Hammerco Lawyers is a British Columbia law firm that provides legal services in a variety of practice areas including personal injury, business law, wills, estate and commercial litigation, real estate law, class actions, and wills, estates, and trusts.
Since January 1, 2004, all Canadian organizations engaged in 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 incorporated by reference into PIPEDA. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including Hammerco Lawyers.
In addition, an Act respecting the Protection of Personal Information in the Private Sector has been in force in Quebec since 1994 and sets out rules regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information within that province.
Lastly, 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.
Personal information is defined in PIPEDA as 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 other words, it does not include the information that one expects to find on a business card.
Consent to Our Collection of Personal Information
In most cases, we obtain your consent to collect, use, and disclose your personal information. Usually, if you retain our firm, we assume that we have your implied consent to our collection and use of your personal information, however, at times we may ask for your express consent, either verbally or in writing.
Generally, we collect your personal information directly from you at the start of or during the course of your retainer with our firm. Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources such as a government registry or other professionals who serve you.
Use of Personal Information at Hammerco Lawyers
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to issue invoices and to maintain our database of clients. In addition, if you apply for a position with Hammerco Lawyers, we will use your personal information to assess your candidacy.
Lastly, we may use your contact information (name, email, and postal address) so that we may communicate with you about recent developments in the law, keep you informed of Hammerco Lawyers news and invite you to our firm events.
Withdrawal of Consent
You may withdraw your consent to our collection, use, storage, and disclosure of your personal information at any time, subject to legal and/or contractual restrictions and upon reasonable notice. Your withdrawal of consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information may impact our ability to represent you and provide you with legal advice.
You can ask us not to send you marketing communications by following the opt-out instructions in each communication or you may let us know by contacting our administrative department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure of Personal Information
Generally, we do not disclose your personal information to third parties without your consent unless permitted or required by applicable laws or court orders. The following are some examples where we may disclose your personal information: such disclosure is necessary to collect fees or disbursements; we contract with a third party to provide us with certain services such as archival file storage, outsourcing of data processing and storage such as but not limited to externally hosted or “cloud” computing resources and services, or insurance.
In such cases, by providing data and information to us you acknowledge and consent to such data and information being stored by us or third party service providers in Canada or elsewhere as long as the same privacy protection exists as under PIPEDA. In addition, we will use contractual or other means to ensure third party service providers are bound by obligations regarding privacy which are consistent with this policy; or we engage expert witnesses or other law firms on your behalf.
Accuracy of Your Information
It is important that the information that we have on file 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. We may also ask you from time to time whether your personal information is up-to-date.
Hammerco uses various 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.
Access to your Personal Information
You have a right to challenge the accuracy and completeness of your personal information and to have it amended, as appropriate. You also have a right to request access to your personal information and receive an accounting of how that information has been used and disclosed, subject to certain exceptions prescribed by law.
For example, if the requested information would reveal personal information about another individual, your request for access may be limited or denied. If your request for access is denied, Hammerco Lawyers will notify you in writing of the reason for the denial.
To request access or to amend your personal information, please contact the lawyer or agent with whom you normally correspond or write to our Privacy Contact at the address below. Hammerco Lawyers will respond within thirty (30) days of receipt of your written request.
Hammerco Lawyers will respond to inquiries about its policies and practices relating to its handling of your personal information. Inquiries should be directed to Hammerco Lawyer’s Privacy Contact using the contact information below.
Hammerco Lawyers will investigate all complaints and will respond within 30 days of receipt of a written inquiry. If the complaint is found to be justified, Hammerco Lawyers will take appropriate measures to resolve it, including, if necessary, amending this Policy and its procedures.
Legal Opinions and Reference Letters
Legal opinions and reference letters (including references of good standing, financial references or other types of reference) which appear to have been written by or on behalf of Hammerco Lawyers in connection with one of our clients, staff or partners, or in connection with a client matter or other legal matter must be verified with us.
If you receive a letter, email or other communication setting out a legal opinion or reference letter in a manner that suggests that it is from our firm, please contact our office (and specifically the person identified as the writer of the communication) to verify the authenticity of the communication before placing reliance on the contents of the communication.
Information Collected through this Website
We may collect information as submitted by you through the website. This includes inquiries about our services and about people and job opportunities at Hammerco Lawyers. We also track website usage statistics such as the number of pages you visit, which pages you visit, the referring search engine and search engine terms entered into the website. In addition, our website server automatically logs IP addresses, but we do not link the IP addresses to other personally identifiable information.
