Privacy

PRIVACY POLICY

We take your privacy and personal data security very seriously.  Please read this privacy policy carefully as it contains important information on who we are and how and why we collect, store, use and share your personal data. It also explains your rights in relation to your personal data and how to contact us or supervisory authorities in the event you have a complaint.

When we use your personal data we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal data for the purposes of the GDPR. Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, the GDPR, other relevant UK and EU legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.

Key terms

It would be helpful to start by explaining some key terms used in this policy:

We, us, our Coodes LLP and Coodes Services Limited
Our data protection officer Coodes Data Protection Officer

Gwella House

6B Falmouth Business Park

Bickland Water Road

Falmouth TR11 4SZ

Email: DPO@coodes.co.uk

Tel:     (01326) 318900

Personal data Any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual
Special category personal data 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 table below sets out the personal data we will or may collect in the course of providing legal services. This may include special category data.

Personal data we will collect Personal data we may collect depending on why you are looking to instruct us
Your name, address and telephone number

Information to enable us to check and verify your identity e.g. your date of birth or passport details

Electronic contact details e.g. your email address and mobile phone number

Your financial details so far as relevant to your instructions  e.g. the source of your funds if you are instructing on a purchase transaction

Information relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representation so that your enquiry may be directed to the correct person

Information about your use of our IT, communication and other systems, and other monitoring information

Your National Insurance and tax details

Your bank and/or building society details

Details of your professional online presence e.g. LinkedIn profile

Details of any other party to ensure that we are able to assist you e.g. details of your spouse/partner and dependants or other family members

Your medical records e.g. if you are asking us to act for you in a personal injury claim

Your employment status and details including salary and benefits e.g. if you instruct us on matter related to your employment or in which your employment status or income is relevant.

Details of your pension arrangements e.g. 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 e.g. 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 e.g. if you instruct us on discrimination claim.

Your trade union membership e.g. if you instruct us on a discrimination claim or your matter is funded by a trade union.

Personal identifying information, such as your eye colour or your parents’ names e.g. if you instruct us to incorporate a company for you.

Your image and voice may be recorded if court hearings or conferences are held online, either at the request of the court, at your request or with your consent

This personal data is required 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 e.g. Companies House or HM Land Registry
  • directly from a third party, e.g.:
    • sanctions screening providers
    • credit reference agencies
    • client due diligence providers
  • from a third party with your consent, e.g.:
    • your bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor
    • estate agents
    • 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 website—we use cookies on our website (for more information on cookies, please see our coodes.co.uk/cookies/ cookies policy
  • via our information technology (IT) systems, e.g.:
    • case management, document management and time recording systems
    • automated monitoring of our websites and other technical systems, such as our computer networks and connections, CCTV and access control systems, communications systems, email and instant messaging systems
    • recordings of meetings where this is required by the court, requested by you or with your consent.

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, e.g.:

  • 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
  • where 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.

The table below explains what we use (process) your personal data for and our reasons for doing so:

What we use your personal data for Our reasons
Providing legal services to our clients To perform our contract with you or to take steps at our client’s 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 e.g. 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 e.g. policies covering security and internet use For our legitimate interests or those of a third party i.e. to make sure we are following our own internal procedures so we can deliver the best service to you
Operational reasons such as improving efficiency, training and quality control For our legitimate interests or those of a third party i.e. to be as efficient as we can so we can deliver the best service for you at the best price
Ensuring the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information For our legitimate interests or those of a third party i.e. to protect our intellectual property and other commercially valuable information

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Statistical analysis to help us manage our practice e.g. in relation to our financial performance, client base, work type or other efficiency measures For our legitimate interests or those of a third party i.e. to be as efficient as we can so we can deliver the best service for you at the best price
Preventing unauthorised access and modifications to systems For our legitimate interests or those of a third party i.e. to prevent and detect criminal activity that could be damaging for us and for you

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Updating and enhancing client records To take steps at your request before entering into a contract

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party e.g. making sure that we can keep in touch with our clients about existing and new services

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

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party e.g. to make sure we are following our own internal procedures and working efficiently so we can deliver the best service to you

Marketing our services 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 i.e. to promote our business to existing and former clients
External audits and quality checks  e.g. for Lexcel, ISO or Investors in People accreditation and the audit of our accounts For our legitimate interests or a those of a third party i.e. to maintain our accreditations so we can demonstrate we operate at the highest standards

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Assist to manage public health risks such as a pandemic. To help control the spread of infection; provide health protection; identify and safeguard individuals who are high risk and vulnerable; provide information to government agencies; emergency planning.

If there is a significant threat to public health, e.g. an outbreak of an infectious disease, the firm has the legal right to use identifiable data under section 42(4) of the Statistics and Registration Service Act (2007) as amended by section 287 of the Health and Social Care Act (2012) and Regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.

With the exception of the threat to public health the above table does not apply to special category personal data, which we will only process with your explicit consent.

Where we process special category personal data, we will also ensure we are permitted to do so under data protection laws, e.g.:

  • we have your explicit consent
  • the processing is necessary to protect your (or someone else’s) vital interests where you are physically or legally incapable of giving consent; or
  • the processing is necessary to establish, exercise or defend legal claims—this includes using special category personal data, where necessary, for:

–            actual or prospective court proceedings

–            obtaining legal advice; or

–            establishing, exercising or defending legal rights in any other way.

