Privacy policy

Grant Smith Law Practice (GSLP) – Privacy Notice – Client

What we need

GSLP will be a “controller” of the personal information that you provide to us when you instruct us to act on your behalf unless otherwise stated in this privacy notice

When you become a client of GSLP, we will collect, store and use the personal information that you provide to us in your instructions and during the course of our solicitor / client relationship.  We may ask you for additional personal information during the course of our client / solicitor relationship, which shall be collected, stored and used in accordance with this privacy notice.

We also collect, store and use personal information relating to you when you become our client from third parties including financial advisers, Government bodies and agencies in the UK (eg. HMRC, Companies House, Registers of Scotland, The Scottish Legal Aid Board and others), banks and other lenders to enable us to provide legal services to you.

Why we need your personal information – contractual purposes

We need to collect our clients’ personal information so that we can perform legal services for you.  We will use our clients’ personal information to:

  • provide you with legal advice, including by communicating with you by email, letter and/or telephone;
  • represent you as your solicitors in connection with residential and commercial conveyancing transactions, wills and executry work, provision of corporate advice, representation in court and other tribunal proceedings, and other legal services; and
  • respond to and communicate with clients regarding your questions, comments, support needs or complaints, concerns or allegations in relation to any legal services provided; and
  • make applications for legal aid on your behalf.

If you do not provide us with all of the personal information that we need to collect then this may affect our ability to provide you with legal advice and/or represent you as your solicitors.

Why we need your personal information – legitimate purposes

We also process our clients’ personal information in pursuit of our legitimate interests to:

  • promote our services by sending clients communications with information for upcoming events and legal updates; and
  • invite our clients as guests to our events;

Where we process your personal information in pursuit of our legitimate interests, you have the right to object to us using your personal information for the above purposes.  If you wish to object to any of the above processing, please contact the Data Protection Officer, Grant Smith Law Practice, 252 Union Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1TN.  If we comply with your objection, this may affect our ability to undertake the tasks above for the benefit of you as a client.

Why we need your personal information – legal obligations

We are under a legal obligation to process certain personal information relating to our clients for the purposes of complying with our obligations under:

  • the Law Society of Scotland requirements for solicitors;
  • Anti-Money Laundering legislation; and
  • any other applicable legal or regulatory requirements.

Other uses of your personal information

We may ask you if we can process your personal information for additional purposes.  Where we do so, we will provide you with an additional privacy notice with information on how we will use your information for these additional purposes.

Who we share your personal information with

We may be required to share personal information with statutory or regulatory authorities and organisations to comply with statutory obligations.  Such organisations include the Law Society of Scotland and HMRC for the purposes of complying with our legal and/or regulatory obligations.

We may also share personal data with our professional advisors for the purposes of taking advice.

In the course of providing legal services to clients, we may also require to share personal information with third parties including financial advisers, banks and other lenders, solicitors acting on the other side of transactions and disputes including court and other tribunal proceedings, courts and tribunals, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Scottish Legal Aid Board, HMRC, Registers of Scotland, surveyors, social workers and expert witnesses.

GSLP employs third party suppliers to provide services, including IT, secure storage and confidential waste disposal.  These suppliers may process personal data on our behalf as “processors” and are subject to written contractual conditions to only process that personal data under our instructions and protect it.

In the event that we do share personal data with external third parties, we will only share such personal data strictly required for the specific purposes and take reasonable steps to ensure that recipients shall only process the disclosed personal data in accordance with those purposes.

How we protect your personal information

Your personal information is stored in paper files and on our electronic filing system and our servers based in the UK, and is accessed by our staff for the purposes set out above. Paper files may be removed from our offices for the purpose of representing clients at court and other tribunal proceedings or meeting with other solicitors, professional advisers and other relevant parties in the performance of our legal services.

We may be required to transfer your personal information outwith the EU for the purposes of providing a legal service to you.  Where your personal information is transferred outwith the EU, we will provide you with information regarding the safeguards that we have put in place with the recipient country to protect your personal information.

How long we keep your personal information

We will keep your personal information only where it is necessary to provide you with our services while you are a client.  We may also keep your information after this period to safeguard GSLP in the event of any claims, complaints, litigation, enquiries and investigations during or following the end of the provision of legal services to you but only where required to meet our legal or regulatory obligations. The length of time we keep your information for these purposes will vary depending on the obligations we need to meet.

Your rights

You can exercise any of the following rights by writing to the Data Protection Officer, Grant Smith Law Practice, 252 Union Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1TN.

Your rights in relation to your personal information are:

  • you have a right to request access to the personal information that we hold about you by making a “subject access request”;
  • if you believe that any of your personal information is inaccurate or incomplete, you have a right to request that we correct or complete your personal information;
  • you have a right to request that we restrict the processing of your personal information for specific purposes; and
  • if you wish us to delete your personal information, you may request that we do so.

Any requests received by GSLP will be considered under applicable data protection legislation.  If you remain dissatisfied, you have a right to raise a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.org.uk