform a contract: where a third party has passed on information about you to us (such as your name and email address) in order for us to provide services to you, we will process your information in order to take steps at your request to enter into a contract with you and perform a contract with you (as the case may be).
Where you have asked that a third party shares information about you with us and the purpose of sharing that information is not related to the performance of a contract or services by us to you, we will process your information on the basis of your consent, which you give by asking the third party in question to pass on your information to us.
Where a third party has shared information about you with us and you have not consented to the sharing of that information, we will have a legitimate interest in processing that information in certain circumstances.
For example, we would have a legitimate interest in processing your information to perform our obligations under a contract with the third party, where the third party also has a contract with you.
Similarly, third parties may pass on information about you to us if you have infringed or potentially infringed any of our legal rights. In this case, we will have a legitimate interest in processing that information to investigate and pursue any such potential infringement.
Where we receive information about you in error
If we receive information about you from a third party in error and/or we do not have a legal basis for processing that information, we will delete your information.
Information obtained by us from third parties
In certain circumstances (for example, to verify the information we hold about you or obtain missing information we require to provide you with a service) we will obtain information about you from certain publicly accessible sources, both EU and non-EU, such as the electoral register, Companies House, online customer databases, business directories, media publications, social media, and websites (including your own website if you have one) and HMRC portals and web services.
In certain circumstances, we will have a legitimate interest in obtaining information about you from public and private sources. For example, if you have infringed or we suspect that you have infringed any of our legal rights, we will have a legitimate interest in obtaining and processing information about you from such sources in order to investigate and pursue any suspected or potential infringement.
We may obtain information from third parties, such as Anti Money Laundering on-line search companies, where you have consented to them sharing information with us. Our list brokers independently warrant that a valid consent of the individual has been obtained to the sharing of their information with us.
Our use of profiling
We use profiling on our website. We do not consider that this has any legal effect on you or similarly significantly affects you.
You have the right to object to our use of profiling described in this section. You can do that by opting-out of cookies in accordance with the method described in the relevant section below. If you do not want us to process your actual IP address (usually the IP address assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider) when you visit our website, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a free service such as Tor.
Profiling is any form of automated processing of your information to evaluate personal aspects about you, in particular to analyse or predict things like your performance at work, economic situation, health, personal preferences, interests, reliability, behaviour, location or movements.
Use of profiling for web analytics
Our web analytics service, Google Analytics, collects information such as your location (based on your IP address) and your behaviour (based on cookies) when you access our website (such as the pages you visit and what you click on). We will only process information from cookies if you have consented to us setting cookies on your computer in accordance with our cookies policy (www.girlings.com/cookies). Information collected about you, once collected is anonymised and stored on an aggregate basis.
Logic involved: by automatically analysing and categorising information such as the location (based on an IP address) as well as the behaviour and devices of visitors to our website (using cookies), we are able to gain a better understanding of what our website visitors want (in terms of the content of our website and our products), how to improve our website and how to advertise and market our services to them.
Significance and envisaged consequences: cookies will be used to track and store information about your behaviour and device on our website and your location will be analysed based on your IP address. We may target advertisements based on the level of interest we receive from certain visitors and their behaviour on our website.
Disclosure and additional uses of your information
This section sets out the circumstances in which we will disclose information about you to third parties and any additional purposes for which we use your information.
Disclosure of your information to service providers
We use a number of third parties to provide us with services which are necessary to run our business or to assist us with running our business and who process your information for us on our behalf. These include the following:
We may also from time to time outsource document production to a third party dictation and typing service provider, and outsource a telephone answering service.
Our third party service providers are all located in England and/or Ireland and Wales.
Your information will be shared with these service providers where necessary to provide you with the service you have requested, whether that is accessing our website or ordering services from us.
Disclosure of your information to other third parties
We disclose your information to other third parties in specific circumstances, as set out below.
Providing information to third parties such as Google Inc. Google collects information through our use of Google Analytics on our website. Google uses this information, including IP addresses and information from cookies, for a number of purposes, such as improving its Google Analytics service. Information is shared with Google on an aggregated and anonymised basis. To find out more about what information Google collects, how it uses this information and how to control the information sent to Google, please see the following page: www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners/
You can opt out of Google Analytics by installing the browser plugin here: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout
Transfer and storage of your information
Information collected by Google Analytics is stored outside the European Economic Area on Google’s servers in the United States of America.
Sharing your information with third parties, which are either related to or associated with the running of our business, where it is necessary for us to do so. These third parties include our accountants, advisors, business partners, independent contractors, insurers, anti-money-laundering checking agencies. Further information on each of these third parties is set out below.
