Privacy Notice

Introduction

This privacy notice contains important information on who we are, the services we provide and how and why we collect, store, use and share personal information during the course of business. It also sets out your rights in relation to your personal information.

Who we are?

Maclaine & Co is a partnership regulated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. During the course of our business including the delivery of legal services to our clients we collect, use and are responsible for certain personal information, in respect of which we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom).  We are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws.

Why we collect and use your personal information?

It is necessary for us to collect and use personal information:

  • To provide contracted legal services in the best way that we can and/or
  • To comply with legal obligations imposed upon us.

Information collected by us

There are two types of personal data that may be provided to us:

Personal data: This is general information such as names, address, gender, dates of birth, contact details, national insurance numbers and financial information.

Special category data: This is, by its nature, more sensitive information and may include information about race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, politics, health, trade union membership, genetics and biometrics.

The type of information we will request will depend upon what type of work we are instructed to do.

In the majority of cases personal data will be restricted to basic information needed to complete identification checks.  Typically, we will need your full name, address, date of birth, e-mail, contact telephone numbers and National Insurance number. We will also request copies of passports, driving licences, utility bills, bank statements and similar to assist in confirming your identity.

If a financial transaction is involved, we will need details to support the funding of the transaction in order to comply with our obligations under Anti-Money Laundering and Law Society Regulations.

Whilst we appreciate that such requests can be intrusive, we are prevented by law from proceeding with your work until these checks have been completed.

Some of the work we do may require us to ask for special category data.  Any such request will require your explicit consent and will only be made if this information is specifically required. In certain cases, we may need to share this information with third parties such as medical professionals. This is only done when there are safeguards in place to ensure that the information remains confidential and secure.

Information obtained from other sources

We may also obtain personal information from third parties in order that we can carry out legal work on your behalf. Typically, these organisations will include banks, building societies, other financial institutions or other firms such as accountants or independent financial advisors. It may also include information received from a medical professional.

How we use your personal information

The primary reason for asking you to provide us with your personal data, is to allow us to represent you and carry out your legal work.

The following are other examples, although not exhaustive, of what we may use your information for:

  • Communicating with you during the matter or transaction
  • Providing you with advice, to carry out litigation on your behalf, to prepare documents or to complete transactions on your behalf
  • Keeping financial records of your transactions and the transactions we make on your behalf
  • Seeking advice from third parties in connection with your matter; such as legal and non-legal experts
  • The detection of fraud
  • Providing you with information about further legal work or services that could benefit you, whilst we are carrying out your work.

Sharing of personal information

Generally, we will only use your information within Maclaine & Co, however, there may be circumstances where we may need to disclose some information to third parties in carrying out your legal work.  For example:

  • Land & Property Services including Land Registry, Registry of Deeds and the Rates Agency
  • Law Searchers
  • Electronic Identity Check platforms
  • HM Revenue & Customs (e.g. for a Stamp Duty Land Tax liability)
  • Companies House
  • Courts or Tribunals
  • Solicitors acting on the other side of a matter or transaction
  • Asking a Barrister for advice or to represent you
  • Non-legal experts to obtain advice or assistance
  • External auditors or our Regulator
  • Banks or Building Societies or other financial institutions e.g. providing you with mortgage finance
  • Estate agents, mortgage brokers and developers and accountants and other professional services firms
  • Insurance companies or brokers
  • Any disclosure required by law

We will not share your personal information with any third party for marketing purposes.

How long your personal information will be kept

Your personal information will be retained for as long as may be necessary:

  • To comply with your instructions
  • To fulfil the purposes for which the information was collected or
  • As is required to be kept by law

We will at a minimum retain all personal information in accordance with the Law Society of Northern Ireland’s Guidelines in force from time to time but thereafter we may at our discretion destroy or delete all or any such information without further reference to you.

In addition:

  • Wills Trusts and related documents may be kept indefinitely
  • Deeds may be kept indefinitely as they evidence ownership
  • Personal injury matters which involve lifetime awards or PI Trusts may be kept indefinitely

Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost or used or accessed in an unauthorised way.

We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know 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.

Your rights

Under the General Data Protection Regulation, you have a number of important rights including:

  • fair processing of your information and transparency over how we use your use personal information
  • access to your personal information and to certain other supplementary information that this Privacy Notice is designed to address
  • requiring us to correct any mistakes in your information which we hold
  • requiring the erasure of personal information concerning you in certain situations
  • receiving copies of the personal information
  • objecting at any time to processing of personal information concerning you for direct marketing
  • objecting to decisions being taken by automated means which produce legal effects concerning you or similarly significantly affect you
  • objecting in certain other situations to our continued processing of your personal information
  • otherwise restricting processing of your personal information in certain circumstances

For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, 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:

  • contact us
  • let us have enough information to identify you (e.g. name, address, contact details)
  • let us have proof of your identity and address (e.g. a copy of your driving licence or passport and a recent utility or bank statement) and
  • let us know the information to which your request relates including any file reference or account numbers, if you have them

If you wish to contact us write to:

Maclaine & Co
Imperial Buildings

72 High Street
Belfast,
BT1 2BE

Or email info@maclaines.co.uk

How to complain

We hope that we can resolve any query or concern you 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 notice

We may change this privacy notice from time to time and the current notice will always be displayed on our website.  Any material changes will be advised to you.

This privacy notice was published on 14th October 2018.

How can we help?

Send us your contact information and one of our team will be in touch to discuss your requirements.

Imperial Buildings,
72 High Street, Belfast BT1 2BE

DX 411 NR Belfast 1

+44 (0)28 9024 3126

© Copyright 2021 Maclaine & Co Solicitors. All Rights Reserved. Privacy policy

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