As of January 1, 2004, all law firms must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“the Act”). The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
Hill Sokalski Walsh LLP understands the importance of your personal privacy. We have an ethical and professional obligation to keep confidential all information we receive from our clients which is governed, in part, by the Law Society of Manitoba Code of Professional Conduct and applicable laws.
To ensure that your rights to privacy are protected, Hill Sokalski Walsh has developed this policy which outlines how we manage your personal information and safeguard your privacy.
Personal Information is any information which identifies you or by which your identity could be deduced and may include the following:
- contact information: name, address, telephone number, email address, fax number;
- photocopies of government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license;
- depending on the nature of the issue for which legal services are provided, information about your family, employment status, business affairs, financial affairs and property ownership.
Personal information does not include the name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization.
Purposes for Collecting Personal Information
Hill Sokalski Walsh provides legal services and products to a wide range of clients. We collect information about the client’s legal issue including anything the client might have done or said that might affect this legal situation, so that we can advise the client as to their legal rights and responsibilities, their options for addressing the issue and then to carry out their instructions.
In the course of providing legal advice to clients, we may also collect personal information about non-clients who have dealings and disputes with our clients.
Collection of Your Personal Information
We do not collect information in an unreasonably intrusive way. Wherever possible we collect your personal information directly from you, at the start of a retainer and in the course of our representation. Occasionally, we may obtain information about you from other sources, for example:
- your insurance company;
- from a government agency or registry
- your employer, if we are acting for you, at its request; or
- your accountant.
In most cases, we will ask you to specifically consent, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information. Normally, we ask for your consent in writing, but in some circumstances, we may accept your oral consent. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
Use of Your Information
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you and to administer our client records (time and billing databases), to comply with audits of our trust accounts by the Law Society of Manitoba.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, Hill Sokalski Walsh will disclose your personal information:
- when we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example if a court issues a subpoena;
- when you have consented to the disclosure;
- when the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties, your consent will be implied, unless you instruct us otherwise.
Hill Sokalski Walsh does not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services.
Updating Your Information
Your personal information is used to provide legal services to you and it is important that it be accurate and up-to-date. If during the course of our retainer any of your information changes, please inform us so that we can make any necessary changes.
Maintaining Security of Your Personal Information
Hill Sokalski Walsh takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Steps taken to protect your information include:
- premises security;
- technological safeguards such as security software and firewalls to prevent hacking;
- internal password and security policies.