Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy explains:

  • how we collect and use your information;
  • how you can tell us if you prefer to limit the use of that information; and
  • the procedures that we have in place to safeguard your privacy.

Introduction

We take your privacy very seriously. Please 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 EU General 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.

Solicitors have overriding duties to the Courts, and of Client Confidentiality which go beyond the terms of this policy statement. Please contact us for any elucidation required.

Key terms

In this privacy policy:

‘Athena Law’, ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’ means:Athena Solicitors LLP, Athena Solicitors LLP is a limited liability partnership whose registered office is at Greg’s Building, 1 Booth Street, Manchester, M2 4DU and whose registered company number is OC386748, who is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA number 608168
‘EEA’ meansEuropean Economic Area
‘GDPR’ meansGeneral Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 and any amending regulations thereto.
‘Personal Data’ meansAny information relating to an identified or identifiable individual
‘Special Category Personal Data’ meansPersonal Data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs or trade union membership;
Genetic and biometric data; or
Data concerning health, sex life or sexual orientation
‘Our Data Protection Officer’ meansMr Paul Willan, Athena Solicitors LLP, Greg’s Building, 1 Booth Street, Manchester, M2 4DU (or his appointed deputy).

Personal Data we collect about you

The table below sets out the Personal Data we will or may collect in the course of advising and/or acting for you

Personal Data we will collect
Your name, address and telephone number
Information to enable us to check and verify your identity, eg your date of birth or passport details
Electronic contact details, eg 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, eg the source of your funds if you are instructing on a purchase transaction
Personal Data we may collect depending on why you have instructed us
Your National Insurance and tax details
Your bank and/or building society details
Details of your professional online presence, eg LinkedIn profile
Details of your spouse/partner and dependants or other family members, eg if you instruct us on a family matter or a will
Your employment status and details including salary and benefits, eg 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, eg if you instruct us on an immigration matter
Details of your pension arrangements, eg. 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), eg 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, eg if you instruct us on discrimination claim
Your trade union membership, eg if you instruct us on a discrimination claim or your matter is funded by a trade union (or opposed by a trade union)
Personal identifying information, such as your eye colour or your parents’ names, eg if you instruct us to incorporate a company for you
Your medical records, eg if we are acting for you in a discrimination claim

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 this information from you directly. However, we may also collect information:

  • From publicly accessible sources eg:

    • Companies House;

    • HM Land Registry;

    • Intellectual Property Office;

    • National Crime Agency

  • Directly from a third party eg:

    • Sanctions screening providers;

    • Credit reference agencies;

    • Client due diligence providers.

  • From a third party with your consent, eg:

    • 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 information technology (IT) systems, eg:

    • Case management, document management and time recording systems;

    • Door entry systems and 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 use your Personal Data

Under data protection law, we can only use your Personal Data if we have proper reason for doing so, eg:

  • To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations (eg. money laundering compliance);

  • 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 interest.

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 youFor the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract
To identify you and verify your identityScreening for financial and other sanctions or embargoesTo comply with professional, legal and regulatory obligations that apply to our business, eg under health and safety regulation or rules issued by our professional regulatorTo comply with our legal and regulatory obligations (especially money laundering and proceeds of crime checks).
To gather and provide information required by or relating to audits, enquiries or investigations by regulatory bodiesTo comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
To ensure business policies are adhered to, eg policies covering security and internet useFor our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to make sure we are following our own internal procedures so we can deliver the best service to you
To improve efficiency, training and quality controlFor our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to be as efficient as we can so we can delivery the best service for you at the best price
To ensure the confidentiality of commercially sensitive informationFor our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to protect our intellectual property and other commercially valuable informationTo comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
To help us manage our practice and improve our client offering to you, eg in relation to our financial performance, client base, work type or other efficiency measures.For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to be as efficient as we can so we can delivery the best service for you at the best price
To prevent unauthorised access and modifications to systemsFor our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to prevent and detect criminal activity that could be damaging for us and for youTo comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
To update and enhance our client recordsFor the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contractTo comply with our legal and regulatory obligations For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, eg making sure that we can keep in touch with you about existing and new services which may be of benefit to you or your business
To send any statutory returns legally requiredTo comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
To ensure safe working practices, staff administration and assessmentsTo 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

To promote our services and to events and those of selected third parties which we think may be of benefit to you or your business.

