All organizations in Alberta engaged in commercial activities are required to comply with the Personal Information Protection Act (the “Act”). The Act regulates the way private sector organizations in Alberta collect, use, keep, secure and disclose personal information. Smith & Little LLP appreciates the value of privacy and the sensitivity of personal information received in the course of providing legal services. As a professional service provider, Smith & Little LLP has professional and ethical obligations to keep confidential the information Smith & Little LLP receives in the context of a lawyer-client relationship.
“Personal Information” means all information about an identifiable individual. In order to be able to give legal advice and provide legal services, Smith & Little LLP requires access to all relevant facts and information that relate to the retainer and to the representation of clients. This information will necessarily include personal information about clients and about individuals other than clients.
Consent to Collection of Personal Information
In most cases, Smith & Little LLP obtains your implied consent to collect, use and disclose your personal information. By retaining Smith & Little LLP for legal advice or representation, an individual consents to the necessary collection, use or disclosure of the individual’s personal information in order for Smith & Little LLP to properly advise and represent the individual. Usually, if you retain Smith & Little LLP, Smith & Little LLP assumes your implied consent to the collection and use of your personal information, however, at times Smith & Little LLP may ask for your express consent, either orally or in writing. Generally, your personal information is collected directly from you at the start of or during the course of your retainer with Smith & Little LLP. It is Smith & Little LLP’s policy to collect information about individuals other than clients in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
Use of Personal Information at Smith and Little LLP
Smith & Little LLP uses your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to issue invoices and to maintain a client database. In addition, if you apply for a position with Smith & Little LLP, Smith & Little LLP will use your personal information to assess your candidacy. It is not the practice of Smith & Little LLP to send you unsolicited marketing information.
Withdrawal of Consent
You may withdraw your consent to Smith & Little LLP’s collection, use and disclosure of your personal information at any time in writing, subject to any restrictions in law or contract and upon reasonable notice. Your withdrawal of consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information may impact the ability of Smith & Little LLP to represent you and provide you with legal advice.
Disclosure of Personal Information
Generally, Smith & Little LLP does 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 of where Smith & Little LLP may disclose your personal information: such disclosure is necessary to collect fees or disbursements; expert witnesses or other law firms are engaged on your behalf; Smith & Little LLP contracts with a third party to provide certain services such as archival file storage or insurance. In such cases, Smith & Little LLP will use contractual or other means to ensure the third party service provider is bound by obligations regarding privacy which are consistent with this policy.
Accuracy of Your Personal Information
It is important that the information Smith & Little LLP has on file be accurate and up-to-date. If, during the course of the retainer, any of your information changes, please inform Smith & Little LLP so any necessary changes can be made. You may be asked from time to time whether your personal information is up-to-date.
Smith & Little LLP uses various safeguards to ensure that your personal information is protected against loss, theft, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying or alteration. These safeguards include: security of physical premises; professional obligations; security software and firewalls to prevent unauthorized computer access; and internal passwords that restrict access to electronic files. Smith & Little LLP cannot guarantee that unauthorized persons will never be able to overcome these safeguards.
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, Smith & Little LLP will notify you in writing of the reason for the denial.
To request access or to amend your personal information, please contact Christine N. Little at the address provided below. Smith & Little LLP will respond within the timelines stipulated in the Act.
Smith & Little LLP will respond to inquiries about its policies and practices relating to its handling of your personal information. Inquiries should be directed to the address provided below.
Smith & Little LLP
Suite 2410, 645 7th Ave SW
Calgary AB T2P 4G8
403 999 1650
If any complaint or inquiry is not handled to your complete satisfaction, you may contact:
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (Calgary)
Suite 2460, 801 6 Avenue SW
Calgary AB, T2P 3W2
Phone: (403) 297-2728
Fax: (403) 297-2711
Toll Free: 1-888-878-4044
If you have any questions about any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact Smith & Little LLP for clarification.