When explaining the purpose of various clauses in clients’ Wills with them, one clause that always seems to peak clients’ interest is the “Community of Property” clause. Essentially, this clause can help protect a beneficiary’s property from ending up in the hands of that beneficiary’s ex-spouse. This is understandably an important consideration for many clients…Read Article
At Mills & Mills LLP, we know that confidentiality and privacy are of the utmost importance to you. As a matter of professional responsibility and as part of our commitment to providing excellent service, we are dedicated to protecting any personal information we hold and maintaining the trust you have placed in our firm.
“Personal information” has the same meaning as in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and includes any information that identifies you or by which your identity could be deduced. Personal information does not include business contact information (your name, title, position, business address, telephone and fax number or business email address) and does not include “publicly available information” specified in the Act’s Regulations.
A. Governing Principles — Your Privacy Rights
Mills & Mills LLP collects, uses and discloses personal information in compliance with the requirements of the Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the “Act”) and the provisions of the Canadian Standards Association’s Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information (the “Code”) incorporated into the Act.
This Policy covers all personal information that is collected, used or disclosed by Mills & Mills LLP.
C. What Personal Information does Mills & Mills LLP Collect?
Generally speaking, the types of personal information that Mills & Mills LLP may collect includes your name, home address, telephone number, personal email address, billing and account information, information about your legal issue and personal information about other individuals involved in your legal matter. The type and quantity of personal information that we collect in order to deliver legal services to you will vary depending on the nature of the services we are retained to provide.
Mills & Mills LLP limits the collection of personal information to the amount and type of information that is required to fulfill the purposes for which it is collected. Collection of personal information is always made by fair and lawful means. We do not collect personal information indiscriminately, but limit such collection to the purposes identified in this Policy.
D. Identifying Purposes – How Personal Information is Used
Mills & Mills collects, uses and discloses personal information for the following limited purposes:
(i) to provide legal advice and services to you
(ii) to assess applications submitted to us for employment opportunities with our firm
(iii) to administer our client (time and billing) databases
(iv) to establish and maintain client lists
(v) to help us avoid conflicts of interest
(vi) to establish and maintain mailing lists, which are used to communicate with you during
the course of our retainer and to include you in any direct marketing activities conducted
by our firm (such as the delivery of Legal Newsletters or invitations to seminars that we may be conducting). If you tell us that you do not wish to receive information about our services, we will not send you any further material.
To help us make credit decisions about clients, 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 credit reporting agencies. Mills & Mills LLP does not use Social Insurance Numbers as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold.
If you apply for a job at our firm and we do not offer a position to you, we do not retain the information provided with your application. If we offer you a job that you accept, the information you provided with your application will be retained in your employee file in accordance with our policies respecting employee information.
E. Disclosure of Personal Information
Mills & Mills LLP will disclose your personal information in the following circumstances:
(i) when we are required or authorized by law to do so (for example, if a court issues
a subpoena or if the disclosure is required under the Rules of Civil Procedure)
(ii) when you have consented to the disclosure
(iii) when the disclosure is requested by a third party who, in our reasonable judgment,
is seeking the information as your agent
(iv) when the legal services we are providing to you requires us to give your information
to third parties (for example, a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction). In such
circumstances, your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise
(v) if we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (like computer back-up or
archival file storage). In any such circumstance, we will ensure that the third party receiving
(vi) if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf
(vii) if we retain other law firms in other jurisdictions, on your behalf
We are committed to ensuring that you are aware of how your personal information is used. In most cases, we will ask you for your specific consent before we collect, use or disclose your personal information. Usually, this request for consent will be in writing, but in appropriate circumstances, we may accept your oral consent. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
We make information about our personal information collection and management procedures available to all interested parties. If you have any questions about our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information or this Policy, please contact our Privacy Officer in writing as described in paragraph L of this Policy.
I. Access to your Personal Information
You are entitled to access your personal information. To make an access request, please contact our Privacy Officer in writing, as described in paragraph L of this Policy.
Summary information will be made available to you upon your request. More detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
Please note that your right to access is not absolute and we may deny access:
(i) when denial of access is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record containing your personal information is subject to a claim of legal professional privilege by one of our clients)
(ii) when to do so would prejudice negotiations with you
(iii) to protect our firm’s rights and property
(iv) when the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you
(v) when granting access would have an unreasonable impact on other people’s privacy
(vi) where the request is frivolous or vexatious
If we refuse your request for access or refuse your request to correct information, we will explain why.
J. Safeguards to Protect your Personal Information
Mills & Mills LLP takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect your personal information are:
(i) Premises security
(ii) Restricted file access to personal information
(iii) Technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to
prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access
(iv) Internal password and security policies
Employees who have access to personal information receive appropriate training
Personal information that is no longer required is destroyed or rendered anonymous.
You should be aware that email is not a completely secure medium and no data transmitted over the internet can be guaranteed 100 percent secure. As a result, we cannot assure the security of any information transmitted to us over the internet and you do so at your own risk.
Our firm is committed to maintaining accurate, complete and up-to-date personal information. If you are aware of any changes to the personal information you have provided to us, simply inform us of those changes and we will update our records.
You may review and correct your personal information by contacting the Privacy Officer referred to in paragraph L of this Policy.
L. Challenging Compliance
Our Privacy Officer can be reached in writing at:
Mills & Mills LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
2 St. Clair Avenue West, Suite 700
We investigate all complaints received by us and will respond in writing in a timely manner. If a complaint is found to be justified, we will take appropriate measures to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the complainant.
In the event that you are not satisfied with the response you receive from our Privacy Officer, you may contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada at the following address:
Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street