Your Privacy Rights
As of January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, S.C. 2000, c. 5 (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 ESB Lawyers LLP. The Act give you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
ESB Lawyers LLP is 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 policies and practices.
Why does ESB Lawyers LLP need personal information?
ESB Lawyers LLP provides legal services and products to a wide range of clients. Personal information is required to enable us to represent you. We will collect personal information as may be necessary to provide you with legal services. If we did not collect and use your personal information, we could not provide you with legal services.
What personal information do we collect?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. Personal information that we collect includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Your name, home address, home telephone and/or cell phone numbers
- Your e-mail address
- Your date of birth
- Financial institution
- In some 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 only that information which is reasonably necessary for the purposes we have identified. Wherever possible, we collect personal information about you and other individuals directly from you and those other individuals or through referrals by persons whom you or others have requested to provide us with such information.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources such as:
- Your insurance company
- A government agency or registry
- Your employer, if we are acting for you
- Your accountants or other professional advisors
- Your physicians or other healthcare providers
- Other third parties that represent they have the right to disclose such personal information
How do we obtain your consent?
We may obtain your consent to collect, use and disclose your information either expressly or impliedly by the nature of the services we are providing to you. You may withdraw your consent on reasonable notice to us, subject to legal or contractual restrictions. The withdrawal of your consent may impact on our ability to serve you.
How do we use your personal information?
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client databases for accounting and billing purposes, to collect accounts, to include you in any direct marketing activities, and for audit and record-keeping purposes. We also may use personal information for internal purposes, including professional development. If you tell us that you no longer wish to receive information about our services, or about new developments in the law, we will not send any further material.
To help us make credit decisions, about clients, to prevent fraud, to check the identity of new clients and to prevent money-laundering, we may on occasion, request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
ESB Lawyers LLP 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 or businesses.
Do we disclose your personal information?
Under certain circumstances, ESB Lawyers LLP will disclose your personal information:
- When you have consented to disclosure:
- When we are required or authorized by law to do so, i.e. if a court issues a subpoena
- When the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties, your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise
- If we engaged expert witnesses on your behalf
- If we retain other law firms in other jurisdictions on your behalf
- Where it is necessary to establish or collect fees
- If the information is already publicly known
Can you access 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.
Requests for Access
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please write or e-mail our Privacy Contact, Patricia Hesketh, at our firm address or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
- 112 Kent Street Ottawa, ON K1A 1H3
- Tel: 1-800-282-1376
Can you update 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.
How can you correct errors?
If ESB Lawyers LLP holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, ESB Lawyers LLP will take reasonable steps to correct it.
Is your personal information secure?
ESB Lawyers 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:
- Securing our premises
- Using internal passwords and restricting access to personal information
- Deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access
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 (i.e. when a record containing personal information about you is subject to a claim of legal professional privilege by one of our clients)
- When information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you
- When granting your 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 your information, or refuse a request to correct information, we will explain why.
Communicating with us
E-mail is not a 100% secure medium and you should be mindful of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
If you apply to ESB Lawyers 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.