Who we are
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws.
Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), other relevant UK and EU legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.
It would be helpful to start by explaining some key terms used in this document:
We, us our means Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
Personal data means any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual
Special category personal data means Personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs or trade union membership; Genetic and biometric data; Data concerning health, sex life or sexual orientation
Personal data we collect about you
The personal data we will or may collect in the course of advising and/or acting for you is as follows:
Personal data we will collect
- Your name, date of birth, address and telephone number
- Information to enable us to check and verify your identity, eg your date of birth or passport details and proof of address
- Electronic contact details, eg your email address and mobile phone number
- Information relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representation
- Your financial details so far as relevant to your instructions, eg the source of your funds if you are instructing on a purchase transaction
Personal data we may collect depending on why you have instructed us
- Your National Insurance and tax details
- Your bank and/or building society details
- Details of your professional online presence, eg LinkedIn profile
- Details of your spouse/partner and dependants or other family members, eg if you instruct us on a family matter or a will
- Your employment status and details including salary and benefits, eg if you instruct us on matter related to your employment or in which your employment status or income is relevant
- Your nationality and immigration status and information from related documents, such as your passport or other identification
- Details of your pension arrangements, eg if you instruct us on a pension matter or in relation to financial arrangements following breakdown of a relationship
- your employment records including, where relevant, records relating to sickness and attendance, performance, disciplinary, conduct and grievances (including relevant special category personal data), eg if you instruct us on matter related to your employment or in which your employment records are relevant
- Your racial or ethnic origin, gender and sexual orientation, religious or similar beliefs, eg if you instruct us on discrimination claim
- Your trade union membership, eg if you instruct us on discrimination claim or your matter is funded by a trade union
- Personal identifying information, such as your hair or eye colour or your parents’ names, eg if you instruct us to incorporate a company for you
- Your medical records, eg if we are acting for you in a personal injury claim
This personal data is required from you to enable us to provide our service to you. If you do not provide personal data we ask for, it may delay or prevent us from providing services to you.
How your personal data is collected
We collect most of this information from you. However, we may also collect information:
- from publicly accessible sources, eg Companies House or HM Land Registry;
- directly from a third party, eg credit reference agencies, client due diligence providers;
- from a third party with your consent, eg: your bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor; consultants and other professionals we may engage in relation to your matter; your employer and/or trade union, professional body or pension administrators; your doctors, medical and occupational health professionals; via our information technology systems, eg: case management, document management and time recording systems; relevant websites and applications; automated monitoring of our websites and other technical systems, such as our computer networks and connections, communications systems, email and instant messaging systems.
How and why we use your personal data
Under data protection law, we can only use your personal data if we have a proper reason for doing so, eg:
- to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;
- for the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract;
- for our legitimate interests or those of a third party; or
- you have given consent.
A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use your information, so long as this is not overridden by your own rights and interests.
What we use (process) your personal data for and our reasons for doing so:
|What we use your personal data for||Our reasons|
|To provide legal services to you||For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract|
|Conducting checks to identify our clients and verify their identity; Screening for financial and other sanctions or embargoes; Other processing necessary to comply with professional, legal and regulatory obligations that apply to our business, eg under health and safety regulation or rules issued by our professional regulator||To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Gathering and providing information required by or relating to audits, enquiries or investigations by regulatory bodies||To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Ensuring business policies are adhered to, eg policies covering security and internet use||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party|
|Operational reasons, such as improving efficiency, training and quality control||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party|
|Ensuring the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party; and/or to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Statistical analysis to help us manage our practice, eg in relation to our financial performance, client base, work type or other efficiency measures||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party|
|Preventing unauthorised access and modifications to systems||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party; and/or to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Updating and enhancing client records||For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract, and/or to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Statutory returns||To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Ensuring safe working practices, staff administration and assessments||To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations; and/or for our legitimate interests or those of a third party|
|Marketing our services and those of selected third parties to: —existing and former clients; —third parties who have previously expressed an interest in our services; —third parties with whom we have had no previous dealings.||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party|
|Credit reference checks via external credit reference agencies||For our legitimate interests or a those of a third party|
|External audits and quality checks, eg for Lexcel and the audit of our accounts||For our legitimate interests or a those of a third party; and/or to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
The above table does not apply to special category personal data, which we will only process with your explicit consent.
We may use your personal data to send you updates (by email, text message, telephone or post) about legal developments that might be of interest to you and/or information about our services, including exclusive offers, promotions or new services or products.
We have a legitimate interest in processing your personal data for promotional purposes (see above ‘How and why we use your personal data’). This means we do not usually need your consent to send you promotional communications. However, where consent is needed, we will ask for this consent separately and clearly.
We will always treat your personal data with the utmost respect and never sell OR share it with other organisations outside Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP for marketing purposes.
You have the right to opt out of receiving promotional communications at any time by contacting us by post, email or telephone by contacting [name].
We may ask you to confirm or update your marketing preferences if you instruct us to provide further services in the future, or if there are changes in the law, regulation, or the structure of our business.
Who we share your personal data with
We routinely share personal data with:
- professional advisers who we instruct on your behalf or refer you to, eg barristers, medical professionals, accountants, tax advisors or other experts;
- other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions, eg your mortgage provider or HM Land Registry in the case of a property transaction or Companies House;
- credit reference agencies;
- our insurers and brokers;
- external auditors, eg in relation to ISO or Lexcel accreditation and the audit of our accounts;
- our banks;
- our case management providers including DPS Software.
