Privacy legislation in Canada defines "personal information" broadly as any information about an identifiable individual. In general, personal information does not include business contact information, including your name, title or position, business or business e-mail address, telephone or facsimile number.
Shir Legal Services is responsible under applicable privacy legislation for the personal information in it’s possession or control. This includes personal information it receives directly, such as from individual clients or other individuals, and personal information we receive indirectly from clients or others. The firm has established policies and procedures with the objective of protecting personal information and have appointed a Privacy Officer to oversee privacy matters for the firm. The firm’s Privacy Officer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 416-830-2129.
What Personal Information Does the company Collect?
The types of personal information the company may collect about you include your name and home contact information, billing and account information, information relevant to a client’s legal matters and other information incidental to the provision of advice and services by the company. Examples of the types of personal information Shir Legal Services may collect include personal information about directors, officers and employees of a client or other party, witnesses, family members, adverse parties or parties-in-interest, and information about shareholders, security-holders, investors, potential investors or buyers, business partners, targets, individuals, clients, or other parties who are individuals.
The Purposes for Collecting, Using or Disclosing Personal Information
Shir Legal Services collects, uses and discloses personal information for the primary purpose of providing its clients with professional paralegal services and representation, including for the following purposes:
- to establish and manage client relationships, provide legal advice, perform legal services, fulfill legal duties, and avoid legal conflicts of interest;
- to share personal information with third parties for the purpose of providing legal services in the context of legal proceedings, including conducting litigation, arbitrations, mediations or other proceedings. Such third parties may include opposing parties, parties in interest, opposing, foreign and other counsel and advisors, witnesses, courts, adjudicators, arbitrators, other decision-makers and experts;
- to establish and maintain commercial relationships with clients, suppliers and other third parties, including to issue invoices, administer accounts, collect and process payments, evaluate credit standing, and to fulfill contractual obligations;
- to contact and communicate with clients and other individuals for the purpose of conducting market research, and evaluating client service and satisfaction;
- to distribute our publications and invitations to events to individuals who subscribe to its mailing lists;
- to maintain, develop and manage our document management, knowledge-management and precedent systems and databases;
- to consider the admission of individuals as employees and members of the firm;
- to develop and manage our business and operations;
- to detect and protect against error, negligence, breach of contract, fraud, theft and other illegal activity, and where necessary to meet our insurance requirements; and as permitted by, and to comply with, applicable legal or regulatory requirements or provisions.
Publications and Seminar Programs
Shir Legal Services’s publications program uses the contact information of those who subscribe through it’s web site or by invitation from firm members. Shir Legal Services’s seminar and marketing programs draws on a contact database of primarily business contacts that may also include individuals. Shir Legal Services provides an opportunity to any contact to un-subscribe from it’s publications program or opt-out of contact for seminar, client events or marketing purposes on an ongoing basis by contacting Shir Legal Services’s privacy officer.
- On-line Communications – In order to provide Shir Legal Services’s web site users with publications, information or requested services, visitors may voluntarily submit personal information to the firm for such purposes as subscribing to or downloading publications, participating in a seminar or other event, participating in surveys or asking a question. Shir Legal Services uses the personal information you provide only for the purpose for which you have provided it. If a subscriber or visitor has subscribed or attended a seminar or other event in the past, Shir Legal Services may combine the information with information submitted on the web site. Shir Legal Services provides an on-going opportunity to unsubscribe or opt-out of contact by the firm by telephoning our privacy officer.
- E-Mail Communications – Shir Legal Services may send e-mail communications to subscribers or other individuals in it’s contact database to advise of legal developments, distribute publications or to advise of events or seminars. Each e-mail includes an opt-out feature and instructions on how to un-subscribe if you do not wish to receive future e-mails from Shir Legal Services for these purposes.
To the extent Shir Legal Services enters into arrangements with service providers, agents and contractors to store, handle or process personal information on our behalf, such as for data processing, document storage software support and office services, our policy will be to require such parties by contractual or other means to provide comparable privacy protection while the information is processed or handled by them.
