- Who are we?
- Why we collect information about you
- The information we process about you
- Why we use information and our lawful grounds
- Processing your information outside the EEA
- What are my rights when you process my data?
- Contact us
1. Who are we?
For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/379 [‘GDPR’] and the Data Protection Act 2018, the data controller is Peter O’Connor & Son LLP, Wyse House, Adelphi Quay, Waterford. This statement sets out how we, as a data controller, collect and process personal data about:
- visitors to our websites
- business referrals passed to us (with the consent of the referred person)
- individuals who we communicate or interact with in the course of our business (e.g. clients, potential clients, opposing parties in litigation, etc.)
- individuals against whom our client’s wish to pursue a legal claim.
2. Why we collect information about you
In order to carry out our business functions, we need to collect and use personal information about the individuals who come into contact with us. Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you or is provided by a client or potential client in order to get legal advice or pursue or defend a legal claim against a third party. We process personal data for one or more of the following reasons depending on your circumstances or the data subject circumstances:
- to respond to any enquires made by you.
- to enter into, or at your request taking steps to enter into, a contractual relationship for services and or products.
- to provide legal advice as per the Legal Services Regulatory Act 2015 and or the Solicitors Acts.
- to provide legal services as per the Legal Services Regulatory Act 2015 and or the Solicitors Acts.
- to execute or perform any contract with a data subject privy to contract.
- to discharge any duty of care towards any data subject who is a beneficiary under any applicable will, estate, contract, order, trust, etc.
- to protect the vital interests of a data subject on a case-by-case basis.
- to comply with any professional code of conduct issued by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority or Law Society of Ireland.
- to investigate or monitor any suspected breach of our or any legal professional’s professional code of conduct or to refer same to the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, Law Society of Ireland or An Gardai Siochanna as necessary on a case-by-case basis.
- to investigate any suspected or actual unauthorised or unlawful use of our services and or products.
- to respond to any lawful request from the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, Law Society of Ireland or An Gardai Siochanna.
- to comply with a legal obligation to which we are subject to (e.g. anti-money laundering requirements, mandatory reporting, etc.)
- to comply with a Court Order or any equivalent order from a competent authority to which we or our client must comply.
- to comply with the Rules of Court, with particular regard to responding to requests for particulars, interrogatories, discovery, etc. in accordance with the Rules of Court.
- to, where instructed by a client, liaise with medical professionals, or any other professional, with a view to obtaining medical reports, expert opinions, etc. for the purpose of obtaining legal advice, advancing a legal claim or as evidence for trial.
- to instruct Counsel or any other professional on a client’s behalf where instructed to do so by a client.
- to act as a client’s lawful agent in a legal matter, e.g. in the purchase of a house, etc.
- to act as executor where appropriate pursuant to a will.
- to act as trustee where appropriate under directions of a trust instrument.
- to discharge legal obligations for a client in connection with legal proceedings, e.g. disclosure requirements for personal injuries case.
- to provide reasonable accommodation, where applicable, under the Equal Status Acts and or Employment Equality Acts as applicable on a case-by-case basis.
- where instructed, to discharge fees and monies owed to third parties on behalf of a client.
Your personal data is collected by us when:
You may voluntarily provide us with your personal data throughout any interaction with us, e.g. when you:
- contact us with a query or request.
- visit our offices.
- write, email or phone us.
- attend an onsite or online consultation.
- present us with any documentation about you.
- attend any meeting to which we are present and have been engaged by you to provide legal advice or legal services.
- attend Court or any appliable tribunal at which we represent or act on your behalf.
- instruct us to provide legal services.
- instruct us to liaise with any third-party on your behalf.
- instruct us to make contact with the opposing side in a dispute or legal claim
- engage in any settlement talks.
- engage in any alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, e.g. Mediation, Adjudication, etc.
We also receive personal information indirectly in the following scenarios:
- With your consent, from any third-party to whom you have engaged with for the purpose of advancing your legal claim, etc. medical practitioners.
- from any Court or competent authority in response to your complaint or legal claim, e.g. the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, where applicable, grant authorisation for you to proceed with a personal injuries claim.
- from the opposite side in a matter, e.g. when you instruct us buy or sell a house on your behalf, we have to engage with the vendor’s solicitors and share your data to ensure the purchase/sale is lawful.
