Privacy Policy

Van Olmen & Wynant attaches great importance to the protection of privacy.  Our Privacy Policy informs about our processing activities regarding personal data, the data subject rights and the measures taken by Van Olmen & Wynant to protect privacy.

1. Framework

The law firm ‘VAN OLMEN & WYNANT’ CVBA, with registered office at 1050 Brussels, Avenue Louise 221, registered with the Belgian Crossroads Bank for Enterprises under number 0465.265.844 (hereinafter referred to as “Van Olmen & Wynant”) attaches great importance to the protection of the personal data it processes. In the context of deontologically and legally responsible dealing, Van Olmen & Wynant undertakes to comply with the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (hereinafter referred to as the “GDPR”).

By this policy Van Olmen & Wynant intends to inform about the processing of the personal data and the rights of the data subjects. This policy describes, among other things, the measures taken by Van Olmen & Wynant to protect privacy in the context of Van Olmen & Wynant’s services, including the use of its website.

Clients and Data Subjects (as defined below) are therefore requested to read this policy carefully, with the understanding that it may be modified from time to time in the light of the feedback or changes to services, conditions or legal or regulatory provisions.

2. Definitions

For the proper understanding of the terminology used in the context of this policy statement, a number of terms are defined below, as the case may be in accordance with the GDPR:

a)    Data Subject: means a natural person, as the case may be the Client, whose Personal Data have been provided explicitly or implicitly to Van Olmen & Wynant by him or by a Client.

b)    Client: means a client to whom Van Olmen & Wynant provides services or to whom it has provided services in the past.

c)    Personal Data Breach: means a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to Processed Personal Data.

d)    Mandate: means the contractual relationship of Client and/or Data Subject with Van Olmen & Wynant in its capacity of legal counsel to Client and/or Data Subject.

e)    Personal Data: means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘Data Subject’) in terms of the GDPR.

f)     Processing or to Process: any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organization, structuring, storage, adaptation, adoption, or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.

g)    Controller: means the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the Processing of Personal Data, being, as the case may be Van Olmen & Wynant.

h)    Processor: means a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or another body, to which processes Personal Data on behalf of the Controller, being, if Client is Controller, Van Olmen & Wynant.

i)    Website: website of Van Olmen & Wynant (www.vow.be) 

3. Consent for processing

By appointing Van Olmen & Wynant as legal counsel (conceivably by signing the fee agreement) and/or by visiting the Website and/or by transferring Personal Data to Van Olmen & Wynant via the Website or in any other way and to the extent that the Processing is not based on any other ground for Processing as set out in article 6 GDPR:

  • Data Subject, in case it provides Personal Data, gives Van Olmen & Wynant the permission to Process all data, including Personal Data relating to the Data Subject, in accordance with the purposes described below;
  • Client guarantees, in case it provides Personal Data of Data Subject, that it has the necessary permissions and/or legal basis to give Van Olmen & Wynant the permission to Process all data, including Personal Data relating to the Data Subject(s), in accordance with the purposes described below.

4. The collection and the nature of the personal data

Van Olmen & Wynant collects Personal Data through the transfer thereof by Client or Data Subject, in particular within the framework of its Mandate, via the Website, via publicly accessible sources and via sources to which access is legally restricted. In addition, the server of the Website automatically recognizes the IP address and/or the domain name of the person who visits the Website.

Personal Data therefore include among other things, surname and first name, contact details, such as the address, the telephone number, the e-mail address, identification data such as the VAT number and the national register number, data concerning civil status, date and place of birth and data relating to employment or professional activities.

Within the framework of the Mandate, it is also possible that Van Olmen & Wynant Processes certain sensitive categories of Personal Data such as race or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical convictions, membership of a trade union, political opinion or preference and data on health. Processing of these Personal Data are subject to the specific provisions as described in article 6 of this policy statement.

5. The purpose of processing

Van Olmen & Wynant Processes Personal Data within the framework of the Mandate (including the administrative follow-up of the files and execution of the fee agreements), with a view to conducting efficient client management and for advertising and marketing purposes, such as newsletters, events, seminars and congresses and business courtesies (such as Christmas cards).

All Personal Data will be Processed exclusively for the purpose for which it was collected and to the extent that is necessary to achieve that finality. This restriction applies both to the quantity of Personal Data and to the scope of Processing, the retention period and the accessibility.

If Personal Data should be Processed for a different purpose than those for which they were initially collected, Van Olmen & Wynant ensures that the Processing does not take place in a manner that is incompatible with the purpose for which Personal Data has been provided. In case the desired finality is incompatible with the initial finality for which Personal Data has been provided, Van Olmen & Wynant will ask the consent of the relevant Client and/or Data Subject for the Processing of their respective Personal Data in the light of this new purpose, provided that the consent is given freely.

