Privacy Notice

What is the purpose of this privacy notice and to whom does it apply?

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal Administration Limited (“SDT”, “SDTAL”, “we” or “us”) is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal data.  References to your “personal data” include any or all of your personal data, as the context requires, including “special categories of personal data”, which involves more sensitive information about you (for a full definition, see Article 9 of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”)).

This privacy notice describes how we are or will be processing personal data about you during and after your relationship with us.  By “processing”, we mean such actions as collecting, using, storing, disclosing, erasing or destroying your personal data (for a full definition, see Article 4 of the GDPR).

This notice applies to all those who are not job applicants, employees, workers, contractors or Tribunal Members. In particular it applies to Applicants, Respondents, Legal Representatives and third parties involved in litigation administered by, or otherwise involving, SDT. We may update this notice at any time and without notifying you before we do so.

 It is important that you read this notice, together with any other privacy notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are processing personal data about you, so that you are aware of how and why we are using such information.

Identity and contact details of the data controller and the data protection officer

The SDT is a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal data about you. We are required under data protection legislation to notify you of the information contained in this privacy notice.

The contact details of the SDT are:

5th Floor
Gate House
1 Farringdon Street
London
EC4M 7LG

Our main office number is 0207 329 4808.

We have appointed a data protection officer (“DPO”) whose contact details are as follows:

Matthew Waterworth- telephone: 020 7329 4808; email:  matthew.waterworth@solicitorsdt.com.

The DPO is responsible for overseeing compliance with this privacy notice and for handling any data protection queries or issues involving the SDT.  He works independently of the SDTAL management team on issues relating to data protection.  You should contact the DPO in the first instance about any issue involving data protection, whether it involves your data or anyone else’s.

What type of personal data do we process about you?

We may process the following categories of personal data about you:

  • Personal contact details such as name, title, addresses, telephone numbers, and work email addresses or (in the case of some Respondents) personal email addresses.
  • For Respondents: your date of birth, gender, marital status and details of dependants.
  • For Lay Applicants: any additional personal information provided with your application.
  • Details relating to your case, including but not limited to, allegations of misconduct relating to you, mitigating factors, financial information, any third party personal data relevant to your case etc.
  • Photographs and CCTV footage.

We may also process the following “special categories” of more sensitive personal data:

  • Information about your gender, race or ethnicity, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.
  • Information about your health, including any medical condition, health records.
  • Information about criminal convictions and offences.
  • Information about political party membership or political affiliations.

How do we collect your personal data?

We typically collect personal data about Respondents from the regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”). We may sometimes collect additional information from other third parties including referees, Lay Applicants, employers/former employers and witnesses.

What are the legal bases and the purposes for which we process your personal data?

We will only use your personal data as permitted by law.  We may use your personal data in any of the following circumstances (see section below for details of the situations in which we may process your data):

  1. Where we have your consent to do so.
  2. Where we need to perform the contract we have entered into with you.
  3. Where we need to comply with a legal obligation.
  4. Where the processing is necessary to protect anybody’s vital interests (used rarely).
  5. Where the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest.
  6. Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.  We are required to specify what the legitimate interests are (see below for further details). 

Consent

Any visitors to our website who request information will need to leave contact information (such as name, address, email address, mobile phone number) for the purpose of responding to their request and they will have consented to provide such information for the purpose of responding to their request.

Necessary for the performance of a contract with you

The following purposes come under this category:

  • Contact details of named individuals working for suppliers and other third parties with whom SDTAL plans to enter into (or has entered into) a contract for the supply of goods or services.

Necessary to comply with a legal obligation

The following purposes come under this category:

  • Ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of those attending the Tribunal’s premises.

Necessary to perform public interest task

  • The completion of equality and diversity monitoring forms in order to monitor diversity in relation to the incidence and outcome of cases.
  • Publication of case data, including details of forthcoming hearings.
  • Publication of Judgments involving solicitors, recognised bodies, registered European and foreign lawyers, and their employees – anybody visiting our website can conduct a Judgment search relating to a named Respondent, and if the name of the Respondent does not appear in their search, they can contact the SDT for further information. Judgments can also be obtained by post or email from Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, 5th Floor Gate House, 1 Farringdon Street, London EC4M 7LG.  The SDT’s Judgment Publication Policy is available on our website.  A list of appeals is published in the Annual Report.
  • Details of sanctions applied from 2014 onwards are available from our website. 

