Personal data protection terms and conditions

Protection of personal data of our clients and other natural persons is important to us. These terms and conditions explain how we process personal data when providing legal services as the law firm Advokátska kancelária SOWA s. r. o., with registered office: Beblavého 8, 811 01 Bratislava, Slovak Republic, ID-No: 50 720 422, registered in the Commercial Register of the District Court Bratislava I, Sec. Sro, File No 117009/B (hereinafter referred to as “we”). In case of any questions do not hesitate to contact us by phone at 0907 963 415 or 0903 915 845, by e-mail at office@aksowa.sk or by post at the address of our registered office. 

Our processing of personal data is governed primarily by the general data protection regulation of the EU (hereinafter referred to as “GDPR“) with your rights of the data subject also being regulated by those provisions of the Personal data protection act that pertain to you (in particular Sec 78), the Act on the Legal Profession (Sec 18) as well as other rules. We adhere to the Code of Conduct adopted by the Slovak Bar Association (hereinafter referred to as “SAK”) which provides more detail on the processing of personal data by legal professionals. You can find more information about the Code of Conduct at www.sak.sk/gdpr.   

Why do we process personal data? 

The processing of personal data on our part is necessary in particular so we can:

  • provide legal services to our clients and pursue the occupation of attorneys,
  • comply with various legal, professional and contractual obligations, and
  • protect our legitimate interests, the legitimate interests of our clients and other persons.

For what purpose and based on which legal basis do we process your personal data? 

Purpose Legal basis pursuant to GDPR Related regulations
Exercise of professional duties (provision of legal services) Compliance with legal obligation pursuant to Article 6(1)(c) GDPR, performance of a contract pursuant to Article 6(1)(b) GDPR or legitimate interest pursuant to 6(1)(f) GDPR Act on the Legal Profession, Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers, Civil and Commercial Code
Provision of other than legal services Compliance with legal obligation pursuant to Article 6(1)(c) GDPR, performance of a contract pursuant to Article 6(1)(b) GDPR or legitimate interest pursuant to 6(1)(f) GDPR Act on the Register of Public Sector Partners, Act on the e-Government, Civil and Commercial Code
Ensuring compliance with the legal regulations and rules of the Slovak Bar Association Compliance with legal obligation pursuant to Article 6(1)(c) GDPR, legitimate interest pursuant to 6(1)(f) GDPR or public interest pursuant to 6(1)(e) GDPR Act on the Legal Profession, Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers, Anti-Money Laundering Act, Act on Whistleblowing, GDPR
Accounting and tax purposes Compliance with a legal obligation pursuant to Article 6(1)(c) GDPR Special laws in the field of accounting and tax administration
Securing and enforcing our possible legal claims Our legitimate interest pursuant to Article 6(1)(f) GDPR Civil and Commercial Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Criminal Act, Code of Civil Contentious Procedure, Code of Civil Non-Contentious Procedure, Code of Judicial Review Procedure, Code of Administrative Procedure, Minor Offences Act
Marketing purposes Consent of the data subject pursuant to Article 6(1)(a) GDPR or our legitimate interest pursuant to Article 6(1)(f) GDPR Act on the Legal Profession, e-Communication Act, Act on Advertising, Consumer Protection Act, Civil Code,
Statistical purposes, archiving purposes in the public interest and scientific or historical research purpose Legal basis allowing collection of personal data for original purposes under the regime of Article 89 GDPR Act on Archives

What legitimate interests do we pursue when processing personal data? 

We may process personal data based on the existence of our legitimate interest, such as:

  • securing and enforcing our potential legal claims, or
  • direct marketing (sending of greeting cards, legal newsletters and our offers).

Any disclosure of information on the provided legal advice including references from clients happens only based on the client’s consent.

Whom do we make available your personal data? 

We disclose the personal data of our clients and other natural persons only to the extent necessary and always subject to an obligation of secrecy on the part of the data recipients, such as our employees, persons authorised by us to perform individual acts of legal services, substitute or cooperating lawyers, our accounting advisors, our tax advisors, the Slovak Bar Association (e.g. in case of disciplinary proceedings) or software or support providers to our office, including staff of these entities.

