Since January 1, 2004, all Canadian organizations engaged in commercial activities have been required to comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information incorporated by reference into PIPEDA. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including de VRIES LITIGATION. As a professional services firm, we also have professional and ethical obligations to keep confidential the information we receive in the context of a lawyer-client and agent-client relationship. Please see our Disclaimer Terms and Conditions in this regard with respect to establishing the lawyer-client relationship.
Personal information is defined in PIPEDA as information about an identifiable individual, but does not include the name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization. In other words, it does not include the information that one expects to find on a business card.
Consent to Our Collection of Personal Information
In most cases, we obtain your consent to collect, use and disclose your personal information. Usually, if you retain our firm, we assume that we have your implied consent to our collection and use of your personal information, however, at times we may ask for your express consent, either verbally or in writing. Generally, we collect your personal information directly from you at the start of or during the course of your retainer with our firm. Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources such as a government office or agency, other professionals who serve you, including your accountant, other parties or non-parties in the course of litigation including other lawyers or witnesses, or other individuals or entities in the course of a real estate or commercial transaction.
Use of Personal Information at de VRIES LITIGATION
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to issue invoices and to maintain our database of clients. In addition, if you apply for a position with de VRIES LITIGATION, we will use your personal information to assess your candidacy. Lastly, we may use your contact information (name, e-mail and postal address) to communicate with you about recent developments in the law, keep you abreast of de VRIES LITIGATION news, and invite you to our firm events.
Withdrawal of Consent
You may withdraw your consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information at any time, subject to legal and/or contractual restrictions and upon reasonable notice. However, your withdrawal of consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information may impact our ability to represent you and provide you with legal advice. You can ask us not to send you marketing communications by following the opt-out instructions in each communication or you may let us know by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure of Personal Information
Generally, we do not disclose your personal information to third parties without your consent unless permitted or required by applicable laws or court orders. The following are some examples where we may disclose your personal information:
- when we are required or authorized by law to do so (for instance, if a court issues a warrant or a subpoena);
- in order to comply with the requirements of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the regulatory body which governs the practice of law in Ontario;
- when the legal services we are providing to you requires us to give your information to third parties, your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- where it is necessary to collect fees or disbursements;
- if we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (such as computer back-up services, archival file storage, or insurance) and the third party is bound by obligations regarding privacy which are consistent with this policy;
- if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
- if we retain another lawyer or a law firm (for instance, in other jurisdiction) on your behalf.
Accuracy of Your Information
It is important that the information that we have on file 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. We may also ask you from time to time whether your personal information is up-to-date.
de VRIES LITIGATION uses various safeguards to ensure that your personal information is protected against loss, theft, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying or alteration. These include: security of our physical premises; our professional obligations; security software and firewalls to prevent unauthorized computer access or “hacking”; and internal passwords that restrict access to our electronic files.
Access to Your Personal Information
You have a right to challenge the accuracy and completeness of your personal information and to have it amended, as appropriate. You also have a right to request access to your personal information and receive an accounting of how that information has been used and disclosed, subject to certain exceptions prescribed by law. For example, if the requested information would reveal personal information about another individual, your request for access may be limited or denied. If your request for access is denied, de VRIES LITIGATION will notify you in writing of the reason for the denial.To request access or to amend your personal information, please contact the lawyer or agent with whom you normally correspond.
de VRIES LITIGATION will respond to inquiries about its policies and practices relating to its handling of your personal information. Inquiries should be directed to de VRIES LITIGATION by contacting us at email@example.com. de VRIES LITIGATION will investigate all complaints and will respond. If the complaint is found to be justified, de VRIES LITIGATION will take appropriate measures to resolve it, including, if necessary, amending this Policy and its procedures.
Our website contains links to other sites, which are not governed by this Policy.
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.
de VRIES LITIGATION does not use any electronic means to automatically collect personal information from you or your computer; however, web servers used by de VRIES LITIGATION will automatically collect IP addresses and we may view our web server IP log from time to time to prevent fraudulent acts and possible network attacks. Our blog software may install a ‘cookie’ to facilitate navigation; however this information is not collected or stored by de VRIES LITIGATION for use in anyway other than the blog’s navigation support.
If you have any questions or complaints about this Policy or the handling of your personal information, if you wish to withdraw your consent to our use of your personal information, or to request access to or update any information we have on file, please contact the lawyer or agent with whom you normally correspond. If any complaint or inquiry is not handled to your complete satisfaction, you may contact:
Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street
Toll free: 1.800.282.1376.