Legal services privacy notice

Online council services

Who we are and what we do?

Waltham Forest Legal Services (shortly to be known as ‘East London Partnership’) is a law firm authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to provide legal advice and representation to our internal and external clients.

Some of the information that you provide to the Council is passed to our service so that we can provide the Council with legal advice and representation.   Without this information, we will not be able to work on a legal matter for our clients.  

In accordance with the data protection laws, we need a "legal basis" for collecting and using information about you. There are a variety of different legal bases for processing personal data which are set out in the data protection laws.

The lawful bases on which we rely in order to use the information which we collect about you for the purposes set out in this notice will be:

  • using your information in this way is necessary for us to perform the contract between us and our clients; and
  • using your information is necessary for us to comply with legal and regulatory obligations to which we are subject, for example our obligations to comply with the requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and  the Solicitors Regulation Authority Code and Handbook 2011

The lawful basis on which we rely in order to use your sensitive personal data / special categories of personal data which we collect about you will be that this is needed in order to work on a legal matter pursuant to the contract between us and Council Services, and lawful because it is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest as set out in Data Protection legislation.

Information we hold Click to get info

We hold personal data i.e. names, addresses, dates of birth, biographical, professional, financial and social information including about residents, members of the public, elected members, and experts instructed for the purposes of providing legal advice and representation to Council Services.   We may also hold sensitive personal information (Special Category data) such as information regarding your race; ethnic origin; political opinions; religious beliefs; trade union membership; health; sex life; or sexual orientation.

Generally the information we hold will have been provided to us by our clients but we may also hold information provided by third parties where this is relevant and necessary for the provision of our legal service e.g. from social workers, health professionals, doctors, occupational therapists and enforcement and regulatory agencies such as the police.

We will only ask for personal information that is appropriate to enable us to deliver our service. Processing of your personal information will be undertaken in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection legislation. Access to personal information is restricted to authorised individuals on a strictly need to know basis. We will treat your personal information fairly and lawfully and we will ensure that information is:

  • processed for limited purposes
  • kept up-to-date, accurate, relevant and not excessive
  • not kept longer than is necessary
  • kept secure

Contractors and sub-contractors

1.1  We may share information about you with our contractors and sub-contractors.  Where this occurs our contractors and sub-contractors shall be contractually required to ensure that they adhere to the security requirements imposed by the data protection laws.

1.2  Our contractors and sub-contractors will only be able to use the information when completing work on behalf of us.  Examples of subcontractors we use regularly are:

  • Outsourced legal resources;
  • External Experts instructed such as Counsel and Expert Witnesses;
  • Outsourced information technology service providers;
  • Outsourced document production services;
  • Hosted services who may access your information for the purposes of maintenance of their service.

Regulators and other legal obligations

1.3 We may also be required to share your information with our regulators who are permitted access to this information by law and with other organisations where we have a legal obligation to share the information with them.

Insurers

1.4  We may need to share your information with our insurers in certain circumstances, to ensure we can comply with our obligations under the terms of our insurance cover.

Auditors

Waltham Forest Legal Services is subject to a quality standard, Lexcel, and are regularly audited by external auditors.  We will ensure that any auditors access your information solely for the purposes of carrying out the audit in question and that they are subject to the security requirements imposed by the data protection laws.

We will store personal data which provided to us in accordance with our file destruction policy.  For matters open and close after 1 April 2013 we will store data held on our client files for the following periods.

We retain information for a period of 7 years in respect of the following matters:

  • Planning Committee, Licensing Committee and other Committee matters
  • Ombudsman
  • Local Government General Advice
  • Coroner
  • FOI/EIR Advice and DPA Advice
  • County Court Litigation, High Court Litigation, Litigation General Advice
  • Injunction Proceedings, Injunction Advice, Judicial Review Proceedings and Advice
  • Contract  and Contract General Advice
  • Planning Enforcement Notice, Planning Stop Notice, Planning Breach Condition Notice, Planning S215 Notice, Planning Appeal, Planning General Advice
  • Highways General Advice
  • Licensing General Advice and Licensing Appeal
  • Commercial Licence and other Commercial
  • Compulsory Purchase, Acquisition Freehold, and Acquisition Leasehold
  • Disposal Freehold and Disposal Leasehold and Service Tenancy Agreement
  • Easement/Wayleave, Mortgage Matters, Title Query/Boundary Dispute and Property
  • RTB Title Deductions and conveyancing
  • Commercial Squatter, Forfeiture Rent Arrears, Forfeiture Other, Dilapidations
  • Commercial Lease and Renewal, Adverse Possession and Former Arrears
  • Education Admission Appeals, Education General Advice, SEN Education Advice and SEN Tribunal
  • Children and Adults General Advice
  • Court of Protection Proceedings and Court of Protection Advice
  • Employment General Advice and Employment Tribunal
  • Housing General Advice and Housing Act Appeals
  • Claim by Tenant Disrepair
  • Possession rent and Non Rent
  • ASBO Advice and ASBO Proceedings
  • Prosecution Advice and Prosecuting Environmental Health Food Safety/Noise/Trading Standards/Benefit Fraud/Waste/HMO and other licensing and Housing Act offences

