Privacy Policy

Privacy Notice

1.  INTRODUCTION  

Hamilton Downing Quinn LLP takes privacy very seriously and is committed to protecting the personal data of everyone with whom we deal. This privacy notice sets out the way in which any personal data provided to us is used, the conditions under which it may be disclosed to others, and how it is kept secure.

CONTROLLER  

Hamilton Downing Quinn LLP is the controller and responsible for your personal data (referred to as “HDQ”, “we”, “us” or “our” in this privacy notice).

CHANGES TO THE PRIVACY NOTICE AND YOUR DUTY TO INFORM US OF CHANGES  

We keep our privacy notice under regular review and we may update this notice at any time.

It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us. Our contact details are set out in the last section of this notice.

2.  DATA PROTECTION PRINCIPLES

We will comply with data protection law which provides that the personal information we hold about you must be:

  • Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
  • Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
  • Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes.
  • Accurate and kept up to date.
  • Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about.
  • Kept securely.

3.  THE DATA WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU  

Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).

We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you, your directors, shareholders, beneficial owners, employees, agents, associates and family members as follows:

  • Personal contact details such as name, title, addresses, telephone numbers, and personal email addresses.
  • Date of birth.
  • Gender.
  • Marital status and dependants.
  • Personal documents including copies of passport, national identity card, driving licence, utility bills, bank statements and similar documents.
  • Bank account details.
  • Employment details including salary, tax status, pension and benefits information, disciplinary and grievance information.
  • Immigration status and work permits.
  • Other personal data contained in correspondence and documents
  • Information about your use of our information and communications systems.

We may also collect, store and use the following "special categories" of more sensitive personal information:

  • Information about your race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and political opinions.
  • Trade union membership.
  • Information about your health, including any medical condition, health and sickness records.
  • Genetic information and biometric data.
  • Information about criminal convictions and offences.

The list above is not exhaustive, and there may be other personal data which HDQ collects, stores and uses in the context of job-related activities.

4.  HOW IS YOUR PERSONAL DATA COLLECTED?  

  • We collect most of this information from you directly. We also collect information:
  • from publicly accessible sources, (for example, Companies House);
  • directly from a third party (for example, client due diligence providers);
  • from a third party with your consent (for example, your bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor; or consultants and other professionals you may engage); and
  • your employer, professional body or pension administrators;
  • via our information technology systems.

4.  HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA  

We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use personal data in the following circumstances:

  • To perform the contract we have entered into with you. For clients, this relates to all personal data we reasonably need to process to carry out your instructions;
  • To communicate with you;
  • To comply with our legal, regulatory, or other corporate governance obligations. This relates to our legal obligations in relation to, for example, anti-money laundering;
  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests. This relates to our processing for marketing purposes, for our management, accounting and administration purposes and for data security;

The list above is not exhaustive and we may undertake additional processing of personal data for purposes similar to those set out above. 

The situations in which we will process your personal data (excluding sensitive personal data) are listed below with a description of the purposes and the legal basis for doing so:

Purposes for which we will process personal data

Legal Basis for the processing

To provide legal professional services to you in connection with your matters or those of your company, firm or employer.

For the performance of our contract with you or your company, firm or employer or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract.

To carry out associated administration and accounting in connection with your legal matters or those of your company, firm or employer and other processing necessary to comply with our professional, legal and regulatory obligations.

For the performance of our contract with you or those of your company, firm or employer or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract.

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.

To comply with our anti-money laundering requirements.

 

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.

To comply with and enforce the terms and conditions of any contract entered into with you or your company, firm or employer.

For the performance of our contract with you or your company, firm or employer or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract.

To comply with our internal business policies.

It is in our legitimate interests or those of a third party to adhere to our own internal procedures so that we can deliver an efficient service to you. We consider this use to be necessary for our legitimate interests and proportionate.

For operational reasons, such as improving efficiency, training and quality control.

It is in our legitimate interests to be as efficient as we can so we deliver the best service to our clients.

To prevent unauthorised access and modifications to our systems.

It is in our legitimate interests to prevent and detect criminal activity that could be damaging for us and for you.

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.

For updating records.

For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract.

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.

For marketing our services.

It is in our legitimate interests to market our services. We consider this use to be proportionate and will not be prejudicial or detrimental to you.

To carry out credit reference checks.

It is in our legitimate interests to carry out credit control and to ensure our clients are likely to be able to pay for our services and the counter-parties to our other contracts are likely to be able to meet their payment obligations.

External audits and quality checks, e.g. for the audit of our accounts and for The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme.

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.

It is in our legitimate interests to maintain our accreditations so we can demonstrate we operate at the highest standards.

Some of the above grounds for processing will overlap and there may be several grounds which justify our use of your personal information.

If you fail to provide certain information when requested, we may not be able to act for you or otherwise perform the contract we have entered into or propose to enter into.

We will only use your personal information for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your personal information for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.

Please note that we may process your personal information without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.

5.  SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF PERSONAL DATA  

Special categories of particularly sensitive personal information require higher levels of protection. We need to have further justification for collecting, storing and using this type of personal information. We have in place an appropriate policy document and safeguards which we are required by law to maintain when processing such data. We may process special categories of personal information in the following circumstances:

  • In limited circumstances, with your explicit written consent.
  • Where we need to carry out our legal obligations or exercise rights in connection with employment.
  • Where it is needed in the public interest, such as for equal opportunities monitoring, gender pay reporting or in relation to pension schemes.

