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Our Privacy Policy


Watson Legal takes your privacy very seriously. We ask that you read this Privacy Policy carefully as it contains important information on who we are and how and why we collect, store, use and share your personal data. It also explains your rights in relation to your personal data and how to contact us or supervisory authorities in the event you have a complaint.


When we use your personal data we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal data for the purposes of the GDPR. Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, the GDPR, other relevant UK and EU legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.


Key terms


It would be helpful to start by explaining some key terms used in this policy:


We, us, our Watson Legal LimitedOur data protection officer Sarah Watson sarah.watson@watson-legal.com
Personal data Any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual
Special category personal data Personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs or trade union membership
Genetic and biometric data

The personal data we will collect about you


During the course of advising and/or acting for you we will collect the following personal information from you:


•   Your name, address and telephone number

•   Information to enable us to check and verify your identity, e.g. your date of birth or passport details

•   Electronic contact details, e.g. your email address and mobile phone number

•   Information relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representation

•   Information to enable us to undertake a credit or other financial checks on you

•   Your financial details so far as relevant to your instructions, e.g. the source of your funds if you are instructing on a purchase transaction or for financial disclosure for the divorce process

•   Information about your use of our IT, communication and other systems, and other monitoring information


The personal data we may collect about you


During the course of advising and/or acting for you we may collect the following personal information from you:


•   Your National Insurance and tax details

•   Your bank and/or building society details

•   Details of your professional online presence, e.g. LinkedIn profile

•   Details of your spouse/partner and dependants or other family members, e.g. if you instruct us on a family matter or a will

•   Your employment status and details including salary and benefits, e.g. if you instruct us on matter related to your employment or in which your employment status or income is relevant

•   Your nationality and immigration status and information from related documents, such as your passport or other identification, and immigration information

•   Details of your pension arrangements, e.g. if you instruct us on a pension matter or in relation to financial arrangements following breakdown of a relationship

•   Your employment records including, where relevant, records relating to sickness and attendance, performance, disciplinary, conduct and grievances (including relevant special category personal data), e.g. if you instruct us on matter related to your employment or in which your employment records are relevant

•   Your racial or ethnic origin, gender and sexual orientation, religious or similar beliefs, e.g. if you instruct us on discrimination claim

•   Your trade union membership, e.g. if you instruct us on discrimination claim or your matter is funded by a trade union

•   Personal identifying information, such as your hair or eye colour or your parents’ names, e.g. if you instruct us to incorporate a company for you

•   Your medical records


This personal data is required to enable us to provide our service to you. If you do not provide personal data we ask for, it may delay or prevent us from providing services to you.


How your personal data is collected


We collect most of this information from you. However, we may also collect information:


•   from publicly accessible sources, e.g. Companies House or HM Land Registry;

•   directly from a third party, e.g.:

sanctions screening providers;

credit reference agencies;

client due diligence providers;

•   from a third party with your consent, e.g.:

your bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor;

consultants and other professionals we may engage in relation to your matter;

your employer and/or trade union, professional body or pension administrators;

your doctors, medical and occupational health professionals;

•   via our website—we use cookies on our website (for more information on cookies, please see our Cookies Policy)

•   via our information technology (IT) systems, e.g.:

case management, document management and time recording systems;

reception logs;

automated monitoring of our websites and other technical systems, such as our computer networks and connections, CCTV and access control systems, communications systems, email and instant messaging systems.


How and why we will use your personal data


Under data protection law, we can only use your personal data if we have a proper reason for doing so, e.g.:


•   to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;

•   for the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract;

•   for our legitimate interests or those of a third party; or

•   where you have given consent.


A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use your information, so long as this is not overridden by your own rights and interests.


