SimpsonWigle LAW LLP provides a broad range of legal services to our clients. We have a long standing policy of protecting the privacy of our clients in the course of providing services to them. Our relationship with our clients is based upon trust and maintaining client privacy is given the utmost priority.
Your privacy rights
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) 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 SimpsonWigle LAW LLP. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
Why does SimpsonWigle LAW LLP need personal information?
SimpsonWigle LAW LLP provides legal services and products to a wide range of clients. We require (some) personal information to represent you as a client, create and maintain client lists, and produce direct marketing materials concerning our 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.
Personal information that we collect includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:
- your name, home address, and home telephone and/or cell phone numbers
- your e-mail address
- your date of birth
- credit card information
- financial institution
- in some limited cases, driver’s license registration number and/or social insurance number
- names of your immediate family members
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 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:
- your insurance company;
- your real estate agent in a property transaction;
- from a government agency or registry;
- your employer, if we are acting for you, at its request;
- your accountant;
- other law firms
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. 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, seminars or about new developments in the law, we will not send any further material.
SimpsonWigle LAW LLP does not disclose your personal nformation 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, SimpsonWigle LAW LLP will disclose your personal information:
- when we are required or authorized by law to do so. For example, if a court issues a subpoena. In these instances we will only disclose such personal information as is required in these circumstances;
- when you have consented to the disclosure;
- when the legal services we are providing to you requires us to give your information to third parties (for example a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction) your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- if we retain other professionals, agents or contractors such as accountants, engineers, process servers, title searchers, etc., to assist us in completing our work for you or to act on your behalf directly;
- if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
- if we retain other law firms in other jurisdictions, on your behalf;
- if the information is already publicly known.
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 my personal information secure?
SimpsonWigle LAW LLP takes all 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:
- premises security;
- employee training in the storage, safe guarding and use of personal information;
- restricted file access to personal information;
- deploying technological safeguards such as security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- internal password and security policies.
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.
We also reserve the right to confirm the identity of the person seeking access to personal information before complying with any access requests. Please submit your access request in writing or e-mail to our privacy officer as identified below.
If SimpsonWigle LAW LLP holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, and we will take reasonable steps to correct it in a timely manner.
Can I be denied access to my personal information?
In most cases, a client of SimpsonWigle LAW LLP will have access to the personal information we store about you. However, there may be occasions when your rights to access your personalinformation are denied. As an example, we may be representing a client on a file that involves you in some fashion. In the course of representing their client on this file, we may gather some personal information about you. As such, we could also deny access when:
- your rights to access your personal information are not absolute;
- denial of access is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record. containing personal information about you is subject to a claim of legal professional privilege by one of our clients);
- the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you;
- when granting you access would have an unreasonable impact on other people’s privacy;
- when to do so would prejudice negotiations with you;
- to protect our firm’s rights and property;
- where the request is frivolous or vexatious.
- If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we will explain why.
Can I 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).
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 agencies.
Communicating with Us By E-Mail and/or Fax
You should be aware that e-mail and fax are not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information or requesting us to respond to you by e-mail.
Requests for Information Access and/or Corrections
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Contact at:
SimpsonWigle LAW LLP
Attention: Privacy Contact
1 Hunter Street East, Suite 200
Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street
We may seek external advice, where appropriate, before providing a final response to individual complaints.
If you apply to SimpsonWigle LAW LLP 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.