We are located at:

Smith Dawson Solicitors

8 King Street



Contact us now:

Telephone: 01902 310007


24-hour emergency police station assistance: 07860 632220









           Our Client Care Policy

Smith Dawson Privacy Policy


Please read this Privacy Policy carefully as it contains information on who we are and also how and why we collect, store, use and share personal information.  It includes your rights in relation to your personal information and how to contact us and the relevant authorities in the event that you have a complaint.


Who we are


Smith Dawson Solicitors use and are responsible for certain personal information about you.  We are regulated by the General Data Protection Regulations. Frank Calleia is the person responsible for data protection.


The legal basis for processing information is that of contracted obligation as set out in Article 6 of the General Data Protection Regulations.  This requires at least one lawful bases for processing to be satisfied.


Information we collect and use


In acting for you we will collect personal information that you provide.  This may consist of name, address, phone number and email address.


How we use your personal information


We use the information simply in order to contact you and keep you informed as to progress on your matter.


Sharing your personal information


We will not share your personal information with anyone unless we are obliged by law to do so.  This will include providing information to the Legal Aid Agency, the National Taxing Team, our Accountants and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.  Each of those third parties have safeguards in place designed to ensure your privacy rights.


How long your personal information will be kept


We will hold your personal information for no longer than necessary.


Your rights


Under the General Data Protection Regulations you have a number of important rights which include:-


  1. Access to your personal information
  2. Require us to correct any mistakes in your information which we hold
  3. Require us to erase personal information concerning you in certain situations
  4. Object at any time to the processing of information concerning you for direct marketing


For further information please refer to the guidance from the UK Information Commissioners Office on individuals rights under the General Data Protection Regulations.


If you would like to exercise any of your rights then you must contact us with full details.


Our Privacy Policy confirms that your details will never be used for marketing.  We may occasionally contact you about services that we believe may benefit you.


Finally we confirm that we have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost or used or accessed in any unauthorised way.  Access to your personal information is limited to those who have a genuine business need to know it.  Those that process your information are subject to a duty of confidentiality.


If there are any suspected data security breaches involving your personal information you will be notified as will the Regulator where we are legally required to do so. 


Complaints procedure


Our complaints procedure is detailed in our client care letter



The terms under which we will act for you

(Please also read the accompanying pages on financing your case)



Who will look after your case


The partner with overall responsibility for the Family Department, and consequently your matter, is Andrew Brocklehurst.


The members of the Family Department are:


  • Andrew Brocklehurst – Partner, Solicitor
  • Harpreet Batth – Solicitor
  • Helen Rowland - Solicitor
  • Alexandra Simpson – Legal Executive
  • Megan Goodwin - Legal Assistant
  • Eboney Cherry – Secretary
  • Harpreet Powar – Secretary
  • Nicola Finley - Secretary


What you have instructed me to do


This is detailed either in my covering letter, or in the copy of the attendance note I made after our initial meeting which I am enclosing.   I have also confirmed the advice I have given you in my covering letter in the attendance note.


My commitment to you


I will:

  • Keep you regularly informed of the progress of your case
  • Communicate with you in plain language
  • Copy all documents and significant correspondence to you (significant correspondence would not include e.g. routine acknowledgement or chasing letters)
  • Explain the legal work which may be required
  • Advise you regularly regarding the costs of your matter and your chances of success
  • Keep you up to date on how much longer your matter is likely to take.


We would like to communicate with you by e-mail. We cannot guarantee that e-mails are secure or error free and it should be noted that such information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost or otherwise adversely affected or unsafe to use. We will use standard reasonable procedures to check for common viruses before sending information in this way.


We will have no liability to you in the event of any error or omission arising from or in connection with such e-mail communications. If you do not wish us to communicate with you in this way or are concerned about it, please discuss this with us and we will make appropriate alternative arrangements.


Hours of Business


Our office is open from 9.00am until 1.00pm and 2.00pm until 5.15pm on Monday to Thursday and 9/00am until 1.00pm and 2.00pm until 4.30pm on Fridays.  We are closed on Bank Holidays.   We may also be closed for the period between Christmas and the New Year.


Equality and Diversity


This firm is committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of its dealings with clients, third parties and employees.    You may contact us for a copy of our equality and diversity policy.


Provision of Service Regulation 2009


We comply with the above regulations by displaying the required details of our Professional Indemnity Insurance at our office


Money Laundering


The law now requires solicitors, as well as banks, building societies and others, to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identities of their clients wherever the solicitor may be required to deal with money on behalf of the client.   This includes payment of costs for those clients who do not have Public Funding (Legal Aid).   This is because solicitors who deal with money or property on behalf of their client can be used by criminals wishing to launder money.  If your matter will entail dealing with money or property I will have asked you to let me have two of the following documents


  • Current signed passport
  • Photo-card driving licence
  • Benefit book
  • Recent gas, electric or other household bill


in order to comply with the law on money laundering.    Please let me have those as soon as possible if I have asked you for them.


What if you are not happy with the way I am handling your matter?


I am attaching a document detailing our complaints procedure which is effective from 6 October 2010.


How long will my case take?


  • A straigthforward divorce - 4 months to 9 months including the 6 week wait between Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute
  • Cases involving a dispute over children - 2 months to 1 year from the date of an application to the court
  • Cases involivng care proceedings or certain other proceedings commenced by social services - These have to be finished within 30 to 80 weeks from the issue of the application by the court unless there is a good reason for delaying them beyond this. This does not mean that the case will take this long.
  • Cases involving disputes over matrimonial finances or other money or property - 2 months to 9 months from the date of an application to the court


How confidential is information which you give me?


Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of their client confidential.   This obligation is, however, subject to a statutory exception:  recent money laundering and terrorist financing has placed solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the National Criminal Intelligence Service.  Where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering, the solicitor may be required to make a money laundering disclosure.   If, while we are acting for you, it becomes necessary to make a money laundering disclosure, we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it because the law prohibits “tipping off”


Apart from that, everything you tell me is confidential.   However, as a solicitor, I have a duty to the court not to present any information which I know is false.  If you insisted that I present false information, I would not be under a duty to tell anyone about this but I would be under a duty to cease acting for you.


We also comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 in that any information we hold on you will be kept secure, will be kept accurate and up to date and will only be held for as long as we need to hold it.


How can our relationship be terminated?


You can terminate our instructions by a simple letter stating that this is what you want to do.    However if we are involved in court proceedings for you, it will be necessary for us to come off the court record before our duty to appear in court or comply with court orders ends.   This might take a little time as we have to notify the court and the other parties.  


If you have a Public Funding (Legal Aid) certificate and your matter is not finished but you wish to instruct alternative solicitors, it will be necessary to show that you have gone through the firm’s Complaints Procedure before the LAA will allow the transfer of your certificate to another firm.


We can terminate our relationship in the following circumstances:


  • If you do not have Public Funding and a bill we have sent to you remains unpaid for one month – I would warn you before terminating our retainer in those circumstances.
  • Where you fail to give reasonable instructions or take reasonable advice.
  • In circumstances where I feel the relationship between us has broken down.


How long will we keep your file?


After the conclusion of your case, we will keep our file of papers (except for any documents which you have asked to have returned to you) for no more than seven years.   We keep the file on the understanding that we have authority to destroy it seven years after our costs are paid.   We will not destroy any documents you ask us to keep safe for you.


Acceptance of these Terms and the Financial Information


Your continued instruction of this firm will amount to acceptance of our terms and conditions of business. 



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© Kay Brown (K.Brown@smithdawson.com)