Hedges Law Limited respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy notice will tell you about how we look after your personal data when our clients instruct us to act on your behalf or on behalf of your organisation and tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you. We are registered with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a data controller under registration number Z2535487.
Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it. By visiting Hedges Law you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy.
Please use the Glossary at the end of this privacy notice to help you understand the meaning of some of the terms we have used in this privacy notice.
Important information and who we are
Purpose of this privacy notice
This privacy notice aims to give you information on how Hedges Law collects and processes your personal data through your use of this website, including any data you may provide us when you instruct us to act on your behalf.
It is important that you read this privacy notice together with any other privacy notice or fair processing notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal data about you so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your data. This privacy notice supplements the other notices and is not intended to override them.
Hedges Law Limited is the controller and responsible for your personal data (collectively referred to as “Hedges Law”, “we”, “us” or “our” in this privacy notice).
We have appointed a data privacy manager, who is responsible for overseeing questions in relation to this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact the data privacy manager using the details set out below.
Our full details are:
|Full name of legal entity:||Hedges Law Limited|
|Name or title of data privacy manager:||Director of Legal Services|
|Email address:||[email protected]|
|Postal address:||16 Market Place, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 0AE|
|Telephone Number:||01491 839839|
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.
Changes to the privacy notice and your duty to inform us of changes
This version was last updated in July 2020. Historic versions are available on request.
It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please tell us if your personal data changes at any time during your relationship with us.
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 which we have grouped together follows:
- Personal Data includes first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier, national insurance number marital status, title, date of birth and gender.
- Identity Data includes documents such as your passport, driving licence, utility bills or national identity card
- Contact Data includes your address, email address and telephone numbers.
- AML Data this includes identity data listed above and data to support the financial information relating to your transaction such as source of purchase funds, income/employment/self-employment details and information about your bank accounts
- Financial Data includes bank account and payment card details. In addition, credit history and records relating to you, your partner or anyone else you are financially linked with (we obtain this information from credit reference and fraud prevention agencies).
- Matter Data includes information about the legal work on which you seek an estimate of cost or quote, in relation to which we have provided you an initial consultation (whether or not we charge you for that initial consultation), or you instruct us, any advice we give you about any matter, details about payments to and from you and other details of the services and/or advice we provide you.
- Technical Data includes internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access our website or other online platforms or services we make available to you.
- Profile Data includes the type and nature of the matter in relation to which you have instructed us, your preferences, feedback and survey responses.
- Usage Data includes information about how you use our products and services.
- Marketing and Communications Data includes your preferences in receiving marketing from us and your communication preferences.
- Special Categories of Personal Data includes details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about criminal convictions and offences, information about your health and genetic and biometric data.
We do not generally process such information unless you have voluntarily provided this to us, or it is relevant to the legal service you have asked us to provide you with.For example, in Family & Matrimonial matters, or where you have advised us of an issue, such as your health, which could mean that you may be classed as a “vulnerable client” i.e. due to your personal circumstances or personal characteristics you are particularly vulnerable to financial detriment.We will process sensitive information where you have provided this information to us and have agreed that we can use this information to deliver products and services to you.Where possible we shall seek to minimise the collection and use of such special categories of personal data.
We also collect and use Aggregated Data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data may be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your Profile Data to calculate the percentage of our clients that instruct us in relation to one matter type then instruct us in relation to another matter type. However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy notice.
If you fail to provide personal data
Where we need to collect personal data by law, under the terms of our contract (including under our client care letter) we have with you or where we require them to comply with your instructions and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter into with you (for example, to provide you with services). In this case, we may have to terminate our contract with you and decline to accept further instructions from you. We will notify you if this is the case at the time.
How is your personal data collected?
We use different methods to collect data from and about you including through:
Direct interactions. You may give us your Identity, Contact, AML, Matter and Financial Data by filling in forms, in meetings with you or by corresponding with us by post, phone, email or otherwise. This includes personal data you provide when you:
- have a telephone conversation with us;
- have a video call meeting with us;
- send us an email, letter, fax or other correspondence;
- we meet with you (whether before or after you instruct us);
- give us your instructions or correspond with us about your matter;
- you use our website, interact with our social media accounts or other technology we make available to you;
- request marketing to be sent to you; or
- give us some feedback (for example by completing a feedback form or survey).
- Third parties or publicly available sources
- Automated technologies. We use external checking systems to verify your identity and carry out anti-money laundering and ‘know your client’ checks.
As you interact with our website, we may automatically collect Technical Data about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns. We collect this personal data by using cookies, server logs and other similar technologies.
