Privacy Policy

Swain & Co Solicitors are committed to protecting your privacy. However, it is important that you understand how information provided by you via this website is dealt with.

By using our site you agree to accept this privacy policy. Please be aware that the privacy policy may change. Any changes will appear on this web page.

Swain & Co Solicitors DO NOT disclose personal information to third parties without your consent except when absolutely necessary and as requested by local and/or government authorities. Your personal information may be disclosed to employees of Swain & Co Solicitors but in relation to your case only and we confirm that all such persons are fully aware of the importance of client confidentiality.

We would ask you to note that by using this website you consent to the collection, use and retention of any personal information you provide for our legitimate business use. Such information may only be collected, used and retained if we are justified in doing so, if we are required to do so and/or it is useful to do so for the purposes of conducting our business.

The website of Swain & Co Solicitors may contain links to various other web pages. You are reminded that Swain & Co Solicitors have no control over these sites and cannot accept responsibility should you decide to enter them.

Our website may employ the use of “Cookies” which is a way in which information from advertising and website usage can be tracked.

Please be advised that whilst we strive to keep any information that you have supplied either directly or indirectly secure, the internet is not a fully secure medium and we can offer no guarantee in relation to such security.

Our Privacy Policy is changing from 25th May 2018 to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations – our new Policy can be found below

Privacy Policy – General

Issue Date:           22nd May 2018

Effective Date:      25th May 2018


1. Introduction

1.1     We take your privacy very seriously. Please read this privacy policy carefully as it contains important information on who we are and how and why we collect, store, 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.

1.2     When we use your personal data we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘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 and EU legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.

2. Key terms

It would be helpful to start by explaining some key terms used in this policy:

We, us, our Lee Syms t/a Swain & Co Solicitors
Our Data Compliance Protection Manager (DCPM) is Samantha Lee


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, sex life or sexual orientation

Criminal Records

3. Accountability and Responsibility

3.1     The Directors of the Company have taken the view that the level at which processing of data within the Company is required does not warrant the appointment of a Data Protection Office but consider the COLP will act as the Company’s DCPM who will have overall accountability for ensuring that the Company’s data protection obligations are adhered to and for monitoring compliance with those obligations in line with the Company’s Policies.

3.2     All personnel in the Company have a responsibility to ensure they comply with the data protection regulations and to follow the guidance and procedures set out by the Company in relation to GDPR and in addition to report any breach or suspected breach to the DPCM in a timely manner.

4. Monitoring and Review

4.1     At least an annual review of this Policy and procedures will be carried out and any detrimental findings or suggestions as to change within the Policy which have been identified by way of monitoring compliance will be reported to the Board of Directors who will consider the report and authorise any changes they consider are appropriate.

5. What personal data we collect

5.1     The table below sets out the personal data we will or may collect in the course of advising and/or acting or working with individuals.

Personal data we will collect Personal data we may collect depending on why we have been instructed

Individual’s name, address and telephone number;

Information to enable us to check and verify an individual’s identity, eg date of birth or passport details;

Electronic contact details, eg email address and mobile phone number;

Information relating to the matter in which an individual is seeking our advice or representation;

Financial details so far as relevant to the individual’s instructions, eg the source of funds where an individual is paying our fees and/or other sums relating to the matter privately;

Information about an individual’s use of our IT, communication and other systems, and other monitoring information, eg in relation to contacting us via our website etc.

Individual’s National Insurance and tax details;

Bank and/or building society details;

Details of  professional online presence, eg LinkedIn profile;

Details of an individual’s spouse/partner and dependants or other family members, eg if we are instructed on a family matter;

An individual’s employment status and details including salary and benefits, eg if we are instructed on matter related to  employment (i.e. injury at work  OR where employment status or income is relevant in relation to Legal Aid eligibility;

An individual’s nationality and immigration status and information from related documents, such as a passport or other identification, or immigration information, if there is any relevance to the matter in which we have been instructed;

Details of an individual’s pension arrangements, eg if we are instructed on a pension matter or in relation to financial arrangements following breakdown of a relationship;

Employment records including, where relevant, records relating to sickness and attendance, performance, disciplinary, conduct and grievances (including relevant special category personal data), eg if we are instructed on a matter related to your employment or in which employment records are relevant eg if we are acting in relation to a claim against an employer for  personal injury; 

Other personal identifying information, such as eye colour or other information relating to the individual’s wider family eg if we are instructed in relation to a paternity issue etc.;

Medical records, eg if we are acting in relation to a personal injury claim;

Criminal records, eg if we are acting in relation to prison law matters

5.2     This personal data is required to enable us to provide our service. If such personal data which we ask for is not provided this may delay or prevent us from providing such service to whoever has instructed us.

