When we use personal information about you or others in connection with providing our legal services to clients we do so as a data controller.
We will process personal information we receive directly from you, on your behalf, other organisations with whom you have dealings, government agencies, publicly available records and the third parties described in ‘How we share the information’ below.
We may collect current and historical personal information including/relating to: your name, contact details, identification, ethnic origin, marital status, employment/business, finances, academic history and criminal offences/convictions (this is non-exhaustive which depends on the circumstances).
We may use your personal information if:
Special categories of particularly sensitive personal information require higher levels of protection. We need to have further justification for collecting, storing and using it.
Depending on the nature of our instructions, we may collect, store and use any of the following special categories of information about clients, prospective clients and/or about related parties to a matter:
Depending on the nature of our instructions from you, we process this type of information where it is necessary to establish, exercise or defend your immigration status (including legal claims), where you have made the information public, or by asking for explicit consent. If we seek your consent, you may withdraw consent at any time as described in ‘Your choices and rights’ below.
We may not be able to do these things without your personal information.
We recognise that it is important to only retain your personal information for as long as is required by law (which is currently 6 years) or we consider reasonably necessary, after which we will destroy it. Due to the nature of immigration services, a full record of information obtained from you, third parties and advice provided by us shall not be retained longer than 15 years unless you request that it be erased. This is because we consider that it is in your best interests that we retain a full history of data which may be relevant to future matters you instruct us to deal with. Such data can also be relevant to your immigration position should there be any dispute with the authorities or for us to be able to provide you with a record should you misplace important immigration documents/information. If you would like us to rectify or erase your data please refer to the section on ‘Your choices and rights’ below.
We may share your information with third parties where:
Where we transfer your information internationally we will take reasonable steps to ensure that your information is treated securely and the means of transfer provides adequate safeguards.
If you have any questions in relation to the transfer of your personal information please contact us.
We take steps to hold information securely in electronic or physical form and to prevent unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Our information security practices are supported by a number of security safeguards, processes and procedures. We store information in access controlled premises or in password protected electronic form. We require our third party IT providers to comply with appropriate information security obligations. All staff and third party providers with access to confidential information are subject to confidentiality obligations. However, the transmission of information via the internet is at your own risk as it is not completely secure. We cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us but can offer a secure portal for the exchange of electronic information. We are regularly reviewing ways to improve our security offering as technology develops.
Subject to applicable laws, you may have certain rights regarding information that we have collected and that is related to you. We encourage you to contact us to update or correct your information if it changes or if you believe that any information that we have collected about you is inaccurate. You can also ask us to see what personal information we hold about you, to erase your personal information and you may tell us if you object to our use of your personal information. If you would like to discuss or exercise the rights you may have, please contact us. In the UK, you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), but we would prefer you to contact us first. We should be able to resolve any matter quickly and to your satisfaction.
If you would like to contact us with questions about our privacy practices, please send us an email via our Contact page or contact Angela Cole on 01473 229820.
If you are a data controller or a data processor
If you are a data controller or a data processor in your own right, and you provide personal data to us, you confirm to us that you have a lawful basis for doing so under data protection law and all necessary consents, where required.