We retain information for a period of 13 years in respect of the following matters:

  • By Laws
  • Standard Contract  and Bespoke Contract
  • Planning Section 106
  • Highways Agreement and Highways Stopping Up

We retain information for a period of 25 years in respect of the following matters:

  • Children Services Legal Planning Meetings and Pre-Proceedings
  • Care/Supervision Order/Designation/Special Guardianship
  • Agency Decision Maker/Adoption/Adoption Panel
  • Public Interest Immunity
  • S7/37 Reports and S17/20 Advice
  • Nil Recourse to Public Funds
  • LC Safeguarding Board

This means that in respect of the above we will hold our files for the relevant time period after which we will delete or destroy them. We do not destroy or delete information in the following cases:

  • RTB Leasehold
  • Commercial Lease

We typically use your personal data for the purposes of conducting litigation and so that we may contact you and make recommendations to our clients and other parties about the experts that may be recommended for use in litigation

We may share your data with third parties such as service providers and counsel, subject to appropriate confidentiality protections.

We respect the security of your data and treat it in accordance with the law.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (the data protection laws), we are required to explain to you why we are asking for information about you, how we intend to use the information you provide and whether we will share this with anyone else.

If we instruct you on a matter we will hold your personal information in one or more of our client matter files. We will hold this information pursuant to our contract (or alternatively our client's contract) with you.

We also hold your information in a database which our lawyers use to facilitate contact with you and when deciding which expert or experts to recommend to our client for work on a legal matter on which we are instructed. This information is retained on the basis that we consider that we have a commercial legitimate interest in holding it. If you would like your personal details to be removed from our expert database for any reason, please email informationofficer@walthamforest.gov.uk

We are collecting information about you in order to achieve the purposes set out above.

Personal details held in our expert database

  • personal details (such as name, professional qualifications and CVs);
  • contact details (such as your address, telephone number and email address);
  • notes and comments regarding work previously done by you for the firm.

Personal details in a legal matter folder

  • personal details of any person involved in a legal matter (such as name, professional qualifications and CVs);
  • contact details of any such person (such as your address, telephone number and email address);
  • other personal details, where this is either relevant to instructing you or to accommodating you appropriately in our offices which may include information regarding personal preferences, any allergies or disabilities;
  • images of you captured in our office by the Council’s use of CCTV cameras;
  • correspondence and advice in relation to instructions on a matter.

The information which we collect about you will be obtained through a variety of sources which may include:

  • Information provided by you from any communication you have with us in relation to any legal matter or potential instruction;
  • Information provided by any of our staff who are or have been in contact with you;
  • Information available from any online or publicly available source.

The information which you provide to us will be used for the following purposes:

  • it will be stored and used by us in accordance with this privacy statement and also in accordance with your rights under the data protection legislation.
  • it will be collected and used by us for the purpose of instructing you on a matter;
  • it will be held in our expert database and used to decide whether or not to recommend an expert to our client.

Contractors and sub-contractors

1.1  We may share information about you with our contractors and sub-contractors.  Where this occurs our contractors and sub-contractors shall be contractually required to ensure that they adhere to the security requirements imposed by the data protection laws.

1.2  Our contractors and sub-contractors will only be able to use the information when completing work on behalf of us.  Examples of subcontractors we use regularly are:

  • Outsourced information technology service providers;
  • Outsourced document production services;
  • Hosted services who may access your information for the purposes of maintenance of their service

Regulators and other legal obligations

1.3  We may also be required to share your information with our regulators who are permitted access to this information by law and with other organisations where we have a legal obligation to share the information with them.

Insurers

1.4  We may need to share your information with our insurers in certain circumstances, to ensure we can comply with our obligations under the terms of our insurance cover.

Auditors

Waltham Forest Legal Services is subject to a quality standard, Lexcel, and are regularly audited by external auditors.  We will ensure that any auditors access your information solely for the purposes of carrying out the audit in question and that they are subject to the security requirements imposed by the data protection laws.

Other

We may from time to time share your information with other organisations but only to the extent required to allow them to maintain services provided to us and always subject to appropriate confidentiality provisions.

We keep your information in case files in accordance with our retention periods outlined above.

We keep your information in our experts’ database for as long as you consent to our retaining it for that purpose.