Reeds Solicitors LLP is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information (collectively referred to as “Reeds”, “we”, “us” or “our”).
This Privacy Notice (“Notice”) sets out how we collect and use personal information about you during and after your relationship with us, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 (“GDPR”). This includes whether you become one of our clients or contact us in another way and gives details of what to expect when you interact with Reeds online and how and what happens if we collect personal information through these interactions.
It is important that you read this Notice, together with any other privacy notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal information about you, so that you are aware of how and why we are using such information. Please note this Notice does not form part of any contract to provide services you may have with us from time to time.
We reserve the right to amend this Notice at any time without notice to you so, if required, please check to ensure that you are referring to the latest version of this Notice. We may also notify you in other ways from time to time about the processing of your personal data.
Reeds Solicitors LLP of 1 Cambridge Terrace, Oxford, OX1 1RR (Head Office) is a “data controller” (ICO Registration No. Z1376090) for the purposes of the GDPR. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you.
If you have any questions or concerns about this Notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the “Data Protection Officer” at the above address, or alternatively, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the ICO at https://ico.org.uk/. We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.
How we will use information about you
We will only use your personal information when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal information in the following circumstances:
- Where we need to carry out the contract we have entered into with you.
- Where we need to comply with a legal obligation.
- Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
We may also use your personal information in the following situations, which are likely to be rare:
- Where we need to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests).
- Where it is needed for official purposes.
Generally, we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data and we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law. If it becomes necessary to obtain your consent, we will provide you with full details of the information that we would like and the reason we need it, so that you can carefully consider whether you wish to consent. You should be aware that it is not a condition of any contract with us that you agree to any request for consent from us and you will be able to withdraw your consent at any time.
People who make a complaint to us
When we receive a complaint from a person we create a file which will contain the details of the person complaining and other relevant details (including details of other people) that are relevant to the complaint. We only use this information for the purposes of investigating and responding to the complaint.
We will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with our retention policy for client files. This means that information relating to a complaint will be retained for six years from closure within our case management system, unless advised otherwise.
Disclosure of personal information
We will only disclose personal data to third parties where permitted to do so by law and in the normal course of our business. For example, when acting for you in defending a criminal allegation against you, we might share your personal information with the Crown Prosecution Service if it is in the best interests of you in order to advance your defence, or if you are an employee, we might share your personal information with HMRC in the context of ensuring that your payroll records are correct.
There are times where it will not be realistic to get your express permission in connection with each and every disclosure of this nature. If you have any concerns that any of your data has been incorrectly shared, then this should be raised with us through our standard procedures (i.e.; the Complaints Procedure in respect of clients and the Grievance Procedure in respect of employees etc).
Disclosure of personal information
We will not transfer your personal data outside the European Union without your consent.
You have a right to access the personal data we hold about you. You may ask us to rectify or erase the personal data we hold about you or to restrict the processing we carry out. You can also object to the way we are processing your personal data or request that we transfer it to a third party.
For a full list of your rights and how these can be exercised, please visit www.ico.org.uk/your-data-matters for further details. You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal information (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with the request in such circumstances.
If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please contact us in writing at Data Protection Officer, Reeds Solicitors, 1 Cambridge Terrace, Oxford, OX1 1RR or alternatively, by email at email@example.com
Any data that you submit using a form on our website or by email (i.e.; your name, email address) will only be held by us for the purpose for which it is needed and for the shortest amount of time required.
For example, if you make an enquiry that we are unable to assist you with, your contact form will be deleted. If your enquiry results in you becoming a client of the firm, then your data will be stored as part of your client record and kept in accordance with the requirements relating to client records (in respect of which you will be advised separately on entering a retainer).
We do not currently have a mailing list for you to subscribe to. In any event, your data will not be disclosed to any third parties without your consent or as otherwise allowed by the relevant data protection legislation and will only be used for responding to your query (or purposes associated with that purpose).
This Notice was last updated on 1st July 2019
complaints handling policy
We aim to deal with any complaints promptly, fairly, openly and effectively.
Our definition of a complaint is:
“any written or verbal expression of dissatisfaction referred to any person in our organisation by a client”.
A complaint can be identified through a letter, telephone call, e-mail, and fax or in the course of a face to face conversation.
A complaint may involve:
- Dissatisfaction with the handling of a case;
- Disappointment with an alleged lack of communication;
- Frustration with an alleged lack of case progress;
- An allegation of discrimination; or
- Dissatisfaction with the outcome of the case.
However, issues of a very minor nature, for example, not returning a non-urgent telephone call until the following day will not be recorded as a complaint.
It is the policy of the firm that:
- Every complaint made by a client is reported and recorded centrally;
- Every complaint received is responded to appropriately;
- The cause of the problem is identified, appropriate redress is offered, and unsatisfactory procedures are corrected.
We inform clients in writing at the outset of their matter of their right to complain and how complaints can be made. We also advise them oftheir right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, the time frame for doing so and full details of how to contact the Legal Ombudsman.
If a complaint can not resolved and our complaints procedure has been exhausted and we can not settle the complaint, we will provide the client with the name and address of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approved body which would be competent to deal with the complaint, and indicate whether we would agree to use the scheme operated by that body.
Julian Richards will ensure that complaints are dealt with promptly, fairly, and free of charge.
When a client makes a complaint, it is handled in accordance with our complaints handling procedure (Section 3.13 of the OM). On receipt of a complaint, Julian Richards sends the client our standard letter which sets out our complaints handling procedure (Section 3.13 of the OM), outlining the relevant stages and timescales. Where appropriate, we shall ensure that our procedure is tailored in response to the needs of our individual clients, especially those who are vulnerable.
We allow a maximum of eight weeks to consider the complaint. If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem within that timeframe, where the complaint has not been settled or dealt with to a client’s satisfaction, we advise the client again in writing of their right to pass the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, the time frame for doing so and full details of how to contact the Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ.
We report and record every complaint made centrally. All complaints are referred to Julian Richards in the first instance, who:
- Reviews the matter with any staff member involved;
- Identifies the cause of any problems of which the client has complained
- Determines what degree of validity the complaint has; and
- Decides how the complaint should be resolved.
Where Julian Richards identifies a potential negligence claim or where a client claims financial loss, compensation or threatens legal action, he will decide, in conjunction with our insurers, whether we should continue with this complaints procedure (Section 3.13 of the OM) or adopt some other course of action.
We inform clients if we discover any act or omission which could give rise to a claim by them against us but before doing so fee earners must refer any such cases to their supervisor for advice. If the supervisor agrees that the circumstances of the case could give rise to a claim then the case must be referred immediately to Julian Richards who will decide, in conjunction with our insurers, what information should be provided to the client.
Julian Richards will offer the client appropriate redress and recommend amendments to unsatisfactory procedures to the management board where appropriate. Julian Richards will ensure that any unsatisfactory procedures are corrected.
Any complaints made where Julian Richards had conduct of the matter are referred to Stuart Matthews.
Julian Richards keeps details of all complaints received in a central record. Copies of any documents/correspondence showing how each complaint is resolved are also retained on the central record.
Julian Richards has overall responsibility for handling complaints and carries out an analysis of the central record of complaints annually. Following this review he decides whether any action can be taken to improve our services. The results of the review (i.e. any trends identified and action proposed) are documented.
Julian Richards is responsible for the operation of this policy. He will review it annually to verify that it is in effective operation.
This policy was last updated in July 2020.