policies

Privacy Policy
Who are we?

Michael Butler of Butler & Co. Solicitors is a sole practitioner and is a ‘controller’ under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. Michael Butler is the data protection officer of the firm.

Whose data do we hold?

We may hold data about the following people:

Employees
Clients
Suppliers and service providers
Advisers, consultants and other professional experts
Complainants and enquirers

What data will we collect?

We will only collect information from you that is relevant to the matter that we are dealing with. In particular we may collect the following information from you which is defined as ‘personal data’:

Personal details
Family, lifestyle and social circumstances
Financial details
Business activities of the person whose details we are processing

Special categories

We may also collect information that is referred to as being in a ‘special category’. This could include:

Physical or mental health details
Racial or ethnic origin
Religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature
Criminal convictions
Sexual orientation

Basis for processing

The basis on which we process your personal data is one or more of the following:

It is necessary for us to undertake work to represent our clients
It is necessary for us to comply with a legal obligation
It is in our legitimate interests to do so
We have been given consent (this can be withdrawn at any time by advising our data protection officer)

How will we use your data?

We may use your information for the following purposes:

Provision of legal services including advising and acting on behalf of clients
Maintaining accounts and records
Supporting and managing staff

Who will we share information with?

Under our Code of Conduct there are very strict rules about who we can share information with and this will normally be limited to employees and other people who will assist with cases. This may include:
Staff
Barristers
Medical experts
Healthcare professionals, social and welfare organisations
Courts and tribunals

Where we are authorised we may also disclose information to client’s family, associates or representatives.

How long will we keep information for?

We will normally keep information throughout the period of time that we do work for clients and afterwards for a period of six years as we are required to do by law and also by the regulations that apply to us.
In some cases (for example if a client or any party to or subject of the proceedings is under the age of 18 years) we may retain information for a longer period and we will advise of this at the time.
More information is set out in our data retention policy.

Security arrangements

We shall ensure that all the information provided to us is kept secure using appropriate technical and organisational measures
We are subject to Lexcel which is the Law Society’s Standard for excellence in practice management and client care and data will be kept in accordance with that standard
In the event of a personal data breach we have in place procedures to ensure that the effects of such a breach are minimised and shall liaise with the ICO and with those affected as appropriate

What rights do clients have?

Under the GDPR subjects whose data we hold have the following rights:

Right to be informed
Right of access
Right to rectification
Right to erasure
Right to restriction of processing
Right to data portability
Right to object

Right of access

Clients and staff have a right to see the information we hold about them
To access this they need to provide a request in writing to our data protection officer, together with proof of identity
We will usually process a request free of charge and within 30 days, however we reserve the right to charge a reasonable administration fee and to extend the period of time by a further two months if the request is manifestly unfounded or vexatious and/or is very complex
Full details are available in our data subject access policy which is available on request from the data protection officer.

Right to erasure

Subjects have a right to ask us to erase their personal data in certain cases (details may be found in Article 17 of the GDPR)
We will deal with such a request free of charge and within 30 days but reserve the right to refuse to erase information that we are required to retain by law or regulation, or that is required to exercise or defend legal claims
To exercise the right to erasure the subject should contact our data protection officer.

Who can subjects complain to?

If anyone is unhappy about how we are using their information or how we have responded to a request then initially they should contact the data protection officer Michael Butler, Butler & Co Solicitors, 5 Heron Gate, Hankridge Way, Taunton, TA1 2LR.

If their complaint remains unresolved then they can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, details available at www.ico.org.uk

Data retention policy
1. What data do we collect?

We only collect information from you that is relevant to the matter that we are dealing with. In particular, we may collect the following information which is defined as “Personal Data”.

Personal identity data including first name, last name, user name, marital status, title, date of birth and gender.
Contact data including billing address, delivery address, home address, email address and telephone numbers.
Family, lifestyle and social circumstances.
Financial data including bank account and payment card details.
Any business activities of the person whose details we are processing.

We may also collect information that is referred to as being in a “Special Category”. This could include:

Physical or mental health details.
Racial or ethnic origin.
Religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature.
Criminal convictions.
Sexual orientation.

2. How we collect information

You may give us information by completing forms or by corresponding with us by telephone, text message, email or post or via our website or otherwise by any electronic means.

3. Retaining your data

We will normally keep your information throughout the period of time that we do work for you and afterwards for a period of six years, as we are required to do by law and also by the regulations that apply for to us, for fraud prevention or insurance requirements.

In some cases (for example, if you or any party to or subject of the proceedings is under the age of 18 years, we may retain your information for a longer period and we will advise you of this at the time.

4. How we keep your information secure

We will ensure that all the information you provide to us is kept secure using appropriate technical and organisational measures
We are subject to Lexcel, which is the Law Society’s Standard for Excellence in Practice Management and Client Care.
In the event of a personal data breach, we have in place procedures to ensure that the effects of such a breach are minimised, and shall liaise with the ICO and you as appropriate.
More information is available from the Data Protection Officer, who is Michael Butler.

Data subject access policy
1. Introduction

Under the General Data Protection Regulation, you have the following rights:

Right to be informed
Right of access
Right to rectification
Right to erasure
Right to restriction of processing
Right to data portability
Right to object
Rights concerning automated decision making and profiling

2. Right of access

You have the right to access your personal data and supplementary information. This allows you to be aware of, and to verify the lawfulness of, the processing.

3. What information are you entitled to?

You have the right to obtain

Confirmation that your data is being processed
Access to your personal data
Other supplementary information

4. Why do you have the right of access?

The reason for allowing you to access your personal data is so that you are aware of and can verify the lawfulness of the processing.

5. How much will be charged for subject access request?

We will provide a copy of the information free of charge. However, a “reasonable fee” will be charged when a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.

You may also be charged a reasonable fee to comply with requests for further copies of the same information.

The fee will be based on the administrative cost of providing the information.

6. How long will it take to comply with the request?

We must provide information requested without delay and at the latest within one month of receipt.

This period can be extended by up to a further two months where requests are complex or numerous. In that event, you will be informed within one month of the receipt of the request, together with an explanation of why the extension is necessary.

7. If the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive

Where requests are manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if they are repetitive, we can either charge a reasonable fee taking into account the administrative costs of providing the information or refuse to respond.

If we refuse to respond to a request, we will explain why and inform you of your right to complain to the supervisory authority and to a judicial remedy without undue delay and at the latest within one month.

8. How will the information be provided?

We must verify the identity of the person making the request. You will therefore be requested to provide relevant identification documentation, details of which will be supplied at the time the request is made. If the request is made electronically, you should provide the information in a commonly used electronic format.

Complaints
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If the issue cannot be resolved and you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure here. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

You can raise your concerns with theSolicitors Regulation Authority

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint
and
No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.

Contact details

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.

E-mail: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