Orbis Public Law privacy notice

Privacy notice specifically for Orbis Public Law (OPL) teams.

This privacy notice explains:

  • how OPL uses your information
  • the reasons for doing so
  • what rights you have in connection with the information we hold about you.

OPL is the partnership of four legal teams from:

  • Brighton & Hove City Council
  • East Sussex County Council
  • Surrey County Council
  • West Sussex County Council.

Physically based across the partner authority buildings, OPL colleagues offer expert in-house legal advice to all officers and councillors in each of the partner councils on a full range of council responsibilities and public sector duties. As well as internal client departments our services also extend to external clients, such as East Sussex Fire Authority, district councils, local authorities and other local public services.

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

  • major projects
  • procurement and contracts
  • property, planning and highways
  • housing and licensing
  • prosecutions, civil litigation and employment
  • adults' and children’s services
  • education
  • administrative and local government law.

Personal and special category data

The types of personal data we hold about residents, members of the public, elected members, and experts instructed for the purposes of providing legal advice and representation may include:

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • biographical information
  • professional information
  • financial information
  • social information.

We may also hold sensitive (special category) personal information. However, we will only do so where we have a lawful basis for doing so.

See the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) website for information about special category data.

Data control

See the relevant website for information about its data protection policy:

We ensure that your personal data is accurate, processed fairly and lawfully, kept secure and retained for no longer than is necessary.

The legal basis for processing personal data

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 and we rely on one or more of the following reasons. To:

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

The legal basis for processing special category data

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 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
  • where processing is in substantial public interest
  • to provide health or social care.

How we use your personal information

Some of the information the public provides to the partner councils (or OPL’s external clients) is passed to OPL legal teams so 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.

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 data provided by third parties where this is relevant and necessary for the provision of our legal service, such as information from:

  • social workers
  • health professionals (doctors, occupational therapists)
  • enforcement and regulatory agencies, such as the police.

Who we share your information with

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
  • accurate, relevant and kept up to date
  • no more than we need
  • not kept longer than is necessary
  • kept securely.

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 OPL 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
  • 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

Sometimes we may need to share your data with trusted external organisations to process it on our behalf, for example, where we use external software or systems to deliver our service.

In these cases 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.

How long we keep your personal data

All of the OPL 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 about this is available from each of the OPL Legal Services teams:

Your rights

See the relevant council’s website for details:


See the relevant council’s website for details:

Contact details

Should you have any further queries on the uses of your information, please contact the lead from the relevant legal department:

Last updated:
17 February 2021
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.