Privacy and cookies

Watkins Ryder LLP ( Watkins Ryder) (“we”) is committed to respecting the privacy of all visitors to its website (the ‘website’) and of its clients and contacts.  Please read the following privacy policy to understand how we use and protect the personal information that you provide to us or that we obtain or hold about you and to understand what your rights are in relation to personal information that we hold. This policy applies to information about living identifiable individuals only. A “data controller” is a person or organisation who alone or jointly determines the purposes for which, and the manner in which, any personal data is, or is likely to be, processed. This policy is issued on behalf of Watkins Ryder as a data controller. Watkins Ryder is the data controller for your personal data, unless we notify you otherwise.

What information does Watkins Ryder process?

From our general website

You may choose to provide personal information to us when you send your details to the website via our “contact us page”.   You will be asked to provide certain information about yourself including your name, title, postal address, telephone number and/or email address

Automatically

We may also collect information automatically about your usage of our websites using cookies and other technology (for full details of what we use see the section below on “Cookies”). To that effect, we use your IP address (a series of numbers that identifies a computer on the internet) to collect, among other things, internet traffic data and data regarding your browser type and computer. If you do not want to receive cookies, you may reject them by using your browser settings provided they are not necessary for delivery of our website or services to visitors (for help with how to do this see the section below on “Cookies”).

For legal work

If you seek an estimate of costs for legal work, are provided with free initial advice or become a client of the firm, we will also need information to confirm your identity e.g. your date of birth, about your matter and circumstances as well as contact information for you, your personnel and other parties to the matter. The information that we need will be explained to you by our solicitors and/or set out in our letter of engagement depending on the nature of your matter but may include both personal data and special categories of data. You may also provide us with additional information that you consider relevant as part of your instruction.

From third parties

We may also receive information about you (or your personnel) from third parties such as estate agents, accountants, banks, surveyors, medical professionals, courts, regulatory bodies, other firms of solicitors and other advisors and specialists related to your matter. Our clients and matter contacts may also provide us information about you if you are involved in a transaction or dispute with one of our clients or have a connection with them such as being a tenant or employee of a client. Alternatively, you may provide us with information about you directly at our request or otherwise.

How do we use this information?

We will use your information for the specific purpose(s) for which it has been provided to or collected by us e.g:

  • to provide information that you may request regarding the services that we offer e.g. whether we can assist with certain legal advice
  • to contact you to introduce you to our solicitors
  • to provide our clients with legal services including referring them to other specialist advisers both in the UK and overseas
  • to comply with our statutory and regulatory obligations
  • to verify your identity and check any relevant background circumstances for anti-money laundering purposes and ‘know your client’ purposes
  • to administer your application for a vacancy
  • to deal with your feedback, query or complaint
  • to contact you for your views on our services

We also use your information to administer, support, improve and develop our business generally and to enforce our legal rights.

We may also use the information that we collect about you for marketing and hospitality purposes e.g:

  • to provide communications about us and other services we provide that may be of interest to you e.g. sending you newsletters
  • to provide you with updates on relevant areas of law and practice
  • to contact you about other activities and events that we may undertake
  • to invite you for a meal or drinks or to a hospitality event

Information gathered through cookies and similar technologies are used to measure and analyse information on visits to our websites, to tailor the websites to make them better for visitors and to improve technical performance. We will not use the data to identify you personally or to make any decisions about you.

Processing grounds

We must have a lawful basis for processing your information; this will vary on the circumstances of how and why we have your information but typical examples include:

  • the activities are within our legitimate interests as a law firm seeking to engage with and provide services to prospective and current clients and personnel e.g. to make our systems and procedures more efficient
  • you have given consent for us to process your information e.g. in relation to certain marketing activities
  • we are carrying out necessary steps in relation to a contract to which you are party or prior to you entering into a contract e.g. because you wish to instruct us to carry out legal services for you
  • the processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject e.g. for us to certify your identity under our anti-money laundering requirements including carrying out electronic ID checks
  • to protect your vital interests e.g. if you were unfortunate enough to fall ill or suffer an injury on our premises

If we process any special categories of information i.e. information revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or trade union membership, genetic data, processing of biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying individuals, health data, or data concerning your sex life or sexual orientation, we must have a further lawful basis for the processing. This may include:

  • where the processing is necessary to protect your vital interests or someone else’s vital interests
  • you have made the information public
  • the processing being necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims
  • the processing being necessary for reasons of substantial public interest e.g. to undertake activities in relation to the prevention or detection of fraud or other unlawful or dishonest activities

If we process any information relating to your criminal convictions or offences, we will typically rely on one of the following lawful bases:

  • preventing or detecting unlawful acts
  • complying with our regulatory requirements in relation to unlawful acts or dishonesty
  • dealing with suspicions of terrorist financing or money laundering
  • where it is necessary for us to obtain legal advice or establish, exercise or defend legal rights

Marketing

If you become a client of the firm, we may use your personal information to invite you to hospitality events or other selected events for clients and/or to send you information that we think may be of interest to you or your business. This is within our legitimate interests as a law firm to use your information in this way.

We may also use personal information about our professional contacts to invite them to hospitality events or other selected events and/or to send them information that we think may be of interest to them or their business. This is also within our legitimate interests.

You will be given an opportunity to tell us whether or not you wish to receive direct marketing materials and communications from us either at the time you submit or provide your details to us (primarily if you are a private individual, a sole trader or an unincorporated partnership) and/or within the communication itself.

If you do not wish to receive any direct marketing material or communications after you have signed our Terms of Business then please contact us indicating if you do not wish to be contacted for one or more of these marketing purposes and/or via particular forms of communication e.g. email or telephone. Please note that the preferences that you state will override any registrations you or your organisation may have with the relevant preference organisations (such as the telephone preference services).

