Protecting Your Privacy
This privacy statement applies to Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP and its affiliates, including Blakes Services Inc., ("Blakes", "we", "us", "our") and explains how we collect, use and disclose personal information in Canada. Generally speaking, "personal information" is information about an identifiable individual, subject to more particular definitions or interpretations under applicable law. This privacy statement does not apply to personal information about employees, partners or other temporary or permanent staff, consultants, volunteers or other individuals assigned to Blakes (collectively, "Members of Blakes"), or to any information that is not personal information as defined in or interpreted under applicable law.
Blakes offers and provides legal services and information to a wide range of clients. We collect, use and disclose personal information as necessary to offer and provide clients and potential clients with these legal services and information and generally to fulfill our professional legal responsibilities and manage our business. As lawyers, we have a professional obligation to keep confidential all information we obtain within a lawyer-client relationship.
The Information We Collect and How We Use It
Information in relation to clients, potential clients and others, generated in the course of our practice
- The kinds of personal information we collect and use in relation to clients and potential clients will depend upon the information and services requested. However, subject to applicable law, it may include:
- name, address, email address, contact details, nature of the client or potential client’s legal issue, financial, credit, billing and account information, and other incidental information relating to the services we provide;
- information material to your legal issue, for example, financial, property ownership, family, employment, disciplinary, benefit or tax information, and any other information you give to us when you ask or instruct us to act for you;
- legal issue or area of law of interest, for instance, when you sign up to attend a Blakes seminar or function, or when you request receipt of materials concerning our services and developments in the law;
- information about individuals we collect in the course of acting for clients, including personal information about employees of clients, referrals, adverse parties and parties with parallel interests, other counsel, mediators and arbitrators, witnesses and potential witnesses, expert witnesses and consultants;
- information about you contained in communications within Blakes and between us and you, whether online or offline; and
- information we may collect with your consent or as permitted or required by law.
- We use this information:
- to assess whether we can act for you, including to avoid conflicts of interest;
- to offer and provide legal information and services to you;
- to communicate with you regarding the services you request and to respond to your requests and inquiries;
- to administer our client time and billing databases, and issue and collect accounts;
- to provide you with material on our services and developments in the law, and to invite you to Blakes seminars and functions;
- to develop and use our knowledge management and precedent systems and permit Members of Blakes to consult, for precedent purposes, documents that we have created on your behalf and that contain personal information;
- to manage and administer our business, including to avoid negligence and protect you and us against error and fraud;
- to fulfill our legal and professional obligations; and
- as permitted or required by law or for purposes for which you otherwise provide your consent.
If you do not wish to receive further materials about our services and legal developments or if you do not wish to receive further invitations to seminars and functions, you may unsubscribe or ask us not to contact you for these purposes.
Information in relation to potential Members of Blakes
If you apply for a position at Blakes, we will collect the personal information contained in, and generated in relation to, your application package, in order to evaluate your application and assess whether to offer you a position at Blakes. For candidates who are not offered or do not accept a position, we normally retain this information for a reasonable period in the event that an appropriate position becomes available or that you reapply to Blakes. If you accept a position at Blakes, the information will be retained in accordance with our privacy procedures applicable to the personal information of Members of Blakes.
Information about Blakes Alumni
We collect and retain personal information about professionals who have formerly been Members of Blakes ("Blakes Alumni"), including name, contact details and employment status and history. We use this information to maintain a record of where Blakes Alumni are subsequently employed or practising and to invite you to Blakes events. If you wish, you may ask us not to retain this information or contact you for these purposes.
Information about guests of and visitors to Blakes
Blakes collects information about its guests and visitors. Specifically, visitors to the offices of Blakes may be asked to provide their name, telephone number and organization name. This information is retained by Blakes as long as necessary for security or emergency preparedness purposes. Blakes may also install video cameras in public-access areas on its premises and will post signs notifying individuals of the existence and purpose of any such cameras. We use the information we collect about guests of and visitors to Blakes to enable us to act responsibly in the event of a health or other crisis or emergency and to enhance workplace security.
Information about our agents, vendors, suppliers, expert witnesses and foreign associates
Blakes may collect information about third-party agents, vendors, suppliers, expert witnesses and foreign associates ("Service Providers") who provide goods, services and information to Blakes. This information would include name and contact information as well as any information (such as banking information) that we need to pay you for your services and other relevant information, such as experience and qualifications of Service Providers.
We use this information in order to assess suitability for particular assignments; to contact you, where necessary, in relation to the goods, services and information you are providing to Blakes; and to pay you for your services. We may also use this information to provide you with material regarding our services or developments in the law or to invite you to Blakes seminars and functions. If you do not wish to receive further materials about our services and legal developments or if you do not wish to receive further invitations to seminars and functions, you may unsubscribe or ask us not to contact you for these purposes.
How We Collect Information About You
- We typically collect personal information directly from you or through our interaction with you. However, sometimes we may obtain personal information about you from other sources.
For example, in relation to clients, in addition to personal information that you provide, we may collect personal information from:
- a government agency or registry;
- third parties, such as your real estate agent, your financial institution, your insurance company, or your employer; and
other law firms or agents who have acted for you in the past,
where these parties have information relevant to the matter in which we are acting for you.
In relation to potential Members of Blakes, in addition to personal information that you provide, we may collect personal information from:
- the third parties you provide as references in support of your application; and
- individuals involved in the evaluation and review process.