The table below explains what we use (process) your personal data for and our reasons for doing so:


What we use your personal data for Our reasons
To provide legal services to you For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract. Conducting checks to identify our clients and verify their identity. Screening for financial and other sanctions or embargoes Other processing necessary to comply with professional, legal and regulatory obligations that apply to our business, e.g. under health and safety regulation or rules issued by our professional regulator.
To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
Gathering and providing information required by or relating to audits, enquiries or investigations by regulatory bodies. To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
Ensuring business policies are adhered to, e.g. policies covering security and internet use. For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to make sure we are following our own internal procedures so we can deliver the best service to you.
Operational reasons, such as improving efficiency, training and quality control. For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to be as efficient as we can so we can delivery the best service for you at the best price.
Ensuring the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information. For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to protect our intellectual property and other commercially valuable information. To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
Statistical analysis to help us manage our practice, e.g. in relation to our financial performance, client base, work type or other efficiency measures. For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to be as efficient as we can so we can delivery the best service for you at the best price.
Preventing unauthorised access and modifications to systems. For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to prevent and detect criminal activity that could be damaging for us and for you. To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
Updating and enhancing 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 our legitimate interests or those of a third party, e.g. making sure that we can keep in touch with our clients about existing and new services.
Statutory returns To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
Ensuring safe working practices, staff administration and assessments. To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, eg to make sure we are following our own internal procedures and working efficiently so we can deliver the best service to you.
Marketing our services and those of selected third parties to: —existing and former clients; —third parties who have previously expressed an interest in our services; —third parties with whom we have had no previous dealings. For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to promote our business to existing and former clients.
Credit reference checks via external credit reference agencies.For our legitimate interests or a those of a third party, i.e. for credit control and to ensure our clients are likely to be able to pay for our services.
External audits and quality checks, e.g. for Lexcel, ISO or Investors in People accreditation and the audit of our accounts.For our legitimate interests or a those of a third party, i.e. to maintain our accreditations so we can demonstrate we operate at the highest standards. To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.

The above table does not apply to special category personal data, which we will only process with your explicit consent.


Promotional communications


We may use your personal data to send you updates (by email, text message, telephone or post) about legal developments that might be of interest to you and/or information about our services, including exclusive offers, promotions or new services.


We have a legitimate interest in processing your personal data for promotional purposes (see above ‘How and why we use your personal data’). This means we do not usually need your consent to send you promotional communications. However, where consent is needed, we will ask for this consent separately and clearly.


We will always treat your personal data with the utmost respect and never sell OR share it with other organisations outside Watson Legal Limited for marketing purposes.


You have the right to opt out of receiving promotional communications at any time by:


•   contacting us by emailing compliance@watson-legal.com or by calling 01279 466910

•   using the ‘unsubscribe’ link in emails or ‘STOP’ number in texts


We may ask you to confirm or update your marketing preferences if you instruct us to provide further services in the future, or if there are changes in the law, regulation, or the structure of our business.


Cookies and other information-gathering technologies

Our website uses cookies. Cookies are text files placed on your computer to collect standard Internet log information and visitor behaviour information. These cookies allow us to distinguish you from other users of the website which helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site.


For more information on which cookies we use and how we use them, see our Cookies Policy.


Who we share your personal data with


We routinely share personal data with:


•   professional advisers who we instruct on your behalf or refer you to, e.g. barristers, medical professionals, accountants, tax advisors or other experts;

•   other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions, e.g. your mortgage provider or HM Land Registry in the case of a property transaction or Companies House;

•   credit reference agencies;

•   our insurers and brokers;

•   external auditors, e.g. in relation to ISO or Lexcel accreditation and the audit of our accounts;

•   our bank;

•   external service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, e.g. typing services, marketing agencies, document collation or analysis suppliers.


We only allow our service providers to handle your personal data if we are satisfied they take appropriate measures to protect your personal data. We also impose contractual obligations on service providers relating to ensure they can only use your personal data to provide services to us and to you.


We may disclose and exchange information with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.


We may also need to share some personal data with other parties, such as potential buyers of some or all of our business or during a re-structuring. Usually, information will be anonymised but this may not always be possible. The recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations.


We will not share your personal data with any other third party.


Where your personal data is held


Information may be held at our offices, third party agencies, service providers, representatives and agents as described above (see ‘Who we share your personal data with’).


Some of these third parties may be based outside the European Economic Area. For more information, including on how we safeguard your personal data when this occurs, see below: ‘Transferring your personal data out of the EEA’.


