This page tells you what to expect when the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) collects personal information. When we use the phrase personal information we mean information that identifies or describes an individual.
The Office for Legal Complaints (the Board of the Legal Ombudsman) is a data controller under the terms of the Data Protection Act. This means we are responsible for how and why your personal information – things you tell us about you – is used.
We recognise that privacy is important. This Privacy Notice sets out what to expect when we collect personal information. It applies to information about
- visitors to our websites
- complaints we consider under the Legal Ombudsman Scheme rules. Including information we collect about complainants, lawyers and other individuals in relation to cases we are handling
- The work we undertake to fulfill our statutory duty under the Legal services act 2007
- surveys and research we undertake
- people who use our services, eg who subscribe to our newsletter or request a publication from us;
- job applicants and our current and former employees.
- Any other personal information we may have a legitimate reason to process.
What Information we collect
When someone visits www.legalombudsman.org.uk we use Google Analytics to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about it. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but certain functionality of our site will not work.
Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org. (Website opens in new window)
To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. (Website opens in new window)Click here for list of cookies
We process certain personal information on a legitimate interest basis for business purposes only. This includes information from the complaints that come to us to improve our service, and to help shape how we work and our policies. We may share information about this case, including your contact details, with carefully selected third parties for research purposes, such as customer satisfaction surveys. If you do not want us to share this information, or be contacted for these purposes, please let us know by contacting us at email@example.com.
We publish data about all cases that require an ombudsman’s decision, including the name of the service provider, the decision of the ombudsman and the area of law. We will not publish complainant’s names or personal details. Further information can be found in the Data and decisions area of our website.
Under data protection law, you have rights we need to make you aware of. The rights available to you depend on our reason for processing your information.
Your right of access
You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information. This right always applies. There are some exemptions, which means you may not always receive all the information we process.
We take information rights and your privacy very seriously. For further information on Data Protection, Freedom of Information and your Right of Access, contact the Information Rights & Security Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or to make an online request click here.
Your right to rectification
You have the right to ask us to rectify information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.
Your right to erasure
You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances
Your right to restriction of processing
You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your information in certain circumstances
Your right to object to processing
You have the right to object to processing if we are able to process your information because the process forms part of our public tasks, or is in our legitimate interests.
Your right to data portability
This only applies to information you have given us. You have the right to ask that we transfer the information you gave us from one organisation to another, or give it to you. The right only applies if we are processing information based on your consent or under, or in talks about entering into a contract and the processing is automated.
If we are processing your information for criminal law enforcement purposes, your rights are slightly different. You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. We have one month to respond to you.
Please contact us at email@example.com.
People who make a complaint to us
When we receive a complaint we make up a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains personal details (such as name, and contact details) as well as any information you give us about the complaint you have asked us to look into. We collect this information by telephone, email, post and from the Customer Assessment Tool (CAT) which we ask you to complete in order for us to assess your complaint. By submitting the form electronically, this information will be delivered directly into the Legal Ombudsman’s email system.
The Legal Ombudsman also records telephone calls for the purposes of staff development and also for recording information in respect of complaints we receive.
People who use Legal Ombudsman services
The Legal Ombudsman may offer various services to the public. For example, we may send out publications and distribute an electronic newsletter.
We have to hold the details of the people who have requested the service in order to provide it. However, we only use these details to provide the service the person has requested and for other closely related purposes. For example, we might use information about people who have requested a publication to carry out a survey to find out if they are happy with the level of service they received. When they subscribe to our services, they can cancel their subscription at any time and are given an easy way of doing this.
Your personal information is held in electronic (including audio recordings, electronic databases etc) formats, for specified periods of time as set out in the LeO’s Information Retention and Disposal Policy.
Job applicants, current and former LeO employees
When individuals apply to work at LeO, we will only use the information they supply to us to process their application and to monitor recruitment statistics
Once a person has taken up employment with the LeO, we will compile a file relating to their employment. Once their employment with LeO has ended, we will retain the file in accordance with the requirements of our retention schedule and then delete it.Click for more information
Transfer of complaints about claims management companies
On 1 April 2019, responsibility for handling complaints about claims management companies (CMCs) moved from the Legal Ombudsman to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). According to provisions laid out in the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018 and associated statutory instruments, we transferred all data files from our CMC complaints jurisdiction to FOS. This included personal data about current and former complainants and service providers.
For more information about the CMC transfer, please see this factsheet.
Links to other websites
This privacy notice does not cover the links within this site linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.
If you are unhappy with how we have handled your personal information, you may refer your concern to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a decision at:-
Information Commissioner’s Office
Generally the ICO cannot provide a decision until you have addressed your concerns to us first.
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