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Swayne Johnson Solicitors Privacy Policy


This privacy policy applies to clients and prospective clients.

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, the Data Protection Act 2018, other relevant UK and EU legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.

This policy does not apply to:

1. Our employees, workers and contractors; and
2. Job applicants. The way in which we collect and use their personal data is governed by our Recruitment Privacy Policy

Key terms

It would be helpful to start by explaining some key terms used in this policy:

We, us ourSwayne Johnson Limited, 2 Hall Square, Denbigh, LL16 3PA
Our data privacy managerMichael Tree 2 Hall Square, Denbigh, LL16 3PA
Personal dataAny information relating to an identified or identifiable individual
Special category personal dataPersonal 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 collectPersonal data we may collect depending on why you have instructed us
Your name, address, telephone number and marital statusYour National Insurance and tax details
Information to enable us to check and verify your identity, eg your date of birth, passport details and driving licence.Your bank and/or building society details
Electronic contact details, eg your email address and mobile phone numberDetails of your spouse/partner and dependants or other family members, eg if you instruct us on a family matter or a will
Information relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representationYour 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
Information to enable us to
undertake a credit or other financial
checks on you
Details of close associates, mortgages held by you and details of properties owned by you
Your financial details so far as relevant to your instructions, eg the source of your funds if you are instructing on a purchase transactionDetails 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 a 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 a discrimination claim
Your trade union membership, eg if you instruct us on a discrimination claim or your matter is funded by a trade union
Personal identifying information, such as your hair or 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. However, we may also collect information:

  • from publicly accessible sources, eg Companies House, the Electoral Register or HM Land Registry;
  • directly from a third party, eg:
    • sanctions screening providers;
    • credit reference agencies;
    • client due diligence providers; or
    • anti-money laundering 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; or
    • your doctors, medical and occupational health professionals;
  • via our website—we use cookies on our website (for more information on cookies, please see our cookies policy
  • via our information technology (IT) systems, eg:
    • practice management systems, 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 such as our legal obligations in relation to anti-money laundering laws and regulations;
  • for the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract;
  • where this is necessary to protect your vital interests or someone else’s vital interests. This is typically in an emergency;
  • 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.

There may be more than one legal basis for us processing your data depending on the specific particular purpose for which we are doing so. Please refer to the ‘How to Contact us’ section of this policy for our contact details if you need details about the specific legal basis upon which we are relying to process your personal data where more than one ground is set out in the table below.

The table below explains what we use (process) your personal data for and our reasons for doing so:

What we use your personal data forOur reasons
To provide legal services to youFor 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 bodiesTo comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
Ensuring business policies are adhered to, eg policies covering security and internet useFor 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 controlFor 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 informationFor 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 measuresFor 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 systemsFor 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 recordsFor 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 returnsTo comply with our legal and regulatory obligation
Ensuring safe working practices, staff administration and assessmentsTo 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 agenciesFor 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, and the audit of our accountsFor 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
To use data analytics to improve our website, services, marketing, client relationships and experiences For our legitimate interests to define types of users of our events and services, to keep our website updated and relevant and to develop our organisation
Manage payments fees and chargesFor our legitimate interests to carry out credit control and to ensure that our clients are likely to be able to pay for services as well as recover debts due to us

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 it with other organisations for marketing purposes.

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

  • contacting us by emailing Helen Thompson at helent@swaynejohnson.com or writing to Helen Thompson at Swayne Johnson Solicitors, 2 Hall Square, Denbigh, LL16 3PA
  • using the ‘unsubscribe’ link in emails

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, 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, and the audit of our accounts;
  • our bank;
  • external service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient;
  • courts, tribunals and meditators in the case of a litigation matter

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.

We will not share your personal data with any other third party.

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’).

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.

Details of retention periods of different aspects of your personal data are available in our retention policy a copy of which you can request from us by referring to the ‘How to Contact us’ section of this policy for our contact details.

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. If you would like further information, please contact our Data Privacy Manager (see ‘How to contact us’ below).

Your rights

You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge. 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:

Request access to your personal dataThe right to be provided with a copy of your personal data we hold about you
Request rectification of the personal data we hold about youThe right to require us to correct any mistakes in your personal data
Request erasure of your personal dataThe right to require us to delete or remove your personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it
Request restriction of processing of your personal dataThe right to require us to restrict 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 to establish the accuracy of the data; (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 partyThe 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. This right only applies to automated information from which you initially provided consent to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.
To object to processing of your personal dataThe 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 some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.
Not to be subject to automated individual decision-makingThe 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 consentThe right to 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

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; or
  • email, call or write to our Data Privacy Manager —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.

How to complain

We hope that our Data Privacy Manager 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 last updated on 1 st November 2019.

We may need to update this client privacy policy from time to time. If the change is material, we will place a prominent notice on our website or update you by other appropriate means.

Keeping your personal data accurate and up to date

It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and up to date. We may ask you to confirm updates to your personal data from time to time but please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us. Please inform the Data Privacy Manager of any changes in your data.

How to contact us

Please contact our Data Privacy Manager 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 detailsOur Data Privacy Manager’s contact details
Swayne Johnson Solicitors 2 Hall Square, Denbigh, LL16 3PA law@swaynejohnson.com Tel: 01745 812835Swayne Johnson Solicitors 2 Hall Square, Denbigh, LL16 3PA treem@swaynejohnson.com Tel: 01492 550694

Do you need extra help?

If you would like this policy in another format (for example audio, large print, braille) please contact us (see ‘How to contact us’ above).