When we use your personal data we are regulated under the EU General Data 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.
Who we are
Ridouts is a specialist regulatory health and social care law firm providing legal, operational and strategic advice to providers of health and social care and other bodies that advise the sector.
Our contact details are:
Ridouts Professional Services Plc
7-10 Chandos Street
It would be helpful to start by explaining some key terms used in this policy:
|We, us, our||Ridouts Professional Services Plc, also known as Ridouts and Ridouts Solicitors.|
|Personal data||Any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual|
|Special category personal data|
Personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs or trade union membership
Biometric data (where used for identification purposes)
Data concerning health, sex life or sexual orientation
Personal data we collect about you
The personal data we will, or may, collect, and how we collect it, depends on how you interact with us.
Categories of personal data that we collect include:
- Your name, address and telephone number.
- Information to enable us to check and verify your identity, e.g. your date of birth and passport details.
- Electronic contact details e.g. your email address and mobile phone number.
- Biographical information such as your job title and employer.
- Information relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representation, including personal data of employees, service users and those connected to them.
- Your financial details such as billing address, bank account and payment information.
- Details of your professional online presence, e.g. LinkedIn profile.
- Special category personal data such as race and ethnicity, information about health, political opinion or religious beliefs for you or your employees, service users and those connected to them.
For information on why we use this personal data, see below: ‘How and why we use personal data’ and ‘How and why we use special category personal data’.
How your personal data is collected
Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you and the following reasons are ways in which it is likely to be provided. This list is not exhaustive:
- You contact Ridouts by any means
- When you engage Ridouts or make enquiries about engaging Ridouts
- When you apply for a job at Ridouts
- You sign up to receive our marketing emails
- You visit our website
- You provide feedback to Ridouts following an event you attended
However, we may also collect information from sources other than yourself:
- from publicly accessible sources, e.g. Companies House; your Company’s website; LinkedIn; news articles; CQC’s website.
- directly from a third party, e.g.:
– when we buy a marketing list (we currently use a company called Oscar Research);
– when we consider how you have interacted with our marketing emails (we currently use a company called Forfront E-shot)
– when a consultant refers you to us;
– bodies that we may deal with during the provision of legal advice such as CQC or local authorities.
- from a third party usually with your consent, e.g.:
– your employer;
– consultants and other professionals we may engage in relation to your matter;
– your bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor.
The above list is not exhaustive.
If you provide information to us about another person, for example, your employees or service users (including individuals with whom you no longer have a relationship) you must ensure that you comply with any legal obligation that may apply to you to enable you to provide that information to us and for us to process that data.
How and why we use personal data
Under data protection law, we can only use personal data if we have a proper reason for doing so, e.g.:
- to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;
- for the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract:
– Where personal data is required to enable us to provide legal services, if you do not provide personal data we ask for, it may delay or prevent us from providing those services.
- for our legitimate interests or those of a third party:
– A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use personal data, so long as this is not overridden by your own rights and interests.
- where you have given consent.
– You can withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us. See above at Who we are for contact details.
If you withdraw your consent it may prevent us from continuing to act for you or affect our on-going relationship.
Below is a table of the way we use your personal data and the reasons we rely on to do so:
|What we use personal data for||Our reasons|
|To provide legal services to our clients||For the performance of our contract with our client or to take steps at our client’s request before entering into a contract|
Conducting checks to identify our clients and verify their identity
Screening for financial and other sanctions or embargoes
Other processing necessary to comply with professional, legal and regulatory obligations that apply to our business, e.g. under health and safety regulation or rules issued by our professional regulator
|To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Gathering and providing information required by or relating to audits, enquiries or investigations by regulatory bodies||To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Ensuring business policies are adhered to, e.g. policies covering security and internet use||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to make sure we are following our own internal procedures so we can deliver the best service to you|
|Operational reasons, such as improving efficiency, training and quality control|
For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to be as efficient as we can so we can deliver the best service for you.
|Ensuring the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information|
For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to protect our intellectual property and other commercially valuable information
To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
|Statistical analysis to help us manage our practice, e.g. in relation to our financial performance, client base, work type or other efficiency measures.||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to be as efficient as we can so we can deliver the best service for you|
|Preventing unauthorised access and modifications to systems|
For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to prevent and detect criminal activity that could be damaging for us and for you
To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
|Updating and enhancing client records|
For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract
To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, e.g. making sure that we can keep in touch with our clients about existing and new services
|Statutory returns||To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Ensuring safe working practices, staff administration and assessments|
To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, e.g. to make sure we are following our own internal procedures and working efficiently so we can deliver the best service to you
Marketing our services to:
—existing and former clients;
—third parties who have previously expressed an interest in our services;
—third parties with whom we have had no previous dealings.
Where you have consented.
For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to promote our business to existing, former or potential clients. We will do this where we believe you will have an interest in the information sent.