6. How personal data is collected

6.1     We collect most of this information from direct from our client(s). However, we may also collect information:

6.1.1           from:

(a)     publicly accessible sources, eg Companies House or HM Land Registry;

(b)     directly from a third party, eg: sanctions screening providers; credit reference agencies; client due diligence providers;

          6.1.2           from a third party with our client(s) consent, eg:

(a)     bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor;

(b)     consultants and other professionals we may engage in relation to our client’s matter;

(c)     employer and/or trade union, professional body or pension administrators;

(d)     Doctors, medical and occupational health professionals;

(e)     Police, Social Workers, Parole Officers and other professionals engaged in the legal system

6.1.3             via our website—we use cookies on our website (for more information on cookies, please see our Cookies Policy;

6.1.4             via our information technology (IT) systems, eg:

(a)     case management, document management and time recording systems;

(b)     door entry systems and/or reception logs;

(c)     automated monitoring of our websites and other technical systems, such as our computer networks and connections, and access control systems, communications systems, email and instant messaging systems;

7. How and why we use personal data

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

7.1.1           to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;

7.1.2           for the performance of our contract with a client or third party or to take steps at a client’s or third party’s request before entering into a contract with them;

7.1.3           for our legitimate interests or those of a third party; or

7.1.4           where the individual whose data is being collected has given consent.

7.2     A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use personal or sensitive information, so long as this is not overridden by the data subject’s rights and interests.

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

What we use personal data for Our reasons
To provide legal services to those who instruct us or with whom we work with For the performance of our contract with   those we are acting for or working with  or to take steps at  the data subject’s request before entering into a contract
Conducting checks to identify our clients and other parties with whom we work to  verify their identity

Screening for financial and other sanctions or embargoes;

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
Gathering and providing information required by or relating to audits, enquiries or investigations by regulatory bodies To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
Gathering and providing information required by or relating to audits, enquiries or investigations by regulatory bodies To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
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.
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 delivery the best service at the best price
Ensuring the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to protect our intellectual property and other commercially valuable information;

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Statistical analysis to help us manage our practice, eg in relation to our financial performance, 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 delivery the best service at the best price
Preventing unauthorised access and modifications to systems For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to prevent and detect criminal activity that could be damaging for us, our clients and any other parties we work with;

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Updating and enhancing client records For the performance of our contract with our clients and others with whom we work with or to take steps at the Data Subject’s  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 in order to provide information regarding existing and new services

Statutory returns To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
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.

Marketing our services and those of selected third parties as may from time to time be appropriate to:

—existing and former clients;

—third parties who have previously expressed an interest in our services;

—third parties with whom we have had no previous dealings.

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to promote our business to existing and former clients
Credit reference checks via external credit reference agencies For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie for credit control and to ensure our clients are likely to be able to pay for our services
External audits and quality checks, eg for Lexcel, SRA and the audit of our accounts 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

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

8. Promotional communications

8.1     We may use personal data to send updates (by email, text message, telephone or post) about legal developments that might be of interest to individuals whose details we have on our databases which may relate to information about our services, including exclusive offers, promotions or new services or products

8.2     We have a legitimate interest in processing personal data for promotional purposes (see above ‘How and why we use personal data’). This means we do not usually need consent to send promotional communications. However, where consent is needed, we will ask for this consent separately and clearly.

8.3     We will always treat personal data with the utmost respect and never sell or share it with other organisations for marketing purposes.

8.4     Any individual whose personal data we hold has the right to opt out of receiving promotional communications at any time by:

8.4.1           contacting us via our website and following the online links for opting-out

8.4.2           using the ‘unsubscribe’ link in emails or ‘STOP’ number in texts

8.4.3           updating their marketing preferences on our website

8.4.4           Writing to our Data Protection Compliance Manager with the request to unsubscribe from our promotional communications or advise of a change in preference.

8.5     We may ask those for whom we hold personal information to confirm or update their marketing preferences if our relationship with such individual(s) change, i.e. new instructions for a further service are received, or if there are changes in the law, regulation, or the structure of our business.

9. Who we share personal data with

9.1     We routinely share personal data, where it is necessary in the course of our business with:

9.1.1           professional advisers who we instruct on behalf of clients or refer them to, eg barristers, medical professionals, accountants, tax advisors or other experts;

9.1.2           other third parties where necessary to carry out a client’s instructions;

9.1.3           our insurers and brokers where there has been, for example, a claim against us

9.1.4           external auditors, eg in relation to or Lexcel accreditation and the audit of our accounts;

9.1.5           our banks;

9.1.6           external service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, eg typing services, marketing agencies,  cost draftsman etc.

