Bell Baker LLP is committed to complying with applicable privacy laws in Canada, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the “Act”). As a law firm we have always been governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct established by the Law Society of Upper Canada and obligated to maintain the confidentiality of client information. The Act provides you with additional rights relating to the privacy of your personal information.
We want you to know why we need your personal information, how this information is collected, how we use and protect this information, and how it is disclosed.
- Bell Baker LLP
- 116 Lisgar Street, Suite 700
- Ottawa, Ontario
- K2P 0C2
- Attention: Chief Privacy Officer
We will give you access to the personal information we retain about you within a reasonable period of time. In some cases, we may not provide access to personal information within our possession or control. For example, we may deny access when the denial is required or authorized by law such as in the case of a claim of legal professional privilege. If we deny your request for access to your personal information, we will advise you in writing of the reason for the refusal and any recourse you may have under the Act.
If there will be any cost to you of processing your request, we will give you notice in advance of such cost.
Bell Baker LLP collects personal information about clients, potential clients and other individuals (including witnesses, family members, beneficiaries, directors and officers of corporations, employees, adverse parties, partners-in-interest, investigators, decision makers, experts, other professional advisors, our client’s business partners, investors, shareholders, competitors and customers whom are individuals) in the course of its law practice. The kind of information we collect and use depends upon the legal services being provided. Personal information is only collected by lawful means.
Whenever possible, we collect your personal information from you directly at the start of a retainer of our services and in the course of our representation. For the purpose of representing and advising our clients in relation to actions or claims, we may at times collect personal information relating to individuals other than our clients who have made claims or commenced actions against our clients or their insurers, or against whom our clients or insurers have made claims or commenced actions. As elaborated below, we only collect personal information with the consent of the person about whom the information is about or if the collection is otherwise permitted by the Act.
Sometimes we may obtain personal information about you from third parties such as:
- – your insurance company;
- – your real estate agent in a property transaction;
- – government agencies or registries, for example the Land Registry Office or the Ministry of Health;
- – your employer;
- – your accountant;
- – your financial institution;
- – your health-care professionals and health-care institutions;
- – your school or university;
- – other law firms or agents that have acted for you in the past;
- – parties with adverse or complementary interests to yours in a legal matter and their legal counsel;
- – witnesses; and
- – Experts and other consultants retained with your instructions to assist with your legal matters.
To help us make credit decisions about clients, advise clients on the enforcement of claims against debtors they may have, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money laundering, we may on occasion request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies. We will never collect credit information about anyone without their consent unless the collection is otherwise permitted by the Act.
We collect personal information for use and disclosure for the purposes of:
- – determining whether we are able to represent you;
- – providing legal services to you;
- – establishing and maintaining communications with you;
- – advising you of upcoming firm events;
- – understanding your needs;
- – providing information to you about developments in the law;
- – determining if our services meet your needs;
- – recommending and offering services that meet your needs or may be of interest to you;
- – developing and using our internal precedent and knowledge management system and permitting members of our firm to consult, for precedent purposes, documents that we have created on your behalf and that may contain personal information;
- – billing you for legal services rendered;
- – collecting monies owing to Bell Baker LLP or permitting Bell Baker LLP to pursue available remedies or limit any damages it may sustain;
- – fulfilling our legal and professional obligations; and
- – Complying with all applicable laws.
The collection of personal information by Bell Baker LLP is limited to that which is necessary for these purposes or other purposes that are disclosed to you before or at the time the personal information is collected or as required by law. If you tell us that you no longer wish to receive information about our services or about new developments in the law, we will not send any further materials. Should you wish to stop the delivery of this information to you, please contact:
- Bell Baker LLP
- 116 Lisgar Street, Suite 700
- Ottawa, Ontario
- K2P 0C2
- Attention: Chief Privacy Officer
We collect, use and disclose your personal information with your consent or as permitted by the Act. Your consent can be express or implied depending on the circumstances. Express consent can be verbal or written.Implied consent arises when we can reasonably conclude that you have given consent by your action or inaction. Before deciding what form of consent is appropriate, Bell Baker LLP will consider the sensitivity of the personal information we need, the reason for its use or disclosure and the type of client contact that is involved.
