Confidentiality of Personal Information
Allan Snelling LLP (“COMPELLING COUNSEL”) respects our clients’ right to privacy and COMPELLING COUNSEL is committed to maintaining the accuracy and security of Personal Information in accordance with applicable legislation and our obligations as legal professionals.
Canadian privacy legislation defines “Personal Information” as information that relates to an identified individual or as information that allows an individual’s identity to be inferred. Business contact information such as name, title, business address and contact numbers and e-mail is not considered to be Personal Information.
The Collection of Personal Information
COMPELLING COUNSEL collects only such information from individuals or organizations as is required for the purposes of providing legal services or information to them. Unless permitted by law, no Personal Information is collected about an individual, without first obtaining the consent of the individual to the collection, use and dissemination of that information.
COMPELLING COUNSEL acknowledges that our clients may have already provided, and will, from time to time be providing us with Personal Information such as their name, home address, home telephone number, personal e-mail address, billing and account information, information about a legal issue or information incidental to COMPELLING COUNSEL providing legal services or advice such as Personal Information relating to witnesses, beneficiaries, trustees, family members, employees, directors, officers, adverse parties, investigators decision makers, experts, other professional advisors and out client’s business partners, customers, shareholders and investors.
Although Personal Information will be collected, to the greatest extent possible, directly from the client concerned, COMPELLING COUNSEL may also obtain Personal Information about our clients from government agencies, professional advisors (accountants), banks or other financial institutions, insurance companies, credit bureaus or other like third parties.
COMPELLING COUNSEL may obtain the consent of our clients to the collection, use and/or disclosure of Personal Information expressly through the use of a retainer letter. Implied consent may arise in particular circumstances that flow logically from other expressly stated purposes. COMPELLING COUNSEL will seek any additional consent from our clients where necessary.
Upon reasonable written notice, our clients may withdraw their consent at any time by contacting COMPELLING COUNSEL’s privacy officer at the address at the end of this statement, subject to any legal or contractual restrictions.
The Use of Personal Information
All information concerning the business and affairs of a person or organization acquired for the purpose of determining whether COMPELLING COUNSEL will enter into a professional relationship or in the course of such professional relationship shall be held in strict confidence and not revealed to anyone unless expressly or implicitly authorized by the person or organization concerned. A professional relationship develops when COMPELLING COUNSEL agrees to be retained to provide services to a particular individual or organization. Individuals or organizations should not send confidential information to COMPELLING COUNSEL until they have had a direct discussion with a professional at the firm regarding the retention of COMPELLING COUNSEL to provide legal services.
COMPELLING COUNSEL does not sell, trade, barter or exchange for consideration any Personal Information it has obtained.
In providing services to our clients, we may retain, use, share among the professionals and staff and disclose to third parties our clients’ Personal Information for the following reasons:
- To establish, manage and maintain client relationships and to avoid conflicts of interest;
- To perform legal services, provide legal advice and fulfill legal obligations;
- To exchange Personal Information with third parties for the sole purpose of providing legal services or legal advice. Third parties may include opposing counsel, opposing parties, parties in interest, other counsel and advisors, experts, witnesses and decision makers;
- To establish, manage and maintain commercial relationships with clients, suppliers and other third parties in order to issue invoices, manage accounts, collect and process payments and to satisfy contractual obligations;
- To respond to client or other third party needs, preferences or inquiries;
- To distribute COMPELLING COUNSEL legal publications or other material to individuals on our distribution lists;
- To develop and maintain our precedent databases;
- To develop and manage COMPELLING COUNSEL’s practice;
- To detect against error, negligence, breach of contract, fraud, theft or any other illegal or illegitimate activity and to audit compliance with COMPELLING COUNSEL’s policies and obligations;
- To commence and complete business transactions including purchases, sales, leases, mergers, amalgamations, or any other type of acquisition, disposal, securitization or financing;
- To retain other law firms in other jurisdictions or to retain other professional services on our client’s behalf;
- To establish or collect fees;
- To fulfill other legal or regulatory requirements or obligations; and
- For any other purpose to which our clients consent.
Who we disclose Personal Information to
COMPELLING COUNSEL may disclose Personal Information to:
- Service providers retained by COMPELLING COUNSEL to perform data processing functions, document management and office services;
- Organizations or individuals retained by COMPELLING COUNSEL to collect debts outstanding on an account;
- Any third parties where such disclosure is required or permitted by law;
- Any third parties to whom a client has consented or directed;
- Any third parties as required in a legal process involving that client;
Where we store Personal Information and duration
Our clients’ Personal Information is stored in secured servers and in secured locations designed to safeguard it from unauthorized access, loss, theft, or modification. These servers and locations are controlled by COMPELLING COUNSEL professionals and employees at COMPELLING COUNSEL’s offices or at our service providers. The length of time we retain information varies, depending on the product or service and the nature of the information. This period may extend beyond the end of a person’s relationship with us but it will be only for so long as it is necessary for us to have sufficient information to respond to any issues that may arise at a later date.
How COMPELLING COUNSEL protects Personal Information
COMPELLING COUNSEL uses appropriate security safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of our clients’ Personal Information such as:
- the operation of secure data networks protected by firewall and password protection systems;
- premises security; and
- restricted file access.
Privacy on the COMPELLING COUNSEL website and electronic communications
No data transmission over the Internet can ever be guaranteed to be completely secure. COMPELLING COUNSEL does not represent, warrant or guarantee that Personal Information will be protected against loss, misuse or alteration and does not accept any liability for Personal Information submitted by our clients via electronic means, nor for our clients’ or third parties’ use or misuse of Personal Information.
The COMPELLING COUNSEL website may present links to other websites. Please be aware that operators of other websites may collect Personal Information and information generated through the use of “cookies” when you link to a website. COMPELLING COUNSEL is not responsible for how such third parties use or disclose Personal Information.
Accuracy of Personal Information
As described above, COMPELLING COUNSEL uses our clients’ Personal Information to provide legal services to our clients. Therefore, it is important that this Personal Information is accurate and at all times, up to date.
Should any Personal Information change or be inaccurate, simply inform COMPELLING COUNSEL of any changes required. COMPELLING COUNSEL will then take any and all steps necessary to correct or update such Personal Information.
Client Access to Personal Information
COMPELLING COUNSEL will respond to any reasonable written request of a client to access to his or her own Personal Information. Such access will be provided at no cost unless there are requests for copies of the Personal Information or the request requires significant retrieval costs.
COMPELLING COUNSEL may not be able to provide access in a situation where the requesting client’s Personal Information cannot be separated from another party’s Personal Information or where such information cannot be disclosed for reasons of commercial or contractual confidentiality or privilege.
Limiting the use and disclosure of Personal Information
Subject to any legal or contractual obligations or restrictions, a client wishing to withdraw or change his or her consent to our use and disclosure of Personal Information can notify us of such in writing at this address:
Allan Snelling LLP
340 March Road,
Ottawa, Ontario, K2K 2E4
Attention: Privacy Officer
Please note, a notification that we not use or disclose Personal Information for the uses listed above may affect our ability to provide a client with legal services. If we receive no written notification, we will consider our clients to have consented to our continued use and disclosure of their Personal Information for the uses listed above.
COMPELLING COUNSEL reserves the right to update this Privacy Statement at any time and encourages you to refer back to it on a regular basis. Any changes to this Privacy Statement will be effective from the time they are posted. This Privacy Statement was last updated on July 26, 2011.
Anyone wishing to have further information regarding the privacy practices of Allan Snelling LLP can contact the firm’s Privacy Officer at 613.270.8600 ext. 230 or by email at email@example.com.