We share information with our accountants for tax purposes. For example, we share invoices and financial statements we issue and receive with our accountants for the purpose of completing tax returns and our end of year accounts.
Occasionally, we obtain advice from advisors, such as accountants, financial advisors and other lawyers. We will share your information with these third parties only where it is necessary to enable these third parties to be able to provide us with the relevant advice.
In transactions involving property or business assets it is often appropriate to share your information with agents, lawyers and other parties whether or not they are directly involved in your transaction but only as is necessary for the furtherance of the transaction.
Business partners are businesses we work with which provide goods and services which are complementary to our own or which allow us to provide goods or services which we could not provide on our own. We share information with our business partners where you have requested services which they provide whether independently from, or in connection with our own services.
Occasionally, we use independent contractors in our business. Your information will be shared with independent contractors only where it is necessary for them to perform the function we have hired them to perform in relation to our business.
We will share your information with our insurers where it is necessary to do so, for example in relation to a claim or potential claim we receive or make or under our general disclosure obligations under our insurance contract with them.
Our insurers are Aviva Insurance Ltd. Our insurers are located in England. Further details can be obtained from the Partnership Manager who is located at our Canterbury Office or by writing to us by email at email@example.com, or by writing to us by post.
Healthcare professionals, social and welfare organisations
We share your information with healthcare providers, social and welfare organisations with your consent in order to perform the services you have requested.
Debt collection, private investigators and tracing agencies
We share information with debt collection, private investigation, anti money laundering search and tracing agencies either with your consent or in order to perform the services you have requested from us.
Complainants and enquirers
Where certain individuals have requested your information, we will only share such information with them with your consent.
In connection with a legal or potential legal dispute or proceedings where a party to whom the disclosure is made is not legally represented
We may need to use your information if we are representing you in a dispute with a third party for example, either to resolve the dispute or as part of any mediation, arbitration, court resolution/proceedings or similar process and this information may have to share with a third party who is not legally represented. By signing our letter of engagement you are providing us with your consent to share your information with a third party who may not be legally represented. We are not under any duty to ensure that the third party returns all data shared at the end of the contract and we accept no responsibility for the third party’s use of the information.
We share your information with various organisations such as Lexcel, Wills and Inheritance Quality Service, Family Law Accreditation Scheme, Conveyancing Quality Service (CQS) which are accreditations indicating quality in relation to legal practice management standards.
Sharing your information within our business’ group of companies, including Girlings Europe and Girlings Personal Injury Claims Limited for internal administrative purposes, including client, customer and employee information.
We do not display the identities of all of the other third parties we may share information with by name for security, competitive and administrative reasons. If you would like further information about the identities of such third parties, however, please contact us directly via our contact form or by email.
Sharing your information with a prospective or actual purchaser or seller in the context of a business or asset sale or acquisition by us, a merger or similar business combination event, whether actual or potential.
We may share your information with a prospective purchaser, seller or similar person or their agents and advisors in order to allow such a transaction to take place.
Disclosure and use of your information for legal reasons
Indicating possible criminal acts or threats to public security to a competent authority
If we suspect that criminal or potential criminal conduct has been occurred, we will in certain circumstances need to contact an appropriate authority, such as the police. This could be the case, for instance, if we suspect that a fraud or a cyber crime has been committed or if we receive threats or malicious communications towards us or third parties.
We will generally only need to process your information for this purpose if you were involved or affected by such an incident in some way.
In connection with the enforcement or potential enforcement our legal rights
We will use your information in connection with the enforcement or potential enforcement of our legal rights, including, for example, sharing information with debt collection agencies if you do not pay amounts owed to us when you are contractually obliged to do so. Our legal rights may be contractual (where we have entered into a contract with you) or non-contractual (such as legal rights that we have under copyright law or tort law).
In connection with a legal or potential legal dispute or proceedings
We may need to use your information if we are involved in a dispute with you or a third party for example, either to resolve the dispute or as part of any mediation, arbitration or court resolution or similar process.
For ongoing compliance with laws, regulations and other legal requirements
We will use and process your information in order to comply with legal obligations to which we are subject. For example, we may need to disclose your information pursuant to a court order or subpoena if we receive one or to the National Crime Agency in connection with suspected or potential money laundering matters, or to the Legal Ombudsman, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Information Commissioner or the Financial Ombudsman in the event of a complaint.
How long we retain your information
This section sets out how long we retain your information. We have set out specific retention periods where possible. Where that has not been possible, we have set out the criteria we use to determine the retention period.
Server log information: we retain information on our server logs for one year from the date of collection.
