What is personal information?
Canadian privacy legislation defines “Personal Information” broadly as information about an identifiable individual or as information that allows an individual to be identified. For the purposes of this policy, Personal Information means information about an identifiable individual as defined from time to time in applicable privacy legislation. The types of Personal information that Harris, Sheaffer may collect about you includes your name, home address, telephone number, personal e-mail address, billing and account information, information about a client’s legal issue and other information incidental to providing legal advice and services. Personal Information is to be contrasted with business information such as your name, title or position, business address, telephone number, facsimile number or e-mail address. Business information is not covered by privacy legislation.
Why do we collect your Personal Information?
In general, Harris, Sheaffer collects, uses and discloses Personal Information about our clients in order to provide our clients with professional legal services. More specifically, we collect, use and disclose your Personal Information for the following purposes:
1. To establish and manage client relationships, provide legal advice, perform legal services, fulfil legal duties, and avoid conflicts of interest. This may include the sharing of Personal Information by and between Harris, Sheaffer personnel;
2. To establish and maintain commercial relationships with clients, including to issue invoices, administer accounts, and to collect and process payments;
3. As permitted by, and to comply with, any legal or regulatory requirements or provisions; and
4. For any other purpose to which you consent.
The collection of Personal Information is limited to only that which is necessary for these purposes. We do not use Personal Information to sell to direct marketing agencies or provide it to anyone outside the firm.
To whom do we disclose your Personal Information?
From time to time, Harris, Sheaffer may disclose your Personal Information to:
1. Our insurers and to regulatory agencies such as provincial law societies, insurers or others in connection with regulatory or other activities relating to the obligations of Harris, Sheaffer and its practice of the profession of law;
2. A person who, in the reasonable judgment of Harris, Sheaffer is providing or seeking the information as your agent; and
3. Any third party or parties, where you consent to such disclosure or where disclosure is required or permitted by law.
When Personal Information must be disclosed?
Notwithstanding our commitment to protecting our client’s Personal Information, there are some limited instances where we are obliged to disclose information without consent. These are the following:
1. Where the information is known to the public; and
2. Where required by law or by order of a tribunal.
In such circumstances, we will not disclose more information than is required.
Where do we store your Personal Information?
Your Personal Information is stored in secured locations and on servers controlled by Harris, Sheaffer located at our offices.
How may you obtain access to your Personal Information?
Upon your written request, subject to certain exceptions, Harris, Sheaffer will inform you of the existence, use, and disclosure of your Personal Information and will give access to that information. Access requests should be sent to our Chief Privacy Officer, using the contact information below.
How do we protect your Personal Information?
To help protect the confidentiality of your Personal Information, Harris, Sheaffer employs administrative and technological safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of your Personal Information. A number of measures are taken to ensure the security of our client’s Personal Information. These include the following:
2. Our firm restricts the collection of Personal Information to that required for the purposes noted above ;
3. Once Personal Information is no longer required for the purposes noted above and under the rules of the Law Society of Upper Canada, it is destroyed in due course;
4. Paper information is under supervision.
Requests for access and challenging compliance
We welcome any requests to verify the accuracy of the Personal Information we have, and the identity of any parties to whom we may have had reason to disclose the information. Should any of our clients wish to make a complaint about our privacy practices, we invite them to notify our Chief Privacy Officer or contact any of our professionals who have assisted in serving them. We will investigate all complaints and provide a timely written response. Should any complaint be found to be justified, we will take appropriate measures to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the client.
Harris, Sheaffer LLP
Chief Privacy Officer
4100 Yonge Street
Tel: (416) 250-5800
Fax: (416) 250-5300
For more general inquiries, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of privacy legislation in the private sector. The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be contacted at:
112 Kent Street
phone: (613) 995-8210