The Bribery Act 2010 – Policy & Procedure
1.1 This policy sets out the firm’s procedures to be followed in order to comply with section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010. It is an offence under section 7 of the Act for the firm to fail to prevent bribery. If any employee or person associated with the firm commits an act of bribery then the firm may be liable.
1.2 The daily overall responsibility for the compliance with the Bribery Act and the implementation of the policy rests with the COLP and Head of Risk and Compliance. They are to be consulted on any matter where the possibility of unlawful acts could arise.
1.3 It shall be a condition of the contract of employment of all employees that they shall at all times observe the requirements of this policy.
1.4 Employees shall report any attempt at bribery which comes to their attention, whether it consists of an approach to one of them or an act done by an associated third party. In the first instance the report should be made to the COLP.
1.5 Any person who reports a suspicion of bribery will not be subject to any form of victimisation for making report, whether or not the suspicion turns out to be justified.
2.1 Promotional expenditure which seeks to improve the image of the firm, to establish professional relationships and to maintain them is not unlawful if it is reasonable and proportional.
2.2 Staff should be aware of this policy and will be required to consider the procedures when any hospitality event is offered to a client, prospective client or intermediary.
2.3 Circumstances where an employee is invited to an event, a similar procedure should be followed.
2.4 Instances of hospitality with an estimated value of greater than £150, should be recorded on the Firm’s gifts and hospitality register via Ceri or Sophie. It will also be necessary for you to obtain prior approval from Ceri & Sophie to give or receive the hospitality.
3. Contracts with client
No fees over and above proper professional fees agreed in advance for professional work done may be accepted. No payment may be made to the client for the award of a contract for services.
4. Third parties
A third party instructed by the firm should be engaged to act on behalf of the firm in a manner consistent with this policy.
5. Gifts and Charitable and Political Donations
5.1 Where a client or third party proposes to make a gift to a member of the firm with an estimated value of £100 or less, such gifts may be accepted without approval and without, in the case of partners, any need to account to the firm for it. You will need to notify Ceri or Sophie of the gift (provide a brief description of the gift) and let them know the estimated value as they will need to be logged onto the firm’s gift & hospitality register.
5.2 Where a client or third party proposes to make a gift to an employee with an estimated value in excess of £100, the approval of Ceri and/or Sophie will be required before you can accept the same. It is understood that in some cases that approval may have to be obtained retrospectively.
5.3 Gifts received by the firm, with an estimated value significantly greater than £100, may be disposed of at the COLPs discretion (by way of a firm wide raffle, as an example) or in certain circumstances, may have to be rejected altogether.
At Child & Child we strive to provide you with excellent customer service and tailored legal advice. However, on occasion, we sometimes fall short of our own high standards. This may give rise to a complaint and we welcome your feedback. We want to hear about any issues to ensure that we are always improving our services. At Child & Child we take complaints seriously and see them as a unique opportunity to improve our services.
All solicitors in England and Wales are under an obligation to provide a complaint handling procedure (CHP). Please note that Solicitors are expected to exhaust this procedure before The Legal Ombudsman can be asked to review the firm’s handling of a complaint. The Legal Ombudsman expects us to resolve a complaint within 8 weeks of receiving it. If you are concerned about the amount we have charged, you can request a detailed assessment under The Solicitors Act 1974 for contentious matters (matters that involve court proceedings). Details of the process and time frames are on the back of our invoices. This document is our CHP.
What you can expect from us
A timely and impartial investigation into the complaint.
We usually encourage our clients to write to us, setting out their concerns. If there are certain circumstances in which you feel a face to face meeting would be beneficial please contact us to discuss your specific requirements. We will still require as much advance information about your concerns before we agree to meet. This will allow us to ensure the meeting is mutually productive.
Please note that any decision reached during our investigation will be based upon the documentary evidence made available to us (Letters, emails, telephone attendance notes and general correspondence).
If we identify that you were provided with poor service (defined as an incident in which we ‘failed to follow instructions, failed to update you, failed to inform you or caused unreasonable delay) we can consider whether to offer you compensation and or a bill reduction.
Please note that the level of service we are looking for when investigating your compliant is a ‘proper’ level of service (in other words, what was reasonable at the time) and not the ‘best possible’ level of service.
If during the investigation we identify negligence we will inform you. Negligence is different to poor service and involves a breach of our duty of care towards you and direct financial losses which have crystalized (are easy to quantify). If we identify negligence you may have to take independent legal advice.
What you can expect from us during the investigation
Upon receipt of your written complaint you will receive an acknowledgement of your correspondence. You can expect this within 5 working days.
