Your Privacy Rights
As of January 1, 2004, all business engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/P-8.6/index.html and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information, which it incorporates. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including Melekhovets Law. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
Melekhovets Law is responsible for the personal information we collect and hold. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy, and trained our lawyers and support staff about our policies and practices.
Why does Melekhovets Law need personal information?
Melekhovets Law provides legal services and products to a wide range of clients. In doing so, it produces direct marketing materials concerning its services and developments in the law.
What personal information do we collect?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. The information we collect may go beyond contact information, and include financial and medical information, criminal history information, and so on. The type of information we collect depends on the nature of your case and the investigations that are required. Melekhovets Law limits the collection of personal information to the amount and type of information necessary for the purposes we identify.
If we did not collect and use your personal information, we could not provide you with legal services.
How do we collect your personal information?
We collect information only by lawful and fair means, and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Wherever possible we collect your personal information directly from you, both at the start of a retainer and in the course of our representation.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources, for example:
- Your insurance company;
- Your real estate agent in a property transaction;
- From a government agency or registry;
- Your employer, if we are acting for you, at its request;
- Professionals, for example, your accountant, doctor etc;
- Your family and friends;
- Opposing counsel.
In most cases, we shall ask you to specifically consent, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information. Normally, we ask for your consent in writing, but in some circumstances, we may accept your oral consent. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
Melekhovets Law’s standard retainer confirms our client’s consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information during the course of the retainer.
You may withdraw consent at any time, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice. If you wish to withdraw your consent at any time, please contact Julia Melekhovets in the manner set out below. We will inform you of the implications of withdrawing consent.
Use of Your Information
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client databases (time and billing databases), and to include you in any direct marketing activities. If you tell us you no longer wish to receive information about our services, we will not send any further material.
Melekhovets Law does not disclose your information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services. For example, we do not provide our client mailing lists to other law firms. However, we do use the services of third party marketing firms to help us find clients and we take no responsibility for their actions regarding personal information.
Melekhovets Law will retain and use personal information for as long as may be necessary to complete our retainer, fulfill our professional responsibilities, satisfy our requirements to the Law Society of Upper Canada and our insurers, and as may be required for the maintenance of our marketing activities.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances listed below, Melekhovets Law will disclose your personal information:
- When we are required or authorized by law to do so. For example we are obliged to disclose your information if a court issues a subpoena;
- When you have consented to the disclosure, expressly or by implication;
- When its disclosure is necessary in the litigation or other matter about which we have been retained;
- When the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties. For example, for the purpose of obtaining a medical opinion. In such cases, 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 at your request, and on your behalf;
- If the information is Publicly Available Personal Information, as it is defined under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
Updating Your Information
Since we use your information to provide legal services to you, it is important that the information be accurate and up to date. If during the course of the retainer, any of your information changes, please inform us so that we can make the necessary changes.
Is My Personal Information Secure?
Melekhovets Law 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 information are:
- Premises security;
- Restricted file access to personal information;
- Deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- Internal password and security policies;
- Procedures for the destruction of personal information when it is no longer required including shredding and the formatting of electronic media.
Access to Your Personal Information
You may ask for access to any personal information we hold about you. However, more detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursements fees.
If Melekhovets Law holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete or up-to-date, Melekhovets Law will take reasonable steps to correct it.
Can I be denied access to my personal information?
You rights to access your personal information are not absolute. We may deny access when:
- It is required or authorized by law. For example, when a record containing personal information about you is protected by solicitor-client privilege;
- The information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings;
- To do would prejudice negotiations;
- 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 threaten 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;
- The request is frivolous or vexatious.
If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain our reasons for doing so. Melekhovets Law does not use your social insurance number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold upon you.
Can I request anonymity?
Whenever it is legal and practicable, we may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquires without providing your name (for example, by accessing general information on our website). The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act requires us to confirm the identity of all new clients. It may also require us to disclose information to FINTRAC (Financial Transactions Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) in relation to certain large cash transactions.
To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money-laundering, we may, with your consent, request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
Communicating with Us
You should be aware that email and on-line form submittal is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information. Melekhovets Law does not take any responsibility for personal information collected by third party marketing firms.
Website and Tracking Technologies
On our website, like most other commercial websites, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information in order to optimize our web service. We may provide aggregate information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.
Tracking technologies may record information such as Internet domain and host names, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, browser software and operating system types, clickstream patterns, and dates and times that our website is accessed. We do not link the information we record using tracking technologies to any personal information you submit while on our website. However, we reserve the right to use IP addresses and other tracking technologies to identify a visitor only when we feel it necessary to enforce compliance with the website’s policies, to protect the website, our customers, or others, or when we believe in good faith that the law requires it.
Links to Other Sites
Requests for Access
If you have any questions or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Contact:
100 King St. West, Suite 5700
Toronto, ON M5X 1C7
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
112 Kent St.
Ottawa, ON K1A 1H3
If you apply to Melekhovets Law for a job, we need to 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 we offer you a job, which you accept, the information will be retained in accordance with our privacy procedures for employee records.BACK
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