The term ‘VJ Solicitors’ or ‘us’ or ‘we’ refers to the owner of the website whose registered office is Kingston House, Lydiard Fields, Swindon SN5 8UB. Our company registration number is OC O7373698 and we are registered in England and Wales. The term ‘you’ refers to the user or viewer of our website.
· The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only and does not constitute legal advice. No warranty, whether express or implied is given in relation to such materials. It is subject to change without notice.
· Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law.
· Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements.
· This website contains material which is owned by or licensed to us. This material includes, but is not limited to, the design, layout, look, appearance, and graphics. Reproduction is prohibited other than in accordance with the copyright notice, which forms part of these terms and conditions.
· Unauthorised use of this website may give rise to a claim for damages and/or be a criminal offence.
· From time to time, this website may also include links to other websites. These links are provided for your convenience to provide further information. They do not signify that we endorse the website(s). We have no responsibility for the content of the linked website(s).
· Your use of this website and any dispute arising out of such use of the website is subject to the laws of England and Wales.
VJ Legal Services Ltd t/a VJ Solicitors (the Company) obtains, keeps, and uses information about you for several specific lawful purposes. The Company is a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you.
The Company respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. We take the security and privacy of data seriously and are committed to complying with our legal obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018 (the ‘2018 Act’) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) in respect of data privacy and security. Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, the GDPR, other relevant UK, our professional duty of confidentiality and Solicitor’s Code of Conduct.
We are committed to complying with our data protection obligations, and to being concise, clear, and transparent about how we obtain and use personal information or sensitive personal information and how (and when) we delete that information once it is no longer required.
Changes to this policy We will review and update this notice regularly in accordance with our data protection obligations. We will circulate any new or modified policies or notices in relation to your data when it is adopted on our website. If you have any questions about this privacy notice, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, contact us at Info@vjsolicitors.com or telephone us on 01793 683571 or write to us at Kingston House, Lydiard Fields, Great Western Way, Swindon, SN5 8UB
If you are still unclear or have any concerns, you may contact the Information Commissioner at ico.org.uk/concerns/ or telephone: 0303 123 1113 for further information about your rights and how to make a formal complaint.
Our website may include 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 website, we encourage you to read the privacy notice of every website you visit. This policy applies to all data, whether it is stored electronically, on paper or on other materials.
Data protection principles.
When processing your data, the Company will comply with the following data protection principles when processing information:
1) we will process personal information lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner.
2) we will collect personal information for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes only, and will not process it in a way that is incompatible with those legitimate purposes; 3) we will only process the personal information that is adequate, relevant and necessary for the relevant purposes; 4) we will keep accurate and up to date personal information and take reasonable steps to ensure that inaccurate personal information is deleted or corrected without delay; 5) we will keep personal information in a form which permits identification of data subjects (you) for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the information is
processed; and 6) we will take appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure that personal information is kept secure and protected against unauthorised or unlawful processing, and against accidental loss, destruction or damage.
The Company will process your personal data in accordance with legal obligations. ‘Processing’ means collection, recording, organisation, structuring, or storage; adaption or alteration; retrieval, consultation, or use; disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available; alignment or combination; and restriction, destruction, or erasure. This includes processing personal data which forms part of a filing system and any automated processing.
The Company processes information about you ‘data subjects’ for a number of specific lawful purposes and we seek to ensure that our data collection and processing is always proportionate. Given the nature of our business we may collect personal data, sensitive personal data and criminal offence data as defined below:
‘Personal data’ is information which relates to a living person who can be identified from that data (data subject) on its own, or when taken together with other information which is likely to come into our possession. It includes any expression of opinion about the person and an indication of the intentions of us or others, in respect of that person. It does not include anonymised data. Sensitive personal data’ is sometimes referred to as ‘special categories of personal data’ or ‘sensitive personal information’ and it includes information about your: race; ethnic origin; politics; religion; trade union membership; genetics; biometrics (where used for ID purposes); health; sex life; or sexual orientation.
Criminal Offence Data is data relating to criminal convictions and offences, or related security measures. We have further grouped the above data together as follows:
Identity Data includes first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier, marital status, title, date of birth and gender.
Contact Data includes addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers.
Background Data includes details of your background information that you provide to us when enquiring about our services. This could be the nature of your dispute, the parties involved, what you wish to achieve and what type of our assistance you need. It may include sensitive data and criminal offence data.
