We take safeguarding online privacy seriously. Please read the following to understand our privacy practices.
From time to time, we may need to change our privacy statement because of changes in our organisation, legislation or in our attempts to serve your needs better. We will use reasonable efforts to publish any changes to our privacy statement.
FC is responsible for collecting, processing, storing and safe-keeping personal and other information as part of providing a service and carrying out our regular business activities. We manage personal information in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and are registered as a Data Controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office Registration Number Z5032981.
We take your privacy rights and the security of your information very seriously. This fair processing notice is supported by a more detailed policy statement which we can send on request.
This policy applies to all personal information collected by FC, our subsidiaries and partners, and contractors acting on our behalf. Individual members of chambers will have their own policies in relation to retention and storage of material.
Collecting, storing and using personal information
Personal information we may collect
The information we may collect about you and others could include, but is not limited to:
- Personal data i.e. name, D.O.B, address
- Proof of ID i.e. passport/driving license
- Material in relation to a case
- Case files / notes
- Application forms in relation to employment opportunities
We will not collect information about you for any purpose other than specified within our contract with you. FC will ensure that the personal information we collect is updated to our systems in a timely and accurate manner.
We may apply markers to your information on our systems to allow us to tailor and deliver services to you and/or if required as we have a need to protect the vital interests of our staff, contractors and customers.
Your rights as a data subject
At any point while we are in possession of or processing your personal data, you, the data subject, have the following rights:
- Right of access – you have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you.
- Right of rectification – you have a right to correct data that we hold about you that is inaccurate or incomplete.
- Right to be forgotten – in certain circumstances you can ask for the data we hold about you to be erased from our records.
- Right to restriction of processing – where certain conditions apply to have a right to restrict the processing.
- Right of portability – you have the right to have the data we hold about you transferred to another organisation.
- Right to object – you have the right to object to certain types of processing such as direct marketing.
- Right to object to automated processing, including profiling – you also have the right to be subject to the legal effects of automated processing or profiling.
- Right to judicial review: in the event that FC refuses your request under rights of access, we will provide you with a reason as to why.
All of the above requests will be forwarded on should there be a third party involved in the processing of your personal data.
Requesting a copy of your personal information
As part of our service to you, we will supply you with copies of specific pieces of information, for example a copy of your rent statement. If you want a copy of information we have received or shared with third parties or a copy of everything we have on record relating to you, you will be required to put this in writing. This is called a ‘subject access request’.
If you make a subject access request, we will provide you with a readable copy of the personal information we hold about you. To make a subject access request you must:
- make your request in writing
- complete the subject access request form
- provide proof of your identity
Please send your request to our Chambers Manager
London EC4A 1LB
How we use your personal information
FC will process your information to respond to your enquiries, provide you with services and manage your relationship with us.
The information is used to:
- Carry out technical administration
- Enable client administration
- Allow the performance of legal services
- Maintain appropriate employee data records. This is usually personal information, name, address, date of birth and national insurance number.
FC may undertake regular reviews of the personal information we hold about you and make changes to any service or information-handling processes within the law or under the guidance of the Information Commissioner. FC only collects or uses personal information for those purposes indicated in our notification with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Who can access to this information?
Staff working for FC or on behalf of FC can access the data that is essential to the performance of their duties. Barrister members at FC can access the data that is essential to the provision of their services.
FC’s Retention Period has been set to 10 years, with the specific exception of pupillage application data, which we retain for 2 years. Individual barristers within Chambers will have their own policies depending on the nature of their practice.
In terms of case documents, case files etc, there are a number of reasons for retaining such beyond the end of a case. These include:
- Case documents may be relevant to an appeal out of time (especially in criminal cases).
- Case documents may contain the results of research into the law, which may be relevant to a current case. Such material will be anonymised.
- Instructions, facts or expert opinions in a previous case may be relevant to a current case. Again, such material will be anonymised.
- Case documents or records may be important when carrying out a conflict search; that is, to prevent a barrister from accepting instructions which create a conflict of interest with another existing or pre-existing client.
- Case documents have to be retained in the event that a complaint is made against a barrister, or a barrister makes a claim against his or her insurers or solicitors. The limitation period for such claims provides guidance as to the period of retention. In addition, an extended retention period may be required where clients are minors.
Destruction of records
When records are identified for disposal, FC’s responsibility is to delete these records in a secure manner. FC use a third party company called Commercial Ltd for disposal of physical material in a safe and secure manner. Details are available upon request.
Applications for Employment at FC
Material in applications for employment with FC will be used to process such applications and to produce and monitor recruitment statistics. References will not be requested without prior permission. FC will not share or disclose such information unless consent has been given or we are required to by law. Where FC is required to carry out a Disclosure, we will comply with the law and individuals’ rights when carrying out these checks.
FC retains personal information relating to unsuccessful applicants for no longer than a year for use in the event of an appeal. We produce statistical information to assist with recruitment analysis. We may collect additional information when an offer of employment is made to the successful applicant. This could include requesting and holding a copy of your passport, national insurance number and in some circumstances a valid driving licence and applicable insurance and MOT documents.
How we share your personal information
We will only share your information with third parties with your consent, but there are occasions where we are required to share your information without your consent due to legal reasons. We may seek your consent directly, or may obtain it by telling you about how your information may be used at the time you provide information or enter a contract (e.g. Direct Access Client Agreement) with us.
Our legal obligations
We will share specific and relevant information with law enforcement and government agencies or public bodies where we are legally required to do so. Examples may include:
- The prevention or detection of crime and fraud
- The apprehension or prosecution of offenders
- The assessment or collection of tax or duty owed to customs and excise
- Sharing in connection with legal proceedings
- Sharing in relation to the physical or mental health of an individual, where disclosure is required to protect them or others from serious harm
- Research and statistical purposes
We may also share your information with emergency services and local authorities, where this is necessary to help them respond to an emergency that affects you.
Keeping your information secure
We store personal information both electronically and in paper form. We implement security policies, processes and technical security solutions to protect the personal information we hold from:
- unauthorised access
- improper use or disclosure
- unauthorised modification
- unlawful destruction or accidental loss.
When you contact us, we may ask you to provide us with some information so that we can confirm your identity. If other people (e.g. family members, support workers, solicitors) act on your behalf, we will take steps to make sure that you have agreed for them to do so. This may include asking them to provide us with supporting information to indicate your consent. We do this to protect you and to make sure that other people cannot find things out about you that they are not entitled to know.
Employees and third parties who have access to, or are associated with the processing of, your personal information will be required to ensure compliance with the GDPR Regulation and make reasonable efforts to safeguard it.
When accessing our website, FC will collect standard internet log information for statistical purposes.
- We do not make any attempt to identify visitors to our websites. We do not associate information gathered from our sites with personally identifying information from any source
- When we collect personal information, for example via an online form, we will explain what we intend to do with it
- Our websites contain links to various third-party websites. We are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of any external websites that are linked from our sites.
Contacting us about your personal information
We will be transparent about what, why and how we collect, use and share your information. Please keep us informed if any of your information changes.
Finding out about the personal information we hold about you
You can ask us whether we are keeping personal information about you by writing to our Chambers Administrator.
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you a number of rights in relation to your personal information. You can find out about your rights, and get further guidance, on the ICO website here.
Questions and complaints
If you are concerned about how we are collecting, using and/or sharing your personal information, you can contact our Chambers Manager (email address above). You can also obtain more information on your rights and our obligations as a Data controller by contacting the Information Commissioner. You can also apply to the Court for compensation for distress and/or damages due to non-compliance of the Data Protection Act.