Van Olmen & Wynant states as a principle not to make use of automated decision-making.

If the Client or, if applicable, the Data Subject, does not wish its Personal Data to be processed for publicity and marketing purposes or business courtesies, it can by means of a simple request to Van Olmen & Wynant as referred to in article 14 of this policy statement, or via the means provided for in the relevant communication, withdraw its consent at any time.

6. The lawfulness of processing

Van Olmen & Wynant Processes Personal Data when this is necessary (a) for the performance of its Mandate or for the execution of the pre-contractual measures requested by Client or Data subject, or (b) to comply with its legal obligations or (c) for advertising and marketing purposes aimed at conducting a policy for provision of information to Clients and/or Data subjects and conducting a policy of customer binding, or (d) for representing the legitimate interest of Van Olmen & Wynant.

If the Processing cannot be justified by one of the aforementioned legal grounds, Van Olmen & Wynant may request the consent of Client and/or Data subject, provided that this consent is freely given.

With regard to the Processing of sensitive Personal Data, Van Olmen & Wynant Processes these Personal Data when (a) it has obtained the explicit consent from the Data Subject, as the case may be via Client, to process one or more special categories of Personal Data for one or more well-defined purposes or (b) when necessary for the performance of the Mandate, in particular within the framework of the assertion, exercise or substantiation of a legal claim, or (c) to comply with the legal obligations of Van Olmen & Wynant or (d) if the Processing relates to Personal Data that have manifestly been made public by the Data Subject.

7. The recipients and (sub-)processors

Van Olmen & Wynant may transfer Personal Data (or may be required to transfer Personal Data) to public authorities and may transfer Personal Data to (sub-)Processors so that they can process these data on behalf of Van Olmen & Wynant on the condition that (sub-)Processors guarantee an adequate level of protection regarding Personal Data and are contractually obliged to comply with the GDPR. Personal data will not be transferred to countries that do not offer protection that is at least equivalent to this protection within the EEA.

Personal Data can be communicated for internal use to Van Olmen & Wynant staff members and its lawyers, though always insofar as and to the extent that this is necessary for the performance of their duties, such as the follow-up and handling of the files, administrative follow-up and follow-up of customer relations.

Van Olmen & Wynant may also transfer Personal data (or may be obliged to transfer Personal data) in connection with its use of external (sub-)Processors (such as suppliers of IT services, including services relating to software for processing and follow-up of dossiers or accounting, the accountant, the cooperating partners and other persons involved in the follow-up of the dossier, such as notaries, lawyers, bailiffs) provided that they offer sufficient guarantees with respect to the implementation of appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure that the Processing complies with the requirements of the GDPR and the protection of Personal Data rights and when the transfer is necessary within the applicable legal or regulatory framework taking into account the purposes of the Processing.

To the extent required by the GDPR, Van Olmen & Wynant has entered into a contract with the (sub-)Processors in which the purpose of the Processing is determined, the Processor undertakes, among other things, to respect the confidentiality of Personal data, to limit the Processing to what is in line with Van Olmen & Wynant’s instructions or with what is legally permitted and to cooperate with the exercise of the rights by Client and Data Subject granted to them by the GDPR.

8. The storage of personal data

Van Olmen & Wynant can store Personal Data on servers that are outside of Belgium or in a cloud-environment. In such a case, Van Olmen & Wynant ensures that the Personal Data are stored in an EU Member State and/or in a country that is recognized to offer an equivalent level of data protection and/or that compliance with the provisions of the GDPR is contractually guaranteed.

9. Record of processing activities

To the extent required by law, Van Olmen & Wynant shall keep a register of the Processing Activities carried out by it or under its responsibility. In that case, the register will contain the information required by GDPR, such as the name and contact details of the (joint) data protection officer, the processing purposes, the description of the categories of Data Subjects, of Personal Data and of recipients, the retention period, etc.

10. The rights of clients and data subjects

The Data Subject or the Client may exercise the rights set out below by submitting a written notification to the following e-mail address: personaldata@vow.be
Van Olmen & Wynant draws attention to the fact that if the Client and/or Data Subject objects to the Processing of the Personal Data in question or exercises the rights set out below, this may result in Van Olmen & Wynant being unable to further execute the Mandate and/or that Client or Data Subject will no longer be able to make use of the services of Van Olmen & Wynant.

10.1 Right to withdraw consent

If the Processing is based on its consent, the Client and/or the Data Subject shall at all times have the right to withdraw this consent, without this withdrawal affecting the legality of the Processing that took place before the withdrawal of the consent.

