Since January 1, 2004, all organizations collecting, using or disclosing personal information in Canada in the course of commercial activities have been required to comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information, which it incorporates. In addition, as a professional services Firm, we have professional and ethical obligations to keep confidential the information we receive in the context of a lawyer-client and agent-client relationship.
What Is Personal Information?
“Personal information” means any information about an identifiable individual, but does not include the name, title, business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization. Essentially, personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced, including such information as your address, age, name, gender, ID numbers, income and ethnic origin.
In the course of providing legal services, we will need to collect personal information from our clients as well as from various other third parties, including financial advisors, accountants, other legal advisors, consultants, government agencies or registries, parties involved in a transaction, and employers.
Consent to Our Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
You may withdraw your consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information at any time, subject to legal and/or contractual restrictions and upon reasonable notice. However your withdrawal of consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information may affect our ability to represent and provide legal advice to you, your company or organization.
What Information Do We Collect?
We collect information in relation to clients, potential clients and others, generated in the course of our practice, and depends upon the information and services requested. However, subject to applicable law, it may include:
name, address, e-mail address, and full contact details
nature of the client or potential client’s legal issue and other incidental information relating to the services we provide;
financial, credit, billing and other account information,
information about individuals we collect in the course of acting for clients, including personal information about employees of clients, referrals and consultants;
information about you contained in verbal, written or electronic communications with us; and
information we may collect with your consent or as permitted or required by law.
Why We Collect Personal Information?
Meretsky Law Firm uses your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our legal practice (such as time and billing databases) and to include you in direct marketing activities.
Generally we collect your personal information directly from you at the start of or during the course of your retainer with Meretsky Law Firm; however, we may also obtain personal information about you from other sources, such as:
other individuals within your company or organization, where we are representing the company or organization;
your insurance company;
your financial institution;
your real estate agent in a property transaction;
your legal counsel in another jurisdiction, if we were retained through the other law Firm;
from a government agency or registry;
your employer, if we are acting for you; or
Disclosure of Personal Information
Generally, we do not disclose your personal information to third parties without your consent unless permitted or required by applicable law. There are some situations in which we may disclose your personal information without your consent. For example:
when we are required or authorized by law to do so;
where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
if the information is already on the public record and the disclosure is directly related to the purposes for which it was recorded on the public record;
when you have consented to the disclosure;
when the legal services we are providing to you requires us to give your information to third parties (for example a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction), in which case your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
if we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (like computer back-up services or archival file storage);
if we retain other law Firms in other jurisdictions, on your behalf; or
if the information is already publicly known.
In some cases, your consent will be implied. For example, when the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to a third party (such as to a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction in which we are representing you) we would rely on your implied consent to the disclosure. If we are required to contact our insurers in connection with a claim that you have against us, we will assume that we have your implied consent to the disclosure of your personal information to the insurer.
Accuracy of Your Personal Information
Since we use your personal 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 any necessary changes.
Security of Personal Information
We use various administrative and technological safeguards to ensure that your personal information is protected against loss, theft, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying or alteration. These include: security of our physical premises; our professional obligations; security software and firewalls to prevent unauthorized computer access or "hacking"; and internal passwords that restrict access to our electronic files.
Accuracy of and Access to Personal Information Collected
Meretsky Law Firm makes every effort to keep personal information as accurate, complete, current and relevant as necessary for the purposes of providing legal services to clients. At the written request of an individual to our privacy compliance officer, he or she may view or edit their personal information as collected by Meretsky Law Firm. We will inform such individual of what personal information Meretsky Law Firm has about them, what it is being used for and, in cases where it has been disclosed, to whom it has been disclosed. The right of access to personal information is not absolute, and access may be denied in various circumstances:
we are required or authorized by law to do so;
the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against such individual;
the granting of access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others;
the granting of access would prejudice negotiations with the client;
in order to protect the rights and property of Meretsky Law Firm; or
in the event that the request is frivolous or vexatious.
If access to personal information is denied, we shall explain the reason(s) behind such refusal to the client or employee, as applicable.
Wherever it is legal and practicable to do so, we may be able to deal with general inquiries without disclosing personal information. The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (Canada) requires us to conFirm the identity of all new clients and may require disclosure of information in respect of certain large cash transactions.
To make a request, please send a letter, email or facsimile addressed to our Privacy Compliance Officer at the address indicated below with the name and contact details of the individual requesting disclosure, as well as the nature of the request. We will reply to the request by no later than thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the request, or if we are unable to respond within this time period, we will send a notice of extension.
Like most other organizations, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information. Our website server will automatically collect IP addresses, and we may use a browser feature called a “cookie” to optimize your visit to our website. You may set your browser to turn cookies off during your use of any website and, in any event, when you close your browser the cookie is deleted. We do not link your IP address or cookies to other personally identifiable information.
By accessing and browsing our website, you agree that we may collect, use and disclose any personal information collected about you through our website as described in this Policy.
If you have any questions or complaints about this Policy or the handling of your personal information, if you wish to withdraw your consent to our use of your personal information, or to request access to or update any information we have on file, please contact the lawyer or agent with whom you are dealing, or contact:
Meretsky Law Firm
121 King Street West, Suite 2150
Toronto ON M5P 3T9
Tel: (416) 943-0808
Fax: (416) 943-0811
Last Updated: 2023