Sophie Smith-Holland - Privacy Notice


Date of notice: 31 March 2021
Policy operational from: 31 March 2021 (this version)
Next review date: 31 March 2022

In order to provide legal advice and representation, I need to collect and hold personal information. This may be your personal data or information relating to other parties involved in the matter. I will take all possible steps to protect personal information. I will ensure that I do not do anything that may infringe your rights or undermine your trust. This privacy notice describes the information I collect about you, how it is used and shared, and your rights regarding it.

Data controller

I, Sophie Smith-Holland, am a member of St John’s Chambers. I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a Data Controller for the personal data that I hold and process as a barrister. My registered address is St John’s Chambers, 101 Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6PU and my ICO registration number is ZA320613. If you need to contact me about your data or this privacy notice, you can reach me through my clerks at [email protected] or my designated clerk, Charlotte Fryer at [email protected].

Data collection

The vast majority of the information that I hold about you is provided to, or gathered by, me in the course of your case and/or proceedings. Your solicitor and/or I will tell you why we need the information and how we will use it. In addition to the information you may provide to me or your solicitor, I also obtain information from other sources as follows:

  • Information that is available publicly in registers, searches (including on online search engines), on social media or in the media
  • Other legal professionals including solicitors and barristers and their associates, trainees and staff
  • Chambers’ staff
  • Expert witnesses
  • Social workers and Cafcass
  • Prosecution bodies
  • Regulatory, public or administrative bodies
  • Court staff & officials
  • Clients
  • References

What data do I process about you?

Depending on the type of work, I collect and process both personal data and special categories of personal data as defined in the UK GDPR. This may include:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Payment or bank details
  • Date of birth and age
  • Next of kin details
  • Details pertaining to education and employment
  • information on your background & current circumstances
  • Information for agencies such as the police, CPS and the DWP
  • Financial information
  • Photographs

Where relevant, I may also need to process special category personal data that reveals your:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Religious and philosophical beliefs
  • Trade union membership
  • Genetic data
  • Biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person
  • Data concerning health (including but not limited to mental and physical health)
  • Sex life and sexual orientation.

On occasion, I may also process personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences.

My lawful basis for processing your information

In order that I can provide legal services and representation for you, I must process your personal data. The UK General Data Protection Regulation (the UK GDPR) requires that where I process personal data, I must have a lawful basis for doing so. The lawful bases identified in the UK GDPR that I seek to rely upon are as follows:

  • Consent of the data subject – where this is required, I will ensure that I have your specific consent for processing your data for the specified purposes. You will also have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. Where you do so this will not affect the legality of data processing which had taken place prior to your withdrawal of consent.
  • Compliance with a legal obligation – to comply with various regulatory and professional obligations, e.g. filing tax returns with HMRC.
  • The legitimate interests of my business or a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests, rights or freedoms of the data subject.

Examples of legitimate interests include but are not limited to:

  • Provision of legal services and advice.
  • For purposes of practice management, accounting and debt recovery.
  • For completion of professional regulatory requirements.
  • Processing for direct marketing purposes, or to prevent fraud.
    Reporting threats to public security.

Such other purposes as set out below.

Special category processing

The UK GDPR specifies that where I process special category data, I must rely upon certain exemptions in order to do so lawfully. The following exemptions are applicable in my practice:

  1. I have your explicit consent to do so; or
  2. It is necessary for the exercise or defence of legal claims or judicial acts.

Criminal data processing

On occasion, I process data relating to criminal offences where it is necessary for:

  • The purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings;
  • The purpose of obtaining legal advice;
  • The purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights; or

Where I have your explicit consent to do so.