Promotional communications

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.

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 share it with other organisations for marketing purposes.

You have the right to opt out of receiving promotional communications at any time by:

  • contacting us by telephoning 0800 328 3282 or emailing info@coodes.co.uk
  • using the ‘unsubscribe’ link in emails

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:

  • our insurers and brokers
  • professional advisers who we instruct on your behalf or refer you to e.g. barristers, medical professionals, accountants, tax advisors and other experts
  • other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions e.g. your mortgage provider or HM Land Registry in the case of a property transaction or Companies House
  • our group companies
  • external auditors e.g. in relation to ISO or Lexcel accreditation and the audit of our accounts;
  • our bank
  • external service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient e.g. identification verification agencies, typing services, marketing agencies, document collation or analysis suppliers;

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 to ensure they can only use your personal data to provide services to us and to you.

Some service providers we use will transfer your personal data outside of the EU in order to delivery their service.  We carry out comprehensive checks to ensure that such providers have suitable data protection safeguards in place.

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 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 how we safeguard your personal data when this occurs, see below: Transferring your personal data out of the UK and EEA.

How long your personal data will be kept

We will keep your personal data for the duration that we act for you, for a period after closing your matter that will be notified to you at the time of closing and for a time should you decide not to proceed or should your matter become abortive. 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; and
  • you have signed up to any of our newsletters (until you unsubscribe).

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 available on request.  When it is no longer necessary to retain your personal data, we will delete or anonymise it.

Transferring your personal data out of the UK and EEA

To deliver services to you, it is sometimes necessary for us to share your personal data outside the UK/EEA e.g.:

  • with your and our service providers located outside the UK/EEA
  • if you are based outside the UK/EEA
  • where there is a European and/or international dimension to the services we are providing to you.

Under data protection law, we can only transfer your personal data to a country or international organisation outside the UK/EEA where:

  • the UK government or, where the EU GDPR applies, the European Commission has decided the particular country or international organisation ensures an adequate level of protection of personal data (known as an ‘adequacy decision’)
  • there are appropriate safeguards in place, together with enforceable rights and effective legal remedies for data subjects; or
  • a specific exception applies under data protection law

These are explained below.

Adequacy decision

We may transfer your personal data to certain countries, on the basis of an adequacy decision. These include:

  • all European Union countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (collectively known as the ‘EEA’)
  • Gibraltar; and
  • Andorra, Argentina, Canada, Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Israel, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, New Zealand, Switzerland and Uruguay.

The list of countries that benefit from adequacy decisions will change from time to time. We will always seek to rely on an adequacy decision, where one exists.

Other countries or international organisations we are likely to transfer personal data to do not have the benefit of an adequacy decision. This does not necessarily mean they provide poor protection for personal data, but we must look at alternative grounds for transferring the personal data, such as ensuring appropriate safeguards are in place or relying on an exception, as explained below.

Transfers with appropriate safeguards

Where there is no adequacy decision, we may transfer your personal data to another country or international organisation if we are satisfied the transfer complies with data protection law, appropriate safeguards are in place, and enforceable rights and effective legal remedies are available for data subjects.

The safeguards will usually include using legally-approved standard data protection contract clauses.

Transfers under an exception

In the absence of an adequacy decision or appropriate safeguards, we may transfer personal data to a third country or international organisation where an exception applies under data protection law e.g.:

  • you have explicitly consented to the proposed transfer after having been informed of the possible risks
  • the transfer is necessary for the performance of a contract between us or to take pre-contract measures at your request
  • the transfer is necessary for a contract in your interests, between us and another person; or
  • the transfer is necessary to establish, exercise or defend legal claims

We may also transfer information for the purpose of our compelling legitimate interests, so long as those interests are not overridden by your interests, rights and freedoms. Specific conditions apply to such transfers and we will provide relevant information if and when we seek to transfer your personal data on this ground.

Your rights

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
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 e.g. 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 e.g. 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 our Data Protection Officer—see below: ‘How to contact us’; and
  • let us have enough information to identify you (e.g. 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, 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.

If you want detailed information from Get Safe Online on how to protect your information and your computers and devices against fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other online problems, please visit www.getsafeonline.org. Get Safe Online is supported by HM Government and leading businesses.

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.

Changes to this privacy policy

This privacy policy was published on 21st May 2018 and last updated on 3rd March 2021.

We may change this privacy policy from time to time, when we do we will inform you via our website.

How to contact us

Please contact our Data Protection Officer by post, email or telephone if you have any questions about this privacy policy or the information we hold about you.

Our Data Protection Officer’s contact details are as follows:

Data Protection Officer

Coodes Solicitors

Gwella House

6B Falmouth Business Park

Bickland Water Road

Falmouth

Cornwall TR11 4SZ

dpo@coodes.co.uk

(01326) 318900

Do you need extra help?

If you would like this policy in another format (for example audio, large print, braille) please contact us (see ‘How to contact us’ above).