Privacy Policy

This page explains how we collect, process and look after any personal information that we collect about you.

This policy was last updated on 4 October 2021.

Important information

Our status as a data controller

Simkins LLP is the controller of, and is responsible for, your personal data under this privacy policy (collectively referred to as "Simkins", "we", "us" or "our" in this privacy policy).  Your “personal information” or “personal data” means any information about you from which you can be identified.

If you have any questions about this privacy policy, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact us:

Email: dataprotection@simkins.com

Telephone: +44 20 7874 5600

Post: Data Protection Team, Simkins LLP, Lynton House, 7 12 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9LT, United Kingdom

Third-party links

Our website (the “site”), and our other communications with you, may contain links to third-party websites, plug-ins and applications.  Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you.  We do not control these third-party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements.  When you leave our site, we encourage you to read the privacy policy of every website you visit.

Changes to this policy and your duty to inform us of changes

We keep our privacy policy under regular review.  It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current.  Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.  Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract that we have with you and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract that we have or are trying to enter into with you.  If so, we shall notify you if that is the case at the time.

Types of information we may collect about you

We may collect personal information about you in connection with our site in the following circumstances:

  • When you submit information to us by filling out our contact form on the site, or by using our other contact details found on the site (including our email addresses, telephone numbers and postal address),or by contacting us in some other way (including networking events) we may collect information about you including a record of your correspondence, your name, title, gender, address, email address, phone number, your preferences in receiving marketing (such as legal updates) from us and/or any other personal information or contact details you provide to us.
  • When you send a job or training contract application to us, we may collect any personal information contained in your CV and/or application form (and any supplementary information submitted by you, or that we acquire about you during the recruitment process, e.g. from aptitude test results or from your referees) and/or any other personal information you choose to provide to us.
  • When you browse the site, or use the WiFi service in our offices, we may collect technical information such as your internet protocol (IP) address, operating system or browser software, time zone setting and location, and information about what you did during your use of the site (e.g. what pages you viewed).  Please see our Cookies Policy or further details.

We may also receive personal data about you, or confirm the personal data about you listed above, from public sources, including Companies House or information about you available on the internet (such as your employer’s website).

Special category data

We do not generally seek to collect any “special categories” of personal data about you (for example, details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about your health and genetic and biometric data).  Nor do we seek to collect any information about criminal convictions and offences save as necessary and reasonable to vet you if you apply to us for a job or training contract or as necessary as part of the process of providing legal services to you.

To the extent that you provide us with any special categories of personal data about you (or any details of criminal convictions or offences),then (in the absence of another legal ground for processing), we will only process that information with your explicit consent, which you give to us by providing that information to us, for (a) the purpose for which you have voluntarily provided such information and (b) any purpose that is reasonably compatible with such purpose.  You may withdraw that consent at any time by contacting us on the details above. Please note that we might have other legal grounds for processing such special data, such as the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims and/or if the personal data has been manifestly made public by you, but we will not process such data without such a lawful reason.

Aggregated Data

We also collect, use and share “Aggregated Data” such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose.  Aggregated Data could be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data will not directly or indirectly reveal your identity.  For example, we may aggregate usage data from our site to calculate the percentage of users accessing a specific site feature.  However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy policy.

Children

Our site is not intended for children, and we do not knowingly collect any personal data relating to children – unless in the course of our professional advice, in which case we may make special arrangements to do so by providing a specific privacy notice and we shall, where required, seek consent for processing the child’s personal data from the child’s parent or legal guardian.

How and why we may use your personal information

We will only use or process your personal data when we have a lawful basis fordoing so.  Please do not provide us with any personal information if you do not want that information to be used by us in this way.  Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances, with the following lawful bases:

  • When you enquire about our services or submit your information to us we may use your personal data to contact you to discuss whether our services may be appropriate for your needs, and whether you would like to engage us to provide those services.  Legal basis: (i) consent to respond to your enquiry about our services; (ii) necessary for our legitimate interests (to keep our records updated and to study how customers use our services/products); and/or (iii) necessary to comply with a legal obligation.
  • Where appropriate, we may use your personal data to respond to any other requests or queries that you may ask when you get in touch with us.  Legal basis: (i) consent to respond to your enquiry, and/or(ii) necessary for our legitimate interests that we respond to you appropriately.
  • Where you apply for a position with us, we may use your personal data to assess your suitability for a job position or training contract with us, and (where appropriate) to contact you in relation to those opportunities, and/or to inform any subsequent interviews, discussions or other aspects of our recruitment processes.  Legal basis: (i) necessary for the performance of, or entry into, an employment contract with you; (ii)necessary to comply with a legal obligation; and/or (iii) necessary for our legitimate interest of managing our recruitment process.
  • If you consent to our doing so, we may use your personal data so that we can contact you to let you know about our services, events or legal update newsletters (which you can opt out of at any time by contacting your usual contact or contacting us on the details above).  Legal basis: consent (unless withdrawn, in which case we will respect your withdrawal of consent).
  • We may use your personal data so that we can understand how people are using the site to help us improve the site’s accessibility and functionality.  Legal basis: our legitimate interests (in making sure that our site operates effectively).

