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Privacy notice - Orbis Public Law

This privacy notice tells you how Orbis Public Law (OPL) uses your information, the reasons for doing so, and also what rights you have in connection with the information we hold about you.

Orbis Public Law takes data protection seriously. Please be assured that your information will be used appropriately in line with the data protection legislation, will be stored securely and will not be processed unless the requirements for processing can be met.

What is Orbis Public Law

Orbis Public Law is the partnership of the legal teams of Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council, and West Sussex County Council. Physically based across the 3 partner authority buildings OPL colleagues offer expert in house legal advice to all officers and councillors in each of the 3 partner Councils on a full range of council responsibilities and public sector duties to internal client departments and to external clients. We also have external clients such as the East Sussex Fire Authority, district councils, local authorities and other local public services.

We provide advice on a range of areas of law, including the following:

  • Major projects
  • Procurement and contracts
  • Property, planning and highways
  • Housing and licensing
  • Prosecutions, civil litigation and employment
  • Adult and children’s services
  • Education
  • Administrative and local government law.

The types of personal data we hold may include names, addresses and dates of birth as well as biographical, professional, financial and social information about residents, members of the public, elected members, and experts instructed for the purposes of providing legal advice and representation.

We may also hold sensitive personal information (Special Category data) such as information regarding your race, ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, health, sex life, or sexual orientation. However, we will only do so where we have a lawful basis for doing so.

Generally the information we hold will have been provided to us by you, by Council staff or by our external clients. However, we may also hold information provided by third parties where this is relevant and necessary for the provision of our legal service. For example, from social workers, health professionals, doctors, occupational therapists, and enforcement and regulatory agencies such as the police.

Some of the information which the public provides to the partner Councils (or Orbis Public Law’s external clients) is passed to OPL legal teams so that we can provide legal advice and representation. That is the purpose for which we hold your data. Without it, we would not be able to provide legal services to our clients.

We aim to maintain high standards, adopt best practice for our record keeping and regularly check and report on how we are doing. Your information is never sold for direct marketing purposes.

Our staff are trained to handle your information correctly and protect your confidentiality and privacy.

We only process personal data in accordance with the principles of data protection legislation and do so only to the degree that it is necessary to enable us to deliver legal services.

In order to comply with data protection legislation, we must have a legal basis in order to collect and use information about you. There are a range of different lawful bases for processing personal data. We rely on one or more of the following reasons to process your data:

  • to perform a contract which you have entered into with us
  • to comply with a legal obligation that we are subject to
  • to perform a task carried out in the public interest or where we are exercising official authority.

Where we need to process special categories of personal data, we will only do so where we have identified that a special condition applies under data protection legislation and that the processing is necessary. The basis which we rely on is that processing is necessary for one or more of the following reasons:

  • to carry out certain obligations and rights in the field of employment law, social security or social protection law
  • to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim
  • processing is in the substantial public interest
  • to provide health or social care.

All of the Orbis Public Law partners store the personal data we process in accordance with detailed file retention and destruction arrangements. These require us to dispose of all personal data securely once there is no longer a lawful basis for retaining it. Further information is available regarding this is available from each of the OPL Legal Services teams:

Access to the personal information we hold about you is restricted to a need to know basis. We treat your personal information lawfully, fairly and transparently, and ensure that it is:

  • processed for limited purposes
  • kept up-to-date, accurate, relevant and that the information we collect is not excessive (more than we need)
  • not kept longer than is necessary
  • kept secure.

Where we need to share information about you, we do so in line with the law and in such a way as to safeguard your data. Where information is shared between the partners of Orbis Public Law then work may be completed in another location rather than the instructing authority.

We may also be required to share your information with our regulators who are permitted access to this information by law, or with other organisations where we have a legal obligation to share the information with them. This may include our insurers or external auditors.

Use of third party organisations

Where we need to share your data with trusted external organisations to process you data on our behalf for example where we use external software or systems to deliver our service, then the other party will be contractually required to adhere to the security requirements imposed by data protection legislation. They will only be able to use your information to the extent that they need to do so to complete work on our behalf.

Under data protection legislation, you have the right:

  • to be informed why, where and how we use your information
  • to ask for access to your information
  • to ask for your information to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • to ask for your information to be deleted or removed where there is no need for us to contin­ue processing it
  • to ask us to restrict the use of your information
  • to ask us to copy or transfer your information from one IT system to another in a safe and se­cure way, without impacting the quality of the information
  • to object to how your information is used
  • to challenge any decisions made without human intervention (automated decision making).

Please visit the relevant Council’s data subject rights page for further details:

Legal services

Should you have any further queries on the uses of your information, please contact the head of the relevant legal department.

Elizabeth Culbert, Interim Head of Commercial and Governance
Brighton & Hove City Council
Town Hall
Email: elizabeth.culbert@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Rachel Doran, Legal and Coroner Services Manager
East Sussex County Council
County Hall
Email: rachel.doran@eastsussex.gov.uk 

Diane Henshaw, Interim Head of Adult Social Care, Health and Education
West Sussex County Council
County Hall
Email: diane.henshaw@westsussex.gov.uk

Data protection

The Orbis Public Law partners’ Data Protection Officers may be contacted via the following links:

If you would like to make a complaint about the use of your information, please submit your complaint online:

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance. Alternatively, you may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO):

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate)
Email ICO
Report a concern on the ICO website