Brown Beattie O’Donovan LLP recognizes the importance of privacy and the sensitivity of personal information. As lawyers we have a professional obligation to keep confidential all information we receive within the lawyer-client relationship. We are committed to protecting any personal information we hold.
The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information. Brown Beattie O’Donovan 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 our policies and practices.
Brown Beattie O’Donovan LLP provides legal services and products to a wide range of clients. Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. If we did not collect and use your personal information, we could not provide you with legal services.
Personal Information is information about an identifiable individual, but excludes the name, title, or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization. We collect information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Wherever possible we collect your personal information directly from you, at the start of a retainer, and in the course of our representation. Information that is retained in our files is kept for a reasonable length of time as is determined by the responsible lawyer, then destroyed in a secure manner.
In most cases, we will ask you to specifically consent, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information. Normally, we ask for your consent in writing, but in some circumstances, we may accept your oral consent. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you and to administer our client accounts (time and billing databases).
Brown Beattie O’Donovan LLP does not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services.
Brown Beattie O’Donovan LLP will disclose your personal information in these circumstances:
- when we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example, if a court issues a subpoena;
- when you have consented to the disclosure;
- when the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties (for example, a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction), your consent will be implied, unless you advise us in writing otherwise;
- where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
- if we retain other law firms in other jurisdictions, on your behalf;
- if the information is already publicly known.
Brown Beattie O’Donovan 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:
- premises security;
- restricted file access to personal information;
- deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- internal password and security policies.
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.
If Brown Beattie O’Donovan LLP holds information about your and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete, and up-to-date, Brown Beattie O’Donovan LLP will take reasonable steps to correct it.
Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute. We may deny access when:
- denial of access is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record containing personal information about you is subject to a claim of legal professional privilege by one of our clients);
- 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;
- where the request is frivolous or vexatious.
If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain why.
Brown Beattie O’Donovan LLP does not use your Social Insurance Number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we retain about you. To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money-laundering, we may on occasion, request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
You should be aware 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.
If you apply to Brown Beattie O’Donovan LLP for employment, we need to consider your personal information, as part of our review process. We normally retain information for a period of 6 months unless we are asked not to retain the information. If you accept employment with us, the information will be retained in accordance with our privacy procedures for employee records.
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please write to us at:
Brown Beattie O’Donovan LLP
1600-380 Wellington St
London ON N6A 5B5
Attn: Privacy Commissioner
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
112 Kent Street
Ottawa ON K1A 1H3