Client services information: when you engage our services, we retain that information for such reasonable period as is appropriate but a minimum of six years following the end of the financial year in which you instructed us, in accordance with our legal obligation to keep records for tax purposes.
Correspondence and enquiries: when you make an enquiry or correspond with us for any reason, whether by email or via our contact form or by phone, we will retain your information for as long as it takes to respond to and resolve your enquiry, and for a reasonable period thereafter, after which point we will delete your information. For enquiries received via our contact form or email, this period is up to 1 year following resolution of your enquiry.
Marketing lists: we retain the information you used to sign up for our e-newsletter or marketing communications for as long as you remain subscribed (i.e. you do not unsubscribe or opt-out).
Criteria for determining retention periods
In any other circumstances, we will retain your information for no longer than necessary taking into account the following:
- the purpose(s) and use of your information both now and in the future (such as whether it is necessary to continue to store that information in order to continue to perform our obligations under a contract with you or to contact you in the future);
- whether we have any legal obligation to continue to process your information (such as any record-keeping obligations imposed by relevant law or regulation);
- whether we have any legal basis to continue to process your information (such as your consent);
- how valuable your information is (both now and in the future);
- any relevant agreed industry practices on how long information should be retained;
- the levels of risk, cost and liability involved with us continuing to hold the information;
- how hard it is to ensure that the information can be kept up to date and accurate; and
- any relevant surrounding circumstances (such as the nature and status of our relationship with you).
How we secure your information
- We take appropriate technical and organisational measures to secure your information and to protect it against unauthorised or unlawful use and accidental loss or destruction, only sharing and providing access to your information to the minimum extent necessary, subject to confidentiality restrictions where appropriate, and on an anonymised basis wherever possible;
- using secure servers to store your information
- verifying the identity of any individual who requests access to information prior to granting them access to information;
- using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software to encrypt any information you submit to us via any forms on our website.
- We encrypt data where we believe it to be appropriate.
Transmission of information to us by email
Transmission of information over the internet is not entirely secure, and if you submit any information to us over the internet (whether by email, via our website or any other means), you do so entirely at your own risk.
We cannot be responsible for any costs, expenses, loss of profits, harm to reputation, damages, liabilities or any other form of loss or damage suffered by you as a result of your decision to transmit information to us by such means.
Transfers of your information outside the European Economic Area
All of your information is stored in the following European Economic Area (EEA) countries: England and Ireland.
Other than to comply with any legal obligations to which we are subject (compliance with a court order, for example) or where strictly necessary to perform the services you have requested, we do not intend to transfer your information outside the EEA or to an international organisation. In the unlikely event that we are required to transfer your information outside the EEA (or to an international organisation) for such a purpose, we will ensure appropriate safeguards and protections are in place (for example, by only transferring information via our own bank where payments need to be made to recipients outside the EEA).
Your rights in relation to your information
Subject to certain limitations on certain rights, you have the following rights in relation to your information, which you can exercise by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- to request access to your information and information related to our use and processing of your information;
- to request the correction or deletion of your information;
- to request that we restrict our use of your information;
- to receive information which you have provided to us in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format (e.g. a CSV file) and the right to have that information transferred to another data controller (including a third party data controller);
- to object to the processing of your information for certain purposes (for further information, see the section below entitled Your right to object to the processing of your information for certain purposes; and
- to withdraw your consent to our use of your information at any time where we rely on your consent to use or process that information. Please note that if you withdraw your consent, this will not affect the lawfulness of our use and processing of your information on the basis of your consent before the point in time when you withdraw your consent.
In accordance with Article 77 of the General Data Protection Regulation, you also have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the Member State of your habitual residence, place of work or of an alleged infringement of the General Data Protection Regulation.
For the purposes of the UK, the supervisory authority in respect of data protection is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the contact details of which are available here: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
Further information on your rights in relation to your personal data as an individual
The above rights are provided in summary form only and certain limitations apply to many of these rights. For further information about your rights in relation to your information, including any limitations which apply, please visit the following pages on the ICO’s website:
- https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/individual-rights/; and
You can also find out further information about your rights, as well as information on any limitations which apply to those rights, by reading the underlying legislation contained in Articles 12 to 22 and 34 of the General Data Protection Regulation, which is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/reform/files/regulation_oj_en.pdf
Verifying your identity where you request access to your information
Where you request access to your information, we are required by law to use all reasonable measures to verify your identity before doing so.
These measures are designed to protect your information and to reduce the risk of identity fraud, identity theft or general unauthorised access to your information.
