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
We collect this information directly from clients and potential clients, or indirectly with their consent or where permitted by law. 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, pronouns, address, 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 collect this information directly from our Service Providers, or indirectly with their consent or where permitted by law. 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:
How We Disclose and Share Your Information
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, including our affiliates like Blakes Services Inc., 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 Québec, Canada or the EEA, please contact our Privacy Officer.
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:
To enter and perform a contract with you or to perform any steps you require from us before entering into a contract.
To pursue our legitimate business interests in establishing, managing or concluding our business relationship with you.
Where you have specifically consented to us processing your personal information.
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 [email protected] 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
Access, Correction and Other Rights
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.
Depending on your jurisdiction, 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 [email protected] or via telephone at +1-416-863-2552.
Changes to This Policy
Effective Date: September 11, 2023