Your Privacy Rights
From January 1, 2004, all organizations engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Privacy and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), unless the Federal Cabinet exempts the organization because of substantially similar provincial legislation. To date, lawyers and law firms in Ontario are not subject to any such exemptions. Although, as lawyers, we have always been obligated by the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Rules of Professional Conduct to maintain the confidentiality of client information, PIPEDA gives you additional rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
Consent for the collection, use and/or disclosure of personal information may be obtained orally or in writing, and may be given or implied. In determining how we obtain your consent, we will take into account the sensitivity of the personal information about you that we are collecting, using or disclosing.
What is Personal Information?
Personal information is information about an identifiable individual or information that allows an individual to be identified. It does not include name, business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization.
Why Do We Collect Personal Information From You?
We collect personal information from our clients to:
- provide legal services to you in accordance with your instructions;
- fulfill legal duties;
- avoid conflicts of interest;
- in the course of providing legal services, share personal information to and from third parties, including opposing parties, parties sharing the same interests, opposing, foreign and other counsel and advisors, witnesses, decision makers and experts;
- provide information to you about developments in the law;
- advise you of upcoming firm events;
- develop and manage our knowledge-management precedent systems and databases;
- detect and protect Goldblatt Partners LLP and other third parties against error, negligence, breach of contract, fraud, theft, and other illegal activity, and to comply with Goldblatt Partners LLP policies and contractual obligations; and
- any other purpose to which you consent.
How Do We Collect Your Personal Information?
We may collect personal information directly from you at the start of a retainer and/or in the course of our representation of you.
Sometimes, we may also obtain information about you from other sources, for example:
- your insurance company;
- your real estate agent in a property transaction;
- government agency or registry;
- your accountant;
- your employer;
- other consultants obtained by you to assist with your concerns.
Use of Your Information
When we use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, including for billing purposes and any direct marketing activities by Goldblatt Partners LLP, we will assume that you have consented to use, unless you specifically advise otherwise. 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.
Goldblatt Partners LLP does not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products without first obtaining express consent from you.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
From time to time, under certain circumstances, Goldblatt Partners LLP may disclose your personal information. For example, we may disclose your personal information:
- when we are required or authorized by law to do so (e.g., if a court issues a subpoena or an arbitrator issues a summons);
- when you have consented to the disclosure;
- when the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to a third party (for example, to a real estate mortgage transaction). In such a case, your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
- if we retain other law firms on your behalf, or a person who, in the reasonable judgment of Goldblatt Partners LLP, is providing or seeking the information as your agent;
- any third party or parties where you consent to such disclosures, or where disclosure is required or permitted by law.
Updating Your Information
It is important that the information that you provide us be accurate and up to date. If, during the course of the retainer, any of your information changes, please let us know so that we can adjust our records.
How Do We Protect Your Personal Information?
Goldblatt Partners LLP takes all reasonable precautions to ensure your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. This includes the following steps:
- our premises are secure;
- access to personal information stored electronically is restricted;
- we employ technological safeguards like security software and fire walls to protect hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- we use internal password and security policies;
- each lawyer has an obligation to maintain client confidentiality under the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Law Society of Upper Canada;
- where personal information is sent to a third party for processing, we make sure, through our contracts with them, that personal information is kept secure.
Privacy and Our Website
Like most other commercial websites, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information on our website in order to optimize our web service. We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include identifiable personal information.
Communicating With Us
You should be aware that email is not a 100 percent secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
Changes to the Policy
Goldblatt Partners LLP reserves the right to modify or supplement this policy at any time. If we make any changes, we will post the changes on our website and will make the revised policy and changes available upon request to the Goldblatt Partners LLP Privacy Officer.
Requests for Access
If you have any questions or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Acting Privacy Officer: Cathy Lace at: 20 Dundas Street West, Suite 1100, Toronto Ontario M5G 2G8.