Law firms in private practice in Ontario are subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (commonly referred to as “PIPEDA”), as well as provincial privacy legislation, with respect to any and all personal information collected in the course of commercial activities. “Personal Information” is information that allows an individual to be identified but does not include an individual’s business contact information (an individual’s name, title, position, business address, business telephone number, or business facsimile).
COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
McCarter Grespan only collects Personal Information necessary to fulfill the purposes identified below, purposes identified to you prior to collection, or for any reasonable and legitimate purposes as required by law.
McCarter Grespan always collects Personal Information by fair and lawful means.
McCarter Grespan collects Personal Information directly and indirectly, through third parties, and as agents on behalf of our clients, where we have obtained the necessary consent to do so.
McCarter Grespan commonly collects Personal Information regarding our existing and prospective clients and employees, which may include:
- name, home address, telephone number, personal e-mail address
- age, health status, citizenship, gender
- birth-dates, marital status, number
- Personal Information regarding children, parents and other family members
- banking and other institutional information
- billing/account information;
- credit card information;
- agent, officer, professional advisor and director information;
- expert and other professional advisor information;
- business partners, investors, shareholders, competitors and customers who are individuals; and
- personal information related to corporate involvements.
Sometimes McCarter Grespan may obtain information about you from other sources such as:
- your insurance company;
- your real estate agent;
- from a government agency or registry;
- your employer; and
- your accountant.
HOW YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION IS USED
McCarter Grespan collects, uses and discloses Personal Information for the following limited purposes:
- to provide our clients with our professional legal services;
- to administer our client time and billing databases;
- to establish and maintain our commercial relationships;
- to establish and maintain client lists for collection of legal fees, record keeping, accounting, and statistical purposes;
- protecting against fraud and error; and
- general communication with clients.
Summarily, McCarter Grespan collects, uses and discloses Personal Information to provide professional legal services to and for clients, for administrative and management purposes, and to enhance our relationship with clients. We do not sell client lists or other Personal Information.
From time to time McCarter Grespan may share clients’ Personal Information with such third parties as:
- service providers, including those organizations or individuals, retained by McCarter Grespan to perform functions on its behalf, such as marketing, data processing, document management and office services;
- organizations or individuals retained by McCarter Grespan to evaluate your creditworthiness or to collect debts outstanding on account and financial institutions, on a confidential basis and solely in connection with the assignment of a right to receive payment, the provision of security or other financing arrangements;
- project-related government and regulatory agencies and their agents and other organizations/enterprises on a confidential basis when required to provide services to and for clients;
- certain third party professionals, on a confidential basis, from whom we order specific file-related services on behalf or our clients; and
- other third parties where our clients consent to such disclosure or where disclosure is required or permitted by law, or if the information is already publicly known.
Access to Personal Information is otherwise limited to those employees of McCarter Grespan who have a need to know the Personal Information and who are bound to maintain the confidentiality of the Personal Information.
UPDATING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
McCarter Grespan endeavours to ensure that all Personal Information in its possession, is accurate, current and as complete as is necessary for the purposes for which the Personal Information was collected.
If during the course of your relationship with McCarter Grespan any of your Personal Information changes, please inform us so that we can make any necessary changes.
Personal Information contained in files that have been closed, or pertaining to matters of the client that have been resolved, will not be actively updated or maintained.
HOW PERSONAL INFORMATION IS KEPT SECURE
Personal Information is treated as private and confidential by McCarter Grespan. McCarter Grespan maintains Personal Information in secure on-site and off-site data storage to safeguard it from unauthorized access, use, disclosure and modification. McCarter Grespan uses physical measures, such as restricted access to our offices and equipment, and organizational measures, such as security clearances and passwords to further protect Personal Information.
McCarter Grespan maintains the strict confidentiality of all Personal Information collected by limiting disclosure to those employees and such third party contractors of McCarter Grespan set out above, on a confidential basis, who require the information for the purposes set out above. McCarter Grespan only keeps Personal Information for as long as it remains necessary or relevant or as otherwise required by law.
WEBSITE AND ELECTRONIC MAIL
With respect to the McCarter Grespan website (www.mgbwlaw.com), please be advised that, like most commercial websites, McCarter Grespan may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information in order to optimize the web service.
The website may contain links to other websites from time to time, which websites may collect Personal Information. The provision of links is for convenience only and does not constitute an endorsement, recommendation or approval of linked websites. McCarter Grespan does not assume responsibility for the privacy policies or practices of the linked websites.
Also, please be advised that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
ACCESS TO PERSONAL INFORMATION
McCarter Grespan Beynon Weir PC
Barristers and Solicitors
675 Riverbend Drive
Kitchener Ontario, N2K 3S3
Attention: Director, Finance & Administration
Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute. McCarter Grespan may deny access when:
- denial of access is required or authorized by law ;
- 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; and
- where the request is frivolous or vexatious.
If you apply to McCarter Grespan for a job, we need to consider your Personal Information as part of our review process. If we offer you a job, which you accept, the information will be retained in accordance with our privacy procedures for employee records.