Data retention policy

Under GDPR we require to have a Data Retention Policy suitable for us and for clients and any third parties for whom we hold and control data/personal information.

Austin Lafferty Limited, a company incorporated under the Companies Acts (Company Number:- SC277684) and having its Registered Office at 4d Auchingramont Road, Hamilton, ML3 6JT trading as Austin Lafferty Solicitors and Estate Agents (“Austin Lafferty”) will be a "controller" of the personal information that clients and some third parties (“clients”) provide to us.

How long must we store data?

  1. We as a law firm acting on behalf of clients in a range of work for them need to store data for as long as we act for clients, and in many cases so that when they instruct us as repeat/returning clients (which the overwhelming majority do) we can recall previous work for them, including but not limited to knowing their personal information, the nature of their employment or business, their ownership, tenancy or other holding of property and assets,  the existence and content of their will (we require to hold wills by default/in absence of instructions otherwise indefinitely during the life of a client and also for a period after their death), having possession on behalf of clients other documents including powers of attorney, contracts, financial documents, and also data on previous work which will be useful and/or necessary in carrying out further work;
  2. We will store data as long as clients actively instruct us to do so.
  3. In order to be accountable to regulatory, law enforcement, statutory and government authorities for our contractual actings for clients we require to retain data for various periods of up to 20 years (long negative prescription period under Scots law) in the event that a client or regulatory organisation enquires about and/or challenges our work. See also the said Data Protection Policy section 9 *. The regulatory bodies to whom we are responsible include, but are not limited to: the Law Society of Scotland, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, HMRC, Revenue Scotland, Police Scotland, all law courts – civil and criminal.

Clients’ rights

See Austin Lafferty’s Data Protection Policy.

Clients can exercise any of the following rights and, enquire about the retention of their personal information or require us to amend/correct or delete personal information  by writing to us at, or telephone 0141 621 2212 or write to Austin Lafferty, Austin Lafferty Solicitors and Estate Agents, 213 Fenwick Road Giffnock Glasgow G46 6JD.

Any requests, instructions or requirements received by Austin Lafferty will be considered under applicable data protection legislation. If clients remain dissatisfied, they have a right to raise a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office at

Retention of personal data

We will keep clients’ personal data for as long as they are using our services. Once they cease using our services, the personal data will be securely destroyed if it is no longer required for the purpose for which it was obtained or used. For the avoidance of doubt, the period we retain your data will be affected by one or more of the following considerations:

  • Our expectation that clients will instruct us again in future in circumstances in which we need to have their data already on hand.
  • Any statutory period of prescription or limitation of action by or against clients as a party to a case or transaction (including as an executor of a deceased person’s estate and/or as trustee of a trust), and/or against Austin Lafferty as their solicitor.
  • Any period until a Law Society of Scotland regulated inspection of Austin Lafferty under the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 and related legislation.
  • Any periods during which the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission are investigating and/or adjudicating a complaint against us by a client or third party.
  • Any period over and during which HMRC and/or Revenue Scotland and/or Police Scotland may carry out investigation of the client and/or Austin Lafferty as a firm/business (including any of its directors).
  • The long negative prescription period of 20 years.

If clients have consented to receive marketing information from us, we will retain any personal data used for marketing purposes for two years or until clients notify us that they no longer wish to receive this information.

This policy has been created and last updated on 9 May 2018. It will be updated and reviewed from time to time.