Third party or publicly available sources. We may collect personal data about you from various third parties and public sources as set out below:
- Technical Data from analytics providers such as Google (who are based outside the EU);
- Contact, Financial and Transaction Data from providers of technical, payment delivery services;
- Identity, Contact, AML and Matter Data from third party search providers.
- Identity, Contact, AML and Matter Data from third parties such as estate agents, accountants, surveyors, banks or other financial institutions, medical professionals, courts, regulatory bodies, government agencies, advisors or other specialists related to your matter.
- Identity, Contact and Matter Data from our client or other parties involved in the same dispute or transaction with our client or have a connection with our client (such as a employee, agent, consultant, sub-contractor, tenant, landlord or other third party) in relation to that dispute or transaction.
- Identity and Contact Data from publicly available sources such as HM Land Registry. Companies House and the Electoral Register
How we use your personal data
We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:
- where we need to provide legal services to you and perform the contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you;
- 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;
- where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation; and
The lawful basis on which we will rely to process your personal data is set out below.
Generally, we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data other than in relation to sending third party direct marketing communications to you via email or text message, or requesting consent to record a video meeting for compliance and training purposes. You have the right to withdraw consent to marketing at any time by following the steps listed in paragraph 5.4. In the limited circumstances where we may rely upon consent, we will specifically obtain this in the course of collecting the data.
Purposes for which we will use your personal data
We have set out below, in a table format, a description of all the ways we plan to use your personal data, and which of the legal bases we rely on to do so. We have also identified what our legitimate interests are where appropriate.
Note that we may process your personal data for more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data. Please see paragraph 11 if you need details about the specific legal ground, we are relying on to process your personal data where more than one ground has been set out in the table below.
|Purpose/Activity||Type of data||Lawful basis for processing including basis of legitimate interest|
|To contact you, or send you information, about a request that you have made about the services we offer||(a) Identity(b) Contact(c) Matter||(a) Contractual obligation to provide you with, or a proposal including a costs estimate and information on the services you have requested|
|To register you as a new client||(a) Identity(b) Contact(c) AML||(a) Performance of a contract with you(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation|
|To provide our clients with legal services and compliance with the Conveyancing Quality Scheme||(a) Identity(b) Contact(c) Financial(d) Matter||(a) Performance of a contract with you(b) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to be able to provide our services to our clients)|
|To process your instructions and deliver legal services to you including:(a) Manage payments, fees and charges(b) Collect and recover money owed to us||(a) Identity(b) Contact(c) Financial(d) Matter(e) Marketing and Communications(f) AML||(a) Performance of a contract with you(b) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to recover debts due to us)|
|To process your instructions and deliver legal services to you or other clients||(a) Special Categories of Data||(a) Necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.(b) You have made the information public.(c) Necessary for reasons of substantial public interest e.g. to undertake activities in relation to the prevention or detection of fraud or other unlawful or dishonest activities.(d) Necessary to protect your vital interests or someone else’s vital interests(e) Where you have given us explicit consent to do so.|
|To comply with our statutory and regulatory obligations (including our duty to carry out conflict checks in relation to matters on which we are instructed with by you or other clients), To prevent, investigate and prosecute crime, fraud and money laundering||(a) Identity(b) Contact(c) MatterAML||(a) Necessary to comply with a legal and regulatory requirements|
|To request feedback on the legal services we have provided to you, enable you to partake in a competition or complete a survey||(a) Identity(b) Contact(c) Profile(d) Usage(e) Marketing and Communications||(a) Performance of a contract with you(b) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to study how customers use our products/services, to develop them and grow our business)|
|To administer and protect our business (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data)||(a) Identity(b) Contact(c) Technical||(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our business, making our systems and processes more efficient, provision of administration and IT services, network security, to prevent fraud and in the context of a business reorganisation or group restructuring exercise)(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation|
|To deal with a query or complaint you have made about us or the legal services we have provided to you||(a) Identity(b) Contact(c) Financial(d) Matter(e) Marketing and Communications(f) AML||(a) Performance of a contract with you(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation(b) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to comply with our professional duties and to protect and manage our reputation)|
|To make suggestions and recommendations to you about services that may be of interest to you, give you updates on the law that we think might interest you||(a) Identity(b) Contact(c) Technical(d) Usage(e) Profile||Necessary for our legitimate interests (to develop our products/services and grow our business)|
|To contact you about, and book you on to, an event or other activity that we are organising, have organised or in which we are taking part.||(a) Identity(b) Contact(c) Technical(d) Usage(e) Profile||Necessary for our legitimate interests (to develop our products/services and grow our business)|
|For auditing purposes, including maintaining accreditations such as CQS,||(a) Identity(b) Contact(c) Matter||To comply with our legitimate interest to conduct audits|
Marketing and promotional offers from us
We may use your Identity, Contact, Technical, Usage, Matter and Profile Data to form a view on what we think you may want or need, or what may be of interest to you. This is how we decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you (we call this marketing).