We only allow our service providers to handle your personal data if we are satisfied they take appropriate measures to protect your personal data. We also impose contractual obligations on service providers relating to ensure they can only use your personal data to provide services to us and to you.
We may disclose and exchange information with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
We may also need to share some personal data with other parties, such as potential buyers of some or all of our business or during a re-structuring. Usually, information will be anonymised but this may not always be possible. The recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations.
Where your personal data is held
Information may be held at our offices and those of our group companies, third party agencies, service providers, representatives and agents as described above (see ‘Who we share your personal data with’).
Some of these third parties may be based outside the European Economic Area. For more information, including on how we safeguard your personal data when this occurs (see below: ‘Transferring your personal data out of the EEA’).
How long your personal data will be kept
We will keep your personal data after we have finished advising or acting for you. We will do so for one of these reasons:
- to respond to any questions, complaints or claims made by you or on your behalf;
- to show that we treated you fairly;
- to keep records required by law.
We will not retain your data for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this policy. Different retention periods apply for different types of data. Further details on this are set out in our retention that gives these details (see “Retention Policy”).
When it is no longer necessary to retain your personal data, we will delete or anonymise it.
How long will you use my information for?
We will only retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.
In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal information so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case we may use such information without further notice to you. Once you are no longer an employee, worker or contractor of the company we will retain and securely destroy your personal information in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.
By law we have to keep basic information about our customers (including Contact, Identity, Financial and Transaction Data) for legal, regulatory and tax purposes.
This policy sets out how long information will normally be held by us and when that information will be confidentially destroyed.
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is responsible for implementing and monitoring compliance with this policy. They will undertake an annual review of this policy to verify that it is in effective operation.
Information (hard copy and electronic) will be retained for at least the period specified in our Data Retention Period (see Appendix).
All information must be reviewed before destruction to determine if there are special factors that mean destruction should be delayed, eg:
- potential litigation
- ongoing cases
We will endeavour to delete hard copy and electronically held documents and information at the end of the retention period.
Data Retention Period – Appendix
|Matter type||Retention period|
|Anti-money laundering records including records of client identity and verification checks made under our client due diligence procedure.||6 years after the business relationship ends or the transaction completes.|
|Trust||Indefinitely, in accordance with Law Society guidance, or the end of trust period or date of vesting plus 6 years Documents relevant to VAT liability—6 years Tax papers—12 years after the end of the trust period|
|Matters on behalf of minors||6 years from the date of the client attaining 18 years|
|Wills||Indefinitely, in accordance with Law Society guidance; or 6 years from the date of probate where we have dealt with probate|
|Tax||12 years after the end of the period or assessment|
|Accounts records||6 years|
|Financial matters (transactions and commissions effected or received under the SRA Financial Services (Code of Business) Rules 2001).||6 years|
|Complaints records||6 years from the conclusion of the complaint|
|All other client matters||6 years|
In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes.
Transferring your personal data out of the EEA
To deliver services to you, it is sometimes necessary for us to share your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
These non-EEA countries may not have the same data protection laws as the United Kingdom and EEA. We will, however, endeavour that the transfer complies with data protection law and all personal data will be secure.
If you would like further information please contact us (see ‘How to contact us’ below).
You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge:
|Access||The right to be provided with a copy of your personal data (the right of access)|
|Rectification||The right to require us to correct any mistakes in your personal data|
|To be forgotten||The right to require us to delete your personal data—in certain situations|
|Restriction of processing||The right to require us to restrict processing of your personal data—in certain circumstances, eg if you contest the accuracy of the data|
|Data portability||The right to receive the personal data you provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and/or transmit that data to a third party—in certain situations|
|To object||The right to object: —at any time to your personal data being processed for direct marketing (including profiling); —in certain other situations to our continued processing of your personal data, eg processing carried out for the purpose of our legitimate interests.|
|Not to be subject to automated individual decision-making||The right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing (including profiling) that produces legal effects concerning you or similarly significantly affects you|
For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, please contact us or see the Guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation
If you would like to exercise any of those rights, please:
- email, call or write to us—see below: ‘How to contact us’; and
- let us have enough information to identify you (eg your full name, address and client or matter reference number);
- let us have proof of your identity and address (a copy of your driving licence or passport and a recent utility or credit card bill); and
- let us know what right you want to exercise and the information to which your request relates.
Keeping your personal data secure
We have appropriate security measures to prevent personal data from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed unlawfully. We limit access to your personal data to those who have a genuine business need to access it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.
How to complain
We hope that we can resolve any query or concern you may raise about our use of your information.
The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the European Union (or European Economic Area) state where you work, normally live or where any alleged infringement of data protection laws occurred. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at https://ico.org.uk/concerns or telephone: 0303 123 1113.
This privacy notice was published on 25 May 2018.
We may change this privacy notice from time to time.
How to contact us
Our contact details are:
|City Office||Post: 326 Old Street, London, EC1V 9DR Tel: 0207 613 2711|
|West End Office||Post: 77A Baker Street, London, W1U 6RF Tel: 0207 467 5757|
|Manchester Office||Post: 111 Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 2HY Tel: 0161 694 4404|