The Law Society of Scotland ("the Society") is committed to preserving the privacy of all visitors to www.lawscot.org.uk. Please read the following privacy policy to understand how we use and protect the information that you provide to us. We are committed to using this data in accordance with relevant data protection laws such as the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

By using this site (the "website") or contacting us by email or through this website, you consent to the collection, use and transfer of your personal information under the terms of this policy. If you do not accept the terms of this policy you must leave this website immediately and you may not use any of the services we provide.

Please note that there are minimum browser requirements for optimum use of our website. These minimum browser requirements will change from time to time. If you are experiencing difficulty using the website, or otherwise would like to know more about what these requirements are, please contact us.

 

When you visit the website or register or log in as a user of the website you may be asked to provide certain information about yourself including your name and contact details. If you are a member of the Society, we may ask for additional information including your date of birth and practising certificate number. If you order goods or services through the website we may keep a record of the transactions you carry out and the fulfilment of your orders. We may also collect information about:

(a) your IP address, a unique identifier for your computer or other access device;

(b) your usage of our website which may include, without limitation the URL you have last used and the URL you next go to, your browser information and your IP address;

(c) if you are a member of the Society, the CPD activities you have undertaken or plan to undertake including information you post to the CPD Plan or CPD Record in the “My Account” section of the website;

(d) if you are a trainee solicitor, your PEAT 2 training including information you post to the PEAT 2 Record, PEAT 2 Quarterly Performance Review or Trainee CPD Record in the login section of the website;

(e) if you are a member of the Society, details of the categories of work you do and your areas of interest; and

(f) information gathered during telephone conversations with you.

We may ask you to provide us information about dietary requirements or access requirements if you are attending an event organised by us or booked through our website. You agree that we may use this information for the purpose of administering and running the relevant event.

Your information will enable us to provide you with access to parts of our website suitable for your requirements and the permissions (if any) which you have to access the special areas of the website (referred to in our website Terms and Conditions). It will also enable us to contact you concerning your queries regarding our services and functions.

We will also use, store and analyse the information we collect so that we can administer, support, improve and develop our operations. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • quality control and training purposes;
  • fulfilling the Society's regulatory role and its other statutory functions under the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 and other legislation;
  • discharging the Society's professional obligations such as ensuring Scottish solicitors have appropriate professional indemnity insurance, formulating and implementing professional practice rules; and developing and offering CPD courses;
  • providing a wide range of members' services;
  • providing a wide range of public services;
  • carrying out the Society's Public Affairs programme, representing the interests of the solicitors' profession in respect of the public and representing the interests of the public in respect of the solicitors' profession; and
  • accrediting Scottish solicitors with specialist expertise in particular areas of law; and
  • engaging in consultation with the Scottish government, Scottish parliament and other governmental and legislative bodies over legislative and regulatory change.

Members cannot opt out of regulatory emails, such as practising certificate renewal information, general meeting notices and rule changes. All other communication relating to the above areas will be sent to members unless they specifically choose, or have previously chosen, not to receive it.

In particular, we may use your information to contact you for your views on our services and functions, and to notify you occasionally about important changes or developments to the website or our services or functions. More detail about the functions of the Society and the purposes for which your personal information may be processed may be seen elsewhere on the website, and are available on request from the Society at the address below.

We may also use your information to let you know about other services and products which we offer which may be of interest to you. If these are of a commercial nature we will ask you for specific permission to use your personal information at the time we ask you to provide it.

We offer a press release update service (please go to the media centre on this website) and if you register with this service we will use your information to send you copies of press releases issued by us.

We may use the information posted by members of the Society or trainee solicitors regarding their CPD and PEAT 2 training to ensure that Scottish solicitors and trainee solicitors have undertaken the required CPD and professional training and to issue reminders to members and trainee solicitors about the required CPD and professional training.  We may also use the information to monitor and analyse trends in the solicitors’ profession including (but not limited to) the types of training being undertaken and the demand for different types of training. 

We believe there is a legitimate interest, legal interest or public interest in communicating with our members. Therefore 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.

We generally process your data under the following lawful bases:

  • Performance of a contract with you (in compliance with the website terms and conditions and our unacceptable behaviour policy);
  • Necessary for our legitimate interests; and/or
  • Necessary to comply with a legal obligation.

When we are managing our relationship with you which will include: (a) notifying you about changes to our terms or privacy policy; (b) asking you to leave a review or take a survey, we are processing your personal data as it is necessary for our legitimate interests (to keep our records updated and to study how users use our products/services).

When we are administering and protecting our business and this website (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data), we are processing your personal 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 re-organisation or group restructuring exercise) or necessary to comply with a legal obligation.

We strive to provide you with choices regarding certain personal data uses, particularly around marketing and advertising. We will get your express opt-in consent before we share your personal data with any company outside the Society group of companies for marketing purposes.

