For purposes of this Policy, "personal information" is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced.
Your Privacy Rights
As of January 1, 2004, all organizations covered by the Personal Information and Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) must obtain an individual's consent when they collect, use or disclose the individual's personal information in the course of commercial activities. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including us. PIPEDA gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
How We Collect Your Informaation
Wherever possible, we collect your personal information directly from you at the start of a retainer and throughout the course of our representation of you.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources, for example:
your insurance company;
a government agency or registry;
other consultants obtained by you to assist with your legal concerns;
We collect, use and disclose your personal information in order to provide you with legal services, to bill you for legal services rendered and for mailings such as newsletters and announcements relating to our practice. We will not collect personal information indiscriminately and we will not provide your personal information to any third party to allow them to market their products or services.
Use of Your Information
Under certain circumstances, we may disclose your personal information:
when we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example, if a court issues a subpoena;
when you have consented to the disclosure;
when the legal services we are providing to you requires us to give your information to third parties (such as expert witnesses or a government agency) your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
if we retain other law firms on your behalf;
if the information is already publicly known.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
We will retain your personal information only as long as needed by us to provide our services. In some circumstances, personal information may be stored in an off-site storage facility until we determine it is no longer required. At that time, we will safely destroy and erase your personal information.
It is important that your personal information be accurate and up-to-date. During the course of our retainer, we ask that you provide us with any changes to your personal information.
We take all reasonable measures to ensure your personal information is kept safe. We are governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Law Society of Ontario to maintain client confidentiality. Some of the ways your personal information is kept secure include the physical security of our premises and password protection of our computers and handheld devices.
It should be noted that there is a balance between security and convenience. For example, sending encrypted e-mails to you would not make sense if you could not read them. When determining the level of security, we will take into account the type and sensitivity of the information collected.
You may request access to any personal information we have about you. We can help you identify what information we may have about you. In some cases, we may deny access to your personal information. For example, you may be denied access if it would have an unreasonable impact on other people's privacy. If we deny your request for access, or refuse a request to correct information, we will explain why.
Access to Your Personal Information
If you have any questions or concerns about your personal information, please feel free to contact us.