At SkyLaw Professional Corporation, we appreciate the sensitivity of personal information received in the course of our legal practice. This policy outlines how we manage your personal information and safeguard your privacy.
Your privacy rights
Organizations engaged in commercial activities in Canada must comply with the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA") and "substantially similar" provincial legislation. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including SkyLaw. PIPEDA gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
SkyLaw is responsible for the personal information that we collect and store. In addition, we are subject to professional and ethical obligations relating to the confidentiality of our clients' information. To ensure accountability, we have developed this policy and have trained our professionals and support staff about our policies and practices.
Personal information is broadly defined in PIPEDA as any information about an identifiable individual. However, personal information does not include business contact information including your name, title or position, and business email address and telephone or fax numbers.
Collection of your personal information
Generally, we collect your personal information at the start of our engagement. Sometimes, we may obtain information about you from other sources, such as:
- other individuals within your organization, if we are acting for the organization;
- from a government agency or registry;
- your employer, if we are acting for you;
- your accountant, insurance company or other financial institution; or
- your other advisors.
By providing us with your personal information, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of such information in accordance with the terms of this policy. However, in certain circumstances we may ask for your express consent, either orally or in writing, to the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information.
We will not require you to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information beyond that required to enable us to provide the legal advice and services requested.
Withdrawal of consent
You may withdraw your consent to the use and disclosure of your personal information at any time on reasonable notice by contacting one of our professionals listed below. However, your withdrawal of consent to our use and disclosure of your personal information may affect our ability to represent you and provide legal advice and services to you.
Use of your personal Information
We collect, use and disclose personal information for the primary purpose of providing our clients with legal advice and services, including for the following purposes:
During the course of our engagement and once our engagement is over, we may send you information about SkyLaw and current legal developments, invitations to client events and other information which may be interest to you. If you tell us that you no longer wish to receive such information from us, we will not send you any further information.
- determining our ability to act for potential clients and avoiding of conflicts of interest;
- providing legal advice and services including the representation of clients in the context of business transactions involving the exchange or disclosure of personal information;
- establishing and maintaining relationships with clients, suppliers and other third parties;
- administering our client records and billing for our services;
- developing and maintaining our document management, knowledge-management and precedent systems and databases;
- considering individuals for potential employment by our firm;
- developing and maintaining our business and operations; and
- fulfilling our legal and professional obligations.
Disclosure of your personal information
We may disclose your personal information in the following circumstances:
We do not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products or services to you.
- when you have consented to the disclosure;
- when we are required or authorized by law to do so;
- when the legal services we are providing to you require us give your information to third parties your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- where it is necessary to establish or collect our fees;
- if we retain other advisors at your request, and on your behalf; or
- if the information is publicly available information, as specified under PIPEDA.
Updating your personal information
It is important that the personal information you provide to us be accurate, complete and up-to-date. If any of your personal information changes during the course of our engagement, please inform us so that we can make any necessary changes.
Security of your personal information
We take reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. The steps we take to protect your personal information include:
- premises security;
- restricted file access to personal information; and
- internal password and security policies.
We retain your personal information only for as long as is necessary to enable us to provide the legal advice and services requested and in accordance with our professional obligations.
Access to your personal information
You may request access to any of your personal information in our possession.
Summary information is available on reasonable notice. More detailed requests which require retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute. We may deny you access to your personal information when:
If we deny your request for access to your personal information, we will explain the reason for such denial.
- it is required or authorized by law, including when a record containing your personal information is protected by solicitor-client privilege;
- to do so would reveal confidential commercial information and the personal information cannot be severed from the record;
- to do so could reasonably be expected to threaten the life or security of another individual and the personal information cannot be severed from the record; or
- the information was generated in the course of a formal dispute resolution process.
Communicating with us
You should be aware that email is not an entirely secure form of communication, and you should take proper precautions when sending us personal information by email. We cannot guarantee that all electronic communications will always be received, or that such communications will always be virus free.
If you apply to SkyLaw for employment, we may 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 you accept an offer of employment with SkyLaw, your personal information will be retained in accordance with our privacy procedures for employee records and applicable law.
Use of our website
Our website contains links to other websites, which are not governed by this policy.
We may monitor traffic patterns, website 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 any personal information.
If you have any questions, wish to access or make changes to your personal information, or if you would like to withdraw your consent from our use and disclosure of your personal information, please contact either Kevin West or Andrew Cooley or write to us at the following address:
SkyLaw Professional Corporation
204-3 Bridgman Avenue
Toronto, ON M54 3V4
Changes to this policy
We regularly review all of our policies and procedures and may change this policy from time to time. Any changes will be accessible on our website at www.skylaw.ca and can be made available upon request.