At Burchell MacDougall LLP we take your privacy seriously. As of January 1, 2004, law firms are required to comply with the new federal privacy legislation called the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act or PIPEDA for short. We are taking all the necessary steps to ensure your personal information is secure and protected in accordance with PIPEDA.
For more information please contact our Privacy Officer, James W. Stanley, at 710 Prince Street, P.O. Box 1128, Truro, Nova Scotia, B2N 5H1. You may also telephone at (920) 895-1561 or use our toll free line 1-800-565-1200. Mr. Stanley may also be contacted by fax at (902) 895-7709 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Burchell MacDougall LLP recognizes the importance of privacy and the sensitivity of private information. As lawyers we have a professional responsibility to keep confidential all information we receive within the solicitor and client relationship. We have always been committed to protecting the personal information we hold. This policy outlines how we manage personal information and safeguard your privacy.
Your Privacy Rights
As of January 1, 2004, all organizations engaged in commercial activities must comply with the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, referred to as PIPEDA in this policy. The obligations outlined in PIPEDA extend to lawyers and law firms, including Burchell MacDougall LLP. PIPEDA ensures that your personal information is collected, used and retained in a manner appropriate for the circumstances.
Burchell MacDougall LLP is responsible for the personal information we collect and retain. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy and trained our lawyers and staff about our policies and practices.
Why Do We Collect Your Personal Information
When acting on your behalf, it is necessary to collect private and personal information in order to provide legal services in a competent and professional manner. While Burchell MacDougall LLP never sells or shares its client list with third parties, we do contact our clients to provide educational opportunities or invite clients to social events of interest.
What Personal Information Do We Collect
Personal information is any information which identifies you personally. Information that identifies your business or position is not considered personal information under PIPEDA. However, if your business is a client of Burchell MacDougall LLP, our professional standards preclude our firm sharing that information with anyone unless we have your express consent to do so.
We collect the personal information from you that is necessary to provide you with the legal services for which we are retained.
How Do We Collect Your Personal Information
We collect information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. We usually collect the personal information directly from you, although we will collect personal information from third parties where we have your consent to make the inquiries. These third parties may include:
- your insurance company,
- your real estate agent in a property transaction,
- from a government agency or registry,
- your employer,
- your accountant or
- your medical professionals.
Burchell MacDougall LLP normally has you complete a written consent if we collect, use or disclose your personal information. There may be situations where we seek 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 internal client databases and to include you in any direct marketing activities. If you tell us you no longer wish to receive information about our services, or about new developments in the law, we will not send any further material.
Burchell MacDougall LLP does not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances we 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 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 engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (e.g., computer technicians or archival storage services), in which case the third party will be bound by our confidentiality covenants,
- 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 or
- if we start a law suit on your behalf.
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?
Burchell MacDougall 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,
- restricted file access to personal information,
- deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent, hacking or unauthorized computer access and
- internet password and security policies.
Access to Your Personal Information
As our client, 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.
If you are not a client of our firm then we may not be able to provide you with any access to personal information we may have about you. Please refer to the section below for examples of when you will be denied access to personal information.
Can I Be Denied Access to My Personal Information?
Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute. We may deny access when:
- 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),
- information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you,
- 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 or
- the request is frivolous or vexatious.
We will provide written reasons whenever we deny your request for access to information or refuse to correct information.
Social Insurance Numbers
Burchell MacDougall LLP does not use your Social Insurance Number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold in our internal systems. However, we do collect your SIN if it is required in the conduct of your case.
If Burchell MacDougall LLP holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up to date, Burchell MacDougall LLP will take reasonable steps to correct it.
Can I request anonymity?
Wherever it is legal and practicable, we may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquiries without providing your name, for instance this is an option when accessing our website. However, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act imposes certain obligations upon us which may require us to 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 occasionally request information about you from the consumer reporting agencies.
Communicating with Us
Be aware that email is not a secure medium. Remember this when you consider sending your personal and confidential information to us.
On our websites, like most commercial websites, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information in order to improve our web service. We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.
Requests for Access
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Officer, James W. Stanley, at 710 Prince Street, P.O. Box 1128, Truro, Nova Scotia, B2N 5H1. You may also send your request by fax at (902) 895-7709 or by email to email@example.com
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
112 Kent Street,
(January 1, 2004)