The Law Firm of Baulke Stahr McNabb LLP knows how important your privacy is to you. Our relationship with you is founded on trust and we are committed to maintaining that trust.
Your Privacy Rights
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, 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 Baulke Stahr McNabb LLP. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
What personal information do we collect?
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. Further, we are often required by lenders to obtain photo and other identification from you in order to assure such lenders of your proper identity.
How do we collect your personal information?
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.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources: for example,
- your insurance company;
- your real estate agent in a property transaction;
- from a government agency or registry;
- your employer, if necessary, but only at your request;
- your accountant.
Our firm is committed to ensuring that you are aware of how your personal information is used. In most cases, we shall 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.
Use and Retention of Your Information
Baulke Stahr McNabb LLP does not use personal information for purposes other than those for which it was originally collected, unless it has first obtained the consent of the person from whom such information was received.
We do 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.
We retain personal information only for as long as it is needed and only for the fulfillment of the purposes for which it was originally collected.
Disclosure of your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, Baulke Stahr McNabb LLP will disclose your personal information:
- 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 requires us give your information to third parties (for example a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction) 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 in other jurisdictions, on your behalf;
- if the information is already publicly known.
Updating 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.
Is My Personal Information Secure?
Baulke Stahr McNabb 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.
Access to 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.
If Baulke Stahr McNabb LLP holds information about you and you show us that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, Baulke Stahr McNabb LLP will take reasonable steps to correct it.
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 (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.
Baulke Stahr McNabb LLP does not use your Social Insurance Number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold about you.
Can I request anonymity?
We will not ordinarily provide legal advice or services unless you have identified yourself to us. This is necessary to allow us to provide proper advice, and to complete internal conflict of interest searches.
To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients, prevent money-laundering, or secure payment of outstanding fees, we may on occasion, request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
Communicating with Us
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 choose to communicate with us by e-mail, we will assume that we have your consent to also respond by email, unless you tell us otherwise.
Requests for Access
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
112 Kent Street,
Ottawa Ontario, K1A 1H3
If you apply to Baulke Stahr McNabb 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.