PooranLaw Professional Corporation (or “We”) recognizes the importance of your privacy and the sensitivity of your 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 policy outlines how we handle your personal information and sets out the steps we take to protect your privacy. This policy statement also provides information about the personal information that PooranLaw Professional Corporation collects, and the ways in which we use and protect that personal information.
LEGAL AND PROFESSIONAL OBLIGATION
Since January 1, 2004, all Canadian organizations engaged in commercial activities, including law firms, 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 PooranLaw Professional Corporation.
Additionally, lawyers have professional obligations regarding the confidentiality of information we receive from our clients within a lawyer-client relationship. These obligations are regulated by our professional body, the Law Society of Upper Canada. 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 are committed to protecting the personal information we hold in accordance with the law.
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.
COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION BY POORANLAW PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
PooranLaw Professional Corporation collects personal information from clients and others for the purposes of providing legal services for and on behalf of our clients.
We may also collect personal information from individuals in order to provide them with educational and marketing information about developments in the law and with respect to the services we offer.
We collect personal information fairly and in accordance with the law. Generally, we collect your personal information directly from you. Such a collection of information may be done at the start of our relationship or during the course of our retainer. With respect to our clients who are not individuals (i.e. corporations, associations, etc.), we may collect information about your directors, officers, independent contractors and employees.
Part III of By-Law 7.1 of the Law Society of Upper Canada requires us to obtain and keep a record of the identity of our clients, including their:
- full name
- home address and telephone number;
- business address and telephone number;
- email address;
- credit card information; and
- current occupation.
We may sometimes also obtain information about you from other sources including some or all of the following:
- from a government agency or registry;
- your website and other public sources of information;
- other professionals who serve you;
- other parties or witnesses in the context of litigation; and
- other parties or participants in a commercial transaction
We may collect personal information from candidates for employment to assess qualifications.
CONSENT TO OUR COLLECTION AND USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
In most cases, we obtain your consent to collect, use and disclose your personal information. Sometimes we will ask for your consent in writing, but in some cases, we may accept your verbal consent. Sometimes your consent may be implied through your conduct with us or the nature of our retainer. Generally, we collect your personal information directly from you at the start of or during the course of your retainer with our firm. Should you withdraw your consent for us to collect, use or disclose your personal information, it may impact on our ability to serve you and to maintain our relationship.
USE AND DISCLOSURE OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
We use personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to issue invoices and to maintain our database of clients. The purposes for collecting personal information about our clients and prospective clients are primarily to provide legal services and representation, to maintain client relationships, communicate with our clients, and to avoid conflicts of interest.
Personal information supplied to us is confidential and we do not disclose the information to any third party except with actual or implied consent, or as permitted or required by law. We do not exchange or sell personal information
Our use and disclosure of all information with respect to client matters (including personal information) is also subject to our professional obligation of confidentiality and to the requirements of solicitor-client privilege.
PooranLaw Professional Corporation uses third party service providers from time to time to carry out certain functions for us such as printing, storage, shredding or document scanning. The agent or sub-contractor in question will be obligated to use that personal information in accordance with the terms of this privacy statement.
In addition to the disclosures reasonably necessary for the purposes identified elsewhere above, PooranLaw Professional Corporation may disclose your personal information under the following circumstances:
- when you have consented to the disclosure;
- when we are required or authorized by law to do so, including, for example, 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 that governs the practice of law in Ontario;
- when the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties (in which case your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise at the outset of the retainer);
- 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 that are consistent with this policy;
- if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf; or
- if we retain another law firm (such as, for example, law firms in other jurisdictions) on your behalf.
- if the information is Publicly Available Personal Information, as it is defined under the Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act.
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. 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 email@example.com.
ACCURACY OF YOUR INFORMATION
We strive to maintain personal information in as accurate, complete and up-to-date a form as necessary to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected. 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.
SECURING YOUR DATA
PooranLaw Professional Corporation uses various safeguards to ensure that your personal information is protected against loss, theft, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying or alteration. We protect personal information by security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information, regardless of format. Our security safeguards include:
- premises security
- restricted access to files containing personal information.
- Requiring all staff to comply with our privacy and confidentiality policy
- Training all staff with respect to our confidentiality and privacy obligations
- technological safeguards such as security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access, internal passwords and security policies.
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, we will notify you in writing of the reason for the denial.
To request access or to amend your personal information, please contact the lawyer with whom you normally correspond or write to our Privacy Contact at the address below. We will respond within thirty (30) days of receipt of your written request.
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.
To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, 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.
You should be aware that e-mail is not an entirely secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
If you have any inquiries about our policies and practices relating to our handling of your personal information, please let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond to all such inquiries within 30 days of receipt of a written inquiry. If you have a concern or complaint, which is found to be justified, we will take appropriate measures to resolve it, including, if necessary, amending this Policy and its procedures.
If any complaint or inquiry is not handled to your complete satisfaction, you may contact:
Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street
If you apply to PooranLaw Professional Corporation for a job, we need to consider your personal information, as part of our review process. We normally retain information from candidates after a decision has been made, unless you ask us not to retain the information. If we offer you a job, which you accept, the information will be retained in accordance with our privacy procedures for employee records.