Sherman Law LLP acknowledges the importance of privacy and the protection of personal information. As members of the legal profession, our firm has an obligation to hold in strict confidence all information concerning the business and affairs of our clients acquired in the course of the professional solicitor-client relationship. Our firm has developed safeguards and policies so that we do not divulge any such information unless expressly authorized by the client or required to do so by law. It is essential that the personal information we collect about our clients is accurate and complete, and our firm takes all reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is correct. The importance of your privacy and protection of your personal information continues to be a top priority of this firm in providing the highest caliber of professional legal service.
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities are required to 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 is Schedule 1 to PIPEDA. These obligations apply to the legal profession including all lawyers and law firms, including Sherman Law LLP. PIPEDA gives you rights concerning your personal information beyond the rights you previously enjoyed under solicitor-client privilege.
Sherman Law LLP is responsible for the personal information that 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.
It is necessary for our firm to obtain personal information from you for determining whether we will be able to enter into a professional relationship with you and in order for our firm to be able to adequately and diligently provide you with representation. It is the practice of our firm to collect personal information directly from the client. However, on occasion it may be necessary for our firm to obtain personal information from other sources including your accountant, your employer, your insurance company, your physician, your real estate agent in real estate transactions, or from a government agency.
Sherman Law LLP will not collect any personal information about you until we obtain your consent. Our firm also makes every attempt to obtain your consent in disclosing your personal information to others. In most cases, our firm attempts to obtain your written consent however, in some circumstances it may be necessary for us to accept oral consent such as that which is given during a telephone conversation. At times, your consent may be implied through the nature of our professional relationship with you.
Sherman Law LLP uses your information for the following purposes:
to provide legal advice and services with diligence and professionalism;
to create and maintain our client information records;
to communicate with you and maintain client satisfaction;
to protect our clients against fraud and error; and,
to communicate with a sub-contractor or other agents or intermediaries in the course of a contract for the performance of any of the above purposes.
PIPEDA provides that our firm may disclose your personal information without your knowledge or consent if the disclosure is:
information about you that is publicly available;
required to comply with a summons or warrant issued, or an order made by a court, person or body with jurisdiction to compel the production of information, or to comply with the rules of the court relating to the production of records in compliance with solicitor-client privilege;
to a government institution in compliance with Section 7 of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act;
made in an emergency situation where the life, well-being, and security of the person is at issue and there has been an attempt to contact the individual in writing about the necessity of the disclosure;
in collecting fee billings; and,
required by law.
Sherman Law LLP has developed and implemented security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information kept by us. We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification, or disclosure. The steps taken to protect your information include:
Premises security systems;
Restricted file access to personal information;
Deploying technological safeguards including security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
Internal password and security policies; and,
We keep your personal information in our client files indefinitely in secure onsite storage. Any documents that our firm determines to be of no further value to us is destroyed by shredding or is securely returned to the client.
We ensure that all of our employees who deal with personal information are properly trained and are aware of the necessary and appropriate measures required to protect personal information.
We are committed to maintaining accurate, complete and up-to-date personal information. If you are aware of changes to the personal information that you have previously provided to us, please inform us of the changes and we will update our records accordingly.
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this fact when contacting our firm and requesting that we send personal and confidential information.
If a client wishes to access their personal information or has further questions about how their information is collected and stored they may direct all inquiries to: Sherman Law LLP, Attention: Chief Privacy Officer, 2C - 625 King Street East, Kitchener, ON N2G 4V4.