Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for Clients

for

Fortress Law Limited

GDPR compliant

 

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.

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 Fortress Law Limited- company number 0923005 and SRA number 637181.
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 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 number

·       Information to enable us to check and verify your identity, eg your date of birth or passport details

·       Electronic contact details, eg your email address and mobile phone number

·       Information relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representation

·       Information to enable us to undertake a credit or other financial checks on you

·       Your financial details so far as relevant to your instructions, eg the source of your funds if you are instructing on a purchase transaction

 

·       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 relevant

·       Your 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 matter

·       Details of your pension arrangements, eg if you instruct us on a pension matter or in relation to financial arrangements or pension trusts

 

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, 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 professionals;
  • via our information technology (IT) systems, e.g. case management, document management and time recording 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
  • 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
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
·       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, 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 delivery 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 information

·       To 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 delivery 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 contract

·       To 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 obligations

·       For 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 standards

To 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.

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 sell OR share it with other organisations for marketing purposes.

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

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:

  • professional advisers who we instruct on your behalf or refer you to, eg barristers, medical professionals, accountants, financial advisors, tax advisors or other experts;
  • other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions, eg your mortgage provider or HM Land Registry in the case of a property transaction or Companies House;
  • credit reference agencies;
  • our insurers and brokers;
  • external auditors, eg in relation to ISO accreditation and the audit of our accounts;
  • our bank;

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 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 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 out of the EEA

To deliver services to you, it is sometimes necessary for us to share your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), eg:

  • with your and our service providers located outside the EEA;
  • if you are based outside the EEA;
  • where there is an international dimension to the matter in which we are advising you.

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. We will, however, ensure the transfer complies with data protection law and all personal data will be secure. Our standard practice is to use standard data protection contract clauses which have been approved by the European Commission.

If you would like further information please contact us (see ‘How to contact us’ below).

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.

 

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:

  • complete a data subject request form—available upon request at enquiries@fortresslaw.co.uk
  • email, call or write to us, 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.

Cookies

Statement on the use of cookies, the analysis of usage data and the use of analysis tools

We use cookies and similar software tools such as HTML5 Storage or Local Shared Objects (together “cookies”) to identify your interests and particularly popular areas of our website and use this information to improve its design. For the same purposes we use the analysis tool Google Analytics; cookies may also be used here.

1. Functions and use of cookies

a) Cookies are small files that are placed on your desktop, notebook or mobile device by a website you visit. From this we can, for example, recognise whether there has already been a connection between your device and our website, or other settings you prefer. Cookies may also contain personal data.

b) By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies.

You can also visit our website without consenting to the use of cookies. This means that you can refuse such use and delete cookies at any time by making the appropriate settings on your device. This is done as follows:

i. Most browsers are pre-set to automatically accept cookies. You can change this setting by activating the setting *do not accept cookies* in your browser.

ii. You can delete existing cookies at any time. You can find out how this works in detail in the instructions of your browser or device manufacturer.

iii. Like the use of cookies, their rejection or deletion is also linked to the device used and also to the browser used in each case. You must therefore reject or delete the cookies separately for each of your devices and, if you use several browsers, also for each browser.

c) If you decide against the use of cookies, it is possible that not all functions of our website are available to you or that individual functions are only available to you to a limited extent.

d) We categorise cookies as follows:

i. Essential

These cookies are absolutely necessary for the functions of the web pages.

ii. Functional

These cookies facilitate the operation and improve the functions of the web pages.

iii. Performance

These cookies collect information about how you use our website.

iv. Third-party cookies

These cookies are set by third parties, e.g. social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

2. Analysis of usage data; use of analysis tools

a) We would like to tailor the content of our website as precisely as possible to your interests. In order to identify usage preferences and particularly popular areas of the website, we use Google Analytics.

b) When using analysis tools, data may be transferred to servers located in the USA and processed there. Please note the following: In the USA, the European Union considers that there is no “adequate level of protection” for the processing of personal data in accordance with EU standards. However, this level of protection can be replaced for individual companies by certification according to the “EU-U.S. Privacy Shield”.

c) If you do not want us to collect and analyse information about your visit to our website using the analysis tool mentioned above, you can object to this at any time with effect for the future (“opt-out”).

We implement your objection by setting an opt-out cookie in your browser.

This cookie is only used to associate your objection. Please note that for technical reasons, an opt-out cookie only works in the browser in which it was set. If you delete the cookies or use a different browser or device, please opt-out again.

d) Below you will find information on the providers of the analysis tool we use and the respective opt-out options:

i. Google Inc. (“Google”):

Google is certified according to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.

You can prevent the transfer of your data and its collection and processing by Google. Google informs about this via the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en.

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org

To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout

To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout

Analytics

Like most websites, We make use of analytics software in order to help us understand the trends in popularity of our website and of different sections. We make no use of personally identifiable information in any of the statistical reports we use from this package. we use an analytics package called Google Analytics who provide details of their privacy policy on the Google website.

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 24 May 2018 and last updated on 24 May 2018.

We may change this privacy policy from time to time to keep up to date with current legislation.

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.

Our contact details are shown below:

Our contact details
Address: Belgrave House

2 Winner Street

Paignton

Devon

TQ3 3BJ

Email: enquiries@fortresslaw.co.uk or mark.lister@fortresslaw.co.uk

Telephone: 01803 896820