In our acknowledgement email we will identify as many of the issues as we can. We will ask you to confirm to us that we have accurately identified the issues (usually before our investigation begins). At this stage we will ask you also to explain what you are looking for in order to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction (an apology for example).
Upon agreeing the heads of complaint, we will let you know how long it will be before you can expect to hear from us. You can expect to hear from us within 21 days or 28 days (depending on the complexity of the issues, availability of key fee earners and members of the Compliance department). In exceptional circumstances we may need to ask for a further extension in which to respond to your concerns. We will always ensure that any such request is made in advance of the expiry of any earlier time frame.
If you wish to submit any comments after receiving our first substantive response, we would ask that you do so within 14 days. Please note, that we will require further documentary evidence in support of any comments you wish to submit if you wish for us to consider a variation of our earlier conclusions. If we do not hear from you we will write to you confirming that we have closed the file as you appear to have accepted our conclusions and take no further action.
Any comments you do submit and or new documentary evidence will be reviewed. We will write to you with our overall conclusion within 14 days of receiving these confirming whether your comments have resulted in a variation of our earlier decision. If you do not agree with our conclusions or refuse an offer to informally conciliate we will close the complaint. At this stage, we have formally exhausted our CHP. We would now ask you to refer the matter to The Legal Ombudsman.
The Legal Ombudsman
The Legal Ombudsman
Please note there are strict time frames in which you are expected to contact the legal ombudsman. Ordinarily, you can ask the legal ombudsman to look into your complaint if it meets the following criteria:
The problem (or when you found out about it), happened after 5 October 2010; and
You are referring your complaint to the legal ombudsman within either of the following:
1. Six years of the problem happening; or
2. Three years from when you found out about it; and
3. You are referring the complaint to them within 6 months of our handling of the complaint.
The legal ombudsman’s contact details are: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Tel: 0300 555 0333
PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton. WVI 9WJ
Alternative approved complaints bodies such as Small Claims Mediation Limited or the ODR platform; are competent to deal with complaints about legal services.
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The firm is committed to equal opportunities and non-discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, religion or belief and in respect of the recruitment, training, development and promotion of our employees.
We are also committed to the principle that employees should be able to work in an environment free from intimidation, bullying and/or harassment.
Legal Disclaimer Information
The materials appearing on this website do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only. No warranty, whether express or implied is given in relation to such materials. We shall not be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical or other errors or omissions within the information provided on this website, nor shall we be responsible for the content of any web images or information linked to this website.
If you have a complaint, please refer to our Complaints Procedure, above.
Modern Slavery Statement
Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person’s liberty by another to exploit them for personal or commercial gain. We have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery, and we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in any of our supply chains.
We are also committed to ensuring there is transparency in our own business and in our approach to tackling modern slavery throughout our supply chain, consistent with our disclosure obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. We expect the same high standards from all of our contractors, suppliers and other business partners, and as part of our contracting processes, we include specific prohibitions against the use of forced, compulsory or trafficked labour, or anyone held in slavery or servitude, whether adults or children, and we expect that our suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same high standards.
This policy applies to all persons working for us or on our behalf in any capacity, including employees at all levels, directors, officers, agency workers, second workers, volunteers, interns, agents, contractors, external consultants, third-party representatives and business partners.
This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.
Responsibility for the statement
The board of directors has overall responsibility for ensuring this policy complies with our legal and ethical obligations, and that all those under our control comply with it.
The head of risk & compliance has a primary day-to-day responsibility for implementing this policy, monitoring its use and effectiveness, dealing with any queries about it, auditing internal control systems and procedures to ensure they are effective in countering modern slavery.
Management at all levels are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them understand and comply with this policy and are given adequate and regular training on it and the issue of modern slavery in supply chains.
Child & Child is the trading name for Allium Law Limited, a limited liability company No 07617921, regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA number 562710.
In accordance with The General Data Protection Regulation 2018, (GDPR), Child & Child is registered as a ‘Data Controller’ on the public Register of Data Controllers as maintained by the Information Commissioner Office (ICO).
What information will we collect from you?
Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).
In order to ensure that the data we collect from you is being processed lawfully and fairly in accordance with the GDPR, we will only collect information from you that is relevant to the matter that we are instructed with. For example, by retaining us in a matter you are authorising us to process your personal data upon a contractual basis. In particular, whilst acting for you we may collect the following information which is defined as ‘personal data’: Personal details, such as family, lifestyle and social circumstances, financial details and business activities of the person whose details we are processing.
We may also collect information that is referred to as being in a ‘special category’. This could include: physical or mental health details, racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature, biometric data, criminal convictions & sexual orientation. You authorise us to process this data on the basis that it is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence, or legal claims under a contract.
How will your information be used?
