From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the "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. Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. Please appreciate this policy only applies to personal information about identifiable individuals. It does not apply to business information. Personal information does not include the name, title, business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization. In the context of this policy, the term "clients" includes all current, former and prospective clients.
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.
Our Use of Information
In order to be able to give legal advice to our clients, we need access to all relevant facts and information that relate to our retainer and to the representation of our clients. This information will necessarily include personal information about our clients and about individuals other than our clients.
We only collect personal information by lawful and fair means and only that which is reasonably necessary for the purposes identified. Whenever possible, we collect personal information about clients and other individuals directly from those parties or through referrals by persons whom such parties have requested to provide us with such information. Sometimes we may obtain information from other sources, including government agencies or registries, accountants or other professional advisors, financial institutions, insurance companies, credit bureaus, real estate agents, employers and other third parties that represent they have the right to disclose such personal information.
We may use your personal information to provide legal services, for billing, record-keeping and other client contact and service matters, to assess eligibility for credit, for audit and record-keeping purposes, for account collection purposes, to manage and develop our business and operations, to learn about the needs of current and potential clients, to develop or offer services and products tailored to those needs and to communicate with those clients regarding current and future products and services and to follow up on client comments and suggestions.
When you participate in our subscription program and provide us with your contact information in order to receive information in hard copy or electronic format, your information will be collected for the purpose of providing you with the specific information you requested. In addition, we may send you other information on legal developments, upcoming seminars and general information on areas of law in which you expressed an interest or that we believe will be relevant to you or your business.
We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, theft, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect your information are premises security, restricted file access to personal information, deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access and internal password and security policies. In communicating with us, you should be aware that e-mail is not a fully secure medium.
We may obtain your consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your information either expressly, for stated purposes or impliedly when the purposes are not stated expressly but are indicated by the relevant circumstances or follow logically from other expressly stated purposes. You may withdraw or amend any consent previously given by contacting our Privacy Contact, subject to any legal or contractual restrictions and upon reasonable notice to us.
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.
To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money-laundering, we may on occasion, request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
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 you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Contact, T. F. (Ted) Koskie, at the Firm address set out on this web site. 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.