Shepherd and Wedderburn takes your privacy very seriously.
• What personal data we collect about you;
• How we collect your personal data;
• How we use your personal data;
• The basis on which we use your personal data;
• Who we share your information with;
• How long your personal data will be kept;
• Transferring your personal data outside of the European Union;
• The steps we take to protect your personal data;
• The rights you have in relation to your personal data; and
• How to contact us about this policy.
Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), other relevant UK and EU legislation and our professional duties to clients.
Shepherd and Wedderburn comprises Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP registered in Scotland under the Companies Acts, registered number SO300895 and having its registered office at 5th Floor, 1 Exchange Crescent, Conference Square, Edinburgh, Lothian EH3 8UL and Shepherd and Wedderburn (Services) Limited registered in Scotland under the Companies Acts, registered number SC418483 and having its registered office at 5th Floor, 1 Exchange Crescent, Conference Square, Edinburgh, Lothian EH3 8UL.
Our Head of Privacy oversees compliance with data protection laws and this policy and provides guidance and advice to the firm as required.
Contact information for our Head of Privacy is provided below under the heading How to contact us about this policy.
We may collect information from you in the course of our business, including when you engage us to provide legal or other services, when you contact or request information from us, when you use our website or as a result of your relationship with one or more of our staff and clients.
The personal information we may collect about you includes:
• Contact information such as your name, title, address, telephone number, mobile phone number, job title, name of employer, fax number and email address. Address may include both business address and home address where you have provided that to us;
• Information relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representation;
• Further business information necessarily processed in the context of a client contractual relationship with Shepherd and Wedderburn or voluntarily provided by you or on your behalf, such as instructions given or payments made or to be made;
• Information provided to us by or on behalf of our clients, or generated in the course of providing our services, which may include special category data;
• Information processed for relationship management and file opening procedures such as name, business information, identification and your relationship to a person;
• Information about your use of our IT, communication and other systems including your password(s), and other monitoring information, e.g. if using our online data rooms, or information relating to materials and communications we send to you electronically;
• Information to enable us to check and verify your identity, e.g. your date of birth or passport details;
• Payment data, such as data necessary for processing payments and fraud prevention, including credit/debit card numbers, bank and building society details including security code numbers and other related billing information, as well as, where applicable, information relating to the source of funds;
• Information collected from publicly available resources and credit agencies or any other information needed to enable us to undertake a credit or other financial checks on you;
• Information about relevant and significant litigation or other legal proceedings against you or a third party related to you and details of that third party’s relationship with you;
• Information provided to us for the purposes of attending meetings and events, including information about access or dietary requirements;
• Other personal data regarding your preferences where it is relevant to legal or other services that we provide;
• Details of your visits to our premises; and/or
• Membership of a professional or trade association or union.
In general, you will be able to choose whether or not to provide us with your personal data. If you do not provide the personal data that we need to collect then this may affect our ability to act on your behalf or to provide services to you, for example because this personal data is required to process your instructions or to carry out legally required compliance screening. If you do not provide personal data we ask for, it may delay or prevent us from providing services to you.
We collect most of this information from you:
• When you or your organisation use or contact us to provide legal or any other related client services;
• When you browse, provide information or use our website;
• When you or your organisation make an enquiry for our services or otherwise engage with our staff for business related purposes;
• When you attend a seminar or other event (including training) organised by Shepherd and Wedderburn or where you are a guest of Shepherd and Wedderburn;
• Where you sign up to receive information from us;
• Where you or your organisation provide services to us.
We may also collect information from third party sources including:
• Publicly accessible sources such as Companies House, Registers of Scotland or HM Land Registry;
• Credit reference agencies or government agencies;
• Third party organisations that you have or have had dealings with.
We may also collect information via our website or via our information technology (IT) and other systems, for example:
- Case management, document management, data rooms and time recording systems;
- Automated monitoring of our websites and other technical systems, such as our computer networks and connections, CCTV and access control systems, communications systems, email and instant messaging systems.
Under data protection law, we can only use your personal data if we have a proper reason for doing so.
This will be for one of the following reasons:
• For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract, for example because processing is necessary for the performance of a client instruction;
• To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;
• For our legitimate interests or those of a third party;
• For the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or proceedings; or
• Where you have given consent.
A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use your information, so long as this is not overridden by your own rights and interests.
