Watson Thomas values your privacy and cares about the way in which your personal information is used and protected.
What does this policy cover?
This policy describes:
• what personal information we collect about you
• how we obtain your personal information
• how we use your personal information
• on what basis we use your personal information
• how long we keep your personal information
• who we share your personal information with
• how we protect your personal information
• which countries we transfer your personal information to
• your rights regarding your personal information
Watson Thomas refers to Watson Thomas Limited of Pearson Court, 3 Kings Road, Fleet, Hampshire GU51 3DL
What personal information do we collect about you?
We may collect personal information from you in the course of our business, including through your use of our website, when you contact or request information from us, when you engage our legal services or as a result of your relationship with one or more of our staff and clients.
The personal information that we process includes:
• Basic information, such as your name, the company you work for, your title or position and your relationship to a person
• Contact information, such as your postal address, email address and phone number(s)
• Financial information, such as payment-related information
• Technical information, such as information from your visits to our website or applications or in relation to materials and communications we send to you electronically
• Information you provide to us for the purposes of attending meetings and events, including access and dietary requirements
• Identification and background information provided by you or collected as part of our file opening and client engagement processes
• Personal information provided to us by or on behalf of our clients or generated by us in the course or providing services to them, which may include special categories of data
• Any other information relating to you which you may provide to us
How we obtain your personal information
• We collect information from you as part of our file opening and client engagement processes and about you and others as necessary in the course of providing legal services to you
• We collect your personal information while monitoring our technology services, including our website and email communications sent to and from Watson Thomas
• We gather information about you when you provide it to us, or interact with us directly, for instance engaging with our staff or registering for one of our events
• We may collect or receive information about you from other sources, such as using publically available services to keep the contact details we already hold for you up to date
How we use your personal information
Watson Thomas collects and processes personal information about you in a number of ways, including through your use of our website and in the provision of services by us. We use that information:
• To provide and improve this website, including auditing and monitoring its use
• To provide and improve our services to you and to our clients, including handling the personal information of others on behalf of our clients
• To provide information requested by you
• To promote our services, including sending legal updates, publications and details of events
• To manage and administer our relationship with you and our clients
• To fulfil our legal, regulatory and risk management obligations, including establishing, exercising or defending legal claims
• For the purposes of recruitment
Use of the Watson Thomas website
A number of facilities on our website invite you to provide us with personal information, such as our ‘Contact Us page. The purpose of these facilities is apparent at the point that you provide your personal information and we only use that information for those purposes.
We may obtain information about your general internet usage by using a cookie file which is stored on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer's hard drive. They help us to improve the website and to deliver a better and more personalised service. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the site to operate.
Cookie Name Purpose
__utma This cookie is used to monitor the number of times a visitor has been to the site related to the cookie, when they first visited the site, and when they were last on the site. Google Analytics uses the information from this cookie to calculate things like days and visits to purchase.
__utmc These two cookies work together to establish how long a visit has taken. b signals when a user enters the site and c signals when a user leaves.
__utmz Captures how a visitor accessed the site including: which search engine was used, what link was clicked on, what keywords were used and geographical location.
_Watson Thomas_session We set a session cookie to remember you for the length of time that you keep your browser open.
Our website uses Google Analytics, a web-based analytics tool that tracks and reports on the manner in which the website is used to help us to improve it. Google Analytics does this by placing small text files called ‘cookies’ on your device. The information that the cookies collect, such as the number of visitors to the site, the pages visited and the length of time spent on the site, is aggregated and therefore anonymous.
Marketing and other emails
We use personal information to understand whether you read the emails and other materials, such as legal publications, that we send to you, click on the links to the information that we include in them and whether and how you visit our website after you click on that link (immediately and on future visits). We do this by using software that places a cookie on your device which tracks this activity and records it against your email address. Please see ‘Use of the Watson Thomas website’ for more information on cookies and how to manage and remove them. Removal of this cookie will not affect your experience on our websites.
We may also use a relationship management tool, where permitted, to assess the strength of the relationship between individuals in Watson Thomas and our clients or potential clients based on the frequency of email contact between them. We use that information in order to assess, analyse and improve the services that we provide.
Meetings, events and seminars
We will collect and process personal information about you in relation to your attendance at our offices or at an event or seminar organised by Watson Thomas. We will only process and use special categories of personal information about your dietary or access requirements in order to cater for your needs and to meet any other legal or regulatory obligations we may have. We may share your information with IT and other service providers or business partners involved in organising or hosting the relevant event.