If you change your mind about being contacted by us in the future, or change address, or if any information that we hold about you is inaccurate or out-of-date, please let us know by: emailing Tom or Charlotte at enquiries@watkinsryder.co.uk or writing to us at Watkins Ryder at the address on the website or calling us on 023 80 334 274.

Automated Processing/Profiling

We tailor our marketing and hospitality communications to the interests of particular clients and contacts to ensure we provide information and invitations of interest and relevance to them.

We also use certain external checking systems in order to verify your identity and carry out anti-money laundering and ‘know your client’ checks.

Disclosure of your information

Some of the information you provide to Watkins Ryder will be held on our computers in the UK and will only be accessed by or given to our staff working in the UK. Some of the information you provide to Watkins Ryder may be transferred to, stored and processed by third party organisations which process data for us and on our behalf. These third parties may be based (or store or process information) in the UK or elsewhere including outside of the EEA. As with many law firms, these third parties may include third party IT platforms (including cloud based platforms), suppliers of administrative and support services and suppliers of other specialist products.

We may also transfer your information to other organisations or professional advisers with whom we are working on client matters or to whom we are referring you for additional or separate advice. If you agree to act as a referee for us in relation to other legal work for which we are tendering, we will only do this with your prior permission.

We may also be obliged to disclose data under certain laws or by order of court or other competent regulatory body or may be permitted to disclose it under applicable data protection laws.

Finally, if Watkins Ryder merges with another business entity or divests a part of its business or carries out internal corporate restructuring, your information may be disclosed to Watkins Ryder’s new business partners or owners or the new corporate entities.

We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy; please see section “Protection of your information” below. 

Protection of your information

We have in place administrative, technical and physical measures on our website and internally designed to guard against and minimise the risk of loss, misuse or unauthorised processing or disclosure of the personal information that we hold.

Where we transfer information to third parties to enable them to process it on our behalf, we ensure that the providers meet or exceed the relevant legal or regulatory requirements for transferring data to them and keeping it secure.

We will also ensure that where information is transferred to a country or international organisation outside of the UK / EEA, we will comply with the relevant legal rules governing such transfers.

We keep your personal information no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which it was collected. Information on our destruction dates policy summary is available on our terms of business.  Information for clients is provided in our engagement letter and terms of business including details on how we keep secure personal data received from clients about their tenants, employees, third parties or similar individuals.

Your rights

You have certain rights in relation to your personal information, although those rights will not apply in all cases or to all information that we hold about you. For example, we may need to continue to hold and process information to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights. Alternatively, the rights may not be enforceable until the General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on 25th May 2018. We will tell you if this is the case when you contact us.

You have the right to request that we:

  • Provide you with a copy of your personal information that we hold
  • Update your personal information where it is out-of-date or incorrect
  • Delete personal information that we hold
  • Restrict the way in which we process your information
  • Consider any valid objections to our processing of your personal information
  • Provide information you have given to us to a third party provider of services (where our lawful basis for processing is consent or contract and where processing is automated)

We will respond to your request (including providing information on whether the rights apply in the particular circumstances) within the applicable statutory time period. If we are not sure of your identity, we may require you to provide further information in order for us to confirm who you are.

Changes to this policy

We may make changes to this policy from time to time as our business and internal practices and/or applicable laws change.  We will not make any use of your personal information that is inconsistent with the original purpose(s) for which it was collected or obtained (if we intend to do so, we will notify you in advance wherever possible) or otherwise than is permitted by applicable law.

How to contact us

If you would like to get in touch to discuss this policy, how we use your personal information, to exercise your rights or to provide feedback or make a complaint about use of your information, please contact us as follows:

tomwatkins@watkinsryder.co.uk

Or

charlotteryder@watkinsryder.co.uk

call us 023 80 334 274

Or write to Watkins Ryder LLP, address on our website.

You can also contact the Information Commissioner’s Office via https://ico.org.uk/  for information, advice or to make a complaint.

Cookies

Cookies, also known as browsers or tracking cookies, are small text files that are added to your computer when you visit a website. They help websites to perform certain functions e.g. to know who you are if you log into a restricted part of a website, for shopping carts, and for tracking purposes.

At Watkins Ryder we use the following cookies:

  • Google analytics. We use Google analytics cookies on the website for tracking purposes. The cookies allow us to understand general traffic to our website for example number of visitors and length of time on site. This process does collect data, but in an anonymous form, to help us make improvements, develop the website and enhance the user experience.
  • Siteimprove. We use Siteimprove cookies on the website for tracking purposes. The cookies allow us to understand general traffic to our website for example number of visitors and length of time on site. This process does collect data, but in an anonymous form, to help us make improvements, develop the website and enhance the user experience.
  • Privacy preferences. We use a tracking cookie, which is added to your computer, to remember your cookie preferences i.e. if you have allowed or disallowed them.

Manage cookies

Shortly after arriving at our website we will add an ‘opt-in’ tracking cookie to your computer unless you specify otherwise. See above for further information on the types of cookies that we use.

If you would like to opt-in or opt-out of using cookies then you can use the link below. You can review your cookie settings at any time.

If you do opt-out then an opt-out preference cookie will be added to your computer, however if you delete all your cookies or use a different device then you will need to set your cookie preference again.

If this is your first visit and you navigate away from this page without specifying your cookies preference then an ‘opt-in’ tracking cookie with be added to your computer.

Please note that you cannot opt-out of the deployment of cookies that are necessary for delivery of our website or services to visitors.