9.2     We only allow our service providers to handle personal data if we are satisfied they take appropriate measures to protect such data. We also impose contractual obligations on service providers relating to ensure they can only use personal data to provide services to us and to our clients.

9.3     We may disclose and exchange information with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.

9.4     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.

10. Where personal data is held

10.1   Information may be held at our offices and those of third party agencies, service providers, representatives and agents as described above (see ‘Who we share personal data with‘).

10.2   Some of these third parties may be based outside the European Economic Area. For more information, including on how we safeguard your personal data when this occurs, see below: ‘Transferring personal data out of EEA.

11. How long personal data will be kept

11.1   We keep personal data after we have finished advising or acting or working with individuals for varying lengths of time and we retain such details for the following one of the following reasons.

11.1.1         to respond to any questions, complaints or claims made by the individual(s) whose data we hold or made on their behalf;

11.1.2         to show that fair treatment was given during our working relationship

11.1.3         to keep records required by law.

11.2   We do not retain personal data for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this policy. Different retention periods apply for different types of data and further details on this are available in our Office Manual and are provided in closing letters to clients.

11.3   When it is no longer necessary to retain an individual’s personal data, we will delete or anonymise it.

12. Transferring personal data out of EEA

12.1   To deliver services to an individual or to work with experts, it may from time to time be necessary for us to share personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), eg:

12.1.1          with service providers located outside the EEA;

12.1.2         if  we are working with individual(s) who are based outside the EEA;

12.1.3         where there is an international dimension to the matter in which we are advising.

12.2   These transfers are subject to special rules under European and UK data protection law and should a transfer be necessary we will inform the individual whose data we are transferring of the rules under which they are being transferred.

12.3   Non-EEA countries do not have the same data protection laws as the United Kingdom and EEA.

12.4   Should a transfer of personal data out of the EEA become necessary, we will ensure the transfer complies with data protection law and all personal data will be secure. Our standard practice is to use standard data protection contract clauses which have been approved by the European Commission. To obtain a copy of those clauses and as referred to in clause 10.2 above we will ensure the individual whose data is being transferred is made aware of such detail prior to the transfer of data.

13. An individual’s rights with regard to storage of personal data

13.1   Anyone whose personal data is stored by us has the following rights, which can be exercised free of charge:

Access The right to be provided with a copy of their personal data
Rectification The right to require us to correct any mistakes in their personal data
To be forgotten The right to require us to delete their personal data—in certain situations
Restriction of processing The right to require us to restrict processing of their personal data—in certain circumstances, eg if they contest the accuracy of the data
Data portability The right to receive the personal data they provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and/or transmit that data to a third party—in certain situations
To object The right to object:

—at any time to their personal data being processed for direct marketing (including profiling);

—in certain other situations to our continued processing of their personal data, eg processing carried out for the purpose of our legitimate interests.

Not to be subject to automated individual decision-making The right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing (including profiling) that produces legal effects concerning them or similarly significantly affects them

13.2   For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, our Data Processing Compliance Manager can be contacted or further information can be obtained via the following link: Guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.

13.3 If an individual whose personal data we hold wishes to exercise any of the above rights they may:

13.3.1           complete a data subject request form—available from our offices; or

13.3.2           email, call or write to the Data Protection Compliance Manager, see below: How to contact us’; and provide:

(a)     enough information to identify themselves   (eg their full name, address and client or matter reference number);

(b)     proof of their identity and address (eg a copy driving licence or passport and a recent utility or credit card bill); and

(c)     advise what right they want to exercise and the information to which their request relates

14. Keeping personal data secure

14.1   We have appropriate security measures to prevent personal data from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed unlawfully.  We limit access to personal data to those who have a genuine business need to access it.  Those processing personal information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

14.2   We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach.

14.3   We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

15. How to complain

15.1   Should an individual wish to complain in relation to the way we have managed their personal data they need to follow our complaints procedure set out in our Complaints Policy, a copy of which can provided on request, but in short they will need to write to our Complaints Officer, whose details can be found on the Company’s Officers List.

15.2   It is hoped that we would be able to resolve any query or concern that may be raised about use or storage of personal data but the General Data Protection Regulation also gives an individual the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the European Union (or European Economic Area) state where that individual works, normally lives 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 or telephone: 0303 123 1113.

16. Changes to this Privacy Policy

16.1   This privacy policy was published on 25th May 2018.

16.2   We may change this privacy policy from time to time, when we do we will ensure notification is made via our website at

17. How to contact us

Name of Contact: Samantha Lee
Address: Compass House, 57 Meridian Centre,  North Street, Havant PO9 1UW
Telephone 02392 483322