Data retention and records management

This Record Retention Schedule supplements our Data Protection Policy, Electronic Information Security Policy and our Privacy Notice. It sets out the time period that Client records are retained for business and/or legal purposes. As such, retention periods are based on business needs and legal requirements.

This Record Retention Schedule supplements our Data Protection Policy, Electronic Information Security Policy and our Privacy Notice. It sets out the time period that Client records are retained for business and/or legal purposes. As such, retention periods are based on business needs and legal requirements.

In line with the Data Protection Policy and GDPR Principles, data is only kept for the time required to do. We do not keep any personal data longer than necessary. We do acknowledge that this will be dependent on the different types of documents and data that we have responsibility for, to fulfil our client care obligations and legal requirements.

A client may request erasure or to be forgotten. See: Right of Erasure Policy.

This data retention policy will be reviewed in the event of new types of data being collected, changing legislation, or every year, whichever is the soonest.

Personal data must be disposed of in a way that protects the “rights and freedoms” of data subjects (shredding, disposal as confidential waste, secure electronic deletion).

Please note: This is a guideline only.

Kent and Surrey Family Resolution note that it will be necessary, on occasion, to store archived client files for longer periods. Destruction of records will be suspended if it becomes apparent that there is any possibility of anticipated litigation or regulatory investigation; or in the event of a file involving a high value or complex transaction. This will also be applicable in the case of litigation, or where the nature of the client transaction would suggest that a file should be kept for longer than the standard period. We note the advice from our insurers: that it is of paramount importance is access to a file in the event of a claim being made or a notifiable circumstance arising.

Data storage and security

Data is stored securely and respecting client privacy as documented in our 13.0.0 Data Protection Policy and 9.3.0 Electronic Information Security Policy.

Special Category Data

Special category data is personal data that needs more protection because it is sensitive. This type of data will be deleted after the conclusion of the matter, unless specifically required. We are highly unlikely to process special category data.

Identification Documents copies

May be retained with consent for use in subsequent matters as required/requested by the client.

Special Arrangements for matters involving Infants and Family Matters

The destruction date period should run 7 years from the infant’s 18th birthday. Data on legal matters related to children may be kept if necessary to re-open the matter in the future. Family matters involving data such as applications and court orders may be retained for longer in case of the need to re-visit the case.

Anti-Money Laundering Regulations (2007)

Statutory requirements govern how long documents relating to customer due diligence are to be kept. Regulation 19 of The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 requires records to be retained for five years. However, as suggested as best practice by insurers the relevant records will be retained for however long the files that the records relate to are to be kept. Documents containing client's tax or VAT affairs must be retained for at least the relevant statutory prescribed period.

Private Client Files

Will files are initially allocated a destruction date for the year 3000 to ensure they are not destroyed. On their retrieval, they are allocated a destruction date 12 years from the client’s death to coincide with the destruction of the probate file where applicable.

Ongoing Trust files will not be archived but will be “archived in part.” Signed accounts on Trust files are kept for 40 years.

Client Records and Matter Files

The minimum period that any file should be kept for is six years, the primary limitation period under the Limitation Act 1980. We retain for a minimum of seven years, taking into account the four-month period during which a claim form issued on the last day of the limitation period remains valid for service and for any extensions for service which may be granted by the court.

Some of our client files are retained for 15 years. This reflects the longstop under section 14B of the Limitation Act 1980, as there is a greater likelihood of claims in these fields being made outside the primary limitation period.

Some files are required to be retained indefinitely.

Any deviations from the retention periods in this Schedule are documented.

Document Title

How long to retain (years)

Client matter files

Default 7 years unless specified

Inheritance Claim

7

Children

15 or 7 years from 18th birthday of youngest child

Change of Name

Indefinitely

Family Matters (financial orders, maintenance)

15

Probate - life interests

Indefinitely (review at death)

Probate

15

Children Private Law

15

Children Public Law

15

Divorce/Judicial Separation

15

Wills/codicils

See above* Indefinitely (review at death)

Administration of Estate

Indefinitely

Trusts

Indefinitely (review when trust ends)

Power of Attorney

Retain indefinitely (review at death)

Personal investments

Retain indefinitely (review at death)

Court of Protection

Indefinitely (review at death)

Property/Transfer of Property

15

Declaration of Trusts

Retain indefinitely

Pension schemes

Retain indefinitely

Settlements

Retain indefinitely

Matters where client is under a disability i.e. lacks capacity or is a child

7 years from 18th birthday or upon loss of disability

Complaint & Claim Files & Records

7 years

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Nigel Clarke

Family Arbitrator, Collaborative Solicitor, Accredited Family Mediator.

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