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Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy
This privacy policy applies to Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP and its affiliates, including Blakes Services Inc., ("Blakes", "we", "us", "our") and explains how we collect, use, disclose and otherwise process personal information. Generally speaking, "personal information" is information about an identifiable individual, subject to more particular definitions or interpretations under applicable law. This privacy policy 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, disclose and otherwise process 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 personal information we collect in relation to clients and potential clients includes:

    • 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; and

    • information about you contained in communications within Blakes and between us and you, whether online or offline.

  • We use this information to:

    • assess whether we can act for you, including to avoid conflicts of interest;

    • offer and provide legal information and services to you;

    • communicate with you regarding the services you request and to respond to your requests and inquiries;

    • administer our client time and billing databases, and issue and collect accounts;

    • provide you with material on our services and developments in the law, and to invite you to Blakes seminars and functions;

    • 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;

    • manage and administer our business, including to avoid negligence and protect you and us against error and fraud; and

    • comply with legal, regulatory and self-regulatory requirements, and to fulfill our legal and professional obligations.

If you do not wish to receive materials about our services and legal developments, or invitations to seminars and events, 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, banking information and information about experience and qualifications.  We use this information 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 materials about our services and legal developments, or invitations to seminars and events, 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 disclose the personal information we collect about clients or other individuals we deal with to third parties 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;

    • 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;

    • we engage an expert or consultant on your behalf in a litigation matter;

    • we retain another law firm or agent to act or assist us in acting on your behalf;

    • it is necessary to collect fees, for instance, to a financial institution or collection agent;

    • necessary to comply with regulatory (including self-regulatory) requirements or requests from 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;

    • you have instructed us to disclose your personal information to a third party for a designated purpose; and

    • we reasonably believe a third party requesting your information is your agent.

We may disclose personal information about Blakes Alumni in order to provide an employment reference to a third party where you have requested the provision of the reference.

Service Providers. Blakes may also transfer your personal information to Service Providers hired to administer or provide products, services or information on our behalf. We require our Service Providers to use your personal information only as necessary to perform the services we have hired them to provide.  Most of our Service Providers process personal information in Canada or the EEA.  On occasion, we may use service providers that process personal information in the United States or other countries that do not offer the same legal protections for personal information as Canada or the EEA. In such cases, we will ensure that appropriate contractual protections are in place, as required by applicable laws.  If you have any questions about our use of Service Providers, including outside of Canada or the EEA, please contact our Privacy Officer.
Business Transactions. We may also use and disclose 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 policy 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.

Our Website
As most websites do, we use automatic data collection technologies to track usage patterns on our website. Each time you visit our website, our server records your Internet service provider, IP address, 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 information to optimize our website service.
We also use cookies to collect information about your visit to our website.  Please see our Cookie Policy for more information about our use of cookies.
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.

Legal Basis for Processing
In connection with our commercial activities outside of the European Economic Area (“EEA”), we process personal information with consent except where otherwise permitted or required by law.  For example, we may be permitted to collect, use or disclose personal information without consent in order 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.  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.

In connection with our commercial activities in the EEA, we rely on one of the following legal grounds (as appropriate) to process personal information:

  1. To enter and perform a contract with you or to perform any steps you require from us before entering into a contract.

  2. To pursue our legitimate business interests in establishing, managing or concluding our business relationship with you.

  3. Where you have specifically consented to us processing your personal information.

  4. To comply with our legal obligations and establish, exercise or defend our legal rights.

Where personal information is processed with consent, you may (subject to contractual and legal restrictions) refuse to provide your consent, or choose to withdraw your consent, to our processing of your personal information by contacting our Privacy Officer at privacyofficer@blakes.com or at 416-863-2552. Note that if you refuse to consent, or withdraw your consent, to certain processing of your personal information, we may not be able to provide certain of our services.

Security and Retention
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.
Personal information is retained as described in this privacy policy, and otherwise in accordance with our record retention policies.  Our record retention periods are established taking into account requirements of privacy laws, the purposes for which the information was collected, legal and regulatory requirements to retain the information for minimum periods, limitation periods for taking legal action, and our business purposes.

Access, Correction and Other Rights
We maintain a file of your personal information for the purposes described in this privacy policy. 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 below. 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 are in the EEA you may also have the right, in specified circumstances, to object to our use of your personal information, to request the deletion of your personal information or restrict its use, to request a copy of the information you have provided to us to use for your own purposes, or to lodge a complaint with the supervisory authority. If you have any questions about these rights, or you would like to exercise any of them, please contact our Privacy Officer.

Inquiries and Complaints
If you have any questions, inquiries 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 privacyofficer@blakes.com or via telephone at +1-416-863-2552.

Changes to This Policy
This privacy policy is effective as of the Effective Date below.  Blakes reserves the right to change this privacy policy at any time.  We will take reasonable steps to advise you of any changes to this privacy policy, including by posting the revised policy on our website.  We recommend that you review this privacy policy from time to time to obtain the current version.  You may contact us at the address, email address or telephone number above to obtain a current copy of this privacy policy.

Effective Date: May 25, 2018