You can ask us or third parties to stop sending you marketing messages at any time. Communications preferences can be easily changed in the member login section of our website. Alternatively, anyone can request a change to their communications preferences in writing by email or otherwise, provided we can be assured that we are dealing with the appropriate individual and can capture a record of the change.

The Society may contact you by post, telephone (including by text), fax or email in connection with the purposes outlined above. If you change your mind about being contacted in the future, or the methods by which we may contact you, please let us know by contacting us at our contact details set out below or by updating your preferences in the login area of the website. 

Cookies are small amounts of information, usually in the form of a text file, which we may store on your computer or other access device. We may access this file which acts as an easy way to identify you when you use the website. Our system may issue cookies to your computer or other access device when you log on to the website. Cookies make it easier for you to log on to and use the website during your current visit and future visits. They also allow us to monitor website traffic and to personalize the content of the website for you. Some features are only available through the use of a cookie. Allowing use of cookies may allow you to enter your password less frequently when you are using the website. You may set up your computer or other access device to reject cookies (or certain types of cookies) by following the instructions provided with your browser/device.

It is your right to choose if you give your consent to the use of cookies or not, but you should be aware that in some cases you may not be able to use or see all the features of our website, if you do not allow the use of cookies.

The information you provide to us will be held on our computers in the UK and may be accessed by or given to our staff, our contractors, reporters and agents who act for us, for the purposes set out in this policy or for other purposes approved by you or as otherwise permitted by law. This may mean that your information is sent to computers outwith the UK.

By submitting your information to us, you agree that it may be transferred outside the European Economic Area. Countries outside the European Economic Area do not always have strong data protection laws. However, wherever practicable we will take steps to ensure that your information is used by third parties in accordance with this policy.

We may also pass aggregate information on the usage of our website and trends in the solicitors’ profession to third parties but this will not include information that can be used to identify you.

We shall never sell or rent your personal information gathered through the website to third parties for their marketing purposes.

We also reserve the right to disclose any of the information you provide to us where required to do so by law, or to comply with a regulatory obligation, or to assist in any investigation into alleged illegal or criminal conduct.

We employ industry standard security measures to protect your information from access by unauthorised persons and against unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction and damage. We will retain your information for a reasonable period or as long as the law requires. You should be aware however that it is technically impossible to provide a totally secure system on the web and you are responsible for ensuring your own computer system is adequately protected from access by unauthorised persons.

Please see our retention schedule for full details of the retention and destruction periods we adopt.

 

In accordance with the Terms and Conditions of use of the website, you are responsible for ensuring that any password and user ID, and any other security mechanism issued to you, remain confidential. If third parties have access to your password, user ID or any other security mechanism they can control your personal information and ID. We are not responsible for the consequences of their use of your personal information and ID in these circumstances. If your password or user ID or any other security mechanism is compromised you should contact us immediately, and until you do so we will be entitled to rely on any communications sent to us using your password and user ID and any other security mechanism as if they originated from you.

If you disclose your personal information to third parties including, but not limited to, third party websites with links on our website, our privacy policy shall not be enforceable against them. We take no responsibility and shall not be liable for third party use of your personal information in such circumstances.

You should be aware that if you click on any link on the website, to another website provided by a third party, it is possible you may encounter cookies or other similar devices placed by those third parties. We do not control the use of cookies or other similar devices by third parties and are not responsible or liable for them.

You should review the privacy policy of that third party website to check how they may use or disclose your information.

In some instances the Society may require solicitors to provide personal data as part of our statutory duties and obligations  to work in the public interest, a duty which we are strongly committed to achieving through our work to promote a strong, varied and effective legal profession working in the interests of the public and protecting and promoting the rule of law.

Failure to provide such information may restrict your ability to practice as a solicitor.

You are entitled to request access to the information held about you and to ask us to make any necessary changes to ensure that it is accurate and kept up to date. If you wish to do this, please contact us at the address below.We will usually be the data controller in respect of personal information you provide to us.

We may change our privacy policy at any time without having to give you prior notification. Any changes to our privacy policy in the future will be posted to the website and/or, where we think it is appropriate, through e-mail notification.

Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data. These rights include, the right to:

  • request access to your personal data;
  • request correction of your personal data;
  • request erasure of your personal data;
  • object to processing of your personal data;
  • request restriction of processing your personal data;
  • request transfer of your personal data; and
  • withdraw consent previously given by you.

For more information on your rights please visit the Information Commissioner Officer’s website (www.ico.org.uk)

If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact the Society’s data protection office on dataprotection@lawscot.org.uk or by phone on 0131 226 7411.

You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues. The Information Commissioner's Office – Scotland; 45 Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7HL; 0303 123 1115; scotland@ico.org.uk; www.ico.org.uk.

We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.

All comments, queries and requests relating to our use of your information are welcomed and should be addressed to:

The Data Protection Officer
Law Society of Scotland
Atria One,
144 Morrison Street,
Edinburgh
EH3 8EX
Scotland

E-mail: informationofficer@lawscot.org.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)131 226 7411