The choice to provide Bell Baker LLP with personal information is always yours unless required by law. If you do not consent to a certain use or disclosure of information, or if you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide you with a particular service. If so, we will explain the consequences of refusing or withdrawing consent, and your options.
Bell Baker LLP uses and discloses various types of personal information as necessary and appropriate for the purposes outlined above. The disclosure of personal information may occur as part of Bell Baker LLP fulfilling its obligations and/or conducting its business in the ordinary course. This includes, without limitation, disclosure of personal information:
- – when the nature of the legal services requires us to give your information to third parties and your consent is implied (for example, in a real estate transaction);
- – to experts, consultants or other law firms we retain on your behalf;
- – to third parties that provide products or services to Bell Baker LLP, including, without limitation, data processors, process servers, consultants, suppliers, lawyers, accountants, bankers and insurers (including Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company), but only to the extent necessary to allow them to provide services to Bell Baker LLP and under the instruction of Bell Baker LLP;
- – with affiliated companies of Bell Baker LLP;
- – to government agencies or regulatory bodies having jurisdiction to the extent they can oblige us to do so;
- – to all others persons authorized or required by law to the extent they can oblige us to do so;
- – when it is necessary to establish or collect monies owning to Bell Baker LLP;
- – where it’s necessary to permit Bell Baker LLP to pursue available remedies or limit any damages that Bell Baker LLP may sustain;
- – to a person who, in the reasonable judgment of Bell Baker LLP, is seeking information as your agent or attorney; or
- – when you consent to such disclosure or it is otherwise permitted or required by law.
Personal information may be subject to transfer to another organization or person in the event of a merger or change of ownership of all or part of Bell Baker LLP, but this will only occur if the parties have entered into an agreement under which the collection, use and disclosure of the information is restricted to the purposes that relate to the business transaction, including a determination of whether to proceed with the business transaction.
Under no circumstances do we disclose your personal information to third parties to enable them to market their products or services to you without obtaining express consent from you.
Your personal information shall only be retained by Bell Baker LLP for as long as is necessary for the fulfillment of the identified purposes. Some personal information may be kept indefinitely.
Bell Baker LLP endeavours to maintain personal information that is as accurate, complete and up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is used and disclosed. We rely on individuals to disclose all material information and to inform us on any relevant changes. If you have any reason to believe your personal information in our control is inaccurate, please contact us in writing. We will investigate and, where appropriate, update our records accordingly.
Your personal information is secure with Bell Baker LLP and we use safeguards and security measures that are appropriate to the sensitivity of the information to protect against non-authorized access, use, alteration, duplication, destruction or disclosure of your personal information.
Bell Baker LLP maintains personal information in a combination of paper and electronic formats. While recent paper records are kept at our offices, older records containing personal information may be stored at offsite storage facilities.
Our computer systems are constructed in such a way as to ensure that only authorized individuals can access secure systems and databases. If you send us an e-mail message containing personal information, please remember that e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception.
A cookie is a small text file containing a unique identification number that identifies the visitor’s browser, but not necessarily the visitor, each time a website is visited. Our server does not currently attach cookies when you visit our website.
In order to provide our website visitors with a service or information, visitors may voluntarily submit personal information to us for purposes such as asking a question, obtaining information, reviewing or downloading a publication, participating in a seminar or other event, and participating in surveys. We may combine and store personal information about your use of our website and the online information you have provided with certain other online and offline information we may have collected.
Occasionally, we may send marketing or promotional e-mail communications to you with information that may be useful, including information about the services of Bell Baker LLP. We will include instructions on how to unsubscribe and inform us of preferences if you decide you do not want to receive any future marketing or promotional e-mails from Bell Baker LLP.
Our website may contain links to other websites which are provided as a convenience only. Visitors are advised that other third party websites may have different privacy policies and practices than Bell Baker LLP, and Bell Baker LLP has no responsibility for such third party websites.
Date: March 9th, 2016