In this policy the terms, “We”, “us” or “our” is Soma Solicitors and is a limited company.
We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy and ensuring your information is secure and managing the same in accordance with our legal responsibilities as per the applicable data protection laws. Please note that we are registered with the UK Information Commissioners Office (ICO) as a data controller under registration number Z9681143.
How is your personal information collected?
We process personal information that is given to us as a client in order to provide you with legal services and during taking instructions. Whether it be whilst managing your account through our case management system, website or in writing or over the phone. In addition, it is also when you request information or assistance from us too.
Personal Information which we process
This includes and is not limited to some of the following:
- Identity Information such as your passport, driving licence, utility bills or national identity card.
- Personal details such as your date of birth, address, National Insurance Number, email addresses and telephone numbers.
- Bank Detail, credit history and records relating to you, your partner or anyone you are financially associated with.
- Family, financial and social circumstances
- Financial details including your income and information regarding your bank accounts.
- Employment/Self-employment details.
How will we use your personal information?
We will only ever use your information if it is lawful, fair and necessary to do so. Moreover, will only use the same in the following circumstances:
- When we need to comply with a legal obligation
- Where it is necessary for legitimate interests namely to provide you with advice and assistance and enabling the management of all maters related to our business. However only where your interests and any fundamental rights do not override those interests.
- Where we need to perform the retainer that we have entered into with you.
- Where we are required to protect your interests or anyone else’s interests
- Where there is a need in the public interest
- Whereby consent has been provided by you and that consent has not been withdrawn by you.
Moreover, the situations where we will process your personal data include:
- In providing legal services to you
- In providing and servicing your relationship with us
- In complying with legal obligations for the prevention of financial crime and money laundering
Failure to providing personal information
If you fail to provide us with information when requested it may result in us being unable to perform our contractual duties or legal obligations to you.
Sensitive Personal Information
Sensitive personal information includes information regarding an individual’s health and other categories of personal information which are closely protected. Moreover, we do not usually process sensitive personal information unless you voluntarily provided the same to us or if it is relevant to the legal service, we are providing you.
Please note that we will process this information you have provided us and so we can use the same to deliver products and services to you. However, we shall seek to minimise the collection and use of sensitive personal information. Please note that this information includes and is not limited to the following;
- Information about race or ethnicity, sexual orientation and political opinion
- Information about health, including medical condition and other records
Disclosure of Data
We may share your personal data with third parties, where reasonably necessary and as set out in the policy. Please also note that Data may also be disclosed if we are under a duty to share your personal data in order to be able to comply with any legal obligations or in order to enforce or apply our terms of business, or to protect the rights, property or for the safety of our firm or our clients.
This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purpose of fraud protection and credit risk reduction. We may share information with the following;
- Regulatory authorities to comply with our legal obligations
- Property Agents, Brokers, Lenders and other solicitors involved in your transactions.
- Government Departments such as HMRC, Companies House, Probate registry or HM Land Registry to fulfil your and our legal obligations
- Experts and Barristers required on your matter
- Our auditors and external assessment bodies to achieve and maintain any Regulatory or Quality Assurance Standards and accreditations which meet our legal obligations in order to enable us to provide legal services to you.
We invest necessary resources in order to protect your personal information from loss, misuse, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Please be aware that no internet-based sites can be 100% secure and thus we cannot be held responsible or unauthorised or unintended access which is beyond our control.
Data Subject Rights
Please note that you have the ability to be able to request copies of your personal information supplied. Furthermore, if any of the personal information held is deemed inaccurate, you may also have the ability to ensure that the same is erased or corrected. In certain situations, you may object to our processing of your personal information in order to require us to stop processing your personal information and/or withdraw your agreement to process your data based on your consent. However, this will not apply where we have legal justifications to continue processing your data or an overring legitimate interest.
How long is your personal data retained?
We will retain your personal information based on statutory authority and thus in accordance with the applicable laws. Therefore, we will hold the same for a minimum of 6 years which may be extended contingent on your relationship with our firm.
If you believe we have handled your personal information incorrectly and wish to raise a complaint, you may contact us in order to investigate your complaint. You will also have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) (www.ico.org.uk) whom are the UK supervisory authority for data protection. In addition, please also refer to our complaint’s procedure section on our website for further details.