Privacy and Cookies

At Charles French & Co Solicitors we take your privacy seriously and this privacy statement explains what personal data or information we collect from you and from people who visit our website and how we use it.  We would encourage you to read the information below.

Who are we?

Charles French & Co Solicitors is a registered company 08151789 and our registered office address is: 9A Fore Street, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 5PX.  We also have offices in Truro, Newquay and Mevagissey. Charles French & Co Solicitors is registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO registration number ZA087173).

What personal data or information do we collect?

We may collect personal data about clients, prospective clients, job applicants, our current and former employees, suppliers, and external experts.  The personal information we collect may include your name, address, email address, IP address, and information regarding what pages you access on this website and when.

How do we collect data or information from you?

We collect personal information about you when you:

  • Instruct us to act on your behalf
  • Make an enquiry or ask for a quote via our website or via the telephone
  • Use our website
  • Enquire about a job opportunity
  • Work for or with the firm
  • Exchange business cards with a member of the firm

How is your information used?

We collect your personal data or information to operate the firm effectively and provide you with a high-quality service.  We may use your information:

  • To deliver legal services to you on your instruction.
  • To answer enquiries that you make prior to any formal instruction.
  • To avoid any conflict of interest as we represent you
  • To process a job application
  • To fulfil our obligations as an employer
  • To provide benefits to you as an employee
  • To adhere to regulations set out by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority
  • To adhere to quality standards as set out under the Lexcel Standard.
  • To maintain security of our office and IT infrastructure
  • To invoice you, and to track payments you make or payments made to you

We believe that all these purposes are justified on the basis of our legitimate interests in running and promoting the firm, our contractual requirements to deliver the agreed legal services to you, and our legal obligations, both as a limited company and responsible employer.   Where we process sensitive personal information in the course of representing you, we do so to assist you and/or your organisation to establish, exercise or defend legal claims. If you would like to know more, please read below:

  • Clients
  • Prospective Clients
  • Job Applicants, Our Current and Former Employees
  • Experts & Counsel
  • Suppliers

Clients

As a client, we will hold the following information about you:

  • Name, date of birth, and contact information.
  • National insurance number
  • Information relating to your legal matter
  • Financial details
  • Identification Documents (e.g. passport / driving license)
  • Demographic information such as postcode
  • Information and documents relating to the service we are providing, including communications with you.
  • Billing and payment information.

We store your information in our practice management system, Insight, which uses secure servers based in our Truro office that are regularly backed up. We also use a conveyancing management system, Redbrick which uses secure servers based in our Truro office, that are regularly backed up. We also hold paper copies of your information in the client matter files, stored in the office location where you are a client. We also store communications with you in our MSOffice suite of products, which use secure servers in the EU. We store your Wills and Deeds in a fireproof safe.

We will retain your client matter file for the duration of our relationship with you, then for a minimum of 6 years after, and depending on the nature of the matter, one of the following maximum retention periods will apply:

  • Sales Files: 6 years
  • Sales & Purchase Files: 16 years
  • Litigation: 6 years
  • Wills & Probate: 6 years after death (of survivor for probate) or 100 years if not notified of death.
  • Lasting Power of Attorney Files: 6 years

We will retain financial records for 6 years, following the end of the current financial year. We will retain minimal personal information about you to enable us to conduct conflict of interest checks as required by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

Prospective Clients

As a prospective client, we may hold the following information about you:

  • Name, date of birth, and contact information.
  • National insurance number
  • Brief information relating to your legal matter
  • Demographic information such as postcode
  • Signposting information we may have provided to you if we are unable to provide you with a service

We store your information in our practice management system, Insight, which uses secure servers based in our Truro office that are regularly backed up.  We also hold paper copies of your information in a quote file, which transfers to your client file upon your instruction or which we destroy after 1 year after the quote if you choose not to instruct us. The quote file is stored at the office location where the solicitor who provided the quote is based.

Communications with you relating to your initial enquiry may also be stored in our MSOffice Suite of products, which uses servers based in the EU. We will retain minimal personal information about you to enable us to conduct conflict of interest checks as required by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

Job Applicants

When you apply for a job with us, we may hold the following information about you:

  • Name, date of birth, and contact information.
  • Information relating to your qualifications and experience
  • Demographic information such as postcode
  • References where we take them up
  • Information and documents relating to the review, interview and selection process, including communications with you.

We store your information on our secure servers based at our Truro office, which is backed up regularly, and in hard copy in a secure filing cabinet in the same office.  We will retain your personal data relating to the review, interview and selection process for a period of 6 months after the interview date.

Please note, if you send a speculative CV to the Firm, we will review your suitability and retain it for 12 months from date of receipt, if no vacancies are available at the point you send it to us.

Current and Former Employees

When you work for us, we may hold the following information about you:

  • Name, date of birth, and contact information
  • National insurance number and Unique Tax Reference (UTR)
  • Information relating to your qualifications and experience
  • Demographic information such as postcode
  • Information and documents relating to your performance and supervision as an employee of the firm, including communications with you
  • Your photograph, including Passport and Driving Licence
  • Financial information, such as bank details, pension scheme and salary details
  • Information about your next of kin
  • Health information
  • Car Registration number (Truro office only)

We store your information on our secure servers based at our Truro office, which is backed up regularly, and in hard copy in a secure filing cabinet in the same office.   We will also store communications with you on our MSOffice Suite of products, which uses servers based in the EU.

