At SkyLaw Professional Corporation, we appreciate the sensitivity of personal information received in the course of our legal practice. SkyLaw is responsible for the personal information that we collect and store. The confidentiality of your personal information and protection of your privacy are important to us. In addition, we are subject to professional and ethical obligations relating to the confidentiality of the information we receive in the context of lawyer-client relationships. We take these obligations seriously. To ensure accountability, we have developed this policy and have trained our professionals and support staff about our policies and practices. This policy outlines how we manage your personal information.
Application of privacy laws
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.
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, position name or title, business email address, and business telephone or fax numbers.
Collection of your personal information
- Generally, we collect your personal information directly from you 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 accountant, insurance company, your employer, or other financial institution;
- other law firms who have previously acted for you; or
- your other advisors.
- The kind of personal information we may collect includes:
- contact information, identity verification information, and biographical information (such as job title);
- invoicing and financial information such as invoicing instructions and payment information;
- personal information provided to us, including by or on behalf of clients, or generated by us in the course of providing our services; and
- where individuals are being considered for employment with our firm, recruitment information such as your curriculum vitae, your education and employment history, and other relevant information.
By contacting us or providing us with your personal information or by subscribing to our mailing list, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of that information in accordance with this policy. If you provide us with the personal information of another individual, you represent that you have the appropriate authority to permit us to collect, use and disclose such personal information for the purposes set out in, and in accordance with, this policy.
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 our office at the contact details 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.
In some cases we may be authorized or required by law to collect, use or disclose personal information without consent.
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:
- fulfilling our legal and professional obligations, including determining our ability to act for potential clients and avoiding conflicts of interest;
- providing legal advice and services including the representation of clients, obtaining and carrying out client instructions, and reporting and communicating with clients;
- establishing and maintaining relationships with clients, suppliers and other third parties, including providing invitations to SkyLaw events, sending you holiday greetings, and providing other client benefits from time to time in our discretion;
- administering our client records, billing for our services, and ensuring receipt of payments due to us;
- developing and maintaining our document management, knowledge-management and precedent systems and databases;
- sharing updates about SkyLaw and current legal developments that we think would interest you;
- considering individuals for potential employment by our firm;
- developing and maintaining our business and operations;
- maintaining the safety and security of our premises and of information under our control;
- maintaining contact with former employees and partners of SkyLaw; and
- with your consent or as permitted or required by law.
Disclosure of your personal information
We may disclose your personal information in the following circumstances:
- 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 to give your information to third parties, unless you instruct us otherwise;
- where it is necessary to establish or collect our fees;
- to our insurers and to regulatory agencies in connection with regulatory or other activities relating to our obligations and our professional responsibilities in relation to the practice of law; in connection with a business transaction involving SkyLaw;
- if requested by a person who we reasonably believe is your agent;
- if we retain other advisors at your request, and on your behalf; or
- if the information is publicly available information, as specified under PIPEDA.
We do not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products or services to you.
Updating your personal information
It is important that the personal information you provide to us is 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.
Retention of your personal information
We will retain personal information for as long as it is necessary for the purposes for which it was collected. We may be required by law to retain certain types of information for certain periods of time.
Security of your personal information
We take reasonable precautions including physical, organizational and technological measures to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. However, there is an inherent risk involved in the exchange of information using any form of communication, such as email, telephone, fax transmission and courier service. You should take proper precautions when sending us personal information, especially by email. We cannot guarantee that all electronic communications will always be received, or that such communications will always be virus free.
Access to your personal information
You may request access to any of your personal information in our possession. We will respond to any such request as quickly as possible. We may require you to supply enough information to verify your identity and enable us to account for the existence, use, and disclosure of personal information, and your right of access to such information. 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:
- 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 harm 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.
If we deny your request for access to your personal information, we will provide the reason for such denial.
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 do not take any responsibility for the privacy practices of the third parties operating such websites.
We may monitor traffic patterns, website usage, and related site information on our website, as well as responses and click-through activity on our publications, in order to optimize our web service and communications. We may provide aggregated information to third parties from time to time.
If you have any questions, wish to request access to 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 write to us at the following address:
SkyLaw Professional Corporation
3 Bridgman Avenue
Toronto, ON M54 3V4
Attention: Privacy Officer
Changes to this policy