How We Disclose and Share Your Information
- We may disclose the personal information we collect about clients or other individuals we deal with to third parties, including:
- where the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your personal information to third parties, such as a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction;
- where we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example, where the rules of court require us to provide personal information to the opposite side and the court in a litigation matter or where a court issues a subpoena or order;
- where we engage an expert or consultant on your behalf in a litigation matter;
- where we retain another law firm or agent to act or assist us in acting on your behalf;
- where it is necessary to collect fees, for instance, to a financial institution or collection agent;
- to regulatory (including self-regulatory) or governmental authorities, for example, disclosure of personal information reasonably requested or required by governing bodies of the legal profession in the course of its oversight of our practice;
- where you have instructed us to disclose your personal information to a third party for a designated purpose;
- where we reasonably believe a third party requesting your information is your agent; and
- where you consent or as permitted or required by law.
We may disclose personal information about Blakes Alumni in order to provide an employment reference to a third party where you have requested, or consented to, the provision of the reference.
Service Providers. Blakes may also transfer your personal information to our Service Providers hired to administer or provide products, services or information on our behalf. We use reasonable measures to require the organizations with whom we share your personal information for these purposes to use your personal information only to perform the services we have hired them to provide. Note that some of the Service Providers that process or handle personal information on our behalf are located outside of Canada. As a result, your personal information may be transferred, stored and/or processed outside Canada in connection with the purposes described in this privacy statement. Contractual or other measures we may use to protect your personal information are subject to the legal requirements of the foreign jurisdictions where your personal information may be transferred, stored or processed, for example, lawful requirements to disclose information to government authorities in those countries.
Business Transactions. We may also use and disclose certain personal information to parties connected with the proposed or actual financing, insuring, sale or other disposal of all or part of our business or assets, for purposes connected to evaluating and performing the transaction. These purposes may include determining whether to proceed with the transaction or business relationship, or fulfilling any records or other reporting requirements to those parties. Where applicable, we will take steps to require that such parties treat your personal information in accordance with this privacy statement and use and disclose it only for the purposes for which it was collected, including to provide the services or information that Blakes would otherwise provide to you and generally to carry on Blakes business.
The only personal information that we collect about you when you use our website is what you tell us about yourself, for example, by completing an online form when you request receipt of a Blakes publication, or information you provide to us through the "Contact Us" section or when you send us an email.
Our server does not currently attach cookies to your computer’s memory when you visit our website.
As most websites do, however, we do track usage patterns on our website on an anonymous basis. Your identity cannot reasonably be ascertained from this information. Each time you visit our website, our server records your Internet service provider, the date and time of your visit, the pages you visit and the documents downloaded, the searches you performed, and the referring URL’s you came from. We use this non-personal information to optimize our website service.
For your convenience, we may offer links from our website to other websites. However, Blakes is not responsible for, nor do we accept any liability for, the personal information collection, use and disclosure practices of other entities to which our website may link. You should consult the privacy policies of these other entities before providing any personal information on their websites.
We collect, use and disclose your personal information with your consent or as permitted or required by law. Your consent may be express or implied, depending on the circumstances and the sensitivity of the personal information in question. For example, in most cases, a client’s consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by Blakes may be implied by the fact that the client has engaged Blakes to provide legal services, where the collection, use and disclosure of personal information relates to the performance of those services by Blakes. If you provide personal information about another person to us, we assume you have the consent of that individual to enable us to collect, use or disclose their information as described in this policy. If you choose to provide personal information to Blakes, we assume that you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information as outlined in this privacy statement.
If you do not consent, please do not provide your personal information or, where applicable, exercise the opt-in or opt-out options offered. Subject to legal and contractual requirements and reasonable notice, you may refuse to consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information or you may withdraw your consent to our further collection, use and disclosure of information about you, by contacting our Privacy Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 416-863-2552. Note that if you withdraw your consent to certain uses of your personal information, we may no longer be able to provide certain of our services.
There are instances where Blakes may collect, use or disclose your personal information without your consent, for example, to collect a debt you owe to us, to comply with a subpoena or court order, or to comply with the rules of court regarding the production of records.
Blakes has implemented reasonable physical, organizational and technological security measures to safeguard the personal information in our custody or control. These include safeguards to protect personal information against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use, or modification. Authorized Members of Blakes, agents and mandatories have access to your personal information.
You can generally visit the Blakes website without providing any personal information. However, given that electronically submitted data is not 100 per cent secure, we make no warranties as to the security of any such personal information that you submit, which you do at your own risk.
Access, Correction, Inquiries and Complaints
We maintain a file of your personal information for the above-mentioned purposes. This file is accessible at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Suite 4000, Commerce Court West, 199 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5L 1A9. If you wish to request access to, or correction of, your personal information in custody or control of Blakes, please make your request in writing to our Privacy Officer at the address above. We may need to verify your identity before searching for or providing you with personal information. In some circumstances, we may not provide access to your personal information, for example, if it contains the personal information of other persons, if it constitutes confidential commercial information, if it is protected by solicitor-client privilege, or if it is otherwise not properly the subject of an access request.
Since we predominantly use personal information to provide legal services, it is important that the information be accurate and up to date. Please inform us as soon as possible of any changes to your personal information.
If you have any questions, requests or complaints about our personal information practices, please contact our Privacy Officer at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Suite 4000, Commerce Court West, 199 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5L 1A9 or via email at email@example.com or via telephone at 416-863-2552.
Changes to This Statement
Blakes reserves the right to change this privacy statement at any time, and we will take reasonable steps to advise affected individuals of any material changes, if necessary. However, you should review this privacy statement from time to time to ensure that you are aware of and accept any changes made. You may contact us at the address, email address or telephone number above to obtain a current copy of this privacy statement.
Posted on: January 25, 2013