The Firm recognizes 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. Our relationship with you is founded on trust and we are committed to maintaining that trust. We are committed to protecting any personal information we hold. This 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 (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.
Purposes for Collection of Personal Information
Our firm collects personal information for the following limited purposes:
- to present our client;
- to issue invoices and collect on them;
- to maintain our client list databases;
- to communicate with you about developments in the law, keep you informed about firm events and news; and
- for internal purposes including the professional development of firm lawyers and law clerks.
What is Personal Information?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced, but does not include information that one expects to find on a business card.
Consent to Our Collection of Personal Information
Usually, if your retain our Firm, we assume that we have your implied consent to our collection and use of your personal information for the purposes listed above, however, at times we may ask for your express consent, either verbally or in writing. Generally, we collect your personal information from you at the start of our relationship or during the course of the retainer. Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources such as a government registry or other professionals who serve you.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
The Firm does 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.
Under certain circumstances, the Firm will 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 require us to give your information to third parties (for example, a professional retained to conduct a custody/access assessment or a mediation) your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- When it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- If we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (like computer backup services or archival file storage). In such cases, we will use contractual or other means to ensure third parties are bound by privacy obligations;
- If we engage expert witnesses, appraisers or other valuation experts, or other law firms on your behalf;
- If the information is already publicly known.
Communicating With Us
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium and should use caution when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
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 responding to any such e-mails with your request, following the opt-out instructions in those communications or by contacting the lawyer you usually deal with, or our Privacy Officer, Mr. Tom Baldwin.
Security of Personal Information
Our firm has developed and implemented security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information kept by us. We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, theft, misuse, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. These include: physical premises security; our professional obligations; deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access; and internal passwords.
Access to Your Personal Information
You have a right to request access to your personal information. We are pleased to answer any questions that you may have regarding the collection and maintenance of personal information. Please note, however, that if your information would reveal personal information about another individual, your request for access may be denied, or the information redacted.
You may also be charged for reasonable fees and disbursements associated with the costs of compilation and retrieval of your information.
To request access or to amend your personal information, please contact the lawyer or agent with whom you normally correspond, or write to our Privacy Contact, Mr. Tom Baldwin, at the Firm's address. The Firm will respond within thirty (30) days of receipt of your written request.
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 will respond to inquiries about its policies and practices relating to its handling of your personal information. Inquiries should be directed to our Privacy Contact using the contact information below. We will investigate all complaints and will respond within 30 days of receipt of a written inquiry. If the complaint is found to be justified, we will take appropriate measures to resolve it, including, if necessary, amending this Policy and our procedures.
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 are dealing, or contact:
Mr. Tom Baldwin
Baldwin Sennecke Halman LLP
Victoria Tower.25 Adelaide St E, Ste 900
Toronto, ON M5C 3A1
If any complaint or inquiry is not handled to your complete satisfaction, you may contact:
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Place de Ville, Tower B, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, ON, K1A 1h4
Toll Free #: 1-800-282-1376