Belmore Neidrauer LLP recognizes the importance of privacy and the sensitivity of personal information.
Your Privacy Rights
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is Canada’s federal private-sector privacy law. It sets out ground rules for how businesses must handle personal information during commercial activities. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms. PIPEDA gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
Belmore Neidrauer LLP is responsible for the personal and confidential information we collect, use and disclose. We have developed this Policy and trained our lawyers and support staff to meet this responsibility. What is Personal Information? Under PIPEDA, personal information includes any factual or subjective information, recorded or not, about an identifiable individual.
What Personal Information do we collect?
We may collect and process different types of personal information while operating our business and providing our services. These include:
- Personal information such as first and last name, job title, employer, and photograph;
- Contact information such physical address, email address, and telephone number;
- Identification verification information such as a copy of your driver’s licence, passport, or utility bills or evidence of beneficial ownership or the source of funds to comply with anti-money laundering laws that we collect as part of our client acceptance and ongoing monitoring procedures;
- Financial information such as your billing address, bank accounts, and payment information;
- Details of services that we have provided to you;
- Marketing, communication preferences, and related information such as meal preferences, feedback and survey responses;
- Recruitment information such as your curriculum vitae, your education and employment history, details of your professional memberships, and other information relevant to potential recruitment to or association with Belmore Neidrauer LLP;
- Website usage and other technical information such as details of visits to our website or information collected through cookies, your interaction with our online advertising, and content and other tracking technologies;
- Information provided to us by or on behalf of our clients or generated by us in the course of providing our services, which may, where relevant, include special categories of personal information (such as racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade-union memberships, health or sexual orientation, etc.);
- Records of consent given to us; and
- Any other personal information provided.
If you provide personal information to us about other people, such as your customers, directors, officers, shareholders or beneficial owners, you must ensure that you have told those individuals that you are providing their information to us and have obtained their consent to that disclosure.
We do not knowingly collect information from children or other persons who are under 16 years old. If you are under 16 years old, please do not provide us with any personal information without the express consent of a parent or guardian. If you are a parent or guardian and you know that your children have provided us with personal information, please contact us. If we learn that we have collected personal information from children under 16 years of age without verification of parental consent, we will take steps to remove that information from our servers.
Why do we collect Personal Information?
We collect personal information for the primary purpose of providing our clients with legal services and representation. How do we collect Personal Information? We collect information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. We only collect personal information that we deem appropriate to provide legal services and carry on the business of the firm, and only for the identified purposes or for a purpose compatible with that primary purpose or as required by law.
We generally collect personal information from you directly. However, we may also collect personal information through outside sources such as credit bureaus, government agencies or institutions, employment and other references, employers and service providers.
How do we use Personal Information?
We use your Personal Information to provide and improve our services to you. We also use it to meet our legal obligations. We may use your Personal Information for the following purposes:
- to establish and manage client relationships, provide legal advice, perform legal services, fulfil legal duties, and avoid legal conflicts of interest;
- to represent clients in business transactions involving the exchange or disclosure of personal information, including by purchase, sale, lease, licence, merger, amalgamation, arrangement or any other type of acquisition, disposition, public offering, securitization, investment, financing or other transaction;
- to establish and maintain commercial relationships with clients, suppliers and other third parties, including to issue invoices, administer accounts, collect and process payments, evaluate credit standing, and to fulfil contractual obligations;
- to maintain, develop and manage our document management, knowledge management, and precedent systems and databases;
- to communicate with clients and other individuals for the purpose of conducting market research, and to evaluate client service and satisfaction;
- to distribute our publications and invitations to events to individuals who subscribe to our mailing lists; to consider the admission of individuals as employees and members of the firm;
- to develop and manage our business and operations;
- to detect and protect against error, negligence, breach of contract, fraud, theft and other illegal activity, and where necessary to meet our insurance requirements;
- to recover any payments due to us and, where necessary, to enforce such recovery through the engagement of debt collection agencies or taking other legal action, including the commencement and carrying out of legal and court proceedings;
- and to comply with applicable legal or regulatory requirements or provisions. We do not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services.
Where do we store Personal Information?
We keep your personal information at our offices in Toronto, Canada and on servers maintained by third parties.
How do we protect Personal Information?
We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. We maintain appropriate physical, technical and administrative safeguards to protect personal information against accidental or unlawful destruction, accidental loss, unauthorized alteration, unauthorized disclosure or access, misuse, and any other unlawful form of processing of the personal information in our possession. We have taken steps to ensure that the only personnel, under a duty of confidentiality, who are granted access to your personal information are those with a business ‘need-to-know’ or whose duties reasonably require such information.
No method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. We cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit or provide to us, and you do so at your own risk. We also cannot guarantee that such information may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed by breach of any of our physical, technical, or administrative safeguards.
When do we dispose of Personal Information?
We retain information, including personal information, for as long as it is reasonably needed for the purposes for which it was collected and in order to comply with our legal obligations regarding the retention of certain types of information.
How is consent provided?
By providing us with your personal information, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of that information as described in this Policy.
The form of the consent that we seek before collecting, using or disclosing personal information may vary depending upon the circumstances and the type of information, and includes express oral or written consent, implied consent, and opt-out consent. We consider the sensitivity of the information and the individual’s reasonable expectations in determining how consent must be given.
You may refuse to provide us with personal information and may, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice, withdraw consent at any time to the continued use and disclosure of personal information previously collected. The period of reasonable notice will vary depending on the nature of the information and its purpose to us. We will inform you of the implications of refusing or withdrawing consent, which may have legal consequences or preclude us from providing legal or other services.
Accessing, updating and correcting Personal Information
You may request access to any personal information we hold about you by contacting our Privacy Officer. Summary information is available on request. More detailed requests that require archive retrieval or other retrieval may take some time to compile.
Since we use your personal information, it is important that this information be complete, accurate and current. If, during our relationship, any of your personal information changes, please inform us so that we may make any necessary changes to our records. We will also take reasonable steps to keep your personal information complete, accurate and current.
If you can show that personal information we hold about you is not accurate, complete or current, we will take reasonable steps to correct it.
Can you be denied access to your Personal Information?
Your right to access your personal information are not absolute. We may deny access when, for example, access is restricted or unauthorized by law (e.g., when a record containing personal information about you is subject to a claim of legal professional privilege by another client). If we deny your request for access, or refuse a request to correct information, we will explain why.
Can you request anonymity?
We are required by the Rules of Professional Conduct adopted by the Law Society of Ontario, and by The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, to confirm the identity of all new clients. We may also be required by law to disclose information to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) in relation to certain large cash transactions.
Communicating with Us
Belmore Neidrauer LLP
Attention: Privacy Officer
77 King Stret West, P.O. Box 16
Toronto, ON M5K 1A1
If you are not satisfied with how your personal information is being collected, used or disclosed by Belmore Neidruaer LLP, or if you believe that we have not complied with the fair information principles required by PIPEDA, you may contact the Privacy Commissioner of Canada at the following address and telephone numbers:
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3
Additional information about PIPEDA is available from the Government of Canada – Office of the Privacy Commissioner at the following website: PIPEDA in brief - Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
* * * * *