We may process special category personal data for the following reasons:
• Where you have given your explicit consent;
• For compliance with a legal obligation;
• For the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal claims;
• Where it is in your vital interests;
• Where you have made the personal data public; and/or
• For compliance with an employment law obligation.
There may be additional reasons which will be notified to you where they apply.
When we refer to special category data we mean information such as about race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status and health. Information about criminal convictions is also included within this type of data.
In the next section The basis on which we use your personal data we give more information about the way in which your information is used.
We have explained our reasons for using your personal data. We set out below more detail on the ways in which we use your personal data. We use your data:
• To provide legal advice or other services to you, including technology solutions as requested by you or your organisation;
• To ensure the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information;
• To manage and administer your or your organisation's business relationship with Shepherd and Wedderburn, including use for the purposes of processing payments, accounting, auditing, billing and collection and other support services;
• To conduct checks to identify our clients and verify their identity;
• To screen for financial and other sanctions or embargoes, including credit reference checks with credit reference agencies;
• To comply with professional, legal and regulatory obligations that apply to our business, e.g. rules issued by our professional regulators;
• Where necessary to gather and provide information required by or relating to audits, enquiries or investigations by enforcement authorities, regulatory bodies, courts, tribunals and government agencies;
• To deal with any complaints received;
• To ensure business policies are adhered to, e.g. policies covering security and internet use and to prevent unauthorised access and modifications to systems;
• For operational reasons, such as ensuring safe working practices, improving efficiency, risk management, training, staff assessment and quality control;
• For statistical analysis to help us improve our services and communications to you or the strength of our relationship with you or to manage our practice, e.g. in relation to our financial performance, client base, work type or other efficiency measures;
• To update and enhance client records;
• For marketing our services to you;
• For the purposes of external audits and quality checks, e.g. for Investors in People accreditation and the audit of our accounts;
• For insurance purposes;
• To complete statutory returns;
• To identify those who are authorised to deal with Shepherd and Wedderburn on behalf of our clients, suppliers and/or service providers;
• To ensure your needs are catered for in connection with any event you may attend; and/or
• For recruitment. Where you apply for a job we will give you further information about how your personal data will be used.
We will also process personal data which is provided to us by or on behalf of our clients for the purposes of services we provide to them.
Managing our business
In relation to a number of uses of personal data we refer to above we are using such personal data on the basis that it is in our legitimate interests or those of a third party for us to do so. These interests cover a number of aspects of our business operations, namely:
• Ensuring that we are as efficient as we can be so we can deliver the best service for you at the best price;
• To allow us to provide bespoke services where requested by you;
• Protecting our commercially valuable information and also our intellectual property;
• Preventing and detecting fraud and/or criminal activity that could be damaging for us and for you;
• For credit control purposes and to make sure our clients can pay for the services we provide;
• For the purposes of risk management and to maintain our accreditations so we can demonstrate we operate to the highest standards; and
• Ensuring we are able to keep up to date with our clients and contacts and developments in their organisations.
We have a legitimate interest in processing your personal data for promotional purposes (see above The basis on which we use your personal data). This means we do not usually need your consent to send you promotional communications. 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.
You have the right to opt out of receiving promotional communications at any time by:
• Contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org;
• Using the ‘unsubscribe’ link in emails.
If you ask us to delete your information in accordance with your rights set out below, we will retain basic information on a suppression list to record your request and to avoid sending you unwanted materials in the future.
You can also update your marketing preferences and give us more detail of the type of information you would like to receive from us by contacting us on our preference centre.
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.
Use of website
At a number of points on our website you are asked to provide information, for example. our contact page and our Careers page. At the point at which information is requested it is clear what the purpose of providing the information is and we will only use the personal data you provide to us for that purpose.
Our website makes use of Google Analytics to look at how our website is used. This is done by placing small text files, known as session cookies, on your device to collect information about how visitors use our website. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. This information is transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the US.
We share personal data between Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP and Shepherd and Wedderburn (Services) Limited and we share personal data with our affiliated entity Shepherd and Wedderburn Europe, a general partnership based in Dublin, Ireland on a confidential basis where required for the purpose of providing legal advice or other products or services and for administrative, billing and other business purposes.
