Privacy & Data Protection Policy

Watkins Stewart & Ross take your privacy very seriously.  By providing us with your information you are consenting to us using your information as set out in this Policy. Your information will be used only to provide you with the services that you instruct is to carry out, deal with enquiries that you make and for the purpose of enabling us to comply with applicable laws and regulations or to defend ourselves in claims under such laws, for legal, administrative and management purposes.

In addition we may disclose your information to third parties where you have consented for us to do so, we are under a legal, regulatory or professional obligation to do so, or, where we merge, reorganise or transfer all or part of our business we may disclose information to successors of the business.

You have the right of access to any personal data we hold and you can request the purpose of our processing your data. You can request that we erase personal data where it is no longer required for the purpose retained or where you withdraw your consent to that purpose (except where processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation or for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal claim)

If you would like to request a copy of your information or would like to change the information we hold about you please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We charge a fee of £10+VAT for this to cover our costs. We will normally response within one month of receiving the request although this period may be extended for a further two months for complex or numerous requests and in that event we will inform you of the extension and reason for the delay.

Who We Are

Data is collected, processed and stored by Watkins Stewart & Ross and we are what is known as the ‘data controller’ of the personal information you provide to us. Watkins Stewart & Ross is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Watkins Stewart & Ross is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office under registration reference Z7220113. 

What Personal Data do We Process?

We hold clients personal data, employee personal data and some suppliers personal data for supply contracts that we hold. All of this personal data is only processed by us.

We employ an IT company CFB IT Solutions for IT support, but that company does not access (and therefore cannot process) personal data we hold. If IT support is required to deal with IT problems we ensure that a member of staff is present at all times if a visit to the premises is required and remote access is authorised only by a member of staff. No data is ever downloaded or recorded by the IT company.

Our computer software occasionally have access to our systems but they never download or record personal data.

Sources of Information

Information about you may be obtained from various sources including:

  • You may volunteer this information yourself
  • Completing any requests on our website
  • You may provide information relating to someone else if you have authority to do so
  • Information could be passed to us by a third party for example Bank of Building Societies or Medical or financial institutions who provide your personal records

Why We Need It

The main reason for us asking you to provide us with your personal data is to allow us to carry out your requests to carry out work on your behalf.

We may also require your information for matters relating to the work we carry out on your behalf such as:

  • Veriphying your identity
  • Veriphying sources of funds or establishing funding of your matter
  • Communicating with you
  • Obtaining insurance policies on your behalf
  • Keeping financial records of your transactions and the transactions we make on your behalf
  • Seeking advice from third parties
  • Responding to any complaint or allegation of negligence against us
  • Fraud prevention
  • Where we have other legitimate reasons, such as for internal compliance, dealing with conflicts of interest or regulatory issues

Who Has Access

We have a data protection regime in place to ensure the effective and secure processing of your personal data. We will not sell your information to third parties.

There are circumstances during the course of your matter where we need to disclose some information to third parties such as:

  • The Land Registry
  • HM Revenue & Customs e.g. for Stamp Duty Liability
  • Solicitors acting on the other side of your transaction
  • Asking advice of an independent Counsel for advice or to represent you
  • External auditors such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • Banks, Building Societies or other financial institutions
  • Providers of identity verification
  • Any disclosure required by law or regulation

How we Protect your Personal Data

We will take all reasonable steps to protect your identity whilst it is in our care and we have high standards when it comes to your confidentiality.

We use computer safeguards such as firewalls and our staff are kept up to date with their training.

How Long We Will Keep Your Data For

Your personal information will be retained in computer and manual files only for as necessary to fulfil the purposes for which it was collected or as required by law or as long as set out in your contract with us for example:

  • For a minimum of 6 years from the conclusion or closure of your legal work in the event that you, or we, need to re-open your case for the purpose of defending complaints or claims against us
  • For the duration of a trust
  • Some information or matters may be kept for 16 years such as commercial matters
  • Probate matters in order to deal with any transferable Inheritance Tax allowance
  • Wills and related documents may be kept indefinitely
  • Deeds may be kept indefinitely
  • We retain an electronic database of transactions and correspondence of your transaction indefinitely

Complaints About the Use of Personal Data

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, please contact us at our registered address. 

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are not processing your personal data in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Marketing Data

We may contact you for the purpose of direct marketing. This means we may use the personal data we have collected in accordance with this policy about our services or events etc which we feel may be of interest to you. We will never pass on or sell your details to a third party.

We will only ever use non sensitive personal information to target individuals with marketing materials; such as name, address, telephone, email and previous buying behaviours. Sensitive information or specific details will never be used to target marketing communications. 

If you do not wish us to continue to contact you in this way, you can either follow the unsubscribe instructions on any of our communications to you or contact us by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and email address. Your details will be removed immediately. Once unsubscribed, you may still receive transactional emails and correspondence from us regarding your legal matter.

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