Privacy Policy

We recognize the importance of privacy and the sensitivity of personal information.  As lawyers, we have a professional obligation to keep confidential all information we receive within a lawyer-client relationship.  We are committed to protecting any personal information we hold.  This Privacy Policy outlines how we manage your personal information and safeguard your privacy.

Your Privacy Rights

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, including us.  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.

Why Do We Need Personal Information

We provide legal services to a wide range of clients.  In doing so, we produce direct marketing materials concerning its services and developments in the law.

What personal information do we collect?

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.

How do we collect your personal information?

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, both 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:

Consent

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.  For example, in filing patent, trademark, and copyright applications we need personal information as part of the filings.  Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.

Use of Your Information

We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client (time and billing databases) and to include you in any direct marketing activities.  If you tell us that you no longer wish to receive information about our services, or about new developments in the law, we will not send any further material. We do not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services.  For example, we do not provide our client mailing lists to other law firms.

Disclosure of your Personal Information

Under certain circumstances, we will disclose your personal information:

Updating Your 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.

Is Your Personal Information Secure?

We take 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:

Access to Your Personal Information

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.

Correcting Errors

If we hold 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.

Can You be denied access to my Personal Information?

Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute.  We may deny access when:

* it is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record containing personal information about you is protected by solicitor-client privilege);

* to do so would reveal confidential commercial information, and the personal information cannot be severed from the record;

* to do so could reasonably be expected to threaten the life or security of another individual,  and the personal information cannot be severed from the record; or

* the information was generated in the course of a formal dispute resolution process.

If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain why.  We do not use your Social Security Number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold upon you.

Can You request anonymity?

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). We will need to confirm your identity.  We may also need to disclose information in relation to certain large cash transactions.

Credit Bureaus

To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, we may check the identity of new clients and prevent money-laundering, we may – with your consent –  request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.

Communicating with Us

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.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may change our Privacy Policy from time to time.

Requests for Access

If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please contact the attorney(s) handling your matter.

Web Site

Our website contains links to other sites, which are not governed by this privacy policy. On our website, like most other commercial websites, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information in order to optimize our web service.  We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.

Cookies

Our website may use cookies. A cookie is a text-only string of information that a website transfers to the cookie file of the browser on your computer’s hard disk so that the website can remember who you are. A cookie will typically contain the name of the domain from which the cookie has come, the “lifetime” of the cookie, and a value, usually a randomly generated unique number. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site and services.

We may use cookies in the following ways:

Where they are essential to make our site work

To enable the personalization features on our site (which give you the ability to recall recently viewed pages and see information which you have input on line)

To compile anonymous, aggregated statistics that allow us to understand how users use our site and to help us improve the structure of our site. We cannot identify you personally in this way.

For detailed information about cookies and how they are used on our website, see our Cookie Policy.

Disabling/enabling cookies

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. However, you may not be able to use all the interactive features of our site if cookies are disabled. For further information about disabling or blocking cookies, please see ‘Can I withdraw my consent?’ in our Cookie Policy.

Our commitment to security

We employ security measures to prevent unauthorized access to information that we collect online. However, we cannot guarantee the security of your personal information.

How to contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about our privacy policy, you may contact us using our contact form. If at any time you decide that we should no longer hold any of your personal data, or wish to change the use to which any such data can be put, please let us know.

Revisions to our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to revise this policy or any part of it from time to time.  Please review the policy periodically for changes.