Shir Legal Services will obtain a client’s consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information about the client, and the consent of other individuals where required by applicable privacy legislation. Shir Legal Services assumes that an individual has consented to it’s reasonable collection and use of personal information consistent with the purposes for which the information was given, when the individual initiates contact with the firm or voluntarily provides personal information to Shir Legal Services. We also assume that clients who retain Shir Legal Services, or individuals involved in proceedings or matters opposite or adverse to the firm’s clients, consent to the reasonable collection, use and disclosure of their personal information by Shir Legal Services’s professionals and agents for purposes of our representation or provision of legal advice to it’s clients and the conduct of the transactions or proceedings involving it’s clients.
Shir Legal Services does not collect, use or disclose personal information without consent unless authorized or required by law to do so, such as in the following circumstances:
- if a client provides personal information about third parties to Shir Legal Services for purposes of it’s paralegal representation or advice to the client;
- where a court order, summons or subpoena is issued, or under applicable rules of production, a regulatory or other body with jurisdiction to compel production so requires;
- when the information is publicly available within the meaning of applicable privacy legislation, such as in professional or other directories, in public registries, publicly-filed court or tribunal records or information appearing in published form;
- if Shir Legal Services is investigating the breach of an agreement, a legal duty or contravention of a law and obtaining consent would compromise the investigation or the accuracy of the information;
- if Shir Legal Services is required to disclose personal information to a lawful authority;
- as otherwise authorized by law.
As practicing paralegals, Shir Legal Services is subject to professional and ethical obligations and Shir Legal Services does not disclose personal information subject to solicitor-client privilege unless the privilege is lawfully waived or we are required by law to do so.
Shir Legal Services obtains the electronic or oral consent of individuals who subscribe to it’s publications program or who indicate an interest to members of the firm in receiving such materials. Shir Legal Services provides an opt-out opportunity to individuals from it’s publications, seminar and other events on an ongoing basis (see Publications and Seminar Programs above)
Limited Collection, Use and Disclosure and Retention
Shir Legal Services collectes personal information by fair and lawful means and, wherever appropriate, directly from the individual. Wherever possible, Shir Legal Services limits the amount of personal information it collectes, use or disclose to that necessary and appropriate to provide it’s our legal services, advice and representation and to operate the firm business. Shir Legal Services limites the personal information it collectes and use for client relationship and development purposes and for our publication and seminar programs to contact information and information about preferences provided by the individual.
Shir Legal Services keeps records of the work performed and services provided by the firm in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements and professional standards. These records may include personal information. Shir Legal Services’s records are stored with safeguards against inappropriate or unauthorized access (see Safeguards). Shir Legal Services retains contact information about individuals for the period of time the individual subscribes to our programs, does not opt-out or continues to respond to seminar and other invitations.
Accuracy of Information
In order to provide clients or subscribers with a professional level of service and to maintain appropriate contact preferences, Shir Legal Services may ask you to update your personal information, contact information or preferences from time to time, and Shir Legal Services provides an ongoing opt-out opportunity by link or hard copy with all publications, invitations and notices. Clients are encouraged to contact their representative at Shir Legal Services to update the personal information Shir Legal Services maintains in it’s client files.
Shir Legal Services protects personal information in it’s files and document management systems from loss, misuse, unauthorized access and alteration by using physically secure facilities, password protection, standard security practices and tools and well-defined internal policies and practices.
Access to Your Personal Information
Individual clients may review any personal information concerning themselves Shir Legal Services has on file in it’s offices by contacting their Shir Legal Services representative. Individuals who are not clients may request access to personal information we hold about them by written request to:
Shir Legal Services will provide access to such personal information, subject to exceptions stipulated or required by applicable privacy legislation. Examples of such exceptions include information protected by privilege; information generated in the course of a formal dispute resolution process; information about another individual where disclosure would reveal confidential commercial information; or information disclosed to the police or other lawful authorities where we are required to withhold disclosure. If you are concerned about the access we have provided or wish to advise us of inaccuracies in the information, you may contact our Privacy Officer at email@example.com
Shir Legal Services will respond to complaints from individuals or questions about it’s compliance with this policy and with applicable privacy laws. Shir Legal Services will investigate and attempt to resolve all complaints. To challenge our compliance with this policy please contact our Privacy Officer at the co-ordinates listed above.
If you have any questions or concerns about your privacy and our role in protecting it, please contact Shir Legal Services Privacy Officer.