We take your privacy very seriously. Please read this statement on your privacy carefully as it contains important information on who we are and how and why we collect, use and share your personal data. It also explains your rights in relation to your personal data and how to contact us or supervisory authorities in the event you have a complaint.

Further information about the measures taken to keep your data secure; how long we will hold it for before destroying; and your right of access to your personal data is available in PILC’s Data Protection and Retention Policy & Procedure. If you would like a copy of this policy you can email PILC’s Data Protection Officer.

When we use your personal data we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 and we are responsible as a ‘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 legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.

Key terms

Some key terms used in this statement:

Who we are Public Interest Law Centre
Data Protection Officer Jean Demars (Director)
Email: data.protection@pilc.org.uk
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
  • Genetic and biometric data
  • Data concerning health or sexual orientation

Personal data we collect about you

The table below sets out the personal data we will or may collect in the course of advising and/or acting for you.

Personal data we will collect
  1. Your name, address and telephone number information to enable us to check and verify your identity, eg your date of birth or passport details
  2. Electronic contact details, eg your email address and mobile phone number
  3. Information relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representation
  4. Your financial details so far as relevant to your instructions, eg the source of your funds if you are instructing on a purchase transaction
  5. Financial Information to be process in order to assess legal aid funding eligibility or other funder requirements.
Personal data we may collect depending on why you have instructed us
  1. Your National Insurance and tax details
  2. Your bank and/or building society details
  3. Details of your spouse/partner and dependants or other family members, ie if you instruct us on a housing or benefits matter.
  4. Your employment status and details including salary and benefits, eg if you instruct us on matter related to your employment or in which your employment status or income is relevant
  5. Your nationality and immigration status and information from related documents, such as your passport or other identification, and immigration information, eg if you instruct us on an immigration matter
  6. Your employment records including, where relevant, records relating to sickness and attendance, performance, disciplinary, conduct and grievances (including relevant special category personal data), eg if you instruct us on matter related to your employment or in which your employment records are relevant
  7. Your racial or ethnic origin, gender and sexual orientation, religious or similar beliefs, eg if you instruct us on discrimination claim
  8. Your trade union membership, eg if you instruct us on discrimination claim or your matter is funded by a trade union
  9. Your medical records

This personal data is required to enable us to provide our service to you. If you do not provide personal data we ask for, it may delay or prevent us from providing services to you.

How your personal data is collected

We collect most of this information from you. However, we may also collect information from:

  • publicly accessible sources, eg Companies House or HM Land Registry;
  • a third party with your consent, eg:
    • your bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor;
    • consultants and other professionals we may engage in relation to your matter;
    • your employer and/or trade union, professional body or pension administrators;
    • your doctors, medical and occupational health professionals;
  • our information technology (IT) systems, eg:
    • Case management, document management and time recording systems;
    • Emails and instant messaging systems;
    • Legal Aid Agency online portal

How and why we use your personal data

Under data protection law, we can only use your personal data if we have a proper reason for doing so, eg:

  • to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;
  • to carry out casework;
  • for our legitimate interests or those of a third party; 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.

The table below explains what we use (process) your personal data for and our reasons for doing so:

What we use your personal data for Our reasons
To provide legal services to you To carry out casework in accordance with your instructions
1. Conducting checks to identify our clients and verify their identity

2. Other processing necessary to comply with professional, legal and regulatory obligations that apply to our business, eg under health and safety regulation or rules issued by our professional regulator

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
3. Gathering and providing information required by or relating to audits, enquiries or investigations by regulatory bodies To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
3. Ensuring business policies are adhered to, eg policies covering security and internet use For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to make sure we are following our own internal procedures so we can deliver the best service to you
4. Operational reasons, such as improving efficiency, training and quality control For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to be as efficient as we can so we can deliver the best service for you at the best price
5. Statistical analysis to help us manage our practice, eg in relation to client base, work type or other efficiency measures For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to be as efficient as we can so we can deliver the best service for you at the best price
6. 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, eg making sure that we can keep in touch with our clients about existing and new services

7. Statutory returns To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
8. 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, eg to make sure we are following our own internal procedures and working efficiently so we can deliver the best service to you

9. Marketing our services

 

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to promote our business to existing and former clients
10. External audits including Lexcel quality assurance, LAA audits and the year-end financial audit For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to maintain our accreditations so we can demonstrate we operate at the highest standards

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

The above table does not apply to special category personal data, which we will only process with your explicit consent.

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, eg barristers, medical professionals or other experts;
  • other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions;
  • our insurers and brokers;
  • external auditors
  • external service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, eg typing services, document collation or analysis suppliers;

We 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 relating to ensure they can only use your personal data to provide services to us and to you.

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. Usually, information will be anonymised but this may not always be possible. The recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations.

We will not share your personal data with any other third party and you can change my mind or request to see the personal data PILC holds about you at any time.