We may collect information about you through channels other than the site – for example, if you obtained our contact details from another source, if you met our staff in person, or if your details were provided to us by a third party (e.g. your employer) who gave us your information in the context of us supplying legal services.  In all cases, we will only use your personal data if we have your consent or another legal basis for the processing of your personal data applies.  This includes us fulfilling a contract with you, complying with a legal duty, or when it is in our legitimate business interest to use your personal data.  We will only rely on our legitimate business interest when it is fair and reasonable to do so.

Becoming a client

If you become a client, then we will collect more personal information about you and/or your personnel in the course of providing our services (such as requesting ID documents that we are legally required to obtain).  Any personal information collected by us during the course of our professional services is processed in accordance with our Privacy Notice to Clients, as appended to our Terms of Business.

Change of purpose

We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected the data, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use such data for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose.  If you would like to get an explanation of how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact us on the details above.

If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we shall notify you and we will explain the legal basis on which we intend to rely.

Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, if and to the extent that this is required or permitted by law.

Disclosure of your information

We may disclose your personal information collected via the site to certain third parties, but only in the following limited circumstances:

  • where we use third-party service providers that process information on our behalf to help us fulfil our contractual obligations and operate our business (such as IT and communication service providers);
  • where that sharing is a necessary part of our legal services to our clients (any such sharing being done in accordance with our Privacy Notice to Clients, as appended to our Terms of Business);
  • where you have contacted us in relation to a job position or training contract, in which case, as part of our recruitment process, we may contact third parties (including your referees, previous employers or educational establishments) to discuss the information that you have provided to us;
  • where we are under a legal or regulatory obligation to disclose your personal information (e.g. to HMRC, regulators or other authorities);
  • to our professional advisers, including bankers, accountants and insurers, who are usually based in the UK and provide their respective professional services to us;
  • if our business or assets are in the future sold, transferred or merged to or with a third party, in which case the new owners may use your personal information in a manner compatible with that set out in this policy; and/or
  • to other third parties, if we have obtained your consent to do so.

International transfers

For our clients, any transfers of personal information outside of the UK are conducted in accordance with our Privacy Notice to Clients, as appended to our Terms of Business.

We do not otherwise typically transfer personal information to locations outside the UK. To the extent that we do so, we will strive to ensure that a similar degree of protection is afforded to such information by ensuring that at least one of the following safeguards is implemented:

  • transferring your personal information to a country, organisation or sector (such as the EU) that has, at the time of transfer, been deemed to provide an adequate level of protection for personal information;
  • putting in place appropriate safeguards, such as using specific forms of contract approved for use in the UK that give personal information the same protection it has in the UK; and/or
  • only transferring the personal data overseas where certain specific criteria (‘derogations’) are met, such as obtaining your express consent for the transfer or the transfer being necessary for the performance of a contract with you.

Please contact us on the details above if you would like further information on any specific mechanism used by us when transferring your personal information outside of the UK.

Data security

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed.  In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties that have a business need to know.  They will only process your personal information on our instructions, and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal information breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

Data retention

For our clients, any personal information collected by us in the course of providing our services is retained in accordance with our Privacy Notice to Clients, as appended to our Terms of Business.

We will only retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes for which we collected such information (or for any compatible purpose), including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting or reporting requirements.  In some circumstances (summarised in “your legal rights” below) you can ask us to delete your personal information.

If you have applied for a job position or a training contract with us, then we will retain your personal information for the duration of the period in which we are considering your application.  If you are successful in your application, then we will continue to retain your personal information until the end of your employment, and following the end of your employment, in accordance with our document retention policy for former employees.  If your application is not successful, or we do not have a suitable position available at that time, we will retain your personal information for up to 12 months and, with your permission, for longer so that we can let you know about other appropriate opportunities that may arise in the future (but you may contact us on the details above at any time to request that we delete your application and any personal information we are holding about you).

Your legal rights

Under certain circumstances, you have the following rights under data protection law in relation to your personal data:

  • right of access to your personal data (commonly known as a "data subject access request") - this enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it;
  • right to rectification of your personal data - this enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us;
  • right to erasure of your personal data - this enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it.  You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below),where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law.  Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request;
  • right to restriction of processing of your personal data - this enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (i) if you want us to establish the data's accuracy; (ii) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; or (iii) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims;
  • right to object to our use of your personal data - this applies where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms.  You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes.  In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms;
  • right to portability (transfer) of your personal data – this means we will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format.  Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you;
  • right not to be subject to automated decision-making (including profiling); and
  • right to withdraw consent to processing of your personal information - this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent.  If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain services or products to you.  We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

Other points to note about your legal rights

You also have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (www.ico.org.uk).  We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO, so please contact us on the details at the top of this policy in the first instance.  If you wish to exercise any of those rights, please contact us on the details above.

You will not typically have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights).  We may, however, charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive.  Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in those circumstances.

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and to ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights).  This is a security measure to ensure that personal data are not disclosed to any person that has no right to receive such data.  We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month.  Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests.  In this case, we shall notify you and keep you updated.