Cobden House Chambers and its barristers are committed to protecting personal data. This privacy notice explains the circumstances in which we acquire it, why we do so and how it is used. It also summarises the rights of those individuals whose data we hold.
Who are we?
How do we collect personal data? What personal data do we collect? How do we use personal data?
What is the legal basis that enables us to use personal data? Do we share personal data?
For how long is personal data retained? Where is personal data kept?
What are an individual’s rights under the GDPR? Marketing
Contractual terms and conditions Cookies and other websites CCTV
International transfers How to contact us
Cobden House Chambers is a barristers’ chambers based at 19 Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3HN. Our data protection registration number Z5267766. A list of the barristers currently practising at Cobden House can be found at: http://www.cobden.co.uk/barristers/
As a barristers’ chambers, most of the personal data that we collect arrives in files or emails from our clients, who are usually solicitors. We also acquire information relating to ongoing or anticipated legal cases over the telephone and in conference with potential witnesses. Like most businesses, we additionally collect personal data as part of our recruitment processes and when managing our employees and those people who provide services to us.
When preparing legal cases, we acquire individuals’ full names, home or business addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers. We are often
entrusted with private details about a person’s life, such as his or her financial affairs, and with sensitive personal data, such as an individual’s medical records or history of convictions. As part of our internal day-to-day administration, we also collect job applications, accounting records, appraisals and other similar data.
We use personal data when representing individuals in Court, advising on the law and drafting legal documents. Personal data is also used for our day-to- day administration, e.g. contacting solicitors to discuss barristers’ availability, recruiting new pupil barristers or members of staff and making decisions about Chambers’ management.
The legal basis that justifies our use of personal data depends upon the type of data and how and why we are using it.
The data we use when preparing legal cases, representing clients in Court and drafting legal documents is provided with the client’s consent and as part of our agreement to provide a service. Our briefs will also contain personal data about others who have not provided their consent but we still need to use that information to enable us to provide our legal service. Inparticular:
If the data is sensitive ( e.g. medical records) we will use it with the individual’s consent and to help with establishing or defending a legal claim. Data relating to convictions is used when it is necessary as part of a legal claim.
Data used in day-to-day administration is used for the legitimate interests of Chambers, barristers, members of staff and clients, to make sure that Chambers runs smoothly and that we are able to provide a good standard of service.
Some of the data that we receive will be used for marketing purposes, to provide updates on new legal developments and to invite solicitors to social functions. Chambers will try to obtain consent before using any data in this way.
Data provided for the purposes of a legal case will usually be shared between the barristers instructed, those barristers’ clerks, the Court, potential witnesses and, in appropriate circumstances, opposing counsel. In addition, barristers will sometimes discuss their cases with other barristers at Cobden House to help them with theirpreparations.
A barrister might permit a pupil ( i.e. trainee barrister) or mini-pupil (a university student on work experience) to read briefs containing personal data for educational purposes. In rare cases, personal data will be shared with the legal Ombudsman and with regulatory bodies.
Data used for administration is shared amongst the clerks, administrative staff and our external accountants. Particularly personal information is limited to the most senior staff ( only the Director of Clerking and a representative of the Management Committee have access to staff appraisals, for example). Job applications and CVs are shared between those people involved in recruitment and, as regards counsel, with those barristers in the recruiting department.
When we are acting for a client in a legal dispute or transaction, we will retain personal data whilst the matter is ongoing. After it has concluded, we will keep copies for up to 15 years, so that we can respond to queries or complaints and show our compliance with the requisite professional standards.
When recruiting staff and pupils, we retain applications, CVs, and interview records for 6 months. This enables us to provide feedback on request, to consider unsuccessful applicants for future positions and to help us show our compliance with employment law. Applications for mini-pupillage / internships are kept until the end of the mini-pupillage / internship. Employee records are usually kept for 10 years and CCTV footage taken for security purposes is retained for 5 days, unless required for a specific purpose (such as a criminal investigation).
Cobden House Chambers stores emails and electronic documents relating to ongoing cases on its server, which is encrypted and password protected and has safeguards in place to protect against illegal hacks or viruses. Individual barristers keep emails and electronic documents on their personal computers, which are also password protected and encrypted. Hard copy documents are kept in non-public areas of Chambers and third parties who have access to these areas (such as cleaning contractors) are required to sign confidentiality agreements. Barristers are encouraged to transport their briefs in locked bags
and paperwork that is no longer needed is placed in locked confidential waste bins for secure disposal.