I use your personal information for the following purposes:

  • Provide legal advice and representation;
  • Assist in training pupils, mini pupils, students and any other legal professionals;
  • Investigate and address your concerns;
  • Communicate with you about news, updates and events;
  • Investigate or address legal proceedings relating to your use of my services, or as otherwise allowed by applicable law;
  • Make statutory returns as required by HMCTS;
  • Assist in any tendering or panel membership applications;
  • Assist in any other applications for the purpose of professional development or
    career progression (including but not limited to submissions made to the legal directories (for example Chambers UK and the Legal 500) and for other roles / jobs in the legal profession or otherwise;
  • Communicate legal updates and judgments to other legal professionals;
  • For marketing purposes;
  • For the management and administration of my practice;
  • To recover debt;
  • To manage complaints with regulators;
  • Communications with regulators;
  • Where relevant to conduct anti money laundering, terrorist financing or conflict of interest checks.

In the course of processing your information to provide legal services to you, I may share your personal data with:

  • Instructing solicitors or other lawyers involved in your case;
  • A pupil, mini pupil or work experience candidate under my training;
  • Another barrister, for the purposes of obtaining advice and guidance;
  • Opposing counsel, for the purposes of resolving the case;
  • Court Officials, including the Judiciary;
  • Opposing lay clients;
  • My chambers’ management and staff who provide administrative services for my practice;
  • Expert witnesses and other witnesses (including but not limited to Social Workers and Cafcass Officers);
  • My regulator or legal advisors in the event of a dispute, complaint or other legal matter;
  • Head of Chambers, CEO or complaints committee / barrister within my chambers, in the event of a complaint;
  • Law enforcement officials, government authorities, or other third parties, to meet any legal obligations;
  • Legal directories, for the purpose of professional development;
  • Any relevant panel or tendering committee, for the purpose of professional development;
  • Any other legal professional or student for the purpose of teaching and development;
  • Accountants and banking officials;
  • Regulators or arbitrators, where complaints or disputes arise;
  • Any other party where I ask you for consent, and you consent, to the sharing;
  • I may also be required to disclose your information to the Police, Intelligence Services or other public body where required by law or pursuant to a court order.

Transfers to third countries and international organisations

From time to time, I may use service providers outside the European Economic Areas (“EEA”), in particular for the provision of IT services, which includes storage of emails.

If I do share your personal data with service providers outside the EEA, I will ensure reasonable safeguards are put in place to protect your personal data.

I am satisfied that such transferred data is fully protected and safeguarded as required by the UK General Data Protection Regulation.

I retain your personal data while you remain a client unless you ask me to delete it. My Retention and Disposal Policy (copy available on request) details how long I hold data for and how I dispose of it when it no longer needs to be held. I will delete or anonymise your information at your request unless:

  • There is an unresolved issue, such as a claim or dispute;
  • I am legally required to; or

There are overriding legitimate business interests to do so.

I will typically retain case files for a period of at least 16 years following the conclusion of a case/matter or receipt of final payment, whichever is the latest. This reflects the period required by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund relating to potential limitation periods. In case involving minors, I will retain case files for 16 years following the conclusion of the case/matter or final payment or 7 years following the attaining the minor’s majority (whichever is the later) and in cases involving client lacking mental capacity I may retain the case file indefinitely.

Where various pleadings and documents have been drafted, they may be retained for learning purposes and legal research. Where this is the case, I will anonymise the personal information/redact information which may identify an individual/risk assess the continued retention of the documents.

Your rights

The UK GDPR gives you specific rights in terms of your personal data. For example, you have the right of access to the information I hold and what I use it for; you can ask for a copy of the personal information I hold about you; you can ask me to correct any inaccuracies with the personal data I hold, and you can ask me to stop sending you direct mail or emails or, in some circumstances, ask me to stop processing your details.

Finally, if I do something irregular or improper with your personal data, you can complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how I have processed your information or dealt with your query. You may also seek compensation for any distress you are caused or loss you have incurred.

You can find out more information from the ICO’s website:

Accessing and correcting your information

You may request access to, correction of, or a copy of your information by contacting me through my clerks at [email protected] or my designated clerk, Charlotte Fryer at [email protected].

I will occasionally update my privacy notice. When I make significant changes, I will record that there has been a change to it on my Chambers’ website profile, with instructions as to how you can request an updated copy.