I. Objective

The objective of this Privacy Policy is to set out how personal information shall be collected, used, disclosed, and destroyed by the law firm of Meighen Haddad LLP.

II. Values

Meighen Haddad LLP takes its responsibility with respect to the personal information of its clients very seriously. Consistent with its obligation pursuant to the Manitoba Law Society’s Code of Professional Conduct and the Personal Information and Protection of Electronic Documents Act (Canada) Meighen Haddad LLP recognizes that it has a responsibility to collect only that information which it requires to give service to its clients, to do so with the express knowledge and consent of its clients, to use the information in a fashion consistent with the consent given by its clients, and to store and ultimately destroy the information when no longer required.

III. Definitions

“Client” means a person, corporation, partnership, association, or organization that has retained the professional services of the lawyers of the Firm.

“Client File” means the file opened and maintained by the Firm for the purpose of providing representation to a client, and includes both a physical paper file as well as documents stored on our servers, in which case the information is maintained in a clearly identifiable client sub-folder.

“Employee” means a person who is employed by the Firm as an associate or a staff person.

“Firm” means Meighen Haddad LLP, its partners, its associates and its staff.

“Personal Information” means any information about an identifiable information and includes name, age, mailing address, residential phone numbers or e-mail addresses, personal history (including financial and credit information, donations, personal health information, billing history, personal family and relationship matters, penal or criminal information), personal information related to corporate involvements, work experience (past and present), discipline, income and other benefits, medical records, tax records, and security clearances. Personal Information however may not include your name, business title or business address and business telephone number in your capacity as an employee of an organization/enterprise.

“Personnel File” means the file maintained in our bookkeeping department containing employee Personal Information.

IV. Collection of Personal Information

Personal Information will only be collected by fair and lawful means, and will include information you provide to us, information that the client specifically authorizes us to collect, and personal information that is provided to us by opposing parties and third parties. When we are retained by a client we will discuss with the client the types of information that will be required to represent the client and obtain the client’s consent for collection of the Personal Information. As matters proceed, the client’s consent may be sought for the collection types of information not originally contemplated. As a general rule we will collect only that information which is required to properly, fully, and completely represent the client to the best of our abilities. Third parties who may provide Personal Information will include, but not be limited to, witnesses, service providers, references and other persons that we need to contact to provide services to and for our clients, to establish, manage or terminate an employment relationship, or for administrative or management requirements.

V. Use of Personal Information

We will collect and use Personal Information for the purpose of providing the services for which our clients retain us. In the case of employees of the Firm, we collect personal information for the purpose of reporting to the CRA, HRSDC, and our benefit providers, and for the purpose of establishing, managing, or terminating an employment relationship.

With respect to clients the use to which personal information may be put is extensive, examples including:

  1. Obtaining the advice or assistance of other members of the firm, in which case, the other members of the firm are aware that the information is Personal Information governed by this Policy.
  2. For the registration of documents in Land Titles, the Court of Queen’s Bench, the Personal Property Registry, the Corporations Branch, and any other publicly maintained registry whether in Manitoba or elsewhere.
  3. Obtaining reports, financial information, or personal health information.
  4. Confirming that we are not in a conflict when our advice and representation is sought by other clients.
  5. Administration, billing, accounting and collection purposes in relation to the client’s business and relationship with the firm.
  6. Protecting against fraud and error.
  7. Communicating the information to a subcontractor (or other agents or intermediaries) in the course of a contract or mandate for the performance of the services provided by the firm with respect to employees, decision making regarding hiring, duties, transfer, training, discipline, promotion, and retention, and in the case of lawyers (when applicable), access to the partnership and eligibility for participating in benefit plans, and personal or maternity leave, and the receipt of short or long term disability payment and the managing of such participation, and recording and maintaining attendance records, service awards, performance evaluation and remuneration.
  8. Any use permitted or required by law.

With respect to client Personal Information, the information will be stored in a Client File, and Employee Personal Information shall be stored in the Personnel File.

We may use contact information in order to provide clients and others with publications, notices of seminars and other communications that may be of interest that the Firm puts in place or publishes.

VI. Disclosure of Personal Information

We identify to the client and/or employee for what purpose the Personal Information will be disclosed. In addition to the uses noted above, Personal Information may be disclosed:

  1. to any of our offices for services rendered to and for clients; to establish, manage or terminate an employment relationship, and for administrative or management requirements, including building and maintaining the Firm’s expertise and experience;
  2. to other professional firms, government agencies and any other organizations/enterprises, when required for services to and for clients, as well as for compliance and insurance obligations;
  3. to third party service providers with whom we have a contractual agreement, which have comparable levels of privacy protection, for the processing related to services rendered to and for clients, to establish, manage and terminate an employment relationship, and for administrative or management requirements (such as, in all cases, for photocopying, printing and faxing, shredding, storage and other document management, payroll, I.T., including software and hardware maintenance, consulting and staffing services, investigations and searches, independent expert matters, collection, bailiffs and services).
  4. such other disclosures of Personal Information to such persons for which the client/employee provides consent; and
  5. as otherwise permitted by law.

When supplementary disclosure is required we will identify (at the time we collect such information from the client and obtain the requisite consent to such disclosure, unless otherwise permitted by law) the other persons/organizations/enterprises and the other purpose to whom and for which disclosure may occur.

