Watson Woodhouse Limited is a firm of solicitors authorised and regulated by the SRA. Our sister company, Macks Solicitors Limited is also authorised and regulated by the SRA. Both companies operate under a shared ownership structure, however we have safeguards in place to prevent your private information being shared between the companies without your express consent.
We may refer you to Macks Solicitors Limited if you have a legal problem which falls within their area of expertise, however it will be your choice whether to take up this referral.
We are registered with the Information Commissioners Office under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). We attach a document outlining the rights this legislation grants you in relation to your personal data, how they relate to the way we handle your data and how you can exercise those rights with us.
What information we collect about you
We collect personal data about you in relation to the matter(s) where you have instructed us to act on your behalf. This information will be obtained either directly from you or under your specific authority and will consist of the information needed for us to conduct your case and correspond with you about your case.
We also request your consent to hold and process your personal data for marketing purposes. This marketing data will be limited to your contact details and matters which you have informed us that have an interest in.
Why we need your personal data
In order for us to carry out the work which you have instructed us, we need to be able to correspond with you and to obtain any information relevant to the matter. We will only seek to obtain the personal data that is necessary for your matter.
We are also required to carry out certain regulatory checks which require your personal data; these checks are dependent upon the type of matter you have instructed us in relation to and we will provide you with full details of the checks relevant to your matter.
As such, we will be processing your personal data on the basis of the contract you are entering into with us. Without access to your personal data we will be unable to act in relation to your matter.
It is important to us that all your information is accurate and up to date. Please contact us immediately if you believe any information we hold about you is inaccurate and we will correct or remove that information accordingly.
How we will use your personal information
We will use your personal data to conduct legal work on your behalf and in relation to the retainer which you have agreed with us.
We will keep your personal information confidential except where we are required to disclose it by law or to comply with a regulatory or legal process or in furtherance of your instructions.
We do not carry out any automated decision making or profiling using your personal data.
Who we may share your personal information with
In carrying out your instructions we may need to discuss your case with third party professionals, such as experts, barristers or other professional advisers. We will provide you with details of this at any point where it becomes necessary in conducting your matter.
In addition, where you have instructed us in relation to a conveyancing matter and we act for you and your lender, we have a duty to fully reveal all relevant facts about that matter to your lender and/or HMRC.
We may, from time to time, utilise external service providers (for example IT specialists) who may have access to some of your personal data to provide their services. These providers are required to provide a confidentiality agreement.
We are subject to periodic checks by Law Society approved consultants and/or assessors. These will have provided the firm with confidentiality agreements and may select your file for checking. If you have any objection to your file being checked, please notify us immediately and your file will be marked accordingly. This will not affect the way your case is handled in any way.
We do not transfer any personal information outside of the EU.
How long will we keep your data for?
We retain personal data for different periods of time depending upon the type of data. This is in order that we have the ability to deal with any queries or issues which may arise following the completion of your matter. These periods have been decided on the basis of the periods when an issue may arise and/or be capable of resolution.
In the case of matter files, the period starts from the end of the matter, unless the matter was conducted on behalf of a client under the age of 18 in which case the retention period will start from their 18th birthday. The standard period of retention for our matter files is 7 years, however certain file types are retained for a longer period as shown in the table below:-
Type of Data
|ID documents||Retained with the matter file|
|Conveyancing purchase matter file||12 years|
|Matrimonial matter file||15 years|
|Family Law children matter files||7 years from 21st birthday of youngest child|
|Wills, probate & trust matter files||100 years|
In accordance with our client care documentation, if you have provided us with copies of ID documents, we will retain them with the matter file unless you instruct us otherwise at the outset of your matter.
From time to time we would like to send you information about our services and changes in the law which we believe may affect or interest you from both ourselves and our sister firm Macks Solicitors Ltd. We do not share information with any third party for marketing purposes.
If you are happy for us to contact you with updates and offers we will ask for signed consent as part of case opening.
If we do not receive this confirmation from you we will assume you do not wish to receive offers and updates and will remove you from our marketing database.
If you do not wish us to contact you for marketing purposes, this will not affect the way in which we handle your matter.
If you believe that we have not complied with our professional obligations, including in relation to data protection, then you are entitled to report the matter to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (the SRA). They can be contacted by post at SRA Report, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN, by telephone on 0370 606 2555 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are also able to report any concerns you have in relation to data protection to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) by telephoning 0303 123 1113.