Due to the obligation of secrecy our obligation to provide your personal data to public authorities is limited, nonetheless we are obliged to prevent perpetration of any crime and we are also obliged to report any information in the field of prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing. 

To which countries do we transfer your personal data?

We do not intend to transfer your personal data to third countries outside of the European Economic Area (EU, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). We employ secure cloud services from a verified provider with servers located within EU jurisdiction.

What kinds of automated individual decision-making do we carry out? 

We do not carry out any automated individual decision-making.

How long do we store your personal data? 

We store personal data until it is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data is processed. When storing personal data we adhere to recommended storage period pursuant to the resolution of the chair of the Slovak Bar Association No 29/11/2011, e.g.:

  • completed incoming and outgoing post journals are stored by the lawyer for ten years after the date of receipt or sending of the last mail recorded in the journal,
  • inventory records are archived by the lawyer for ten years after their creation,
  • if the lawyer keeps an electronic list of clients and a record of the client’s file, at the end of the calendar year the lawyer prepares a printed version of these materials and stores this printed version in the office for unlimited time,
  • the deadline for destroying a client’s file is 10 years starting from the day when all the conditions for the storage of the file in the archive have been met.

Lawyers are subject to rules regulating their professional obligations pursuant to the Act on the Legal Profession, according to which there are some circumstances that extend our storage periods of personal data or prevent us from destroying some documents for justifiable reasons. For example:

  • A client’s file consisting of originals of documents provided to the lawyer by the client can’t be destroyed,
  • Records of client’s files and lists of client’s files can’t be destroyed,
  • A client’s file or its part that the lawyer is obliged to hand over to the state archive can’t be destroyed,
  • A client’s file can’t be destroyed, if there is any proceedings on-going before court, public authority, law enforcement authorities or Slovak Bar Association, the content of which relates to the content of the client’s file or the subject of which was an action or omission of the lawyer when providing legal assistance in a client’s matter. 

How do we collect your personal data? 

If you are our client, most often we collect your personal data directly from you. In such case the collection of your personal data is voluntary. Depending on the specific case the failure to provide personal data by the client may impact our ability to provide good quality of legal advice or in exceptional cases even our obligation to refuse to provide legal advice. We may obtain personal data of our clients even from publicly available sources, from public authorities or other persons.

If you are not our client, we collect your personal data most often from our clients or from other public or legal sources such as by request from public authorities, from extracts from public registers, by collecting evidence in favour of the client etc. In such case we may collect your personal data even without informing you and even against your will based on our legal authorisation and obligation to exercise our professional duties in accordance with the Act on Legal Profession.

What rights do you have as a data subject? 

If we process your personal data based on your consent with the processing, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time.

Irrespective of that you are entitled to object to the processing of personal data based on legitimate or public interest, as well as for the purpose of direct marketing including profiling at any time.

As a client you have the right to request access to your personal data as well as their rectification. If we process personal data when providing legal services, neither you as a client nor any other natural person (e.g. counterparty) may object to such processing pursuant to Article 22 GDPR. If the personal data pertains to client (regardless of whether the client is a legal or natural person), no other persons have the right to access the data or the right to portability and that due to our legal obligation to maintain secrecy, with reference to the Article 15(4) GPPR, Article 20 (4) GDPR and Sec 18 (8) Act on the Legal Profession: “The lawyer is not obliged to provide information on personal data processing, enable access to personal data or their portability pursuant to a special regulation, if doing so could lead to the violation of the obligation of the lawyer to maintain secrecy pursuant to this Act.” You are also entitled to file a complaint with the Office for Personal Data Protection or the Slovak Bar Association.

Changes in conditions for protection of privacy 

Personal data protection is not a one-off matter for us. Information which we are obliged to provide to you due to our processing of personal data may change or become outdated. Therefore we reserve the possibility to modify and change these terms and conditions to any extent and at any time. If we modify these terms and conditions in a substantial way, we will inform you about the change, e. g. by a general notification on this website or a special notice by e-mail.