How long your personal data will be kept


We will keep your personal data after we have finished advising or acting for you. We will do so for one of these reasons:


•   to respond to any questions, complaints or claims made by you or on your behalf;

•   to show that we treated you fairly;

•   to keep records required by law.


We will not retain your data for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this policy. Different retention periods apply for different types of data. Further details on this are available in our Data Retention Policy.


When it is no longer necessary to retain your personal data, we will delete or anonymise it.


Transferring your personal data out of the EEA


To deliver services to you, it is sometimes necessary for us to share your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), eg:


•   with your and our service providers located outside the EEA;

•   if you are based outside the EEA;

•   where there is an international dimension to the matter in which we are advising you.


These transfers are subject to special rules under European and UK data protection law.


Your rights


You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge:


Access The right to be provided with a copy of your personal data (the right of access)
Rectification The right to require us to correct any mistakes in your personal data
To be forgotten The right to require us to delete your personal data—in certain situations
Restriction of processing The right to require us to restrict processing of your personal data—in certain circumstances, e.g. if you contest the accuracy of the data
Data portability The right to receive the personal data you provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and/or transmit that data to a third party—in certain situations
To object The right to object: —at any time to your personal data being processed for direct marketing (including profiling); —in certain other situations to our continued processing of your personal data, eg processing carried out for the purpose of our legitimate interests.
Not to be subject to automated individual decision-making The right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing (including profiling) that produces legal effects concerning you or similarly significantly affects you

For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, please contact us or see the Guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.


If you would like to exercise any of those rights, please:


•   complete a data subject request form or

•   email, call or write to us or Sarah Watson our Data Protection Officer—see below: ‘How to contact us’; and

•   let us have enough information to identify you (e.g. your full name, address and client or matter reference number);

•   let us have proof of your identity and address (a copy of your driving licence or passport and a recent utility or credit card bill); and

•   let us know what right you want to exercise and the information to which your request relates.


Keeping your personal data secure


We have appropriate security measures to prevent personal data from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed unlawfully. We limit access to your personal data to those who have a genuine business need to access it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.


We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.


We have put in place the following security procedures and technical and organisational measures to safeguard your personal information:


•   All electronic data is held within the UK

•   All email communication is encrypted to industry standard

•   Regular backups of electronic data are held at more than one secure location within the UK

•   Access to our systems operate with multiple levels of security, such as passwords and technology

•   Data transmitted to and from our systems is subject to inspection and filtering through technology such as firewalls and similar tools

•   Our systems are subject to security review by a Certified Forensic Investigations Practictioner,7Safe Computer Forensics Analysis Certification


We will use all reasonable efforts to safeguard your personal information. However, you should be aware that the use of the Internet is not entirely secure and for this reason we cannot guarantee the security or integrity of any personal information which is transferred from you or to you via the Internet.


If you want detailed information from Get Safe Online on how to protect your information and your computers and devices against fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other online problems, please visit www.getsafeonline.org. Get Safe Online is supported by HM Government and leading businesses.


How to complain


We hope that our Data Protection Officer can resolve any query or concern you may raise about our use of your information.


The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the European Union (or European Economic Area) state where you work, normally live or where any alleged infringement of data protection laws occurred. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at https://ico.org.uk/concerns or telephone: 0303 123 1113.


Updating and correcting your information


We want to ensure that your personal data is accurate and up to date. If any of the information that you have provided to Watson Legal Limited changes, for example if you change your email address or name, please let us know the correct details.


Changes to Privacy Policy


This Privacy Policy was published on the 22nd May 2018. We keep our Privacy Policy under regular review. If we change our Privacy Policy we will inform you either by writing to you or by updating our website.


How to contact Watson Legal


If you would like to contact us with any queries or comments please send an email to compliance@watson-legal.com or send a letter to Compliance, Watson Legal Limited, Office B, The Dutch Barn, Old Park Farm, Ford End, Essex, CM3 1LN.


Links to other websites

Our website contains links to other websites. This Privacy Policy applies only to this website so when you access links to other websites you should read their own privacy policies.