Legal and other services
We collect, create, hold and use personal information in the course of and in connection with the services we provide to our clients. We will process identification and background information as part of our file opening and client engagement processes, finance, administration and marketing processes, including anti-money laundering, conflict, reputational and financial checks. We will also process personal information provided to us by or on behalf of our clients for the purposes of the work we do for them. The information may be disclosed to third parties to the extent reasonably necessary in connection with that work. Please also see ‘Who we share your personal information with’ and ‘Which countries we transfer your personal information to’ below.
On what basis we use your personal information
We use your personal information on the following basis:
• To perform a contract, such as engaging with an individual to provide legal services
• For the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or proceedings
• To comply with legal and regulatory obligations
• For legitimate business purposes. Please see ‘How we use your personal information’ for more detail
How long we keep your personal information
Your personal information will be retained in accordance with our data retention policy which categorises all of the information held by Watson Thomas and specifies the appropriate retention period for each category of data. Those periods are based on the requirements of applicable data protection laws and the purpose for which the information is collected and used, taking into account legal and regulatory requirements to retain the information for a minimum period, limitation periods for taking legal action, good practice and Watson Thomas’ business purposes.
Who we share your personal information with
We may share your personal information with certain trusted third parties in accordance with contractual arrangements in place with them, including:
• Our professional indemnity insurers, brokers, auditors or professional advisers
• Suppliers to whom we outsource certain support services such as word processing, translation, and document review
• IT service providers to Watson Thomas
• Third parties engaged in the course of the services we provide to clients and with their prior consent, such as barristers, local counsel, enquiry agents and technology service providers like data room and case management services
• Third parties involved in hosting or organising events or seminars
Where necessary, or for the reasons set out in this policy, personal information may also be shared with regulatory authorities, courts, tribunals, government agencies and law enforcement agencies. While it is unlikely, we may be required to disclose your information to comply with legal or regulatory requirements. We will use reasonable endeavours to notify you before we do this, unless we are legally restricted from doing so.
If in the future we re-organise or transfer all or part of our business, we may need to transfer your information to new Watson Thomas entities or to third parties through which the business of Watson Thomas will be carried out.
We do not sell, rent or otherwise make personal information commercially available to any third party, except with your prior permission.
How we protect your personal information
We use a variety of technical and organisational measures to help protect your personal information from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, alteration or destruction consistent with applicable data protection laws.
Which countries we transfer your personal information to
The level of information protection in countries outside the EEA may be less than that offered within the EEA. Where this is the case, we will implement appropriate measures to ensure that your personal information remains protected and secure in accordance with applicable data protection laws. Where our third party service providers process personal data outside the EEA in the course of providing services to us, our written agreement with them will include appropriate measures, such as standard contractual clauses.
Your rights regarding your personal information
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and other applicable data protection laws provide you with certain rights.
You are entitled to request details of the information we hold about you and how we process it. You may also have a right in accordance with applicable data protection law to have it rectified or deleted, to restrict our processing of that information, to stop unauthorised transfers of your personal information to a third party and, in some circumstances, to have personal information relating to you transferred to another organisation. You also have the right to lodge a complaint in relation to Watson Thomas’ processing of your personal information with The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”). Details of how to make a complaint with the ICO can be found here: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/ although we would ask you to raise any concerns with us directly in the first instance so that we can work to resolve your issue as soon as possible.
If you object to the processing of your personal information, or if you have provided your consent to processing and you later choose to withdraw it, we will respect that choice in accordance with our legal obligations.
Your objection (or withdrawal of any previously given consent) could mean that we are unable to perform the actions necessary to achieve the purposes set out above (see ‘How we use your personal information’) or that you may not be able to make use of the services and products offered by us. Please note that even after you have chosen to withdraw your consent we may be able to continue to process your personal information to the extent required or otherwise permitted by law, in particular in connection with exercising and defending our legal rights or meeting our legal and regulatory obligations.
Watson Thomas is a Limited Company registered in England and Wales with registered number CRN 8456820. Our registered office is Pearson Court, 3 Kings Road, Fleet, Hampshire GU51 3DL. A list of our members is displayed at that address.
We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and subject to the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.