How we verify your identity
Where we possess appropriate information about you on file, we will attempt to verify your identity using that information.
If it is not possible to identity you from such information, or if we have insufficient information about you, we may require original or certified copies of certain documentation in order to be able to verify your identity before we are able to provide you with access to your information.
We will be able to confirm the precise information we require to verify your identity in your specific circumstances if and when you make such a request.
Your right to object to the processing of your information for certain purposes
You have the following rights in relation to your information, which you may exercise in the same way by sending an email to email@example.com:
- to object to us using or processing your information where we use or process it in order to carry out a task in the public interest or for our legitimate interests, including ‘profiling’ (i.e. analysing or predicting your behaviour based on your information) based on any of these purposes; and
- to object to us using or processing your information for direct marketing purposes (including any profiling we engage in that is related to such direct marketing).
You may also exercise your right to object to us using or processing your information for direct marketing purposes by:
- clicking the unsubscribe link contained at the bottom of any marketing email we send to you and following the instructions which appear in your browser following your clicking on that link;
- sending an SMS message containing only the words “OPT OUT” in reply to any marketing communication we send by text message; or
- sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, asking that we stop sending you marketing communications or by including the words “OPT OUT”.
For more information on how to object to our use of information collected from cookies and similar technologies, please see the section entitled How to accept or reject cookies in our cookies policy, which is available here: https://www.girlings.com/cookies Alternatively please contact the relevant legal adviser and request a hard copy of the policy.
Sensitive Personal Information
‘Sensitive personal information’ is information about an individual that reveals their racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, genetic information, biometric information for the purpose of uniquely identifying an individual, information concerning health or sexual orientation.
We do not knowingly or intentionally collect sensitive personal information from individuals other than as strictly necessary to perform any services you have requested from us, and you must not otherwise submit sensitive personal information to us.
If you transmit sensitive personal information to us in connection with any services you have requested from us, we will collect and process such information on the basis of your express consent under Article 6(1)(a) of the General Data Protection Regulation.
If you transmit sensitive personal information to us, you will be considered to have explicitly consented to us processing that sensitive personal information under Article 9(2)(a) of the General Data Protection Regulation. Except as required for the performance of the services you have requested and in accordance with any statutory record-keeping obligations, we will use and process your sensitive personal information for the purposes specified when the information was requested and also when deleting it.
Changes to our Privacy Notice
We update and amend our Privacy Notice from time to time.
Minor changes to our Privacy Notice
Where we make minor changes to our Privacy Notice, we will update our Privacy Notice with a new effective date stated at the beginning of it. Our processing of your information will be governed by the practices set out in that new version of the Privacy Notice from its effective date onwards.
Major changes to our Privacy Notice or the purposes for which we process your information
Where we make major changes to our Privacy Notice or intend to use your information for a new purpose or a different purpose than the purposes for which we originally collected it, we will notify you by email (where possible) or by posting a notice on our website.
We will provide you with the information about the change in question and the purpose and any other relevant information before we use your information for that new purpose.
Wherever required, we will obtain your prior consent before using your information for a purpose that is different from the purposes for which we originally collected it.
A child for the purposes of this policy is defined as a person under the age of 18.
The firm’s website is not intended to solicit information of any kind from children.
Any circumstances in which documents or information in relation to a child/children will be dealt with under the Sensitive Personal Information section of this Privacy Notice.
Any circumstances in which documents or information in relation to a child/children comes to our attention may be disclosed to a third party where we are required to do so to protect any child/children from serious or significant harm or in connection with a criminal investigation or act.
We may have to release information about a child/children to an official body who have the authority to demand such information.
Information regarding a child/children may be produced to a regulatory body following a complaint for example the Legal Ombudsman.
It is possible that we could receive information pertaining to persons under the age of 18 by the fraud or deception of a third party. If we are notified of this, as soon as we verify the information, we will, where required by law to do so, immediately obtain the appropriate parental consent to use that information or, if we are unable to obtain such parental consent, we will delete the information from our servers. If you would like to notify us of our receipt of information about persons under the age of 18, please do so by sending an email to email@example.com.
California Do Not Track Disclosures
“Do Not Track” is a privacy preference that users can set in their web browsers. When a user turns on a Do Not Track signal in their browser, the browser sends a message to websites requesting that they do not track the user. For information about Do Not Track, please visit www.allaboutdnt.org.
At this time, we do not respond to Do Not Track browser settings or signals.
Copyright, credit and logo
The copyright in this Privacy Notice is either owned by, or licensed to, us and is protected by copyright laws around the world and copyright protection software. All intellectual property rights in this document are reserved.