What information do we collect about you?
If you decide to choose Bell & Craig, Solicitors for your legal services, we will collect basic contact details from yourself including telephone numbers and email addresses, and ask to see identification so as to verify your identity and fulfil our anti-money laundering obligations.
Depending on the nature of the service being conducted, we may need additional information from you, such as your date of birth, marital status, national insurance number, bank account details, and country of residence.
How do we collect this information about you?
If you are a new client to the firm, then we will provide you with an information sheet or work through a sheet with you. We will also obtain information from written and verbal instructions. The information we ask for will vary according to the services we are conducting for you.
How will we use the information about you?
The information we collect about you will only be used to deliver the services agreed upon, the data we collect will allow us to fulfil your requests by acting on your behalf. Personal data is only ever disclosed to a third party as a matter of necessity, either;
- To provide an aspect of our services
- As a legal requirement
- Because you have asked us to do so
To provide your services we must process the information we have collected about you. The following list is not exhaustive, but identifies many of the ways in which we process your data in the course of business. We may use your personal data to:
- Communicate with you
- Establish funding
- Verify source of funds
- Verify your identity
- Obtain insurance policies on your behalf
- Seek advice from third parties, such as legal experts
- Respond to an allegation of negligence against us
- Keep a record of your transactions and the transactions we make on your behalf
- Process your legal transaction, such as:
- Preparing documents
- Completing transactions
- Providing you with advice
Personal data entered through our property mailing list will be used to send you the information you specify when completing the form. This information will not be used for any other purposes.
You can find more information on how and why we share your data with third parties in the ‘who has access to your information?’ section below.
Under what lawful basis is your data being processed?
GDPR specifies that we must inform you of our lawful basis for processing your personal information. Our lawful basis varies in accordance with the service we are conducting for you. Some examples of the lawful basis’ we use are provided below:
- Property Sales & Purchases – Legitimate Interest
- Executry Work – Legitimate Interest
- Preparing Wills & Powers of Attorney – Legitimate Interest
Our court department operates on several different lawful bases according to the services conducted and the development of the case. As such, the lawful basis for court services cannot be ascertained until the service is being conducted.
If you have any questions regarding how your information is being processed, please contact us.
Who has access to your information?
Your information will be accessible to the partners, departments and employees at MHD Law.
In the process of carrying out your legal work we may have to disclose some of your information to third parties. We have data protection compliancy contracts in place with those third parties we use regularly and, when your personal data is provided to them, we ensure that they do not use your personal information for anything other than the services required.
Providing third parties with this information allows us to do the following:
- Register a property
- Ask an independent legal advisor for advice
- Translate material
- Manage contractors and suppliers
- Converse with solicitors acting on the other side of a transaction
- Provide Court and Tribunal services
- Value your property
Personal information provided during the course of business will not be used for marketing purposes, and we will not share or sell your information with third parties for marketing purposes.
How do we keep your data safe?
We utilise computer safeguards to keep your information protected, including:
- Data encryption software
- Two-factor authentication
- Firewall software
- Anti-malware software
- Secure email software
- Penetration testing
We have strict policies in place to protect personal data from alteration, misuse, loss or destruction and all data is handled and processed confidentially and in accordance with data protection policies and GDPR legislation.
Physical items are filed and stored in locked cabinets, and sensitive items are stored in our secure vault. Controls are in place to prevent physical access to the building from anyone other than a member of staff.
How long do we keep your data for?
Your personal data will be kept for the length of time necessary to complete our service for you, the duration of which will vary according to the service being attended to.
When the matter is complete, we keep your personal data in accordance with Law Society of Scotland guidelines, the details of which follow:
|Service type||Data kept for|
|Guardianship||10 years after the end of the guardianship|
|Divorce and consistorial||5 years after completion (e.g. after maintenance, residence and contact orders, etc., have ceased to have effect, or children have reached majority)|
|Civil court||10 years after completion|
|Executry||10 years after completion (although an Executry may never be complete. Relevant documents and papers might be sent to the Executor for safekeeping since prior rights and legal rights only prescribe if not claimed in 20 years after becoming enforceable)|
|Continuing trust||10 years after termination of trust|
|Conveyancing||10 years after completion, or 1 year after sale|
|Company work||10 years after completion|
|Endowment/investment||Until policy has matured|
|Simple debt collection||On completion (i.e. after the time for appeal has elapsed)|
|Solemn cases||Duration of the sentence if more than three years|
|Summary cases||3 years (a copy of the complaint or indictment and a copy of the legal aid certificate should be kept indefinitely)|
|Sale||1 year after completion (i.e. after implementing Letter of Obligation; dealing with any funds retained; and after Missives have ceased to have effect)|
|Other correspondence files||5 years after completion of the business|
|Money Laundering / Customer Due Diligence Records||6 years plus 1 (see Regulation 19 of The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and Rule B6.1.1.)|
It is important to note that your data may be kept longer than the dates specified above if there is a legitimate reason for doing so, for example, a file may be retained to provide material for an adequate defence in the event of a claim.
Wills and related documentation may be kept indefinitely, this also applies to deeds relating to unregistered properties as they may be needed as evidence of ownership.
What are your rights?
The new GDPR legislation grants you further rights over your data than in the previous Data Protection Agreement. You have the right to:
- Have your personal information rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete
- To have your personal information deleted
- To restrict the processing of your personal information
- To obtain details of the personal information we hold about you
- To ask us not to contact you for marketing purposes and/or withdraw your consent to direct marketing at any time
If you would like a copy of your personal data, would like us to stop processing your data, would like to erase your data, would like us to correct data that is inaccurate or incomplete, or would like to be removed from our property mailing list then please contact our Data Protection Department via the methods below:
Phone: 01786 470444
Bell & Craig, Solicitors,
4 Albert Place,
Stirling, FK8 3DZ
Please note that we may charge a reasonable fee where a SAR request is manifestly unfounded or excessive.
How do I make a complaint?
If you wish to make a complaint regarding how we have handled your personal data, then please contact our Data Protection Department at firstname.lastname@example.org who will investigate further.
If you continue to believe that we are not processing your personal data in in line with the law, then complaints can be made by contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office on their helpline: 0303 123 1113.