10.2 Right of access

Subject to its legal and deontological obligations, Van Olmen & Wynant will provide the Client or Data Subject verbally, during the first consultation information regarding the Processing of Personal Data relating to Client or Data subject, including the objectives, interests and principles of Processing. Client and/or Data Subject may at any time inspect their Personal Data and any information relating to the Processing of their Personal Data.

10.3 Right to rectification

Client and/or Data Subject will be entitled to have any Personal Data concerning himself that is incorrect or incomplete, corrected, insofar as this is legally possible.

10.4 Right to erasure

Unless Processing is necessary for the assertion, exercise or substantiation of a legal claim or for compliance with a statutory obligation resting upon Van Olmen & Wynant, the Client and/or the Data Subject will be entitled to have the Personal Data relating to him erased if (a) Personal Data are no longer necessary for the purposes for which they were Processed, or (b) the consent, insofar as the Processing is based on it, is withdrawn by the Client and/or the Data Subject or (c) the Client and/or Data Subject objects to the Processing and there are no compelling justified grounds for Van Olmen & Wynant or (d) the Personal Data have been lawfully Processed, or (e) the Personal Data must be erased in order to comply with a statutory obligation.

If the request for erasure forms part of objection to Processing for reasons relating to the specific situation of the Client and/or Data Subject concerned, Van Olmen & Wynant will erase the data, subject to compelling justified grounds for Processing that outweigh the interests and rights of the Client and/or Data Subject concerned or that relate to the assertion, exercise or substantiation of a legal claim.

10.5 Right to restriction of processing

Client and/or Data Subject has the right to obtain from Van Olmen & Wynant the restriction on Processing if (a) the accuracy of the Personal Data is disputed by him, or (b) the Processing is unlawful and he objects to the erasure of the Personal Data or (c) he needs Personal Data for the assertion, exercise or substantiation of a legal claim while Van Olmen & Wynant no longer needs it for processing purposes, or (d) he has objected to Processing on the basis of the justifiable grounds stated in article 21 GDPR.

10.6 Right to data portability

The client and/or Data Subject concerned is entitled to obtain the Personal Data concerning him in a structured, customary and legible form and to transfer that Personal Data to another Processing Officer if (a) the Processing is based on consent or (b) the Processing is necessary for the execution of the assignment following Van Olmen & Wynant’s instructions as a lawyer.

10.7 Right to object

The Client and/or Data Subject is entitled to submit a complaint to the Data Protection Authority (Drukpersstraat 35, 1000 Brussels (www.privacycommission.be)) in case he believes that the Processing is unlawful.

11. The obligation of Van Olmen & Wynant

Van Olmen & Wynant has taken appropriate measures to protect Personal Data in order to ensure that Personal Data is used in accordance with the aforementioned purposes and that their correctness and updating are assured.

12. The security of personal data

Van Olmen & Wynant ensures that the Personal data of Clients and/or Data Subjects are protected and secured to the maximum extent possible in order to ensure their confidentiality and to prevent them from being distorted, damaged, destroyed or disclosed to an unauthorized third party.

The specific measures taken by Van Olmen & Wynant in this perspective are described in the information security policy, a copy of which can be obtained by the Client or Data Subject.

In the event of an infringement and the associated violation of the availability, integrity or confidentiality of Personal Data, Van Olmen & Wynant shall report the infringement in connection with Personal Data to the Data Protection Authority within 72 hours of it becoming aware of it, unless it is unlikely that the infringement poses any risk to the rights and freedoms of the Clients or Data Subjects concerned.

Van Olmen & Wynant will also report the Personal Data breach to the Clients and/or Data subjects concerned if it is likely that the breach will entail an increased risk for the rights and freedoms of the Clients or Data Subjects.

13. Retention period of personal data

Personal Data will not be saved longer than necessary for the purpose described in the present policy statement. Taking into account the contractual nature of the relationship between Van Olmen & Wynant and its Clients, Personal Data will be retained for five (5) years after the end of the assignment. After this period, the Personal Data will be erased or anonymized. 

14. Contact

For all additional information in connection with this policy statement or for any request for correction, access or restriction of Processing, please contact Van Olmen & Wynant at personaldata@vow.be. You will receive confirmation of your request free of charge within thirty (30) days, on the understanding that this period may be extended by an additional period of thirty (30) days, provided that Van Olmen & Wynant considers the request in question to be a complex one.

15. Disputes and applicable law

This policy statement is governed by and construed in accordance with Belgian law. All disputes relating to this policy statement, including its interpretation, as well as disputes relating to the protection of Personal Data, fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the district of Brussels, without prejudice to mandatory legal provisions to the contrary. Before bringing a legal claim to court, all parties concerned shall take all possible measures to resolve their dispute amicably.