The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on 25th May 2018 and seeks to protect and enhance the rights of data subjects. The GDPR aims to give people more control over how organisations use their data. PD Lawyers Ltd is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy as a client of the practice. We recognise the importance of the correct and lawful treatment of your personal information and we will only use your personal information as set out in this notice and for the purpose of acting on your behalf in the matter in which you have instructed us.
This notice sets out how we collect and use your information. The expressions “we”, “us” and “our” refer to PD Lawyers Ltd.
Who we are?
PD Lawyers Limited is a registered company, based in England and registered under company number 6932878. Our registered office is 6-8 Gage Street, Lancaster LA1 1UH.
Our Privacy officer is Ursula Deriaz, who is a Director of the Practice. Ursula can be contacted by email email@example.com
What information will we hold about you?
During the course of your matter we will hold personal information about you in order to carry out our instruction on your behalf. We will hold your data as a Data Controller (defined by GDPR as “the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data”). “Personal information” is any information that relates to you and identifies you personally, either alone or in combination with other information available to us.
How do we collect your personal information?
Directly from you – most of the information we hold for you has been given directly by you. This information is held on our case management system and also our paper files. The information we hold could have been collected from you orally, in writing, by email, via our website or by any other means.
From Third parties – we may have collected some of your information from other parties involved in your matter. This could be via other law firms involved directly, estate agents, mortgage lenders or any other third party involved in your matter.
What information will we hold about you?
We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal information about you, as follows:-
- Full name and title
- Contact information (telephone, email, postal addresses, fax numbers)
- Details of potential conflicts of interest
- Date of birth, national insurance number
- Identification documents
- Bank details
- Mortgage account details or other data in respect of conveyancing matters
- Proof of funds
We do not collect any special categories of personal date about you which included details about your race, ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership or information about your health).
How we use the information we hold about you?
We will only use your personal information when the law allows us to; in order to meet our contractual obligation under our instructions from you or where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.
Disclosure of your personal information
During the course of your matter it may be necessary to share your information with certain third parties, amongst the following:-
- Estate Agents
- Other legal firms
- Case Management Providers
- Search providers
- Our regulatory body – The Council for Licensed Conveyancers
- Other Government Bodies, if necessary for the prevention of fraud, terrorist activity and money laundering amongst other illegal activities
What if you choose not to, or are unable to, provide us with personal information?
If you fail to provide certain personal information we may not be able to carry out the work you have instructed us to do or we may be prevented from complying with our legal requirements. In these circumstances we will not be able to act, or continue to act, on your behalf.
Your rights relating to the use of your personal information?
Under the GDPR you have certain rights regarding the processing of your personal information which may vary dependent of the legal basis for collection and use of your personal information.
You also have further rights as follows:-
- A right of access to the information we hold about you
- A right of rectification if any of the information we hold is incorrect
- A right to be forgotten – in certain circumstances you can ask for the personal information we hold about you to be deleted. However this is subject to our retention period below
- Right to restrict processing – in certain circumstances you may have the right to restrict data processing however this may affect our ability to carry out our instructions on your behalf
- Right to data portability of transferring your information when required to another organisation
- Right to object to certain types of processing i.e marketing. However the practice is not in the practice of mass marketing our clients
- Right to withdraw consent to the collection, processing and transfer of your personal information. If you would like to withdraw consent please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note this will most likely mean we will no longer be able to perform our obligations to you under the terms of our instructions
Under our obligations to our legal body we must keep files for the following periods of time:
Sale files – 6 years
Purchase & other conveyancing matter files – 15 years
Probate files – for 6 years after the end of the Executor’s year
Will files – for 6 years after the Testator’s death
Any original Deeds, Wills or other documents will be held indefinitely until you ask us to return these original documents to you, or your personal representatives.
We have put in places measures and agreements with the third parties who have access to your information to protect the security of your information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. We will use our best endeavours to ensure your personal information is protected at all times.
For any further information or queries please contact our Privacy Officer Ursula Deriaz by email email@example.com
This Privacy Notice is not designed to form a legally binding agreement, it is a guide for your information. Signing our client care letter constitutes acceptance by you of the Privacy Notice and is your express consent to our holding and processing your personal information in line with the GDPR to enable your matter to proceed to completion.
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. If you have a problem or complaint you need to tell us about it. This will help to improve our service standards and our service to you.
A complaint is an oral or written expression of dissatisfaction which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, distress, inconvenience, or detriment. In dealing with your complaint we will take proper account of your individual needs and deal with it impartially and comprehensively.
If you have a complaint, please contact the person handling your case in the first instance. If you feel you do not wish to speak to them directly please telephone Nigel Parkinson on 01524 62985.
What will happen next?
1. We will write to you acknowledging receipt of your complaint within 7 days enclosing details of our complaints procedure and either dealing with your complaint or providing you with an indication of how long we think it will take to respond to your complaint in full
2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve reviewing your file and gathering information from the person dealing with, or who dealt with, your matter. It may also involve retrieving your file from our Document Store and speaking to other members of staff.
3. Within 28 days of our acknowledgement letter we will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including our suggestions for resolving the matter.
4. If you have made the complaint verbally, either at a meeting or on the telephone, we will to you setting out in our full response our understanding of the nature of your complaint.
5. If we require more time to gather information we will write to you within 28 days from our acknowledgement letter confirming our investigation is still ongoing and giving you a timescale for a response.
6. The assessment of the complaint will be based upon a sufficient and impartial investigation. We will explain in writing our findings and, where the complaint is upheld, we will offer remedial action or redress, which will be dealt with promptly.
7. After receiving our written reply to your complaint if you are still not satisfied, you can ask for another Director within the Practice to review the complaint, or you can contact Nigel Parkinson and we will arrange a meeting to further discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. If you require, you can, or we can, arrange for an independent party to attend the meeting to mediate and review the decision. The review will take place within 28 days of the request.
8. We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review with an appointment to attend our offices.
9. After the appointment we will send a detailed summary of the meeting for your approval and signature within 7 days.
10. We will write to you within 21 days of the review meeting confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
11. If we have to change any of the above timescales, we will let you know in writing and explain the reasons why.
12. If after following the review process you remain dissatisfied with any aspect of our handling of your complaint, you may contact directly the Legal Ombudsman to ask them to consider the complaint further:-
PO Box 6806
Unless it agrees there are good reasons not to do so, the Legal Ombudsman will expect you in the first instance to allow us to consider and respond to your complaint in accordance with the procedure set out. The time limits for referring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman are as follows: a) six years from the date of the act/omission; b) three years from the date you should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before the 6th October 2010 or was more than six years ago); AND c) within six months of you receiving a final response from us. In relation to sections a) and b) the act or omission, or when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint must have been after 5 October 2010. You can also refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman if we have not resolved your complaint within 8 weeks after we received it. The Legal Ombudsman deals with service-related complaints only; it will refer any conduct related complaint it receives to the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
13. Alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme
14. Our firm does not agree to use an alternative complaints body
15. If you make a valid claim against us for a loss arising out of work for which we are legally responsible, and we are unable to meet our liability in full, you may be entitled to claim from the Compensation Fund administered by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (from whom details can be obtained.)
15th November 2018.