Much depends on the purpose of our relationship. Generally, we will use your information for the provision of legal advice necessary for the performance of the contract between us. We may also use it for: Administering any accounts, processing your bank/credit card details in order to obtain payment, the prevention and detection of fraud, credit reference checks (where appropriate).
From time to time we may need to disclose information to third parties such as barristers, accountants and government agencies. It may also be necessary to permit third parties (such as auditors, our professional indemnity insurers and the Solicitors Regulation Authority) to have access to your information for administrative or regulatory purposes. On occasion, we may be obliged to transfer information to countries outside the European Economic Area which do not provide the same level of data protection as the UK.
If we decide to share your information with others, we will provide you with as much information about the intended recipients as we reasonably can be expected to, before it is shared. Under our Code of Conduct 2019 (Regulations that apply to law firms), there are very strict rules governing solicitors and who they can share your information with. This will normally be limited to other people who will assist with your matter. This may include: barristers and other solicitors, medical experts, healthcare professionals, social and welfare organisations the courts and tribunals, in the event that your matter becomes litigious (please note this is not an exhaustive list).
From time to time, we may use your personal information for marketing purposes. Under GDPR, we are obliged to ask if you object to us sharing your information for marketing purposes. If you do not want us to share your personal information for marketing purposes, you must let us know. You may receive an email asking you to provide us with consent. Our retainer letters (or client care) letters also provide an opportunity for you to provide us with consent, should you wish to ‘opt in’ for marketing purposes.
We may occasionally send you mailings which you have requested or we feel may interest you and/or are relevant to you (and your business). Such mailings may include details of our products and services; newsletters; briefing notes and legal updates; and invitations to our various training seminars and other social events.
We will use reasonable endeavours to keep any information provided to us, secure and to take appropriate technical and organisational measures against any unauthorised or unlawful processing/ accidental loss/destruction/damage of any personal data within that information. It is impossible to guarantee that your information will be free from every possible security breach and you acknowledge and accept that risk when engaging with us. We may also disclose your information to your family, associates or representatives and we may also disclose your information to debt collection agencies.
We shall not disclose any of your personal information which we obtain as a result of a relationship with Child and Child, except: As is reasonable and necessary for the purpose of carrying out your instructions; As required by law including in response to any requests for information under freedom of information or environmental legislation; As required by any regulatory, governmental or other authority (including the SRA) to which we are subject too; As is required to enable us to enforce our rights under the client care letter (or retainer)
How long will we keep your information for?
In relation to client matters, we will keep information throughout the period of time that we are retained and afterwards for a minimum of six years, as we are required to do so by law. We will ensure any softcopy sensitive personal information is saved safely on our systems and hard copy files are stored in a secure facility. Any other information will be kept for as long as is necessary for us to fulfil the purpose of any relationship you have with us.
Where we store your data
All soft copy information you provide to us is stored on our highly secure servers. All hard copy documentation is secured in our offsite specialist storage facility.
Contacting us about your information
You have a number of new rights under GDPR in relation to your personal information. You can make a number of choices about how we collect and use it. For example, you can decide not to receive marketing material from us, tell us you want to receive marketing communications, and object to the way(s) in which we use your personal information. Note that some of these changes, may impact our ability to conduct the purpose of our relationship.
If you would like to see the information we hold about you (requesting a subject access request, a SAR), or would like to be removed from our database and/or any mailing lists, please contact our Data Protection Officer, Ceri Hughes at CeriHughes@childandchild.co.uk
Please note that upon receipt of a SAR, we will ensure any information you are entitled to, will be forwarded to you within 30 calendar days. It is important that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and current.
If you are aware that any information we hold about you is inaccurate, please contact our DPO to update any personal information we hold about you at CeriHughes@childandchild.co.uk
If you would like personal data that we are holding about you deleted (where there is no valid reason for holding onto it), you must contact our DPO at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please contact our DPO at CeriHughes@childandchild.co.uk
Who can you complain to if you are unhappy about the information we are holding about you?
If you are unhappy about how we are using your information then initially you should contact our Data Protection Officer (DPO) at CeriHughes@childandchild.co.uk. If your complaint remains unresolved, then you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, details available at www.ico.org.uk
You have the right to be forgotten (Erasure). Data Subjects have the right to request that all their data be erased (this is not an absolute right and we may continue to process your data if it remains necessary for the purpose it was originally collected). If you do not wish to receive information from us and our services, or wish to receive only certain kinds of information, or wish to receive information only by a particular method please notify our DPO whose details are set out above.
The information and opinions contained on this website are for general interest and information purposes only and are not intended to constitute specific legal, commercial or other professional advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances, while we seek to ensure that the contents are not misleading or outdated, users should obtain specific legal advice before making or refraining from making any business or personal decisions.
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