How and why we use special category personal data
Under data protection law, we can only use special category personal data where:
- we have a proper reason for doing so (see above: How and why we use personal data), and
- one of the ‘grounds’ for using special category personal data applies
There are ten potential grounds for using special category personal data under data protection law. Generally, where we use special category personal data, we will do so on the ground that this is necessary for establishing, exercising or defending legal claims. This includes using special category personal data, where necessary, for:
- actual or prospective court proceedings;
- obtaining legal advice; or
- establishing, exercising or defending legal rights in any other way.
Where this does not apply, we will seek explicit consent to process special category personal data.
We may use your personal data to send you updates by email or telephone about legal developments that might be of interest to you and/or information about our services, including exclusive offers, promotions or new services.
You may have provided consent to receive certain communications or we may have a legitimate interest in processing your personal data for promotional purposes. This means we may not need your consent to send you promotional communications but will not do so where consent is required and you have not provided it or you have chosen to withdraw your consent. 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 it to other organisations for marketing purposes.
You have the right to opt out of receiving promotional communications at any time by:
- contacting us by writing to us, telephoning is or emailing us. Our detail can be found at Who we are
- using the ‘manage your preferences’ link in marketing emails
- you may also update your email marketing preferences using the ‘manage your preferences’ link in marketing emails.
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, e.g. barristers, consultants or other experts;
- other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions. the Care Quality Commission; local authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups; Ofsted and other relevant stakeholders;
- our insurers (Travelers) and brokers (Cavendish Munro);
- our accountants (BDO) and external auditors (Vale and West), e.g. in relation to the audit of our accounts;
- our bank (NatWest) and other payment processors e.g. WorldPay;
- External service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, e.g. our IT suppliers (Newton IT), typing and photocopying services, marketing agencies (PLMR) and platforms used for email campaigns (E-Shot by Forfront), document storage (Sam Store and Flexible Storage), our case management provider (Quill).
This list is not exhaustive and will depend upon the nature of your relationship with us.
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. The recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations.
How long your personal data will be kept
We will not retain your data for longer than necessary for the purposes it was collected for, as set out in this policy. Additionally, we may need to retain it to:
- respond to any questions, complaints or claims made by you or on your behalf;
- keep records required by law;
- To comply with any legal or regulatory obligations we have.
Different retention periods apply for different types of data. Further details on this are available by contacting Paul Ridout. See above at Who we are for contact details.
Transferring your personal data out of the UK and EEA
To deliver services to you, it may be necessary for us to share your personal information outside the UK and/or European Economic Area (EEA), e.g.:
- with your and our service providers located outside the UK/EEA. We currently do not have any service provider located outside of the UK/EEA;
- if you are based outside the UK/EEA;
These transfers are subject to special rules under European and UK data protection law. This means we can only transfer your personal information to a country or international organisation outside the UK/EEA where:
- the European Commission has issued an ‘adequacy decision’ in relation to that country or international organisation; or
- there are appropriate safeguards in place, together with enforceable rights and effective legal remedies for data subjects; or
- a specific exception applies under data protection law
These are explained below.
European Commission adequacy decision
The European Commission has the power to determine whether a country or international organisation provides an adequate level of protection for personal information and, if it does, to issue an ‘adequacy decision’. The effect of such a decision is that personal information can flow from the UK/EEA to that country without any further safeguards being necessary.
It can take several years for the European Commission to issue an adequacy decision and only a small number of countries currently benefit from one.
Transfers with appropriate safeguards
We may transfer your data to a third country or international organisation on this ground where we are satisfied the transfer complies with data protection law, appropriate safeguards are in place, and enforceable rights and effective legal remedies are available for data subjects.
The safeguards will usually include using standard data protection contract clauses approved by the European Commission.
Transfers under an exception
In the absence of an adequacy decision or appropriate safeguards, we may transfer personal information to a third country or international organisation where an exception applies under relevant data protection law, e.g.:
- you have explicitly consented to the proposed transfer after having been informed of the possible risks;
- the transfer is necessary for the performance of a contract between us or to take pre-contract measures at your request;
- the transfer is necessary for a contract in your interests, between us and another person; or
- the transfer is necessary to establish, exercise or defend legal claims.
We may also transfer information for the purpose of our compelling legitimate interests, so long as those interests are not overridden by your interests, rights and freedoms. Specific conditions apply to such transfers and we will provide relevant information if and when we seek to transfer your personal information on this ground.
If you would like further information about data transferred outside the UK or EEA, please contact Paul Ridout (see Who We Are above).
You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge:
|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, e.g. if you contest the accuracy of the data|
|Data portability||The right to receive the personal data you 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:
—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, e.g. processing carried out for the purpose of our legitimate 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 those 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:
- email, call or write, to see above: ‘Who we are’; and
- let us have enough information to identify you (e.g. your full name, address, client name and matter reference where applicable);
- 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.
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.
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.
How to complain
We hope that we can resolve any query or concern you may raise about our use of your information.
The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the European Union (or European Economic Area) 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/concerns or telephone: 0303 123 1113.