Aidan Woods & Co
98 Regent Street
If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us:
+44 117 9522006 +44 117 9522006
CLIENT PRIVACY NOTICE
From 25 May 2018 how we use your personal data is governed by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations, subject to the obligations and rules imposed on us by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Legal Aid Agency (for legally aided matters).
All staff members at Aidan Woods & Co may collect your data for use in your case and are therefore ‘data controllers’ under the GDPR.
What data do we hold about you?
Data we hold about you comprises information and instructions with which you provide us; any information or material received from other parties in the Criminal Justice system such as, but not limited to, the police and other investigatory bodies, the Crown Prosecution Service and other prosecuting bodies, courts, prisons and probation service; information or material received from your relatives, friends and witnesses, including expert witnesses such as doctors and associated medical records.
This may include special categories of personal data such as your racial or ethnic origin, political, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health data, and information concerning your sexual orientation and sex life according to what information is relevant to your case.
What is the legal basis for processing the data?
This information is held with your consent, as conferred through your retainer with us, and/or on the basis of a legitimate interest due to our instruction in your case, and is held so that we can represent you and act in your best interests.
How will your information be used?
The information we hold about you will be used in the case in which we are instructed and is subject to Legal Professional Privilege. It may also be used in any other of your cases, where there is more than one, in which we are also instructed subject to your consent and/or a legitimate interest in doing so.
Who do we share your information with?
Under our Code of Conduct there are very strict rules about who we can share your information with and this will normally be limited to other people who will assist with your matter. This may include:-
Where you authorise us we may also disclose your information to your family, associates or representatives and we may also disclose your information to debt collection agencies if you do not pay our bills.
Your information is only shared with your friends and relatives with your specific consent.
Your information will be shared with the Legal Aid Agency and/or Criminal Cases Unit in legally aided matters or those subject to a Defence Costs Order or a funding order made under s.38 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 in order to secure payment.
Your information may be shared with Lexcel and the Legal Aid Agency, including solicitors from other firms nominated by the LAA to conduct their Peer Reviews, as required to enable us to remain accredited and to retain our legal aid contract.
3rd party companies who assist our business such as telecoms, IT and insurance companies may have access to your data but they are required to confirm that they will treat it confidentially in accordance with our own Data Protection policy.
At the conclusion of your case you will be informed in writing how long your case papers will be stored as we are required to do by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This will be for a minimum of 6 years but may be longer depending on the outcome of your case. Once this period ends, your physical and digital case papers will be destroyed within 12 months.
We permanently retain on our client database and billing software your basic personal information, such as name and date of birth, sufficient to be able to identify you in order to undertake conflict checks as we are required to do by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Your rights under the GDPR
Please note that the above rights are subject to the obligations and rules imposed upon us by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Subject access requests
We are required to respond within 1 month to any such requests unless they are particularly complex or you have made repeated requests where it may take us longer. In these circumstances we will notify you that we have received your request and keep you updated.
You will not be required to pay a fee to access your personal data or exercise any of your rights under the GDPR. However, if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive, we reserve the right to either charge a reasonable fee or refuse to comply.
You have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO: ) if you believe we have breached your rights under the GDPR, but we ask that you contact us first to ty and resolve any issue.
Please note that this firm does not use any personal information for marketing purposes. We may refer to some cases on our website/other social media but these will be anonymised unless you give us your specific consent to include your identifying details.
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
If you have a complaint about our service or a bill that we have rendered on or both, please contact us with the details.
The person to contact is Debbie Clarke and she can be reached at:
Aidan Woods & Co, 98 Regent Street, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 8HP.
Tel: 0117 952 2006
What will happen next?
1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within five working days of us receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to Debbie Clarke who will review your file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
3. Debbie Clarke will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. This will be done within seven working days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
4. Within seven days of the meeting, Debbie Clarke will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions she has agreed with you.
5. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Debbie Clarke will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including her suggestions for resolving the matter, within fourteen days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
6. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another partner to review her decision.
7. We will write to you within fourteen days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
8. If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
9. If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman at:
PO Box 6806
Tel: 0300 555 0333 or 0121 245 3050
There are time limits within which complaints must be made to the Legal Ombudsman, as indicated below.
Generally speaking, your complaint should be made to the Ombudsman no later than 12 months from when the problem occurred or from when you should reasonably have become aware of the problem.
Additionally, you should make your complaint to the Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final response from us following the complaint that you have made to us.
Normally, your complaint needs to fall inside both rules if the Ombudsman is going to investigate it.
You also need to be aware that the Ombudsman only deals with complaints from the following:
(a) an enterprise which, at the time that the complaint is made, is a micro-enterprise within the meaning of arts.1, 2(1) and (3) of the Annex to Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC, as that Recommendation had effect at the date it was adopted;
(b) a charity with an annual income net of tax of less than £1 million at the time at which the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent;
(c) a club, association or organisation, the affairs of which are managed by its members or a committee or committees of its members, with an annual income net of tax of less than £1 million at the time at which the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent;
(d) a trustee of a trust with an asset value of less than £1 million at the time at which the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent;
(e) a personal representative of an estate of a person; or
(f) a beneficiary of an estate of a person.
Alternative Complaints Handling Body
Under EU law, we are required to inform you that alternative complaints handling bodies (such as Pro mediate, Brow Farm, Top Road, Frodsham, Cheshire WA6 6SP, 01928 732455, www.promediate.co.uk) exist which are able to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and we wish to use such a scheme. However, given that the decision of a mediator is not binding on you or us we see no benefit in this and it will be unusual for us to agree to a reference to such a body.