Necessary for our legitimate interests or those of a third party

  • Personal data of named individuals within the SRA and Lay Applicants (such as name, gender, mobile phone number, direct landline, email address) for the purpose of communicating with them in the context of cases administered by the SDT.
  • Personal data obtained through CCTV in the SDT premises – the legitimate interest is the protection of health and safety (including the identification of individuals on the premises in the event of fire or other serious incident) and the prevention and detection of criminal acts.
  • Provision of information about fines publicly imposed by the SDT to HM Treasury on the basis that such fines are payable to HM Treasury.

If you fail to provide personal data

If you fail to provide certain information when requested, and we are unable to obtain it from a third party or publicly available source, we may not be able to perform any contract we have entered into with you (if you are a supplier), or we may be prevented from complying with our legal obligations or to perform a public interest task.

Change of purpose

We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so, before we start using it for that unrelated purpose.

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

How we use special categories of personal data

”Special categories” of personal data require higher levels of protection. We need to have further justification for collecting, storing and using this type of personal data. We may process special categories of personal data in the following circumstances:

1. In limited circumstances, with your explicit written consent.

2. Where it is needed in the public interest, such as for equality and diversity monitoring (where such information is provided by you in line with our data protection and related policies) or where the processing is necessary for the Tribunal to discharge its statutory function.

3. Where it is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or wherever courts are acting in their judicial capacity.

We will use your special categories of personal data in the following ways:

  • We will use information about your physical or mental health, or disability status, to ensure that we provide appropriate adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.
  • We will use information about your race or national or ethnic origin, religious or other beliefs, or your sexual life or sexual orientation, to ensure meaningful equality and diversity monitoring and reporting.

Do we need your consent?

We do not need your consent if we use special categories of your personal data in accordance with our written policy to carry out our legal obligations including processing necessary to the performance of our statutory obligations under the Solicitors Act 1974.  In limited circumstances, we may approach you for your written consent to allow us to process certain particularly sensitive data or to use data for purposes not related to those for which we have collected it.  If we do so, we will provide you with full details of the information that we would like and the reason we need it, so that you can carefully consider whether you wish to consent. We will at the same time inform you of the consequences of not consenting and you are also reminded of your right to withdraw your consent at any time, in any cases where your consent has been sought.

Information about criminal convictions

Judgments published on our website are published in accordance with our Judgment Publication Policy, or on request, with details of sanctions applied to solicitors, recognised bodies, registered European and foreign lawyers, and their employees.  Recordings of court proceedings (unless in private) are available on request (and payment of a fee).

We may only use information relating to criminal convictions where the law allows us to do so. This will usually be where such processing is necessary to carry out our obligations and provided we do so in line with our data protection policy and related policies.

Less commonly, we may use information relating to criminal convictions where it is necessary in relation to legal claims, where it is necessary to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public.

With whom might we share your personal data?

Certain personal data relating to Respondents will be made publicly available where it is in the public interest or we are required to do so as set out above.  In addition, hearings (unless they are private) are recorded and a copy of the audio recording is publicly available for a fee.  The formal record of a case management hearing is also publicly available if requested.  Our staff would provide publicly available information in response to a telephone enquiry relating to a specific case.  As also set out above limited information (the amount of the fine, any provisions regarding time for payment, the address of the Respondent and the date of order) about fines imposed by the SDT will be shared with HM Treasury which is the body responsible for collecting such fines.

We may have to share your data with third parties, including third-party service providers and any sub-contractors of those service providers.  See below for further details.

We require third parties to respect the security of your data and to treat it in accordance with the law.

Why might we share your personal data with third parties?

We may share your personal data with third parties where required by law or where we have another legitimate interest in doing so.

Which third-party service providers process my personal data?

”Third parties” includes third-party service providers (including contractors and sub-contractors). The following activities are carried out by third-party service providers:  The provision of goods and services to SDT/SDTAL, insurance, IT and communications.   

How secure is your information with third-party service providers?

All our third-party service providers are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal data in line with our policies. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes unless they are data controllers in their own right in relation to your personal data. Where they operate as our “data processors” (ie they process your personal data on our behalf and acting only on our instructions), we only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

What about disclosure to other third parties?

We may share your personal data with other third parties, for example with the SRA, to external legal or other professional advisers, or otherwise to comply with the law.

 What safeguards are in place in relation to the transfer of your personal data outside of the EU?

Neither we nor our third party suppliers envisage transferring your personal data outside the EU.  If the position changes, we will let you know and also let you know of the safeguards we will be putting in place to keep your personal data secure.  In the event that a Respondent, witness or other individual involved in a particular case is situated outside the EU we will take appropriate safeguards and liaise with that individual about secure transfer.

How long will we retain your personal data?

