Your Privacy Rights
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information, which it incorporates. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including Higgerty Law. That Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information. Higgerty Law must also comply with the Personal Information Protection Act of Alberta which also protects your personal information. Higgerty 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 Higgerty Law Need Personal Information
Higgerty Law provides legal services and products to a wide range of clients. In doing so, it
produces direct marketing materials concerning its services and developments in the law.
What personal information do we collect?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be
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 health care service providers;
- parties against which you may make a claim for compensation and their insurers and lawyers;
- your insurance company;
- from a government agency or registry;
- your employer, if we are acting for you, at its request;
- your accountant.
In most cases, we will not ask you to specifically consent, if we collect, use, or disclose your
personal information in the normal course of representing you on a solicitor-client basis.
Use of Your Information
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client (time and billing databases) and to include you in any direct marketing activities. If you tell us that you no longer wish to receive information about our services, or about new developments in the law, we will not send any further material.
Higgerty Law does not disclose your personal 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.
Disclosure of your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, Higgerty Law 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 reasonably entails giving your information to third parties, such as claims assessors, co-counsel, opposing counsel and parties and their insurers, to the Court, for litigation or settlement negotiation purposes, all for which we have your implied consent, subject to an implied undertaking of Confidentiality by the recipient whenever applicable;
- if you provided it as a registrant for an actual or anticipated Class Action posted on our Website(s), for the advancement or settlement of such Action, subject to an implied undertaking of Confidentiality by the recipient whenever applicable;
- to contact you about your registration with us or about our services;
- where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- 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 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.
Is My Personal Information Secure?
Higgerty 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.
Access to Your Personal Information
You may ask for access to any personal information we hold about you. Summary information is available on request. More detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
If Higgerty Law holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, Higgerty Law will take reasonable steps to correct it.
Can I be denied access to my Personal Information?
Your 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);
- to do so would reveal confidential commercial information, and the personal information cannot be severed from the record;
- 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; or
- the information was generated in the course of a formal dispute resolution process.
If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain why. Higgerty 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 inquiries without providing your name (for example, by accessing general information on our website). The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act Act requires us to confirm the identity of all new clients. It may also require us disclose information to FINTRAC in relation to certain large cash transactions. The Law Society of Alberta (www.lawsociety.ab.ca) also has rules to which we are bound to follow.
To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money-laundering, we may – with your consent – request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
Communicating with Us
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
Since Higgerty Law regularly reviews all of its policies and procedures, we may change our
Requests for Access
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please write to our
Privacy Contact/Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to #101, 440 - 2nd Avenue
SW, Calgary AB T2P 5E9.
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached
112 Kent Street, Ottawa Ontario, K1A 1H3 1-800-282-1376.
and the Alberta Privacy Commissioner can be reached at:
https://www.oipc.ab.ca/ Suite 2460, 801 6 Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 3W2
or #410, 9925 - 109 Street Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J8
If you apply to Higgerty Law for a job, we need to consider your personal information, as part
of our review process. We normally retain information from candidates after a decision has
been made, unless you ask us not to retain the information. If we offer you a job, which you
accept, the information will be retained in accordance with our privacy procedures for employee