Since January 1, 2004, all Canadian organizations engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) 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 Viguiliouk Law.
Personal Information Defined
Your knowledge and consent is required for the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information except in situations where this would be inappropriate. Inappropriate circumstances include where your personal information is being sought for certain legal, medical, security reasons that would make it impossible or impractical to provide you with knowledge and to seek your consent. Consent can be accepted orally or in writing, depending on the circumstances. In some cases, your consent will be implied through your conduct. You may withdraw your consent subject to reasonable notice and legal and contractual obligations. In cases where you refuse or withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide you or to continue to provide you with certain services or information which may be helpful to you. When providing personal information of another individual, you guarantee that you have the necessary authority and/or have obtained all necessary consents from such individuals.
What Personal Information Do We Collect?
Purpose for Collection of Personal Information
Generally, Viguiliouk Law collects and uses your personal information in order to provide you with legal advice and services as well as to issue invoices and administer our clients’ database. We may also use your contact information in order to inform you about recent development in the law, keep you informed about Viguiliouk Law’s news and/or to invite you to our events from time to time. You may express your desire not to receive information about our services or about new developments in the law by contacting us at email@example.com. Our specific purposes for collecting your Personal Information include, but are not limited:
- to establish and manage client relationships;
- to provide legal advice and perform legal services;
- to provide immigration related consulting advice and services;
- to fulfill legal duties and avoid conflicts of interest;
- to share Personal Information to and from third parties for the purpose of providing legal services. Such third parties may include government agencies, opposing parties, parties in interest, witnesses, decision-maker and experts;
- to develop and manage our knowledge-management precedent systems and databases;
- to detect error, negligence, breach of contract, fraud, theft and other illegal activity and to protect Viguiliouk Law from the same;
- to audit compliance with Viguiliouk Law’s policies and contractual obligations;
- to engage in business transactions, including the purchase, sale, lease, merger, amalgamation, or any other type of acquisition, disposal, securitization or financing involving Viguiliouk Law;
- to establish and maintain commercial relationships with clients, suppliers and other third parties, including to issue invoices, administer accounts, collect and process payments, and to fulfill contractual obligations;
- to develop, enhance, market, sell or otherwise provide Viguiliouk Law’s services;
- to develop and manage Viguiliouk Law’s business and operations;
- to distribute our newsletters or other marketing material to individuals on our mailing lists, including via third-party e-mail service providers;
- any purpose required to comply with any legal or regulatory requirements or provisions; and
- for any other purpose to which you consent.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
Generally, Viguiliouk Law does not disclose your Personal Information to third parties without your consent. However, in certain circumstances the applicable law and/or court order may require us to disclose your Personal Information. Some of the examples of such circumstances include, but are not limited to the following:
- when required or authorized by law to do so;
- when your consent for the disclosure has been obtained;
- when disclosure is required for the delivery of legal services wherein you consent is implied;
- 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.
Viguiliouk Law does not provide our client mailing lists to other firms.
How Do We Protect Your Personal Information?
Viguiliouk Law takes all reasonable safeguards to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access and disclosure, and modification. Where your Personal Information is sent to a third-party for processing, Viguiliouk Law insures that all Personal Information is kept secure. Viguiliouk Law operates by insuring the security of our physical premises and taking into account our professional obligations; we also use security software and firewalls to prevent unauthorized computer access or hacking as well as we implement internal passwords that restrict access to our electronic files.
Access To Your Personal Information
Upon receiving your written request, Viguiliouk Law will provide you access to the information pertaining to the existence, use and disclosure of your Personal Information in a summary form. More detailed requests that require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our standard professional and disbursement fees. Access request should be sent to the address provided below.
Can I Be Denied Access to My Personal Information?
Your right to access your Personal Information is not absolute. Viguiliouk Law may deny you access to your personal information in certain circumstances, including:
- when denial of access is required or authorized by law;
- when the information is prohibitively costly to provide;
- when the personal information requested relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you;
- when granting you access would have an unreasonable impact on another person’s or other people’s privacy;
- when granting you access would prejudice negotiations with you;
- where the request for access is frivolous or vexatious; and
- for legal, security or commercial propriety reasons and to protect Viguiliouk Law’s rights and property.
Updating Your Personal Information
In order to guarantee a comprehensive legal advice it is crucial that you provide us with accurate and up-to-date information pertaining to your circumstances. If during the course of the retainer, any of your information changes, please inform us so that all necessary updates can be made. Contact information is provided below. If any of the information about you that we hold is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, Viguiliouk Law may take reasonable steps to correct it.
Can I Request Anonymity?
Whenever it is legal and practicable, Viguiliouk Law may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquiries without providing your name, for example, by accessing general information on our Website. However, 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 in relation to certain large cash transactions.
To help make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money laundering, Viguiliouk Law may, on occasions, request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
Privacy and Our Website
In order to provide our Website’s 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 publications, participating in a seminar, conference or other event, and/or participating in contests and surveys.
From time to time, Viguiliouk Law may send you marketing and/or promotional e-mail communications. We will include instructions on how to unsubscribe from receiving such materials if you do not wish to receive e-mail communication from Viguiliouk Law in this regard.
Links to Other Websites
Viguiliouk Law’s Website may contain links to other websites. While we try to link only to websites that share our standards and respect for privacy, Viguiliouk Law is not responsible for the content and privacy practices of other websites. We strongly encourage all Website visitors to review the privacy statements and policies of all external websites.
If you have any questions, or if you wish to access your personal information, please contact our office and provide us with your full contact information. Viguiliouk Law will respond to inquiries about its policies and practices relating to its handling of your Personal Information and will respond to any complaints within 30 days of receipt of a written inquiry. All inquiries should be directed to Viguiliouk Law Privacy Contact using the contact information below.
If any complaint or inquiry is not handled to your complete satisfaction, you may contact:
Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1L 1H3
Toll free: 1-800-282-1376