Client Data Protection Policy
In the course of our acting for you, we may receive information relating to you, your directors, shareholders, beneficial owners, employees, agents, associates and family members. In this Policy, we refer to this information as “personal data”.
This Policy sets out the basis on which we will process this personal data. Please read the Policy carefully to understand our practices regarding personal data and how we will use it.
Stephens & Associates Limited is the controller and responsible for your personal data (referred to as “Stephens & Associates”, “we”, “us” or “our” in this privacy notice).
2. Contact Details
You can contact our Data Privacy Manager at:
Stephens & Associates Limited
11 – 12 Pall Mall
FAO: Data Privacy Manager
3. Changes to the privacy notice and your duty to inform us of changes
This version was last updated on 16 September 2019.
It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.
INFORMATION WE COLLECT
We collect the personal data as necessary to enable us to carry out your instructions, to manage and operate our business and to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
The personal data that we collect includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- your name;
- home and business address;
- contact details (such as telephone numbers and email address);
- date of birth;
- marital status;
- copies of passport, national identity card, driving licence, utility bills, bank statements and similar documents;
- business and professional qualifications and experience;
- immigration status and work permits;
- other personal data contained in correspondence and documents which you may provide to us;
- data from building access controls; and
- information we obtain from our IT and communications monitoring.
If you do not provide any personal data that we ask for and that we need to enable us to carry out your instructions, it may delay or prevent us from providing our services to you.
Where the personal data relates to your directors, shareholders, beneficial owners, employees, agents, associates or family members you confirm that you are authorised to provide this personal data to us. It is not reasonably practicable for us to provide to these individuals the information set out in this Policy. Accordingly, where appropriate, you are responsible for providing this information to any such individuals.
4. How your information is collected
We collect most of this information from you directly. However, we also collect information:
- from publicly accessible sources, (for example, Companies House);
- directly from a third party (for example, client due diligence providers);
- from a third party with your consent (for example, your bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor; or consultants and other professionals you may engage); and
- your employer or professional body.
5. How and why we use your information
Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, data protection laws and our professional duty of confidentiality.
We will only process your personal data if we have a legal basis for doing so, including where:
- processing is necessary for the performance of our contractual engagement with you: this relates to all personal data we reasonably need to process to carry out your instructions;
- processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject: this relates to our legal obligations in relation to, for example, anti-money laundering; and
- processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by us or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms: this relates to our processing for marketing purposes, for our management, accounting and administration purposes and for data security.
The table below further explains the purposes for which Stephens & Associates will use your personal data (excluding sensitive personal data) and our legal basis for doing so:
|Purposes for which we will process the information||Legal Basis for the processing|
|To provide legal professional services to you in connection with your matters.||For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract.|
|To carry out associated administration and accounting in connection with your matters and other processing necessary to comply with our professional, legal and regulatory obligations.||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.
|To comply with our anti-money laundering requirements.||To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.|
|To comply with our internal business policies.||It is in our legitimate interests or those of a third party to adhere to our own internal procedures so that we can deliver an efficient service to you. We consider this use to be necessary for our legitimate interests and proportionate.|
|For operational reasons, such as improving efficiency, training and quality control.||It is in our legitimate interests to be as efficient as we can so we deliver the best service for you.|
|To prevent unauthorised access and modifications to our systems.||It is in our legitimate interests to prevent and detect criminal activity that could be damaging for Stephens & Associates and for you.
To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
|For updating 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 marketing our services.||It is in our legitimate interests to market our services. We consider this use to be proportionate and will not be prejudicial or detrimental to you.|
Where we request personal data to identify you for compliance with anti-money laundering regulations, we shall process such information only for the purposes of preventing money laundering or terrorist financing, or as otherwise set out in this Policy or permitted by law.
Where we rely on legitimate interests as a lawful basis, we will carry out a balancing test to ensure that your interests, rights and freedoms do not override our legitimate interests. If you want further information on the balancing test we have carried out, you can request this from our Privacy Manager.
Where you provide consent, you can withdraw your consent at any time and free of charge, but without affecting the lawfulness of processing based on consent before its withdrawal. You can update your details by contacting our Privacy Manager as provided in “Contact Details” above.
Stephens & Associates will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you in a timely manner and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.
6. Data processing
Stephens & Associates acts as a data controller in relation to the processing of personal data as set in this Policy. However, in some circumstances we may process personal data on your behalf as a data processor for the purposes of data protection laws. Where we process any personal data on your behalf as your data processor, the terms set out in our data processing addendum, a copy of which is available on request from our Privacy Manager, shall apply.
7. Special categories of ("sensitive") personal data
You may also supply us with, or we may receive, special categories of (or “sensitive”) personal data. This is defined by data protection laws to include personal data revealing a person’s racial or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, or data concerning health. We process these special categories of personal data on the basis of one or more of the following:
- where you have given explicit consent to the processing of the personal data for one or more specified purposes;
- where the processing relates to personal data which is manifestly made public by you;
- where the processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims;
- where the processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, in accordance with applicable law.
Such reasons include where the processing is necessary (i) for the purposes of the prevention or detection of an unlawful act or for preventing fraud; (ii) for the provision of confidential advice.
8. Email monitoring
Email which you send to us or which we send to you may be monitored by Stephens & Associates to ensure compliance with professional standards and our internal compliance policies. Monitoring is not continuous or routine, but may be undertaken on the instruction of a partner where there are reasonable grounds for doing so.
9. Third party processors
Our information technology systems are operated by Stephens & Associates but some data processing is carried out on our behalf by a third party (see below Disclosure of Personal data). Details regarding these third party data processors can be obtained from our Privacy Manager whose details are given above.
