Privacy Policy

Hand Morgan & Owen

PRIVACY NOTICE

We take your privacy 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.

This privacy policy does not apply to any third party websites that may have links to our own website.

Clients of this firm should read this policy alongside our general terms and conditions, which provide further information of confidentiality.

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 Hand Morgan & Owen
Our data protection officer Amy Glover 17 Martin Street, Stafford ST16 2LF
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
Data subject The individual who the personal data relates to

 

Personal data we collect about you

The table below sets out the personal data we will or may collect in the course of advising and/or acting for you.

Personal data we will collect Personal data we may collect depending on why you have instructed us
Your name, address and telephone numberInformation to enable us to check and verify your identity, eg your date of birth or passport detailsElectronic contact details, eg your email address and mobile phone numberInformation relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representationInformation to enable us to undertake a credit or other financial checks on youYour financial details so far as relevant to your instructions, eg the source of your funds if you are instructing on a purchase transactionInformation 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, 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 relevantYour nationality and immigration status and information from related documents, such as your passport or other identification, and immigration information, eg if you instruct us on an immigration matterDetails 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 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 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 direct. However, we may also collect information:

  • from publicly accessible sources, eg Companies House or HM Land Registry;
  • directly from a third party, eg:
    • sanctions screening providers;
    • 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
  • via our information technology (IT) systems, eg:
    • case management, document management and time recording systems;
    • reception logs;
    • 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.

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 – where we need your consent, we will ask for it separately of this privacy policy and you can withdraw consent at any time.

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
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
Preventing and detecting fraud against you or us For our legitimate interest, ie to minimise fraud that could be damaging for you and/or us
Conducting checks to identify our clients and verify their identityScreening 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, ie 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, ie 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, ie to protect our intellectual property and other commercially valuable informationTo 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, ie 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, ie 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 For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contractTo comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, eg 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 obligationsFor our legitimate interests or those of a third party, eg 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 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, ie to promote our business to existing and former clients
Credit reference checks via external credit reference agencies For our legitimate interests or a those of a third party, ie for credit control and to ensure our clients are likely to be able to pay for our services
External audits and quality checks, eg for ISO or Investors in People accreditation and the audit of our accounts For our legitimate interests or a those of a third party, ie to maintain our accreditations so we can demonstrate we operate at the highest standardsTo 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.

Marketing 

We may use your personal data to send you updates (by email, text message, telephone or post or social media channels) 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 marketing purposes (see above ‘How and why we use your personal data’). This means we do not usually need your consent to send you marketing information. 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 the firm for marketing purposes.

You have the right to opt out of receiving marketing communications at any time by contacting our Practice Manager.

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.

We will always treat your personal data with the utmost respect and never sell or share it with other organisations for marketing purposes.

Who we share your personal data with

We routinely share personal data with:

  • Third parties we use to help deliver our services to you, eg providers of our case management and finance system, IT service providers including cloud service providers such as data storage platforms, shared service centres and financial institutions in connection with invoicing and payments
  • professional advisers who we instruct on your behalf or refer you to, eg barristers, medical professionals, accountants, tax advisors, estate agents, surveyors, mortgage brochers, local counsel, technology service providers or other experts;
  • other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions, eg your mortgage provider and their solicitors’ panel administrators, HM Land Registry or HM Treasury and Scheme Administrators in the case of a property transaction.
  • Companies House, HMRC, The Land Registry, National House Building Council;
  • credit reference agencies;
  • our insurers and brokers;
  • external auditors, eg in relation to ISO accreditation and the audit of our accounts;
  • our banks;
  • external service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, eg typing services, marketing agencies, search providers, 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 relating to ensure they can only use your personal data to provide services to us and to you.

We or the third parties mentioned above occasionally also share personal data with:

  • Our and their external auditors, eg in relation to the audit of our or their accounts, in which case the recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations
  • Our and their professional advisors (such as lawyers and other advisors), in which case the recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations
  • Law enforcements agencies, courts, tribunals and regulatory bodies to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
  • Other parties that have or may acquire control or ownership of our business (and our or their professional advisers) in connection with a significant corporate transaction or restructuring, including a merger, acquisition or asset sale or in the event of our insolvency – usually, information will be anonymised but this may not always be possible and the recipient of any of your personal data will be bound by confidentiality obligations

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

Transferring your personal data abroad.

To deliver services to you, it is sometimes necessary for us to share your personal data outside the UK. This may include countries which do not provide the same level of protection of personal data as the UK.

We will transfer your personal data outside the UK only where:

  • The UK government or European Commission has decided the recipient country ensures an adequate level of protection of personal data (known as an adequacy decision); or
  • There are appropriate safeguards in place (eg standard contractual data protection clauses published or approved by the relevant data protection regulator), together with enforceable rights and effective legal remedies for you; or
  • a specific exception applies under data protection law.

These transfers are subject to special rules under European and UK data protection law.  Non-EEA countries do not have the same data protection laws as the United Kingdom and EEA.

You can contact us (see ‘How to contact us‘ below) if you would like a list of countries benefiting from a UK or European adequacy decision or for any other information about protection of personal data when it transferred abroad.

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, 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.- in certain other situations to our continued processing of you personal data, eg processing carried out for the purpose of our legitimate interests unless there are compelling legitimate grounds for the processing to continue or the processing is required for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
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
The right to withdraw consent If you have provided us with a consent to use your personal data you have a right to withdraw that consent easily at any time
You may withdraw consents by contacting us.Withdrawing a consent will not affect the lawfulness of our use of your personal data in reliance on that consent before it was withdrawn.

 

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 (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.

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

Please contact us if you have any queries or concerns about our use of your personal data (see below ‘How to contact us‘). We hope we will be able to resolve any issues you may have.

You may also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner (the UK data protection regulator). Please contact us if you would like further information.

Changes to this privacy policy

This privacy policy was published in 1 November 2017 and last updated on 27 July 2023.

We may change this privacy policy from time to time, when we do we will publish this on our website.

Updating your personal data

We take reasonable steps to ensure your personal data remains accurate and up to date. To help us with this, please let us know if any of the personal data you have provided to us has changed, eg your surname or address – see below ‘How to contact us‘.

How to contact us

Please contact us by post, email or telephone if you have any questions about this privacy policy or the information we hold about you, to exercise a right under data protection law or to make a complaint.

Our contact details are shown below:

Our contact details Our Data Protection Officer’s contact details
Hand Morgan & Owen
17 Martin Street
Stafford
ST16 2LF
01785 211411
Amy Glover – aglover@hmo.co.uk