Employment Data (if you apply for a job with us) includes any other information that you provide on your application form, CV, cover letter, during your interviews, assessments and may include employment history, qualifications, membership of any professional bodies, hobbies, and interests. It can also include details of personal or educational referees, details of former employers the details of which you have provided us with so that we can contact them to obtain a reference from them.
Performance Data (if you apply for a job with us) includes more detailed information about your previous academic and/or employment history, including details of any conduct, grievance or performance issues, appraisals, time and attendance details and information and verification regarding your academic and professional qualifications or verification of your membership of a professional body.
Membership Data (if you apply for a job with us) information in relation to your membership of any professional bodies, any disciplinary matters that have been recorded or conditions
imposed on your practicing certificate (if applicable).
Immigration Data (if you apply for a job with us) information in relation to your nationality and immigration status and information from related documents, such as your passport or other identification and immigration information.
Technical Data includes internet protocol (IP) address, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access this website.
Usage Data includes information about how you use our website i.e., how long you stay on each page and how long you generally visit our website for.
Marketing Data includes your marketing and communication preferences.
Aggregated Data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data may be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your Usage Data to calculate the percentage of users accessing a specific website 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 notice.
Details of what data we collect, where and how we obtain the data from, the purpose of collecting it, how we will use it and which of the legal bases we rely on to do so. We have also identified what our legitimate interests are where appropriate, what happens if you do not provide the information and who we may share it with and why.
We must have a valid lawful basis to process your personal data. We will generally process your personal data in the following circumstances:
1. We need this information to take steps at your request prior to entering a contact with you or for the performance of a contract to which you are a party.
2. 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. Legitimate Interest means the interest of our business in conducting and managing our business to enable us to give you the best service. We make sure we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative) and your rights before we process your personal data for our legitimate interests. We do not use your personal data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you (unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted to by law). Where we process your information under this lawful basis, we will specify legitimate interests accordingly.
3. Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation that we are subject to. Where you have provided us consent. Generally, we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data, but we may in certain circumstances request for your explicit consent to process your data. If we do so, we will advise you on the purpose of that data collection, how we will process it and you may withdraw your consent at any time.
The Company may from time to time need to process sensitive personal information if: 1) we have a lawful basis for doing so as set out in paragraph above; and 2) one of the special conditions for processing sensitive personal information applies, For example. you have given us explicit consent; the processing is necessary for the purposes of exercising the employment law rights or obligations of the Company or you; processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person where the data subject is physically or legally incapable of giving consent, processing relates to personal data which are manifestly made public by you; the processing is necessary for the
establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; the processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest.
It is important that you are aware that where we process your data for the purposes of legitimate interest, once you have submitted your data to us we can process your data for these purposes without your consent (without prejudice to your other rights) if it is for the following purposes, where it is necessary for us to comply or to demonstrate that we have complied with law; where you have made the data public; where processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims. However, we may process your personal data for more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data. Please contact us if you need details about the specific legal ground, we are relying on to process your personal data where more than one ground which has been set out below
Processing your Data
Website Users: When you use our website, we may automatically collect Technical Data, User Data and Aggregate data about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns. We collect this data by using cookies, and other similar technologies. collect this information for the purpose to administer and protect our business and this website (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data; · collect this data as it is necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our business, provision of administration and IT services, network security, to prevent fraud and in the context of a business reorganisation or group restructuring exercise); will share the information we receive with relevant personnel within company, i.e. those responsible for the IT aspect of the business and third-party service providers responsible for our website maintenance; collect this information automatically when you use our website. If you do not wish for this information to be collected, please do not use our website.
If you are considering instructing us, you may give us your Identity, Contact and Background data (which may include sensitive data or criminal offence data) by filling in forms on our website, by corresponding with us by post, phone, or email and in face-to-face meetings. This includes personal data you provide when you enquire about our legal services. We will: obtain & collect this information from you for the purpose of determining if we are able to provide you with legal services; collect this data as it is necessary in order for us to enter into a contract with you and for our legitimate interests (to grow our business, maintain appropriate records, determine if we can provide you with services) and to comply with our legal/regulatory obligation i.e. assess on whether we have the expertise and resources to provide you with the service and to carry out conflict checks; · share the information we receive with relevant personnel within company, i.e. to pass messages or information so that that personnel may respond to your enquiry, make appointments etc. As part of your Background Data you may provide us with sensitive information. We will collect sensitive information so that we take steps to enter a contact with you, for our legitimate interests (e.g., to determine if you have a strong case) or to comply with our legal obligation (e.g., to determine if you have capacity to instruct us. The legal condition for processing your sensitive data is your consent and establishment, exercise, or defence of legal claims. (i.e., so that we can show that we have treated you fairly or that we have complied with our legal obligations.