You will receive marketing communications from us if you have consented to us sending such information to you, where you have initially consented you may withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us.
We will get your express opt-in consent before we share your personal data with any other company for marketing purposes.
You can ask us or third parties to stop sending you marketing messages at any time by following the opt-out links on any marketing message sent to you or by emailing [email protected] at any time.
Where you opt out of receiving these marketing messages, this will not apply to personal data provided to us as a result of your instructions to us in relation to any matter on which you instruct us.
Change of purpose
We will only use your personal data 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 you wish to get an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact the data privacy manager.
If we need to use your personal data 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 data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.
Disclosures of your personal data
We may have to share your personal data with the parties set out below for the purposes set out in the table in paragraph 4 above.
- External Third Parties as set out below:
- Service providers acting as processors who provide IT and system administration services. Some of the information you provide to us may be transferred to, stored and processed by third party IT platform (including cloud based platforms) both in the UK and EEA and outside the EEA.
- Search providers acting as processors or joint controllers who provide information that is relevant to our clients matter such as property search providers and company search providers. This will include credit reference agencies who check your identity in accordance with our legal obligations.
- Other organisations or professional advisers with whom we are working on our client’s matter, to whom we refer our client for additional advice or advice outside our areas of expertise or who our client instructs us to instruct on their behalf.
- Lenders from whom our client is borrowing, or has borrowed, money or to whom our client is giving or has given security (such as a legal charge or mortgage).
- Process servers who we instruct to serve documents on our behalf or on behalf of our clients.
- Our client and/or any other party involved in a dispute or transaction in relation to which we are instructed.
- Any attorneys our client appoints or have been appointed by our client or a third party under a lasting power of attorney or any other attorney.
- Professional advisers acting as processors or joint controllers including solicitors, barristers, bankers, accountants, auditors and insurers who provide consultancy, banking, legal, insurance, auditing and accounting services whether to you, our client or us.
- Our professional indemnity insurers.
- Government departments such as HM Revenue & Customs, Companies house, Probate Registry, Court of Protection or HM Land Registry
- Other authorities (including regulatory authorities) courts, tribunals, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Law Society other authorities or competent regulatory bodies acting as processors or joint controllers based in the United Kingdom.
- Third parties to whom we may choose to sell, transfer, or merge parts of our business or our assets. Alternatively, we may seek to acquire other businesses or merge with them. If a change happens to our business, then the new owners may use your personal data in the same way as set out in this privacy notice.
We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.
Some of our external third parties are based outside the European Economic Area (EEA) so their processing of your personal data will involve a transfer of data outside the EEA.
Whenever we transfer your personal data out of the EEA, we ensure a similar degree of protection is afforded to it by ensuring at least one of the following safeguards is implemented:
- We will only transfer your personal data to countries that have been deemed to provide an adequate level of protection for personal data by the European Commission. For further details, see European Commission: Adequacy of the protection of personal data in non-EU countries.
- Where we use certain service providers, we may use specific contracts approved by the European Commission which give personal data the same protection it has in Europe. For further details, see European Commission: Model contracts for the transfer of personal data to third countries.
- Where we use providers based in the US, we may transfer data to them if they are part of the Privacy Shield which requires them to provide similar protection to personal data shared between the Europe and the US. For further details, see European Commission: EU-US Privacy Shield.
Please contact the data privacy manager if you want further information on the specific mechanism used by us when transferring your personal data out of the EEA.
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, 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.
How long will you use my personal data for?
We will only retain your personal data 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.
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.
We obtain your consent at the outset to retain all documentation required to fulfil AML obligations for the same duration as we retain the file. The same applies to any video calls recorded.
Details of retention periods for different aspects of your personal data are available in our retention policy which you can request from us by contacting our data privacy manager using the details set out at the beginning of this policy.
In some circumstances you can ask us to delete your data: see Request erasure below for further information.
In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes in which case we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you.
Your legal rights
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: (a) if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) 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; or (d) 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 services to you or carry out your instructions. 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 our data privacy manager using the details set out at the beginning of this policy.
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 may 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 may 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.
Legitimate Interest means the interest of our business in conducting and managing our business to enable us to give you the best service/product and the best and most secure experience. We make sure we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative) and your rights before we process your personal data for our legitimate interests. We do not use your personal data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you (unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted to by law).
Performance of Contract means processing your data where it is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party or to take steps at your request before entering into such a contract.
Comply with a legal or regulatory obligation means processing your personal data where it is necessary for compliance with a legal or regulatory obligation to which we are subject.