VII. Consent

Except when otherwise permitted by law, we obtain the requisite consent prior to collecting and, in any case, prior to using or disclosing Personal Information for any purpose. Such consent may be provided orally or in writing. We will obtain the consent as soon as possible and normally at the time of being retained. There may be situations where consent is implied or intrinsic to the circumstances such as in the case where the client has already provided Personal Information to us and maintains its relationship with us or where the client provides our Firm with a phone number so that they may be contacted by us. Except where otherwise permitted by law we will only use the information for the purpose for which is was given.

Consent to use the Personal Information may be withdrawn by a client/employee at any time (unless withdrawing the consent would frustrate the performance of legal obligations), and upon providing us with a 30-day notice. However, the withdrawal of consent may impact the Firm’s ability to serve the client and maintain the solicitor client relationship.

In certain circumstances, as permitted or required by law, we may collect, use or disclose Personal Information without your knowledge or consent. These circumstances include (where applicable): Personal Information which is subject to solicitor-client privilege; information on individuals which is publicly available; where collection or use is clearly in the interest of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way; to investigate a breach of any agreement or a contravention of a law; to comply with a subpoena, warrant, court order or as otherwise required or permitted by law.

VIII. Protection of Privacy

In order to protect the privacy of Personal Information we:

  1. Ensure that any third parties who may have access to or receive Personal Information are aware of the requirements of Privacy and have in place policies and procedures for the protection of Personal Information comparable to those of the Firm.
  2. On at least an annual basis remind each of our employees of their obligations under this Policy.

IX. Limiting Principles

The Firm only collects the Personal Information necessary to fulfil the purposes identified to the client/employee prior to or at the time of collection, or any other reasonable and legitimate purposes or as required by law.

The Firm does not, as a condition of supplying service to a client, or of establishing, managing or terminating an employment relationship, or as an administrative or management requirement, require consent to the collection use or disclosure of personal information beyond that required for such purposes, or to comply with its obligations under applicable law.

The Firm does not use or disclose Personal Information, except for the purposes for which it was collected, or new purposes to which consent has been obtained, or as otherwise permitted or required by law.

X. Retention of Personal Information

We will retain Personal Information, including any work product, in the applicable file specific to the client/employee. We will utilize, disclose or retain Personal Information for as along as necessary to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected and as required or otherwise permitted by law. Upon the closing of a file we will return to you any Personal Information which is no longer required for us. However, we will retain information in order to comply with audit requirements of the Law Society and to preserve documents until the expiration of any applicable limitation periods, or for such time as required by law. We will put in place a maximum time period for the retention of Personal Information, following which the Client File will be destroyed.

XI. Access to Personal Information

Subject to the exceptions provided by the applicable law, we will make available to the client/employee any specific Personal Information that we have collected, utilized or disclosed, upon the written request of the person to whom it relates. We will make such information available in a form that is generally understandable and will take the time to explain the information to the client/employee, if required.

Subject to the requirements of the Manitoba Law Society Professional Code of Conduct and the law, where the Client asks that the Client File be forwarded to another law firm, the Firm shall forward all correspondence, documents provided by the Client, court documents, and any other information required by the new law firm for the purpose of providing seamless and continuous service to the client with minimal interruption.

Any request to access the information should be directed to the lawyer retained and, if the response is unsatisfactory, to the Privacy Officer identified below.

We reserve the right to ask that the Client/Employee provide satisfactory identification establishing that they are the individual to whom the Personal Information relates.

XII. Accuracy of Personal Information

The Firm will endeavour to use reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of Personal Information. Upon learning of any inaccuracies it will take steps to correct the Personal Information and upon learning of changes will update the Personal Information as required. The client/employee must inform the Firm, as soon as reasonably possible, of any changes to the Personal Information provided to us.

Where a client/employee believes their Personal Information is inaccurate they may ask that we provide the Personal Information currently on file to verify its accuracy and, inform us in writing, of any changes. If the client/employee successfully demonstrates that the Personal Information held by the Firm is inaccurate, the Firm will correct the Personal Information and, if necessary, advise any third parties to whom the Personal Information has been communicated of any changes.

XIII. Response Times

Upon receiving a request for access to Personal Information we will endeavour to respond within 30 days and, within a period no longer than an additional 30 days, provide access. If we cannot comply with the time limits we will advise the client/employee of that fact with reasons and provide a time frame during which a response may be filed. Any such response will include the contact information for the appropriate privacy authority in the event that the client/employee wishes to make a complaint.

XIV. Fees for Access

Reviewing the Client File or Personnel File is free of charge. In the event that the client/employee requests copies fees consistent with what would normally be charged clients for copies and transmission of documents shall be assessed.

XV. Safeguards

The firm has taken appropriate measures to ensure the security of personal information. Only the firm, and any subcontractors, who have entered into a contract with us, which includes a clause for the safeguarding of personal information, have access to the personal information. Files are always maintained within a locked building. All members of the firm are routinely made aware of their obligations with respect to the protection of personal information. External access to our computer network is protected through the use of passwords and virtual private networks which employ encryption.

XVI. Contact Information

All complaints or other inquiries regarding Personal Information or the Firm’s Privacy Policy and Practices should be forwarded to our Privacy Officer as follows:

Meighen Haddad LLP          
110-11th Street          
Brandon, Manitoba R7A 4J4          
           
Attention: David E. Swayze Toll Free:  1-800-628-7960   Telephone:  (204) 725-8766
  Email:  dswayze@mhlaw.ca   Fax:  (204) 726-1948