We are committed to the proper management of the personal information of clients and others, and of all visitors to our website (the Site) that we collect, use and disclose in the course of business.
Controlling the collection, use and disclosure of personal information is an ongoing process. We will continue to review our personal information management practices and improve them as necessary to better protect the privacy of individuals.
Personal information means any information about or that can be used to identify you as an individual, including information in your résumé or about your employment, the matter about which you retained or contacted us, your account with us and any other information that you choose to provide to us.
By providing us with your personal information, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of that information as described in this Policy.
We will not, as a condition of supplying a service, require you to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information beyond that required to enable us to provide the services requested. The form of the consent that we will seek before collecting, using or disclosing personal information may vary depending upon the circumstances and the type of information, and includes express oral or written consent, implied consent and opt-out consent. We will consider the sensitivity of the information and the individual’s reasonable expectations in determining how consent must be given.
You may refuse to give personal information and may, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice, withdraw consent at any time to the continued use and disclosure of personal information previously collected. The period of reasonable notice will vary depending on the nature of the information and its purpose to us. We will inform you of the implications of refusing or withdrawing consent, which may have legal consequences or preclude us from providing legal or other services.
If you provide us with the personal information of another individual, you represent and warrant that you have the authority to do so, including where applicable that you have obtained the necessary consent of the other person for us to collect, use and/or disclose their personal information.
We will not collect personal information indiscriminately. We will limit the amount and the type of information we collect to that necessary to fulfill the purposes we have identified to you, or as otherwise permitted or required by law. We may also collect information about your business and business interests or your personal interests to better serve you and foster our relationship.
We collect and use personal information:
to determine whether we can act for or against you, including to identify conflicts of interest;
to offer and provide legal services to you and to communicate with you about our firm and our services;
to administer our client records and to bill for our services;
to fulfill our legal and professional obligations; and
as permitted or required by law or for purposes for which you otherwise provide your consent.
When possible, we will collect personal information from you directly. However, to provide legal services to clients or for legal, administrative, marketing or management purposes, we may also collect personal information through outside sources such as credit bureaus, government agencies or institutions, employment and other references, employers and service providers.
Certain information may be collected on the Site through various technologies, described below, without your actively providing the information.
Our website is hosted on servers shared with an Internet service provider (ISP). Any personal information collected on our behalf by the ISP, such as server log data (see below), is managed in accordance with this Policy and is protected by applicable law.
Certain information about Internet users’ traffic patterns is passively and automatically collected and linked to users’ Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses. These unique IP addresses are assigned to all Web users by their ISPs, and are automatically logged by Internet servers. While the IP address itself does not identify an individual, it may, in appropriate circumstances such as an investigation of a security breach, be used with the cooperation of the ISP to locate and identify an individual using the website.
In the normal course of establishing and maintaining Internet connections, our servers automatically log information about visits to our website. Server logs record statistical information, such as a visitor’s IP address and type of operating system, the time and duration of visit and Web pages requested. The server logs also identify categories of visitors by items such as domain and browser type. These statistics are reported in aggregate form to us and are used to improve our website and ensure that it provides the optimal online experience for visitors.
We do not link server log information to any other data in a way that would enable us to identify individual visitors, except for security purposes, as discussed above.
Like many other websites, our Site makes use of “per session” and “persistent” cookie technology. Cookies are small text files that contain a unique identification number that are automatically deposited on a visitor’s computer. Per session cookies track information during an open session and are stored only temporarily in your computer’s memory. Persistent cookies are deposited on a visitor’s computer until they expire or until the visitor deletes the cookies. Information from these cookies help us analyze traffic patterns to the Site, including the total number of visitors, the geographical location of the visitor, and the types of Internet browsers (e.g., Google Chrome or Internet Explorer) and operating systems (e.g., Windows or Macintosh) that our visitors use. We use this information to facilitate and enhance your online visits. We do not cross-reference this information with any type of personal information that is voluntarily offered through the Site.
The Site also uses third party vendor tracking cookies, including the Google AdWords tracking cookie. This means we will show ads to you across the Internet, specifically on the Google Display Network. We do not collect personal information through the use of Google’s or any other third party system. Rather, the third party vendors will place cookies on web browsers in order to serve ads based on past visits to our website. This allows us to continue to market our services to those who have shown interest in our firm.
We use personal information only as described in this Policy or as otherwise disclosed to your or permitted or required by law. Before your personal information is used or disclosed for a new purpose, we will ask for your consent unless use or disclosure without your consent in the circumstances is otherwise permitted or required by law.
We generally use personal information about clients for the provision of legal advice, including obtaining and carrying out client instructions, reporting and communicating with clients, billing and accounting, and protecting against fraud, illegal activities or error. We may also use your personal information to maintain our knowledge management system, to manage our business, and to engage in business transactions. We may also use personal information to send you newsletters about our services or about legal developments that we think would interest you and to invite you to client functions, seminars and sporting or cultural events.
If you send personal information through our Site, we will use it to assess website use and traffic, and to respond to your feedback, questions and comments.
We disclose personal information only as described in this Policy, with your consent, or as otherwise permitted or required by law. To provide legal services, we may sometimes disclose our clients’ personal information to third parties, including foreign agents and government or regulatory agencies.
We may disclose personal information to third parties when it is necessary to do so to provide legal services to you – for example, when we engage an expert or consultant on your behalf in a matter or when we retain another law firm or agent to act or assist us on your behalf;
to service providers, inside or outside Canada, retained by us to assist us with marketing or other services, including technical support and mailing. We limit the service provider’s right to use the personal information only for the services it provides to us, and we require the service provider to maintain the confidentiality of the personal information and to take steps to protect the security of the personal information we give it where you have instructed us to disclose your personal information to a third party for a designated purpose. Personal information provided to third parties outside of Canada is subject to the laws of those jurisdictions outside of Canada;
to third parties to assist us in evaluating your creditworthiness or to collect debts outstanding on an account;
to anyone who we reasonably believe is your agent;
to our insurers and to regulatory agencies in connection with regulatory or other activities relating to the obligations of Torys and its professional responsibilities in relation to the practice of law; and
to third party or parties, where you consent or where such disclosure is required or permitted by law.
Your personal information may be processed, accessed and/or stored in Canada or another jurisdiction, and will be subject to the laws of that jurisdiction.
We will retain information, including personal information, for as long as it is needed for the purposes for which it was collected. For example, if you send us personal information electronically to apply for employment with us, we will retain your personal information for a reasonable period to permit future consideration for employment. We may also be subject to legislative requirements regarding the retention of certain types of information.
We use the standard safeguards of the legal profession to protect the security of personal information in our possession, including physical, organizational and technological measures.
You can ask to view your personal information in writing. You can request that corrections be made where you can show that the information we possess is inaccurate. Please note that under certain circumstances, you may not be permitted access; for example, where the disclosure of your records would cause security, legal or confidentiality concerns.
The Site may contain links to other websites. While we try to link only to websites that share our standards and respect for privacy, we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of other websites. We strongly encourage all Site visitors to review the privacy statements and policies of all external websites.
Changes to This Policy
We may amend this Policy at any time. We will post the Policy as amended on our website and will take reasonable steps to inform you of any amendments.