You my have seen a great deal of kerfuffle in the press and online about ‘GDPR’, which to all intents and purposes is a stiff reminder to businesses that we must ensure that when we get information about someone that it is kept safely and only retained for as long as it is needed. Rest assured, Cooper & Co never sell personal information to anyone!
What is personal information
(A) It includes things such as your name, address, telephone number and email and we may have these details if you attend a seminar or if you have asked to be on our mailing list. (B)If you are a client who has instructed us to advise and/or represent you (including if you are referred to us as a member of Doglaw SOS from Doglaw Ltd), then in addition to the information in (a) we are likely to hold a great deal more information about you.
Where do we get this personal information from
We may obtain information about you from a number of sources, but the primary way will be from what you have told us and given to us. Other sources (which will vary depending on the kind of case) include third parties such as the Police, CPS, Local Authority, your opponent and/or their lawyer, Doglaw Ltd (if you are a Doglaw SOS member) and witnesses (expert and non expert).
Why do we collect this personal information
The main reasons include:-
- So we can identify you
- So we can effectively communicate with you
- So we can take payment from you
- To keep financial records of our dealings with you
What happens to this personal information
As a firm of Solicitors, we already have a duty of confidentiality to our clients. Generally, your personal information is kept securely at our office or long term storage facility and, subject to the provisions below, is never given to anyone without your prior consent. The occasions on which we would disclose your personal information to a third party include:-
- If we are directed by a Court or if there is some other requirement by law or regulation
- We shall deem that we have your consent if you are a member of Doglaw SOS and have asked for advice and/or representation, in which case it will be provided to Cooper & Co Solicitors and/or a behaviourist.
- We shall deem that we have your consent if you are attending at a seminar in which case it may be provided to the host
- Our book-keeper and accountants
- Our insurers
- If there is an emergency and we believe disclosure is in your interests
We shall use our reasonable endeavours to ensure that no third party uses your personal data that we have provided to them for their own purposes.
How long will we keep your personal information
Your personal information will be stored in paper files and/or on computer. It will be kept as long as necessary and the period will depend on the particular circumstances of the case:-
- We keep financial ledgers and copy bills indefinitely in case this is ever required for auditing / taxation purposes
- Notes for one-off advice calls are likely to be retained for at least six years – although if you are a member of Doglaw SOS we will pass the notes to Doglaw Ltd who are likely to retain the information for as long as you remain a member
- Files for on-going Court cases and advice files will be retained throughout the course of the case and for some time thereafter. We have decided we will retain files for a minimum of 10 years so we have access for a reasonable period should a future need arise eg. If there is a query about the wording of a Court order
We use Facebook and Twitter. If you have chosen to follow us then we regard you as having consented to receive information from us via that method. On occasions, we use Google Ads and boosted Facebook postings but we do not have access to your personal information when you receive information from us in this manner.
We will only have you on our emailing list as an individual if you have provided consent (and you can withdraw consent at any time). We do occasional mailouts and emails to organisations but these do not contain personal information.
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