From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the provisions of the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (the “Act”, also known as PIPEDA), and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the protection of personal information. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including Parker Wallace Family Law.
Why We Collect Personal Information
Parker Wallace Family Law collects personal information for the following limited reasons:
To properly represent you as our client(s);
To establish and maintain lists of clients; and
For internal purposes, including the professional development of lawyers and support staff.
What Information Do We Collect?
We collect any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. We collect and use this information in order to provide you with legal services, but we only retain the information necessary for these purposes. This information is collected directly from you at the start of our representation and in the course of your legal matter. We collect this information in a fair, open and lawful manner, and in the manner prescribed by the Law Society of Ontario, the governing body for lawyers in Ontario.
In most cases, we ask you to specifically consent to the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information. Sometimes your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
Use of Your Information
We use your personal information to provide you with legal advice and services, and to administer our client databases for timekeeping and billing. We are obligated to retain our client files after the end of the retainer for a period of several years. Prior to storing your file, we will return all of your original personal documents (e.g. income tax returns) to you.
Our firm stores and maintains personal information in accordance with the PIPEDA requirements. We do not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services.
When We Do Disclose Personal Information
We may disclose your personal information under the following limited circumstances:
When you have consented to the disclosure;
When we are required or authorized by law to do so (e.g. if a court issues a subpoena);
When the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties (e.g. to other professionals such as a mediator or a business valuator), your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
When it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
If we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
If the information is already publicly known.
Security of Personal Information
Our firm has implemented security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information we keep. We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is secure and kept safe from unauthorized access, loss, modification or disclosure. These precautions include:
Restricted file access to personal information;
Technological safeguards such as security software and firewalls;
Internal password and security policies; and
We ensure that any of our staff who deals with personal information are properly trained and are aware of the necessary and appropriate measures required to protect personal information.
We are committed to maintaining accurate, complete and up-to-date personal information. This begins with you. If you are aware of any changes to the personal information you have given to us, kindly inform us of the changes so that we may update our records accordingly.
We Are Accessible to You
Information about our policies and practices regarding the collection and maintenance of personal information is available to all interested parties. At any time during business hours, you may ask for access to any personal information that we hold about you. Summary information is available upon request. More detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our standard disbursement fees, as outlined in our Retainer Agreement. Please write to our Privacy Contact at Parker Wallace Family Law, 129 - 43 Auriga Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2E 7Y8, attention: Tanya Parker Wallace.
Communicating With Us
Please be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium and that there are inherent risks associated with the Internet. You should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
Changes to This Policy
Parker Wallace Family Law regularly reviews all of its policies and procedures. We may therefore change our policy from time to time.
By retaining our firm, you have confirmed your trust in us. We take this very seriously and take pride in serving you. We are pleased to answer any questions that you may have regarding the collection and maintenance of your personal information.