Internal documents relating to Chambers’ administration are kept in non- public areas. Especially personal data is kept in locked cabinets / drawers (such as staff appraisals) or in Chambers’ safe.
The General Data Protection Regulation (“the GDPR”) provides individuals with rights relating to their personal data and how it is used. These include:
Individuals have the right to be informed about the collection and use of their personal data. There are exceptions, however, such as when the information cannot be disclosed without breaching confidentiality.
Individuals have the right to obtain confirmation that their data is being processed and to receive a copy of the personal data relating to them. This must usually be provided free of charge and within 1 month ( unless the requests are particularly complicated or numerous, when the period can be extended to 2 months). The information does not have to be provided, however, if doing so would adversely affect other people’s rights.
Individuals have the right to have inaccurate personal data rectified. In most situations, inaccurate information must be corrected within 1 month.
Individuals have the right to ask for their personal data to be erased in the following circumstances: if is no longer necessary for the purpose for which it was collected; if is only being held with that individual’s consent; if there is no overriding legitimate interest that justifies its retention; if it is being used for marketing purposes; if it is being used unlawfully; if it has to be deleted in order to comply with a legal obligation; or if it is being used to provide a service via an electronic device to a child. There are, however, limitations on when the right
applies - it does not apply, for example, if someone requires the information to exercise or defend a legal claim.
In some circumstances, individuals have the right to limit the ways in which their personal data is used. If an individual disputes the accuracy of personal data held on him, for example, he can ask for it not to be processed until its accuracy has been confirmed.
Individuals have the right to ask for their personal data to be transferred to another party if it is being used with their consent or in accordance with a contract and if the information is being processed by automated means ( e.g. by acomputer).
Individuals have the right to object to the use of their personal data for marketing or research purposes. Although they can also object to the use of their personal data if a business ( like Cobden House Chambers) is using it because it feels that it is in its legitimate interests to do so, the data can still be used if those interests are sufficiently important to override the interests, rights and freedoms of the individual or if the data is needed to pursue or defend a legalclaim.
Individuals can object to a business making significant decisions about them using an automated process – i.e. without any human intervention. Cobden House does not take these types of decisions.
In certain circumstances, Cobden House Chambers and its barristers ask for consent before using an individual’s personal data. If so, the individual has the right to withdraw his or her consent at any time, which may prevent us from using itfurther.
We look to obtain solicitors’ consent before contacting them by email or by telephone with information about social events, legal developments and the services we provide. Anyone who receives this type of marketing information has the right to withdraw consent, to ask for their contact details to be erased and to object to them being used for marketing purposes.
Sometimes, when our barristers have been involved in a notable public case, we might post a copy of the Judgment or a summary of the case online.
Complaints about the way in which we process personal data can be made to the Information Commissioner’s Office. More information about how to complain can be found on the ICO’s website: https://ico.org.uk
Clients often enter into contracts with us for the provision of legal services under The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012. A copy of those terms and conditions can be found via a link on our website. They oblige the client to supply the barrister involved with all the information reasonably required (which could include personal data), to respond promptly to any requests for further information and documents and to inform the barrister immediately if there is reason to believe that any data provided is not true and accurate. The consequences of failing to comply with these obligations may mean that the barrister cannot provide legal services to the client.
There are hyperlinks contained within our website which link to other websites owned and operated by third parties. These third parties should have their own privacy policies and we recommend that you consider those when using their websites. We do not accept any liability or responsibility in terms of the privacy and security practices of these third party organisations and their websites.
Chambers operates a CCTV system for reasons of security and for crime prevention. The cameras have been carefully positioned for this purpose and the footage is encrypted and stored for only 5 days (unless required for a specific reason, such as a criminal investigation, in which case it will only be retained for as long as necessary).
Cobden House does not transfer data to international organisations and rarely transfers data to other countries. Occasionally, our barristers are involved in cases in foreign courts, which necessitates us taking personal data abroad. If data relating to UK cases is taken out of the country, it will only be taken to a country in the EEA, to a country that has adequate data protection according to the European Commission or with the prior authorisation of the Information Commissioner’s Office.
If you wish to contact us with questions, requests or complaints relating to personal data, please contact Martin Leech at Cobden House Chambers,
19 Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3HN on 0161 833 6000 or [email protected]