Your rights, your information and how we use it
McKenzies is committed to protecting your personal information.
Who we are
We are McKenzies Solicitors, a partnership regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.
How to contact us
Information we collect and use
Information we collect includes the following :
- Information about who you are e.g. your name, date of birth and contact details, known as basic information
- Information connected to the service you have requested
- Information about your contact with us e.g. meetings, phone calls, emails / letters
- Information classified as ‘sensitive’ personal information e.g. relating to your health, marital or civil partnership status. This information will only be collected and used where it’s needed to provide the service you have requested or to comply with our legal obligations
- Information you may provide us about other people e.g. joint applicants, dependents, respondents etc
- Information on children e.g. where a child is the subject of a matter. In these cases, we will collect and use only the information required to identify the child (such as their name, age, gender)
Where we collect your information
We may collect your personal information directly from you, from a variety of sources, including:
- phone conversations with us
- emails or letters you send to us
- meetings with one of our solicitors
- client feedback questionnaires to help us understand you better and improve our services
- our online services, such as an online enquiry form from our website
Our Lawful Basis for processing your personal data
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires us to declare on which lawful basis we collect and process your information. We operate on the basis of legitimate interest when communicating with you, and processing your data. We operate on the basis of legal obligation when storing and retaining your data in order to comply with our professional obligations.
Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, current data protection regulations and our duty of confidentiality.
What we collect and use your information for
We take your privacy seriously and we will only ever collect and use information which is personal to you where it is necessary, fair and lawful to do so.
We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes, including:
- Updating and enhancing our records
- Analysis to help us manage our practice
- Legal and regulatory requirements
- In case you require access to information from your file at a later date
- In order to check for a potential conflict when opening another client matter
If you do not wish us to collect and use your personal information in these ways, it may mean that we will be unable to provide you with our services.
Who we may share your information with
We may share your information with third parties during the course of acting for you. These third parties include:
- Barristers instructed to act for you
- Experts required in the preparation of your case
- Your bank, mortgage company, agent in your transaction
- Our regulators and Supervisory Authority e.g. the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, the Legal Aid Agency, the Information Commissioner’s Office for the UK (the ICO)
- Law enforcement, credit and identity check agencies for the prevention and detection of crime
- HM Revenue & Customs
Whenever we share your personal information, we will do so in line with our obligations to keep your information safe and secure.
We will never sell your details to someone else or pass on any of your data to third parties not related to your instructions.
Where your information is processed
Your information is processed in the UK and European Economic Area (EEA).
How we protect your information
We take information and system security very seriously and we strive to comply with our obligations at all times. Any personal information which is collected, recorded or used in any way, whether on paper, online or any other media, will have appropriate safeguards applied in line with our data protection obligations.
Your information is protected by controls designed to minimise loss or damage through accident, negligence or deliberate actions. Our employees also protect sensitive or confidential information when storing or transmitting information electronically and must undertake annual training on this.
Our security controls are aligned to industry standards and good practice; providing a control environment that effectively manages risks to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your information.
How long we keep your information
We will keep your personal information only where it is necessary to provide you with our services while you are a client.
We may also keep your information after this period but only where required to meet our legal or regulatory obligations. The length of time we keep your information for these purposes will vary depending on the obligations we need to meet.
For example, we will usually store your file for six years after we close your file, in line with best practice guidance from the SRA, after which time it will be destroyed.
Your individual rights
You have several rights in relation to how McKenzies uses your information. They are:
Right to be informed
Right of access
You have the right of access to your personal information. If you wish to receive a copy of the personal information we hold on you, including how that information is stored, you may make a data subject access request (DSAR). We are obliged to respond to your request within 30 days and will not charge you for your initial request.
Right to request that your personal information be rectified
If your personal information is inaccurate or incomplete, you can request that it is corrected.
Right to request erasure
You can ask for your information to be deleted or removed if there is not a compelling reason for McKenzies to continue to have it. If we are unable to erase all of your personal data (e.g. where we have a legal or a regulatory obligation to keep it) we will minimise the data, where possible.
Right to restrict processing
You can ask that we block or suppress the processing of your personal information for certain reasons. This means that we are still permitted to keep your information – but only to ensure we don’t use it in the future for those reasons you have restricted.
Right to data portability
You can ask for a copy of your personal information for your own purposes to use across different services. In certain circumstances, you may move, copy or transfer the personal information we hold to another company in a safe and secure way. For example, changing solicitors.
Right to object
You can object to McKenzies processing your personal information where: it’s based on our legitimate interests (including profiling); for direct marketing (including profiling); and if we were using it for scientific/historical research and statistics.
Rights related to automatic decision-making including profiling
You have the right to ask McKenzies to:
- give you information about its processing of your personal information
- request human intervention or challenge a decision where processing is done solely by automated processes
- carry out regular checks to make sure that our automated decision making and profiling processes are working as they should.
How to make a complaint
If you are still unhappy, you can complain to our Supervisory Authority, the Information Commissioners Office.