- from Counsel or any or legal advisor you engage with for legal advice or legal services.
- from insurance providers where we represent you in an insurance claim or litigation.
- from any witness, Gardai or Gardai reports regarding a court case or claim involving you (that you consent to us engaging with).
- where you have been refereed to us and we have your consent or lawful basis to contact you on a case-by-case basis.
- where your personal data has been lawfully given to us on foot of a court order, e.g. on foot of an order of discovery of documents that contain your personal data.
- where your personal data has been lawfully given to us on foot of the Rules of Court as part of the litigation process, i.e. interrogatories, discovery, etc.
- where your personal data had been lawfully given to us on foot of a legal requirement, e.g. Rules of the Superior Courts (No. 6) (Disclosure of Reports and Statements) 1998 – SI. No. 391 of 1998 mandates disclosure of expert reports in personal injuries claims.
- where a client or employee of ours gives your contact details as an emergency contact, referee, legal agent or point of contact.
3. The information we process about you
Identity – Name, surname, title, and other identifying information provided by you.
Contact information – Address, email address, phone number.
Anti Money Laundering Requirements – proof of identification and proof of address.
Where applicable, especially in personal injuries cases or family law matters, details of a client’s health, illnesses, medical conditions, health status, living status, cohabitation status, medications, emergency contacts, daily routines, medical conditions, medical reports, family status, income, etc. in order to provide legal advice or advance a legal claim, instruct Counsel, draft legal proceedings, litigate or defend a legal claim against a client. This category of personal data will be specific to each client’s personal circumstances and their legal claim and we only process the minimum amount of personal data required for same.
Where applicable, and with the consent of the client, medical reports provided by medical practitioners in order to advance a legal claim.
Financial Details – bank account details, etc, in order to process payments and or pay monies due and owing to a client.
Supplier details – Contact information, bank details, VAT details and tax clearance information.
Other personal information, e.g. CCTV images at our offices; Information in relation to subject access requests (including proof of identity if required); Responses to surveys.
Recruitment details – Applicant CV’s, credentials, references, bank details for payment, etc.
Marketing information – If you have agreed to being contacted for marking emails for our services or requested updates, we will contact you with relevant information until such time as you opt-out of communications. Please note you have to explicitly consent or opt-in to our marketing communications as we will never assume you consent to receiving marking communications.
4. Why we use information and our lawful grounds to do so
We fully respect your right to privacy and, in addition to the above, will only collect or process your personal data, where required, for one or more of the following lawful basis for processing:
Consent, where we reply on your consent to process your personal data.
- As part of agreeing to our terms of business you explicitly consent to your personal data, including special categories of personal data where applicable, being processed by us for the purposes of obtaining legal advice and or legal services.
To enter into a contract, or to take steps to enter into a contract, or to fulfil the terms of a contract:
- To provide information to prospective clients on our products and services.
- To provide legal advice and or legal services to our clients and prospective clients.
- To provide follow up services, aftercare, review of and services, to a client on foot of a contract with our law firm.
- To ensure payment to us of any monies due.
- Engaging service providers and suppliers and for the provision of and payment for goods and services.
- Filling vacant positions and for the engagement and payment of employees.
Complying with our legal obligations, such as:
- Making reasonable accommodation, where applicable and on a case-by-case basis, under the Equal Status Act or Employment Equality Acts.
- Complying with your data protection rights under GDPR.
- Complying with legal requests or investigations from regulatory bodies, e.g. the Law Society of Ireland, Legal Services Regulatory Authority, etc.
- Complying with any court order or applicable Rules of Court.
- Complying with any obligation to pay monies owed to the Revenue
- Commissioners, e.g. Stamp Duty, PAYE, etc.
- Any other legal obligation not stated here.
To protects the vital interests of a person or our firm, such as:
- In order to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of a client or any person..
- To contact emergency services in case of an accident or emergency to seek aid for a person.
- To initiate, continue with or defence any legal claim or prospective legal claim.
- To obtain legal advice on a specific matter.
- To ensure payment of monies due and owing.
- Any other vital interest not stated here.
Special categories of personal data.