How Information is Collected through this Website
Hammerco Lawyers uses Google Analytics to track general statistics about which pages are visited (or not visited) on our site. This enables us to edit the site to be as relevant as possible for our visitors. We do not track identifiable information about individuals visiting the site, unless they have submitted a request for us to contact them via an email or submission form enquiry.
Information collected through the website is used for internal purposes only. Other than Google Analytics non-identifiable website usage information which is viewed by Hammerberg Lawyers’ external marketing agency (which agency is bound by the provisions of a confidentiality agreement to keep these analytics confidential), no information collected via our website is passed to any outside source unless we are required to do so via court order. In addition, we may view the IP log, for example, to maintain the security of our website.
Where We Keep Your Personal Information
Personal information we collect is stored and processed by us primarily in Canada, regardless of your country of residence. We also use third party service providers, including payment processors and technology partners, to provide the infrastructure required to provide our Services. Those service providers may store and process personal information in Canada, the United States and other jurisdictions. Personal information provided to third parties outside of Canada is subject to the laws of those jurisdictions and may not be afforded the same legal protections that are available in Canada. In those cases, we will put appropriate contractual and other controls to protect your personal information, as required by applicable laws.
By providing us with your personal information, you consent to the transmission, processing and storage of your personal information in these countries.
We are committed to complying with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.
Where we have your consent or it is lawful to do so, we may provide you with direct communications about general legal issues which may be of interest to you. Such information may be sent to you by email or post.
If you do not wish to receive further materials about our Services and legal developments or if you do not wish to receive further invitations to seminars and functions, you may unsubscribe or ask us not to contact you for these purposes by contacting us by email or by one of the other means listed below under the heading “Contacting Us”.
Security – this can replace the “safeguards” section that currently exists
We have implemented reasonable physical, organization and technological security processes designed to protect the personal information in our control. Technological and operational policies and procedures are in place to protect personal information from misuse, loss and unauthorized modification or disclosure. We will dispose of personal information where it is no longer necessary to fulfil the purposes for which the information was collected, in accordance with our documented retention policy or as required by law.
Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed as completely secure. While we strive to protect such information, including using a third party provider (with encryption technology) to process account payments on our Website, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information transmitted to us over our Website.
We may retain your personal information as long as is necessary in order to manage our relationship with you (or fulfill the purposes for which it was collected), in accordance with our documented retention policy or as otherwise permitted by law. The length of time we retain personal information varies and may extend beyond the end of your relationship with us.
And we should change the “consent to our collection of personal information” and “withdrawal of consent” sections that currently exist to:
It is important to us that we collect, use or disclose your personal information only where we have your consent to do so or as provided in this Policy. Depending on the sensitivity of the personal information, your consent may be express, implied or deemed. Express consent can be given orally, electronically or in writing. Implied consent is consent that can reasonably be inferred from your action or inaction. Deemed consent is consent we assume in the event that you do not exercise an opt-out mechanism offered to you. If you choose to provide any personal information to us, we assume that you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information as outlined in this Policy
Consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by us may be implied by the fact that you have engaged us to provide legal services, where the collection, use and disclosure of personal information relates to the performance of those services. If you provide personal information about another person to us, we assume you have the consent of that individual to enable us to collect, use or disclose their information as described in this Policy.
If you do not consent, please do not provide your personal information or, where applicable, exercise the opt-in or opt-out options offered. You may change or withdraw your consent at any time, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice, by contacting us by email or one of the other means listed below under the heading “Contacting Us” set out below. Note that if you withdraw your consent to certain uses of your personal information, we may no longer be able to provide some or all of our Services.
We may also collect, use or disclose your personal information without your consent, for example, to collect a debt you owe to us or to comply with applicable laws or court orders.
We assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that by receiving a copy of this Policy or by continuing to deal with us, you have consented to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information as explained 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:
Attention: Managing Partner
#400 – 2233 Columbia Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
If any complaint or inquiry is not handled to your complete satisfaction, you may contact:
Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Toll free: 1.800.282.1376
Commission d’acces a l’information du Quebec
480 St. Laurent
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Toll free: 1.888.528.7741
Please check back from time to time to ensure you are aware of our current policy.
Last updated: July , 2022