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Privacy statement – professional engagements

Updated 16 September 2022

Grant Thornton Northern Ireland wants to protect the privacy of our clients and all third parties whose data we process in the course of our professional engagements.  In the conduct of providing our professional services to clients, we may need to collect and use personal data about their directors, shareholders, partners, trustees, clients or customers or their employees, agents or contractors, which we will hold as a controller under the Data Protection Act 2018. 

Please read the following statement; it will help you to understand how we use your personal data.

About Us

In this privacy statement “we”, “our”, and “us” refers to Grant Thornton Northern Ireland.  Grant Thornton Northern Ireland is part of Grant Thornton Ireland and is one of several partnerships under Irish Law trading as Grant Thornton and the following legal entities: Grant Thornton (NI) LLP; Grant Thornton Financial & Taxation Consultants Limited; Grant Thornton Business Advisory Services Limited; Grant Thornton Corporate Finance Limited; Grant Thornton Consulting Limited; Grant Thornton Financial Counselling Limited; Grant Thornton Debt Solutions Limited; Grant Thornton Pensioner Trustees Limited; Grant Thornton Limited (Isle of Man) and Grant Thornton (Gibraltar) Limited.

What personal data do we collect?

The type of personal data collected will depend on the nature of the engagement. In the course of carrying out our engagement for our client we may process personal data including your personal identification, name, address, email address, telephone numbers, roles and responsibilities, PPS numbers, details relating to contract of employment, salary information including credits and deductions, tax returns, bank account details, insurance details, invoices and company loan information. We may also process health information and family details if instructed to provide certain services to our client.

While most personal data will be obtained from you directly or from our client, we may also perform background checks as part of our client onboarding procedures and continuous monitoring, and we will engage a third party service provider to assist with such checks.

Why do we process your personal data?

We may process your personal data in connection with our client on-boarding process, which includes background checks, in order to comply with our legal obligations in connection with the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2013 and as may be further amended and updated from time to time.

We may also process your personal data in connection with the professional services that we provide to our clients.  In particular, where we provide audit and/or tax services to our clients we may be the controller of certain personal data that we process in order to undertake that service and meet our contractual and professional obligations. 

Our processing of your personal data in these circumstances is also based on our legitimate business interests in performing our engagement, operating our business and complying with internal policies and procedures.  We may also be required to process such personal data in order to comply with our legal obligations.

To whom might we disclose your personal data?

We may be required to provide other audit firms with access to our audit files where they act as group auditors or successor auditors.  We may also be requested to provide access to our audit files to potential investors or their advisors.

We may be required in certain circumstances, by law or by Regulations or by Professional Bodies, some of these may be located outside the European Economic Area (EEA), to which we belong, to make reports to regulatory and law enforcement authorities or to such bodies, or to disclose documents or information or take other action, as a result of information received by us or matters which come to our attention during the course of our engagement. We may also be required to provide Regulatory Bodies, Grant Thornton International Limited or Professional Bodies with access to our work papers in order to facilitate monitoring inspections.

Transfers Abroad

We are a multi-territory firm and therefore data is transferred between offices to ensure efficient running of the business. Therefore, where necessary data is transferred outside of the UK to the Dublin office.

Whilst we store personal data on servers within the UK, in line with the above, we may need to transfer personal data outside the UK. This includes to countries that are not recognised by the Government of the UK as providing an equivalent level of protection for personal data as in the UK (also known as having adequacy). Where we do so, we ensure that appropriate measures are in place to comply with our obligations under data protection legislation. This can include entering into an agreement governing the transfer containing the ‘standard contractual clauses’ (also known as ‘model clauses’) approved for this purpose by the Government of the UK.

Our retention of your personal data

We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements. 

Your rights

You have the right, subject to certain exemptions,

  • to obtain a copy of any personal data we hold about you,
  • to request rectification or erasure of such data,
  • to request restriction of processing or to object to processing,
  • and data portability.  

If you wish to exercise these rights, please contact us at our registered office:

Registered office address: 12-15 Donegall Square West, Belfast, BT1 6JH, Northern Ireland.

Alternatively, contact

You also have the right to complain to the Data Protection Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office or another supervisory authority.