You may also wish to provide us with sensitive data in relation to your health (i.e., disability) by requesting us to make reasonable adjustments on how we communicate with you or if we need to make special adjustments so that we can provide you with our services. The legal condition for processing such data is establishment, exercise, or defence of legal claims (i.e., so that we can show that we have treated you fairly and in accordance with our legal obligations under Equality Act 2010).
You may also wish to provide us with your criminal offence data. This data would be provided to us as Background data. As our existing clients, you may give us your Identity, Contact and Background data (which may include sensitive data or criminal offence data) by filling in forms on our website, by corresponding with us by post, phone, or email and in face-to-face meetings and in your instructions to us.
We may be provided information about you by a prospective client or our client within the Background Data (which may include sensitive data or criminal offence data). We may not be able to notify you that we hold this data about you due to our professional legal privilege owed to Prospective Clients and existing Clients
Applying for a Job with us: We will process different categories and groups of data during different stages of recruitment process.
We may obtain this data from you, the candidate; recruitment agency; your named referees (personal, educational, or former employers); from a publicly accessible source i.e., LinkedIn; from professional and regulatory bodies, i.e., Law Society or Solicitors Regulation Authority or education providers; Disclosure and Barring Service; data about you may also be created by us during the recruitment process. In connection with your application for work with us, we will collect, store, and use the following types of data about you the information you have provided to us in your curriculum vitae and covering letter; during an interview; referees the details of which you would have given us; by third parties; correspondence with us, provided to us by the Disclosure and Barring Service. We will use the personal information we collect about you to Assess your skills, qualifications, and suitability for the role; Carry out background and reference checks, where applicable; Communicate with you about the recruitment process; Keep records related to our hiring processes; Comply with legal or regulatory requirements; Defend legal claims.
The Company will not carry out automated decision-making (including profiling) based on any individual’s sensitive personal information.
Criminal Offence Data. We will not collect information about your criminal convictions history but will require that you complete a criminal record check if we would like to offer you the role (conditional on checks and any other conditions, such as references, being satisfactory). We are entitled to carry out a criminal record check in order to satisfy ourselves that there is nothing in your criminal conviction history, which makes you unsuitable for the role. In particular because your being able to be assigned to the role, or your membership in the professional body is subject to a clear criminal record; and/or given the nature of our business and our duty to clients, the roles within our firm require a high degree of trust and integrity since it involves dealing with client money and highly sensitive and confidential data. We will not request for your criminal record but will ask for confirmation that you do not have a criminal record by completing a check with Disclosure and Barring Service. We will not collect or process data in relation to your criminal offence record unless and until we can do so by Data Protection Act 2018. If we are permitted to process such data and only if you are unable to complete your DBS check, we may request you to provide more information in respect to your criminal record. We will obtain this information from you or from the Disclosure and Barring Service. In such event we will collect this information in order to enter into the employment contract, to comply with our legal/regulatory obligation to carry out certain checks and for legitimate interests: to maintain employment records, to comply with legal, regulatory and corporate governance obligations, good employment practice, to make an informed decision on whether to recruit you and to verify the information provided by you. If we have lawful basis to collect such information and you refuse to provide it, we may be unable to enter into an employment contract with you. In such event, we will also have in place an appropriate policy document and safeguards which we will be required by law to
maintain when processing such data. Any such policy will be made available to you before we carry out such checks and process your criminal offence data.
We will not retain your data for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this policy. Different retention periods apply for different types of data. More information can be found in our Data Retention Policy which can be requested from Information Manager.
We generally keep your personal data so that we can respond to any questions, complaints or claims made by you or on your behalf; show that we treated you fairly; keep records required by law; prevent fraud; comply with our regulatory requirements.