Our public website includes a gallery of staff photographs, which we believe helps to engage with prospective clients and fosters an approachable reputation in our local communities. You have the choice of whether or not you wish for your photograph to be included in this gallery and we will ask you as part of your induction. The photograph will be removed as you leave the firm and you can withdraw your consent at any time.

We will retain your personal data for the duration of your employment and for a period of 6 years after you leave the firm.  We share your information with HMRC, our payroll provider, our accountants, and our chosen pension / benefits providers.

External Experts & Counsel

When you work with the firm as an external expert or counsel, we may hold the following information about you:

  • Name and business contact information.
  • Information relating to your qualifications and experience, if relevant
  • Demographic information such as postcode
  • Information and documents relating to your areas of expertise, including our communications with you.

We store your information on our secure servers based at our Truro office, which is backed up regularly. We will also store communications with you on our MSOffice Suite of products, which uses servers based in the EU. We will retain your information for the duration of our relationship with you, and you are available to be selected.

Suppliers

When you work with the firm as a supplier, we may hold the following information about you:

  • Name and business contact information.
  • Information relating to your qualifications and experience, if relevant
  • Demographic information such as postcode
  • Information relating to your business activities
  • Information and documents relating to the services or products you offer, including our communications with you.
  • Financial information

We store your information on our secure servers based at our Truro office, which is backed up regularly. We will also store communications with you on our MSOffice Suite of products, which uses servers based in the EU. We will retain your information for the duration of our relationship with you and for 7 years after the last purchase we made with you.

Who has access to your information?

We do not sell or rent your personal data or information to any third party or share your information with third parties for their marketing purposes.

We will disclose your data or information if required by law, for example by a court order or for the prevention of fraud or other crime.

We may pass information about your matter to other parties as required to provide legal services to you.  For example, we will need to provide information to other law firms involved in the conveyancing process as part of the service we deliver to you.

We may pass your information on to third party service providers for the purposes of completing a task or providing services to you on our behalf. However, we disclose only the personal information necessary to deliver that service and have a contract in place that requires them to keep your information secure and not to use it for other purposes.

We currently use an external provider to enable you to request a quote via our website. They cannot use your details for any other purposes or to contact you directly if you use this service. We will only contact you directly to follow up on the quote if you have given your consent in the quote builder process.

Transfers outside of the European Economic Area

Your personal information in the European Economic Area (EEA) is protected by data protection laws, but other countries do not necessarily protect your personal information in the same way.  The EEA covers all countries in the EU plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. We do not transfer your personal data outside of the EEA.

Your rights

You have certain rights over the processing of your personal information by Charles French & Co Solicitors These are:

  • The right to be informed, which is what this privacy policy is for
  • The right to access the data we hold about you
  • The right to object to direct marketing
  • The right to object to processing carried out on the basis of legitimate interests
  • The right to erasure (in some circumstances)
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to have your data rectified if it is inaccurate
  • The right to have your data restricted or blocked from processing

We do not undertake direct marketing activities, so you will not receive such information from us.

How you can update your information

The accuracy of your information is important to us.  If you change your contact details or if you want to update any of the information we hold on you, please email us at: dataprotection@charlesfrenchlaw.co.uk or by post at: 9A Fore Street, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 5PX.

How you can access your personal information

You have the right to ask for a copy of the personal information Charles French & Co Solicitors hold relating to you. To do this please contact dataprotection@charlesfrenchlaw.co.uk or by post at: Data Protection Manager, 9A Fore Street, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 5PX. You may also request your information verbally in person at the same address or via telephone: 01726 67660

You also have the right to lodge a complaint about our processing of your personal data with the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office

Keeping your data secure

When you give us personal information we take steps to ensure that it’s treated securely and strive to protect it on our internal systems.

Contacting us via email

We use Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt and protect email traffic in line with government standards. If your email service does not support TLS, you should be aware that any emails we send or receive may not be protected in transit.

We will also monitor any emails sent to us, including file attachments, for viruses or malicious software. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send is within the bounds of the law.

Visitors to our Website

Cookies

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit.  They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

Cookies provide information about individuals’ usage of the website, which may identify you as the same individual even if we do not know your name, we can identify location, IP address and device information. As such, we make sure you have a choice about the cookies that are placed on your device for our statistical purposes by Google Analytics, which help us to understand more about the ways in which people use our website. We would appreciate it if you opt-in to accept these cookies when the website asks you, as it will help us to improve it over time.

To see details about the cookies we use, or to update your cookie preferences, please use the button below:

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings.  To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.aboutcookies.org or www.allaboutcookies.org.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites run by other organisations. This privacy policy applies only to our website‚ so we encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit. We cannot be responsible for the privacy policies and practices of other sites even if you access them using links from our website.

In addition, if you linked to our website from a third-party site, we cannot be responsible for the privacy policies and practices of the owners and operators of that third-party site and recommend that you check the policy of that third party site.

More questions?

To contact Charles French & Co Solicitors with a data protection query regarding the processing of your personal data, please email dataprotection@charlesfrenchlaw.co.uk

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. When we make changes, we will notify affected individuals and where changes are significant, we will send a copy of the updated policy for your reference.

This privacy notice was last updated on 5 February 2020.