We also routinely share personal data with:
• Professional advisers who we instruct on your behalf or refer you to, e.g. barristers or advocates, other legal specialists (including mediators), medical professionals, accountants, tax advisors or other experts;
• Foreign law firms for the purposes of obtaining legal advice;
• Other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions, e.g. a lender, HM Land Registry, Registers of Scotland or Companies House;
• With our client(s) - if we have collected your personal data in the course of providing legal or other services to any of our clients, we may disclose it to that client, and to others in the proper course of our duties or as required or permitted by law;
• Companies providing services for money laundering checks, credit risk reduction and other fraud and crime prevention purposes and companies providing similar services, including financial institutions, credit reference agencies and regulatory bodies with whom such personal data is shared;
• Our insurers and brokers, external auditors, banks and other third parties which provide services to us to allow us to fulfil our regulatory obligations and for risk management purposes;
• Courts, law enforcement authorities, regulators or lawyers or other parties where it is reasonably necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal or equitable claim, or for the purposes of a confidential alternative dispute resolution process or to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;
• Third parties for the purposes of collecting your feedback our service provision, to help us measure our performance and to improve and promote our services;
• External service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, e.g. technology service suppliers, marketing agencies, document collation, translators or analysis suppliers;
• Third parties involved in hosting or organising relevant events to which you have been invited.
We will only allow our service providers to handle your personal data if we are satisfied they take appropriate measures to protect your personal data. We also impose contractual obligations on service providers to ensure they can only use your personal data to provide services to us and to you and to ensure compliance with data protection laws.
We may also, should the need arise, 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. Usually, information will be anonymised but this may not always be possible.
The recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations.
We may also use aggregated personal data and statistics for the purpose of monitoring website usage in order to help us develop our website and our services.
Other than as set out above, we will only disclose your personal data when you direct us or give us permission, when we are required by applicable law or regulations or judicial or official request to do so, or as required to investigate actual or suspected fraudulent or criminal activities.
Personal data about other people which you provide to us
The retention periods we apply take account of:
• Legal and regulatory requirements and guidance;
• Limitation periods that apply in respect of taking legal action;
• Our ability to defend ourselves against legal claims and complaints;
• Good practice; and
• The operational requirements of our business.
When it is no longer necessary to retain your personal data, we will delete or anonymise it.
Updating personal data about you
We also need to know that your information is accurate and up to date so please advise of any changes on email@example.com. You should also use this email address if you want to cancel any request you have made to us or you become aware of any inaccuracy in the data we hold about you.
To deliver services to our clients, it is sometimes necessary for us to share your personal data outside the European Union (EU), e.g.:
• Where we instruct foreign lawyers in connection with the services we are providing to clients;
• Where your, or our, service providers are located outside the EU;
• If you are based outside the EU.
In Singapore, we practise through a branch of Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP. Our Singapore branch is licensed to operate as a Foreign Law Practice with the Legal Services Regulatory Authority of Singapore. We may transfer your personal data to Singapore.
Transfers outside the European Economic Area are subject to special rules under European and UK data protection law.
We will, however, implement appropriate safeguards to ensure the transfer complies with European and UK data protection law and all personal data will be secure. If you would like further information on these safeguards please contact our Head of Privacy (see How to contact us about this policy below).
We will take appropriate technical and organisational measures to keep your personal data confidential and secure. We have appropriate security measures in place which take account, in particular, of the risks arising from accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to personal data. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge:
You can ask us to:
• Provide a copy of your personal data;
• Correct any mistakes in your personal data;
• Delete your personal data - in certain situations;
• Restrict processing of your personal data - in certain circumstances, e.g. if you contest the accuracy of the data; and
• Provide you with a copy of 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.
You can 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.
If you would like to exercise any of those rights, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your objection (or withdrawal of consent) may mean we cannot perform the services you have requested of us or you may not be able to use the services we offer. We will advise you where this is the case. In certain circumstances even if you withdraw your consent we may still be able to process your personal information if required or permitted by law or for the purpose of exercising or defending our legal rights or meeting our legal and regulatory obligations.
You also have the right to complain to the supervisory authority in the part of the European Union 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.
We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the Information Commissioner so please contact us in the first instance.
Our contact details can be found in the section below: How to contact us about this policy.
Our contact details are shown below:
Head of Privacy, Shepherd and Wedderburn, 1 Exchange Crescent, Conference Square, Edinburgh, EH3 8UL
[Policy last updated on 18 July 2019]