When it is no longer necessary to retain your personal data, we will delete securely in accordance with our Data Retention Policy. In summary your data will be retained as follows: Website Users: data will be anonymised and retained for up to 7 years. Prospective Clients: enquiries will be retained for 6 months. Promotional: If you subscribed to receive our promotional notifications, we will retain your name, organisation, and your contacting preferences until you withdraw your consent. Third Parties: information will be retained for 6 months if such information is provided by Prospective Client and 6 years if Prospective Client becomes a Client or if such information is provided by a Client. Clients: information will be retained for 6 years.
Data Security Information may be held at our offices and third-party agencies, service providers, representatives, and agents. We have security measures in place to ensure that there is appropriate security for information we hold.
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 who 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 data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.
Data Sharing We routinely share personal data with relevant personnel within our Company; our regulators (i.e., Legal Ombudsman, SRA); professional advisers who you may wish us to obtain a quote from or instruct on your behalf or refer to you (e.g., medical professionals, experts, tax advisors, barristers, conveyancers etc). We will share your personal information only if it is necessary with our insurers; external service suppliers, representatives, and agents that we use to make our business more efficient (i.e., dictating services, website developers, document storage service, confidential data disposal service, our technology, system, and software providers).
We only allow our service providers to handle your personal data if we are satisfied, they take appropriate measures to protect your personal data. They are only permitted to process your data for the lawful purpose for which it has been shared and in accordance with our instructions. We also impose contractual obligations on service providers relating to ensure they can only use your personal data to provide services to us and to you. We will only share information about you if it is strictly necessary.
We do not send your personal data outside the European Economic Area. If this changes
you will be notified of this and the protections, which are in place to protect the security of your data, will be explained.
We may disclose and exchange information with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations. We may disclose your data to enforce our contractual rights against you or to defend legal claims. We may also disclose your data to protect our rights, property and safety, or the rights, property, and safety of others or to prevent fraud.
We may also need to share some personal data with other parties, such as potential buyers of some or all 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.
We will not share your personal data with any other Third Party unless you instruct us to. The above data will be shared subject to our duty of confidentiality as well as Solicitors Code of Conduct.
Marketing communications We may use your personal data to send you updates (by email, telephone, or post) about legal developments that might be of interest to you and/or information about our services, including exclusive offers, promotions, invitations to seminars or information on our new services. We have a legitimate interest in processing your personal data for promotional purposes. This means we do not usually need your consent to send you promotional communications if you are our former or current client (consumer) or if you are a business or organisation. However, where consent is needed, we will ask for this consent separately and clearly.
We will always treat your personal data with the utmost respect and never sell or share it with other organisations for marketing purposes.
You have the right to opt out of receiving marketing communications at any time by sending an email or telephone. We may ask you to confirm or update your marketing preferences if you instruct us to provide further services in the future, or if there are changes in the law, regulation, or the structure of our business.
Your Rights Under the legislation you may be entitled to the listed rights in certain circumstances as listed below. The right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data. The right to access (Subject Access Request) to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it. If you wish to exercise this right: · 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 is unfounded, repetitive, or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances. · we may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and 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 is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. 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 several requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated. Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to
have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected. In certain circumstances we may refuse a request for correction. Request erasure of your personal information. In certain circumstances you have the right to ask for some but not all the information we hold and process to be erased (the right to be forgotten). This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information 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 information where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below). Object to processing of your personal information 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. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. Request restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it. Request the transfer of your personal information to another party. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling: You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making.
If you want to exercise any of the above-mentioned rights, please contact us by telephone or in writing. We will respond to your request within one calendar month.
C] Complaints Procedure
We are confident that we will give you a high quality of service in all respects. However, if you have any queries or concerns about our work for you, please take them up first with Shekhar Deshpande, the Practice Manager. If that does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction, please speak to Vinita Joshi-Deshpande. We may use a partner in another law firm to resolve your complaint.
In an unlikely event that you remain unhappy we have an arrangement with a large firm of solicitors whose senior partner will consider your concerns. You also have a right to make a complaint to Legal ombudsman and details can be found at www.legalombudsman.org.uk
You may complain to Legal Ombudsman Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint. Contact details www.legalombudsman.org.uk, Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 to 17.00. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
If you are still unhappy with our service then you can also complain to SRA by visiting their website.
D] How we charge our fees
We charge on time spent, Complexity, Value and risks involved however, we may agree a Fixed Fee depending on your matter. Please contact us regarding your matter and we will give you an indication or an idea of likely costs.