GGS Law respects your privacy by meeting or exceeding standards set by law. Our privacy commitment is based on the ten principles of the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information, all of which are enshrined in law in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada) (“PIPEDA”).
This privacy commitment adopts the definition of personal information from PIPEDA: “personal information” means information about an identifiable individual, but does not include the name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization.
In most cases where GGS Law is called upon to handle personal information, it is in the course of providing legal services to you and is on your behalf. In other cases, we handle personal information as agents for our clients. This privacy commitment applies to all collection, use and disclosure of personal information about current, past and prospective clients by GGS Law. It does not apply to third-party personal information that GGS Law handles when it acts as an agent for a client.
Our obligations as legal professionals are also subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct that govern each of our professionals as members of Law Societies. As lawyers we have a professional obligation to keep confidential all information we receive within a lawyer-client relationship. We are committed to protecting any personal information we hold.
Why does GGS Law collect personal information?
GGS Law collects personal information in order to provide legal services and products to you. In addition, we distribute publications and offer seminars concerning legal developments, which we provide as a service to you and others in the business community.
How do we collect your personal information?
GGS Law collects personal information only by lawful and fair means, and only collects personal information that is reasonably necessary for the legitimate purposes identified and for which consent has been obtained. Whenever possible, we collect your personal information directly from you or from persons you have requested to provide us with such information.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources including:
- Government agencies or registries;
- Accountants or other professional advisors;
- Real Estate Agents;
- Financial institutions;
- Insurance companies;
- Credit bureaus;
- Other third parties who represent that they have the right to disclose the information.
How do we use your information?
GGS Law may use your personal information for the following purposes:
- to provide legal services;
- for billing, record-keeping and other client contact and service matters;
- to assess new clients’ eligibility for credit;
- for audit and record-keeping purposes;
- for account collection purposes;
- to manage and develop our business and operations;
- to learn about the needs of current and potential clients, to develop or offer services and product tailored to those needs and to communicate with those clients regarding current and future products and services;
- to follow up on client comments and suggestions.
Disclosure of your personal information
GGS Law will only disclose your personal information for the legitimate purposes identified to you and for which consent has been obtained, or if required or authorized by law. For example, we may disclose your information:
- when the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties (for example a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction);
- where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
- if we retain other law firms in other jurisdictions on your behalf;
- if a court issues a subpoena;
- if we engage a third party to provide administrative services for our benefit, in which case we shall use contractual or other means to protect the personal information that is being provided to the third party.
Consent and exceptions
GGS Law recognizes the importance of obtaining consent where required by law for collection, use and disclosure of your personal information. For the purpose of obtaining your consent, GGS Law will consider the following:
- we may obtain your consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your information either expressly for stated purposes or impliedly when the purposes are not stated expressly but are indicated by the relevant circumstances or follow logically from other expressly stated purposes;
- for the consent to be informed, we will make reasonable efforts to advise you of all the purposes for which the personal information is being sought, unless the purposes are plain and obvious;
- we will make reasonable efforts to obtain consent for all anticipated purposes at the time of the collection of the personal information;
- we will obtain additional consent if we propose to use your personal information for a purpose for which express or implied consent was not initially obtained;
- we will not, as a condition of the supply of a product or service, require you to consent to the collection, use, or disclosure of information beyond that required to fulfill the explicitly specified purposes; and
- you may withdraw or amend any consent previously given by contacting any of our Privacy Officers, subject to any legal or contractual restrictions and upon reasonable notice to us.
The law provides certain exceptions to the usual requirement to obtain an individual’s consent, for example:
- when collection and use is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way;
- in emergencies;
- where consent would compromise investigating a breach of contract or law;
- to collect a debt;
- to comply with rules of court relating to the production of information;
- in other circumstances where permitted or required by law.
Keeping your personal information secure
GGS Law uses appropriate security measures to protect against loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, use or modification of personal information. Such measures will vary depending on the sensitivity, amount, format, nature and storage of the personal information and will involve, as applicable, physical, organizational and electronic security measures, including premises security, restricted file access, technological safeguards including security software and firewalls to prevent unauthorized computer access, and password and security policies.
In communicating with us, you should be aware that email is not a fully secure medium.
Updating your information and correcting errors
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 any of your information changes, is inaccurate or incomplete, please inform us so that we can make any necessary changes.
Access to your personal information
GGS Law will respond promptly to any request for access to your personal information. There will be no cost for reasonable requests to such access, unless you request copies of records or your request involves significant retrieval costs. We will advise you of the cost, if any, prior to the retrieval of such records or information. We will not respond to requests for access to personal information that are frivolous, vexatious or repetitious.
In certain circumstances, we may be unable to provide access to some or all of the personal information that we hold about you. Such circumstances include those in which the personal information cannot be separated from the records of others, cannot be disclosed for reasons of personal security or commercial confidentiality or is protected by professional standards relating to confidentiality or solicitor-client privilege.
Questions, concerns or requests for access
If you have any questions or concerns, wish to access your personal information or wish to change your preferences regarding our use of your information, please contact us.
GGS (Green Germann Sakran) is a law firm with a long tradition of excellence in serving its clients with a combined experience of more than 70 years. GGS Law providing Real Estate Lawyers, Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyers, Corporate and Commercial Lawyers, Family Law Lawyers, Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Lawyers. Serving Burlington, Milton, Guelph, Mississauga, Hamilton.