Where processing of personal data is carried out by a third party data processor on our behalf we endeavour to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to prevent unauthorised
10. Disclosure of personal data
Personal data will be retained by us and will not be shared, transferred or otherwise disclosed to any third party, save as set out in this Policy.
If we are working with other professional advisers in relation to any matter handled by us on your behalf then, unless you instruct us otherwise, we shall assume that we may disclose your information to them.
We disclose and share personal data:
- with Stephens & Associates partners, staff and consultants based in the UK;
- to other professional advisers and third parties in accordance with your instructions;
- to our professional indemnity insurers or brokers, and our auditors, or risk managers who we or they may appoint;
- third party processors, service providers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, including for our IT services, data storage/back-up and marketing;
- if we, acting in good faith, consider disclosure to be required by law or the rules of any applicable governmental, regulatory or professional body.
Certain laws (for example, those relating to money laundering and tax fraud) give power to authorities such as the police or the tax authorities to inspect clients’ information and take copies of documents. It is possible that, at any time, we may be requested by those authorities to provide them with access to your information in connection with the work we have done for you. If this happens, we will comply with the request only to the extent that we are bound by law and, in so far as it is allowed, we will notify you of the request or provision of information.
In certain circumstances, solicitors are required by statute to make a disclosure to the National Crime Agency where they know or suspect that a transaction may involve a crime including money laundering, drug trafficking or terrorist financing. If we make a disclosure in relation to your matter, we may not be able to tell you that a disclosure has been made.
We may transfer personal data to a successor firm or company which acquires the legal practice carried on by us. If this happens, we shall ensure that you are notified of the transfer and we shall secure a commitment from the firm or company to which we transfer personal data to comply with applicable data protection laws.
11. Your rights
Access to your information and updating your information
You have the right to access information which we hold about you. If you so request, we shall provide you with a copy of your personal data which we are processing (“subject access request”). We may refuse to comply with a subject access request if the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive or repetitive in nature.
You also have the right to receive your personal data in a structured and commonly used format so that it can be transferred to another data controller (“data portability”). This right only applies where your personal data is processed by us with your consent or for the performance of a contract and when processing is carried out by automated means.
We want to make sure that your personal data is accurate and up to date. You have the right to have inaccurate personal data rectified, or completed if it is incomplete. We may refuse to comply with a request for rectification if the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive or repetitive.
Right to object
You also have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, at any time to processing of your personal data which is based on our legitimate interests. Where you object on this ground, we shall no longer process your personal data unless we can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your interests, rights and freedoms or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
Your other rights
You also have the following rights under data protection laws to request that we rectify your personal data which is inaccurate or incomplete.
In certain circumstances, you have the right to (i) request the erasure of your personal data erasure (“right to be forgotten”); (ii) restrict the processing of your personal data to processing to which you have given your consent or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or for the protection of the rights of others.
Please note that the above rights are not absolute, and we may be entitled to refuse requests, wholly or partly, where exceptions under applicable law apply. We may refuse a request for erasure, for example, where the processing is necessary to comply with a legal obligation or necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims. We may refuse to comply with a request for restriction if the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive or repetitive in nature.
12. Exercising your rights
You can exercise any of your rights as described in this policy and under data protection laws by contacting our Privacy Manager.
Save as described in this policy or provided under applicable data protection laws, there is no charge for the exercise of your legal rights. However, if your requests are manifestly unfounded or excessive, in particular because of their repetitive character, we may either: (a) charge a reasonable fee taking into account the administrative costs of providing the information or taking the action requested; or (b) refuse to act on the request.
Where we have reasonable doubts concerning the identity of the person making the request, we may request additional information necessary to confirm your identity.
13. Security of your information
We store your information in hard copy and in electronic format. We use industry standard technical and organisational measures to protect information from the point of collection to the point of destruction.
We will only transfer personal data to a third party if it agrees to comply with those procedures and policies, or if it puts in place adequate measures itself.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted over the internet.
14. International transfers
To deliver services to you, it is sometimes necessary for us to transfer and store your personal data outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”) as follows:
- with our service providers located outside the EEA;
- if you are based outside the EEA;
- where there is an international aspect to the matter which we have been instructed on.
Where personal data is transferred to and stored outside the EEA, we take steps to provide appropriate safeguards to protect your personal data, including:
- transferring your personal data to a country, territory, sector or international organisation which the European Commission has determined ensures an adequate level of protection, as permitted under Article 45(1) GDPR;
- entering into standard contractual clauses approved by the European Commission, obliging recipients to protect your personal data as permitted under Article 46(2)(c) GDPR;
- under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework which enables U.S. business to self-certify as a means of complying with EU data protection laws.
In the absence of an adequacy decision or of appropriate safeguards as referenced above, we will only transfer personal data to a third country where one of the following applies (as permitted under Article 49 GDPR)):
- the transfer is necessary for the performance of our contractual engagement with you;
- the transfer is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; or
- you have provided explicit consent to the transfer.
If you want further information on the specific mechanism used by us when transferring your personal data out of the EEA, please contact our Privacy Manager using the details set out above.
15. How long we keep your information
Personal data received by us will only be retained for as long as necessary to fulfil our engagement. Following the end of our engagement we will retain your information:
- to enable us to respond to any queries, complaints or claims made by you or on your behalf; and
- to the extent permitted for legal, regulatory, fraud and other financial crime prevention and legitimate business purposes.
After this period, when it is no longer necessary to retain your personal data, we will securely delete or anonymise it in accordance with our Data Retention Policy. Further details regarding our data retention policy can be obtained from our Privacy Manager whose details are given above.
16. Changes to this policy
We may change this Policy from time to time. The current version of this Policy will always be available from us in hard copy or on our website. We will post a prominent notice on our website to notify you of any significant changes to this Policy or update you by other appropriate means.
This policy was last updated on 16 September 2019.