PRIVACY POLICY

Melekhovets Law recognizes the importance of privacy and the sensitivity of personal information, and as such, we are committed to protecting the personal information we collect, use and disclose in the course of providing legal services, in accordance with all applicable regulatory requirements, including applicable privacy legislation and consistent with our professional obligations. This Privacy Policy outlines how we manage your personal information and safeguard your privacy and it supplements our professional obligations of client confidentiality.


Your Privacy Rights

As of January 1, 2004, all Ontario organizations engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, also known as PIPEDA.

Melekhovets Law is responsible for the personal information we collect and hold. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy, and trained our lawyers and support staff about our policies and practices.


Why does Melekhovets Law need personal information?

Melekhovets Law collects personal information from you to:

  • provide legal services to you;
  • bill your legal fees when rendered;
  • provide information to you about developments in the law;
  • and advise you of upcoming firm events, or market our legal services to you, help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of clients and prevent money-laundering;

What personal information do we collect?

Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. In general, personal information does not include business contact information, including your name, title or position, business, telephone or facsimile number. The information we collect may go beyond contact information, and include financial and medical information, criminal history information, and so on. The type of information we collect depends on the nature of your case and the investigations that are required. Melekhovets Law limits the collection of personal information to the amount and type of information necessary for the purposes we identify.

If we did not collect and use your personal information, we could not provide you with legal services.


How do we collect your personal information?

We collect information only by lawful and fair means, and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Wherever possible we collect your personal information directly from you, both at the start of a retainer and in the course of our representation.

Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources, for example:

  • your insurance company;
  • your real estate agent in a property transaction;
  • from a government agency or registry;
  • your employer, if we are acting for you, at its request;
  • professionals, for example, your accountant, doctor etc;
  • your family and friends;
  • witnesses;
  • opposing counsel.

Consent

Generally, we will obtain your consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information about you, and the consent of individuals where required by applicable privacy legislation. We assume that you have consented to our reasonable collection and use of personal information consistent with the purposes for which the information was given, when you initiate contact with us or voluntarily provide personal information to us. We also assume that clients who retain us, or individuals involved in proceedings or matters opposite or adverse to our clients, consent to the reasonable collection, use and disclosure of their personal information by us and agents for purposes of our representation or provision of legal advice to our clients. Consent may be obtained in writing, orally and may be expressly given or implied.

Melekhovets Laws’ standard retainer confirms our client’s consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information during the course of the retainer.

You may withdraw consent at any time, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice. If you wish to withdraw your consent at any time, please contact the Privacy Officer in the manner set out below. We will inform you of the implications of withdrawing consent.

As lawyers, we are subject to professional and ethical obligations and we do not disclose personal information subject to solicitor-client privilege unless the privilege is lawfully waived or we are required by law to do so.


Use of Your Information

We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client databases (time and billing databases), and to include you in any direct marketing activities. If you tell us you no longer wish to receive information about our services, we will not send any further material.

Melekhovets Law does not disclose your information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services. For example, we do not provide our client mailing lists to other law firms. However, we do use the services of third party marketing firms to help us find clients and we take no responsibility for their actions regarding personal information.

Melekhovets Law will retain and use personal information for as long as may be necessary to complete our retainer, fulfill our professional responsibilities, satisfy our requirements to the Law Society of Ontario and our insurers, and as may be required for the maintenance of our marketing activities.


Disclosure of Your Personal Information

Under certain circumstances listed below, Melekhovets Law will disclose your personal information:

  • when we are required or authorized by law to do so (for example, we are obliged to disclose your information if a court issues a subpoena);
  • when you have consented to the disclosure, expressly or by implication;
  • when its disclosure is necessary in the litigation or other matter about which we have been retained;
  • when the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties (for example, for the purpose of obtaining a medical opinion and in such cases, your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise);
  • where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
  • if we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (for example, computer back-up services, archival file storage, or our auditors) and the third party is bound by our privacy policy;
  • if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
  • if we retain other law firms at your request, and on your behalf;
  • if the information is Publicly Available Personal Information, as it is defined under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

Updating Your Information

Since we use your information to provide legal services to you, it is important that the information be accurate and up to date. If during the course of the retainer, any of your information changes, please inform us so that we can make the necessary changes.


Is My Personal Information Secure?

Melekhovets Law takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect your information are:

  • premises security;
  • restricted file access to personal information;
  • deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
  • internal password and security policies;
  • procedures for the destruction of personal information when it is no longer required including shredding and the formatting of electronic media.

Access to Your Personal Information

You may ask for access to any personal information we hold about you. However, more detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursements fees.


Correcting Errors

If Melekhovets Law holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete or up-to-date, Melekhovets Law will take reasonable steps to correct it.


Can I be denied access to my personal information?

You rights to access your personal information are not absolute. We may deny access when:

  • it is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record containing personal information about you is protected by solicitor-client privilege by one of our clients);
  • the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you;
  • to do would prejudice negotiations with you;
  • to do so would reveal confidential commercial information, and the personal information cannot be severed from the record;
  • granting you access would have an unreasonable impact on other people’s privacy;
  • to do so could reasonably be expected to threaten the life or security of another individual, and the personal information cannot be severed from the record;
  • the information was generated in the course of a formal dispute resolution process;
  • to protect our firm’s rights and property; or
  • the request is frivolous or vexatious.

If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain our reasons for doing so. Melekhovets Law does not use your social insurance number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold upon you.


Can I request anonymity?

Whenever it is legal and practicable, we may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquires without providing your name (for example, by accessing general information on our website). The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act requires us to confirm the identity of all new clients. It may also require us to disclose information to FINTRAC (Financial Transactions Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) in relation to certain large cash transactions.


Communicating with Us

You should be aware that email and on-line form submittal is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information. Melekhovets Law does not take any responsibility for personal information collected by third party marketing firms.


Website and Tracking Technologies

On our website, like most other commercial websites, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information in order to optimize our web service. We may provide aggregate information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.

We reserve the right to use “cookies” and other tracking technologies on our website. Cookies are small elements of data placed on your devices when you visit a website in order to track use of the website and to improve your user experience. Melekhovets Law, may from time to time, collect personal information about you and your use of the website through the use of cookies as outlined above. Some browsers can be set to reject all cookies; if you choose to modify your browser in this manner, not all features offered through our Website may remain available.

Tracking technologies may record information such as Internet domain and host names, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, browser software and operating system types, clickstream patterns, and dates and times that our website is accessed. We do not link the information we record using tracking technologies to any personal information you submit while on our website. However, we reserve the right to use IP addresses and other tracking technologies to identify a visitor only when we feel it necessary to enforce compliance with the website’s policies, to protect the website, our customers, or others, or when we believe in good faith that the law requires it.


Links to Other Sites

Our website contains links to other sites, which are not governed by this privacy policy.


Changes to this Privacy Policy

Since Melekhovets Law regularly reviews all of its policies and procedures, we may change our Privacy Policy from time to time.


Requests for Access

If you have any questions or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Contact:

Privacy Officer

2000-393 University Avenue

Toronto, ON M5G 1E6

Canada

info@melekhovetslaw.com

If you are not satisfied with our response you may contact the Privacy Commissioner of Canada at:

112 Kent Street

Ottawa, ON K1A 1H3

Canada