From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information, which it incorporates. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
We are responsible for the personal information we collect and hold. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy, and trained our lawyers and support staff about our policies and practices.
We provide legal services and products to a wide range of clients.
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. If we did not collect and use your personal information we could not provide you with legal services.
We collect information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Wherever possible we collect your personal information directly from you, at the start of a retainer and in the course of our representation.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources: for example,
In most cases, we shall ask you to specifically consent, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information. Normally, we ask for your consent in writing, but in some circumstances, we may accept your oral consent. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client (time and billing databases) Our firm does not disclose your personal information to any third party without your consent.
Under certain circumstances, we will disclose your personal information:
Since we use your personal information to provide legal services to you, it is important that the information be accurate and up-to-date.
If during the course of the retainer, any of your information changes, please inform us so that we can make any necessary changes.
Our firm takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect your information are:
You may ask for access to any personal information we hold about you.
Summary information is available on request. More detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
If our firm holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, we will take reasonable steps to correct it.
Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute.
We may deny access when:
Our firm does not use your Social Insurance Number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold upon you.
Whenever it is legal and practicable, we may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquiries without providing your name (for example, by accessing general information on our website). The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act requires us to confirm the identity of all new clients. It may also require us disclose information to FINTRAC in relation to certain large cash transactions.
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, do not hesitate to contact us at the office’s address.
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at :
112 Kent Street, Ottawa Ontario, K1A 1H3, 1.800.282.1376.