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to promote our client services and so that we can provide the best service for your at the best price
To carry out credit reference checks via external credit reference agenciesFor our legitimate interests or a those of a third party, ie for credit control and to ensure our clients are likely to be able to pay for our services, and afford them
To carry out external audits and quality checks, eg for Lexcel, ISO or Investors in People accreditation and the audit of our accountsFor our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to maintain our accreditations so we can demonstrate we operate at the highest standards and to improve our client servicesTo 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 services, including exclusive offers, promotions or new services or products.

We have a legitimate interest in processing your Personal Data for promotional purposes (see above at ‘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 of Athena Law for marketing purposes.

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

  • Contacting us by email 

  • Responding to subscription emails asking to unsubscribe from our services

  • 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.

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, eg barristers, medical professionals, accountants, agencies used in mounting and running class actions for groups of clients, tax advisors or other experts or expert witnesses;

  • Other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions (eg your mortgage provider or HM Land Registry in the case of a property transaction or Companies House);

  • Our group companies (which are predominantly trust companies);

  • Credit reference agencies;

  • Our insurers and brokers;

  • External auditors, eg in relation to ISO accreditation and the audit of our accounts;

  • Our banks;

  • External service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, eg typing services, marketing agencies, document collation or analysis suppliers;

  • Suppliers of file storage and destruction services.

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.

Where your Personal Data is held

Information may be held at our offices and those of our group companies, third party agencies, service providers, representatives and agents as described above (see above: ‘Who we share your Personal Data with’).

Some of these third parties may (unusually) be based outside the EEA. 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 for up to 6 years 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.

Data is normally only retained electronically, and charges may apply for physical retention or retrieval.

Transferring your Personal Data out of the EEA

To deliver services to you, it is sometimes (albeit rarely) necessary for us to share your Personal Data outside the EEA eg:

  • With offices outside the EEA;

  • 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

If you require the services of our Hong Kong office, we may need to transfer your Personal Data to our Hong Kong office to carry out your instructions. Please note that Hong Kong does not have the same data protection law. We have systems in place to ensure that your personal data is secure.

If you would like further information, please contact us – see below ‘How to contact us’.

Your rights

You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge, subject to such a request being manifestly unfounded or excessive:

  • Access: the right to be provided with a copy of your Personal Data

  • 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, eg if you contest the accuracy of the data

  • Data portability: The right to receive the Personal Data your provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and/or transmit that data to a third party – in certain situations.

  • The right to object to:

    • 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 legitimated 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 these 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:

  • Write to us – see below: ‘How to contact us’.

Let us have enough information to identify you (eg 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

We reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee of £10 for administrative costs and/or to refuse to act on your request if your request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, in particular because of its repetitive character.

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it could take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have a number of requests. In this case, we will keep you updated.

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.

All information we collect is subject to our internal data protection policies. Our partners and staff are trained in data protection principles.

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.

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 we can resolve any query or concern you may raise about our use of your information.

The GDPR also gives you right to lodge a complain with a supervisory authority in particular in the European Union or EEA 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 or telephone 0303 1223 1113

We have notified the Information Commissioner’s Office that we process Personal Data.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

This privacy policy was published on [TBC] and last updated on 11 April 2019.

We may change this privacy policy from time to time, when we do we will inform you via our website.

This privacy policy must be read in conjunction with the website terms and, if you are one of our valued clients, our terms of business. The latest changes. amended the privacy policy to comply with GDPR.

How to contact us

Please contact us by post, email or telephone if you have any questions about this privacy policy or the information we hold about you.

Our contact details:

Athena Solicitors LLP
Greg’s Building
1 Booth Street
Manchester
M2 4DU

Our Data Protection Officer’s contact details:

Mr Paul Willan

Email: paul.willan@athlaw.co.uk

We welcome your views about our website and our privacy policy. If you have any queries or comments, or if any of the information that you have provided to Athena changes, please contact us.

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