Less commonly, we may process this type of information where it is needed in relation to legal claims or where it is needed to protect your interests (or someone else's interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public. We may also process such information about you in the course of legitimate business activities with the appropriate safeguards.

We do not need your consent if we use special categories of your personal information in accordance with our written policy to carry out our legal obligations or exercise specific rights in the field of employment law. In limited circumstances, we may approach you for your written consent to allow us to process certain particularly sensitive data. If we do so, we will provide you with full details of the information that we would like and the reason we need it, so that you can carefully consider whether you wish to consent. You should be aware that it is not a condition of your contract with us that you agree to any request for consent from us.

INFORMATION ABOUT CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS

We may only use information relating to criminal convictions where the law allows us to do so. This will usually be where such processing is necessary to carry out our obligations and provided we do so in line with our data protection policy

Less commonly, we may use information relating to criminal convictions where it is necessary in relation to legal claims, where it is necessary to protect your interests (or someone else's interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public.

6.  MARKETING

We use your personal data to notify you by email, telephone, or post about important legal developments and services which we think you may find valuable, for sending you newsletters, invitations to seminars and similar marketing. 

In this connection we may disclose personal data to third parties providing marketing services to us, or with whom we are conducting joint marketing exercises.

You have the right to opt out of receiving direct marketing communications from us at any time by contacting us using the contact details set out in the last section of this notice; or using the “unsubscribe” link in emails.

7.  EMAIL MONITORING

Email which you send to us or which we send to you may be monitored by us to ensure compliance with professional standards and our internal compliance policies. Monitoring is not continuous or routine, but may be undertaken on the instruction of a partner where there are reasonable grounds for doing so.

8.  DISCLOSURES OF YOUR PERSONAL DATA  

Personal data will be retained by us and will not be shared, transferred or otherwise disclosed to any third party, except as set out in this Notice.

If we are working with other professional advisers in relation to any matter handled by us on your behalf then, unless you instruct us otherwise, we shall assume that we may disclose your information to them.

We disclose and share personal data:

  • with HDQ partners, staff and consultants based in the UK;
  • to other professional advisers and third parties in accordance with your instructions;
  • to our professional indemnity insurers or brokers, and our auditors, or risk managers who we or they may appoint;
  • third party processors, service providers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, including for our IT services, data storage/back-up and marketing;
  • if we, acting in good faith, consider disclosure to be required by law or the rules of any applicable governmental, regulatory or professional body.

Certain laws (for example, those relating to money laundering and tax fraud) give power to authorities such as the police or the tax authorities to inspect clients’ information and take copies of documents. It is possible that, at any time, we may be requested by those authorities to provide them with access to your information in connection with the work we have done for you. If this happens, we will comply with the request only to the extent that we are bound by law and, in so far as it is allowed, we will notify you of the request or provision of information.

In certain circumstances, solicitors are required by statute to make a disclosure to the National Crime Agency where they know or suspect that a transaction may involve a crime including money laundering, drug trafficking or terrorist financing. If we make a disclosure in relation to your matter, we may not be able to tell you that a disclosure has been made.

We may transfer personal data to a successor firm or company which acquires the legal practice carried on by us. If this happens, we shall ensure that you are notified of the transfer and we shall secure a commitment from the firm or company to which we transfer personal data to comply with applicable data protection laws.

INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS  

We may share employee personal data with third-party service providers from time to time for the purposes set out in this Notice. This may involve transferring your data outside the European Economic Area (“EEA).

Whenever we transfer your personal data out of the EEA, we have security measures in place to seek to ensure that your personal information receives an adequate level of protection.

9.  DATA SECURITY  

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, consultants, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

10.  DATA RETENTION  

FOR HOW LONG WILL YOU RETAIN MY PERSONAL DATA?  

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. Following the end of our engagement we will retain your information:

  • to enable us to respond to any queries, complaints or claims made by you or on your behalf; and
  • to the extent permitted for legal, regulatory, fraud and other financial crime prevention and legitimate business purposes.

After this period, when it is no longer necessary to retain your personal data, we will securely delete or anonymise it in accordance with our data retention policy. Further details regarding our data retention policy can be obtained from us using the contact set out in the last section of this notice.

11.  YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS  

Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data. You have the right to:

Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.

Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.

Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.

Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios:

  • If you want us to establish the data’s accuracy.
  • Where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it.
  • Where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims.
  • You have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.

Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.

Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact us.

NO FEE USUALLY REQUIRED  

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we could refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.

WHAT WE MAY NEED FROM YOU  

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.

TIME LIMIT TO RESPOND  

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it could take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.

12.  CONTACT DETAILS  

If you have any questions about this privacy notice or our privacy practices, please contact us in the following ways:

Full name of legal entity: Hamilton Downing Quinn LLP

Email address: law@hamd.co.uk

Postal address: Ruskin House, 40/41 Museum Street, London WC1A 1LT

Telephone number: +44 (0)20 7831 8939

You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (www.ico.org.uk). We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.

 

 

They are always able to work to our often demanding schedule and provide great value and a professionalism that other firms would do well to match.

Martin Nathan, Chairman, Peppercorn Group of Companies