We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.  Details of retention periods for different aspects of your personal data are available in our Records Management Policy which is available from the Head of HR and Office Administration.  To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal data so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case we may use such information without further notice to you. Once you are no longer an employee, worker or contractor of the company we will retain and securely destroy your personal data in accordance with our data retention policy or related policies.

Our website and Cookies policy

We use cookies on this website.  A cookie is a small text file which is placed onto your device (e.g. computer, smartphone or other electronic device) when you use our website. These cookies allow us to maximise the effectiveness of our website (the cookies are required for the site to function fully).  The cookies also allow us to monitor the use of our website which helps us assess and improve its effectiveness. 

Most cookies placed on to your computer by our website expire each time you close your browser after visiting our site and do not remain on your device afterwards. We do not use cookies to track individual users or to identify them.  

The only cookies which do not all expire each time you close your browser after visiting our site relate to Google analytics.  This is a web analytics service provided by Google Inc. which uses cookies to show us how visitors found and explored our site, and how we can enhance their experience. It provides us with information about the behaviour of our visitors (e.g. how long they stayed on the site, the average number of pages viewed) and also tells us how many visitors we have had.  The information gathered by the cookie about your use of our site (including your IP address) will be transmitted and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information in order to evaluate your use of our website, compiling reports on website activity and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may have to disclose this information to third parties were required by law to do so, or where those third parties process the information on Google’s behalf.  Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. For more information about Google analytic cookies, please see Google’s help pages and privacy policy.

Details of the cookies used on our website are set out below:
 
Google Analytics:  _ga
This cookie is used to track visitor behaviour and measure site performance.
Expiration - approximately 2 years.
 
Google Analytics:  _gat
This cookie is used to restrict data collection on high usage sites.
Expiration - 10 minutes.
 
 Google Analytics:  _gid
This cookie is used to identify pages within the site visited by the user.
Expiration - 24 hours.
 
 Website: Session Cookie SESS*
The Session cookie is used when accessing pages of the site that require username and password authentication. This cookie determines that a user is logged in. When the user logs out of the site, this cookie is removed from the browser.
Expiration - on logging out of the site.
 
Website: Has_js
Logs whether the site has JavaScript enabled which allows the appropriate content to be delivered.
Expiration - end of Session.
 
You can set your browser not to accept cookies.  However some of our website features may not function as a result.  For further information about cookies and how to disable them please go to the Information Commissioner’s webpage on cookies: https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/online/cookies/.”

What are your rights and obligations as a data subject?

If your personal data changes

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.

Your rights in connection with personal data

Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • Request 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.
  • Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • Request 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 exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
  • Object to processing of your personal data 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.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal data about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
  • Request the transfer of your personal data to another party.

If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal data, object to the processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal data to another party, please contact the DPO in writing.

 No fee usually required

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

What we may need from you

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access the information (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is another appropriate security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.

What are your rights to withdraw consent to processing?

You may withdraw your consent to allow us to continue processing your personal data, but only where consent was sought as a lawful means of processing your personal data.

In the limited circumstances where you may have provided your consent to the processing of your personal data for a specific purpose, you have the right to withdraw your consent for that specific processing at any time. To withdraw your consent, please contact the DPO. Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your information for the purpose or purposes you originally agreed to, unless we have another legitimate basis for doing so in law.

What are your rights to lodge a complaint about the way in which your personal data are being processed?

Firstly we would encourage you to contact the DPO in writing so that we can try to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction.  Alternatively, or additionally, you may formally complain using our External Complaints Procedure – details of which are on our website.  .

You are also free to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office on 0303 123 1113 at any time. 

Personal data received from someone other than you

If we obtain personal data from someone other than you we will provide you with information as to the source of such personal data and, if applicable, whether it came from publicly available sources.  Where the personal data is received pursuant to the exercise of our statutory function, and where revealing the source of the data may undermine the statutory function or involve processing the personal data of a third party, we may be unable to provide this detail.

What data security measures are in place to protect your personal data?

We have put in place measures to protect the security of your information. Details of these measures are available upon request.  Secure lockable storage is provided for physical documents containing personal data and electronic data of this nature is held securely on our systems to which access is restricted via login/password to those with a legitimate need to access that information.

Third parties will only process your personal data on our instructions and where they have agreed to treat the information confidentially and to keep it secure.

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

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

Changes to this privacy notice

We reserve the right to update this privacy notice at any time, and we will make details available when we make any substantial updates. We may also notify you in other ways from time to time about the processing of your personal data.

If you have any questions about this privacy notice, please contact our DPO.