NOT LEGAL ADVICE
Information made available on this website in any form is for information purposes only and must not be taken as legal advice. You must not rely upon, or take or fail to take any action, based upon this information.
NO LAWYER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
The presentation of information on this website, or your use of or reliance upon such information, does not establish a lawyer-client relationship between you and Wyllie Spears or between you and any Wyllie Spears professional. Note also that any information sent or received over the internet is generally not secure. Confidential information should not be sent (via email, fax, voicemail, etc.) unless a proper retainer has been confirmed.
YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS
All businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. Obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including Wyllie Spears. The Act gives all Canadians rights concerning the privacy of their personal information.
Wyllie Spears is responsible for the personal information we collect and hold. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy. Wyllie Spears’s Chief Privacy Officer ensures that proper personal information procedures and policies are in place, and that all firm members abide by the procedures that are established to protect our clients’ personal information.
WHY DOES WYLLIE SPEARS NEED PERSONAL INFORMATION?
The lawyers and other staff members at Wyllie Spears must collect personal information from our clients to fully understand and address their legal issues and to provide them with legal services and to comply with the client identification requirements of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Normally, personal information is collected during the initial client contact and on an ongoing basis as we work with our clients. In most cases, the personal information is collected directly from our clients. However, at times, we may obtain personal information about our clients from other sources, with our clients’ permission—for example, from insurance companies, a real estate agent in a property transaction, a government agency or registry, or financial, accounting, or other advisors that work with our clients.
USE OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
We limit our collection of personal information to what is required to provide legal services to you, for billing purposes, and to provide legal and firm updates. If you tell us that you no longer wish to receive legal or firm updates, we will not send any further information to you. We do not sell, trade, or exchange any personal information that we receive from our clients with third parties to market their products.
DISCLOSURE OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Any personal information we receive is held in strict confidence. However, we may need to disclose personal information to provide you with the legal services you have requested, or if we are required to do so by law. Circumstances that may require disclosure include:
• When we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example, if a court issues a subpoena
• When you have consented to the disclosure
• When the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties (for example, a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction), in which case your consent will be implied unless you tell us otherwise
• Where it is necessary to establish or collect fees
• If we engage expert witnesses on your behalf
• If we retain other law firms in other jurisdictions on your behalf
• If the information is already publicly known
UPDATING INFORMATION AND CORRECTING ERRORS
Since we use our clients’ contact and other personal information to provide legal services to them, it is important that the information we have is accurate. While a file is active, we ask our clients to inform us of any changes in their personal information, so that we can update our files and records. When a client advises us that the personal information we hold is not accurate or complete, Wyllie Spears will take all reasonable steps to correct it.
IS MY PERSONAL INFORMATION SECURE?
Wyllie Spears endeavours to take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification, or disclosure. Further, we will retain your file only so long as is necessary. Safeguards in place to protect your personal information include premises security, restricted file access, proper destruction procedures, and technological safeguards such as security software, firewalls, internal password procedures, and security policies.
ACCESS TO YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
You may ask for access to your personal information that we hold at any time. Summary information is available upon request. More detailed requests that require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees. Wyllie Spears, in limited circumstances, may deny access when:
• Such denial is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record containing personal information about the requester is subject to a claim of legal professional privilege by one of our other clients)
• Information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against a client
• Granting access would have an unreasonable impact on another party’s privacy
• Granting access would prejudice negotiations with a client
• Denial is required to protect Wyllie Spears’ rights and property
• The request is frivolous or vexatious
If we refuse your request for access, or refuse a request to correct information, we will send a letter to you outlining why your request has been denied.
When someone applies to Wyllie Spears for a job, we need to consider each applicant’s personal information as part of our review process. We normally retain personal information from candidates after a decision has been made, unless they ask us not to do so. If we offer a person a job, and they accept, the information will be retained in accordance with our privacy procedures for employee records.
REQUESTS FOR ACCESS OR OTHER PRIVACY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS
If you have any questions or concerns about Wyllie Spears’ personal information practices, or if you wish to request access to the personal information we hold or file a complaint, please contact:
700-100 Queen Street
If you are not satisfied with our response, or you want to learn more about federal privacy laws, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3