We process special categories of personal data in accordance with Article 9.1 of the General Data Protection Regulation on the following basis:
- Explicit consent of the data subject.
- Processing is necessary to enter, execute or perform a contact for legal advice and or legal services between the data subject and us..
- Where processing is necessary for the purposes of performing or exercising obligations or rights which are imposed or conferred by law on us or the data subject in connection with employment, social security, or social protection, e.g. paying Stamp Duty to Revenue Commissioners on a house purchase.
- For the establishment, exercise, or defence of legal claims.
- Where processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person, e.g. in the event of an emergency in order to contact emergency services.
Information you give us about other people
Under the GDPR and the Irish Data Protection Act 2018, we are entitled to process information about other people that is necessary for the purposes of providing or obtaining legal advice, or for the purposes of or in connection with legal claims, prospective legal claims, legal proceedings or prospective legal proceedings. In addition, we are entitled to process information about other people that is necessary for the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights, claims or litigation.
6. Who we share your information with?
We only share your information where it is necessary. We will not share your information with any third parties for the purposes of direct marketing. Sharing can occur in the following circumstances and with the following organisations.
- A barrister/barristers acting on behalf of a client.
- Another solicitor upon your instructions.
- Any other legal professionals acting on behalf of a client (e.g. town agent for stamping documents, etc.)
In specific legal cases, e.g. personal injuries cases, disclosure requirements mandate certain reports or evidence be shared between the parties before trial, and in such cases, the opposite side are entitled to reports or evidence that may contain client data.
- To any third party that we are mandated to by order of the Court or Rules of Court, e.g. on foot of a discovery order granted by a judge.
- To any third party that we are mandated by law.
- In the event of any complaint being made against us to the Legal Services Authority of Ireland or the Law Society of Ireland, we may be required to disclose personal data to either organisation for the purposes of investigating or defending against a complaint.
- Data processors who are third parties who provide services for us. We have contracts in place with our data processors. This means that they cannot do anything with your personal information unless we have instructed them to do it. They will not share your personal information with any organisation apart from us unless instructed to do so. They will hold it securely and retain it for the period we instruct.
How long we hold your information and how it is secured?
We will keep your personal data for as long as it is necessary to fulfil the purposes for which it was collected as described above and in accordance with our legal and regulatory obligations. The length of time we hold your personal data depends on a number of factors such as:
- The type of data we hold about you.
- Whether there is a legal obligation to hold the data for a minimum specified period.
- Where there is a sound evidence-based reason to hold the data for a specified period.
Generally speaking, our firm has a personal data retention period of seven years after a client ceases to be a client unless there is a lawful basis, on a case-by-case basis, to retain data for longer. In addition, we comply with the Law Society of Ireland’s recommend data retention policy for client’s personal data.
Processing your information outside the EEA
We do not routinely transfer data out of Ireland unless where necessary on a case-by-case basis to comply with client instructions, e.g. to contact a witness who lives abroad in order to advance the client’s case.
We use Microsoft products and services that are backed up on EU based servers that are based in other EU countries and are still protected by GDPR by application of the Data Protection Commission’s “One Stop Shop Mechanism” with the Irish Data Protection Commission as the lead National Supervisory Authority.
For more information on the Data Protection Commission’s “One Stop Shop Mechanism” please visit the Data Protection Commission’s website at www.dataprotection.ie.
7. What are my rights when you process my data?
You have a number of rights in relation to your personal data. You may request access to your data, correction of any mistakes in our files, erasure of records where no longer required, restriction on the processing of your data, objection to the processing of your data or the basis for any international transfers.
Our firm does not engage in any automated processing, automated decision making or profiling of data subjects or clients.
In order to request your personal data, or to object or correct any error, please put your request in writing to:
Peter O’Connor & Son LLP
Or email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
You also have the right to complain to the Data Protection Commission at www.dataprotection.ie or:
Data Protection Commission
21 Fitzwilliam Square
We would kindly ask you to email us first before contacting the Data Protection Commission so we can try to resolve any issue to your satisfaction.
8. Contact Us
Please email email@example.com for all data protection matters, including issues arising from this Policy, including requests to exercise data subject rights.
Once we receive an enquiry or request from you, we will try to complete it within a month.
This Policy may be updated without further notice and we encourage people to review this policy regularly.