Smart & Biggar LLP and Smart & Biggar IP Agency Co. (hereinafter “Smart & Biggar”) are committed to the proper management of the information of clients, others, and of all visitors to our website, in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements, including applicable privacy legislation, and consistent with our obligations as professionals.
What is “Personal Information”?
“Personal Information” broadly includes any information about an identifiable individual, but does not extend to information that is not personal information as defined or interpreted under applicable law, nor to information about our employees or partners.
We are responsible under applicable privacy legislation for the Personal Information in our possession or control. This includes Personal Information we receive directly, such as from individual clients or others, and Personal Information we receive indirectly.
Consent may be provided orally or in writing, or it may be implied, such as where you continue to provide Personal Information to us in the context of an ongoing relationship, or where you provide Personal Information to members of Smart & Biggar in connection with our service offerings. This includes Personal Information provided in the course of our representing you in litigation matters, which may require disclosure as part of the litigation proceedings. We will not, as a condition of supplying a service, require you to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of your Personal Information beyond that which is required to enable us to provide the service(s) requested.
You may refuse to give Personal Information and may, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice, withdraw your consent to the continued use and disclosure of Personal Information previously collected, by contacting our privacy officer, whose contact information can be found below. The period of reasonable notice will depend on the nature of the information. If you refuse or withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide you or continue to provide you with certain legal or other services.
Collection of Personal Information
What Personal Information We Collect
The types of Personal Information that we may collect include: your full name; residential address; telephone number; personal e-mail address; payment information; information about your legal requirements, affiliations, situation and interests; other information related to the provision of legal and agency services (such as, but not limited to, information about inventorship, witnesses, beneficiaries, directors, officers, employees, witnesses, adverse parties, parties in interest, investigators, decision-makers, experts, other professional advisors, clients’ business partners, investors, shareholders, competitors and customers), and any other information that you choose to provide to us.
We may also collect Personal Information about prospective employees, contractors and partners, from current or former employers or third parties, and from publicly available sources, that is reasonably required to form, manage or terminate a contractual or other relationship.
How We Collect Personal Information
Generally, we collect Personal Information that you provide voluntarily. However, in order to provide legal or agency services or for administrative, marketing, management or legal purposes, we may also collect information from third parties and/or public available records, where we or they have obtained the required consent, or as otherwise permitted or required by law. We may also collect information through our web site.
Where We Store Personal Information
Your Personal Information is stored in secured locations and on servers controlled by Smart & Biggar, either at our offices or at the offices of our service providers. To the extent that we enter into arrangements with third party service providers, agents and/or contractors to store, handle or process such Personal Information on our behalf, our policy will be to require such parties to provide comparable privacy protection while the information is stored, handled or processed by them, contractually or otherwise.
Our Purposes for Collecting, Using or Disclosing Personal Information
Generally, we collect, use, disclose and otherwise process Personal Information as necessary to offer and provide clients and potential clients legal and patent and trademark agency services and information and generally to fulfill our professional legal responsibilities and to manage our business, including for the following purposes:
- to form and manage client relationships, perform legal services, provide legal advice, fulfil legal duties and avoid conflicts of interest;
- to share Personal Information with third parties in order to provide legal services or representation. Such third parties may include opposing parties, parties in interest, opposing, foreign and other counsel or advisors, witnesses, courts, decision makers and experts;
- to represent clients in business transactions, including the purchase sale, lease, merge, amalgamation or any other type of acquisition, disposal, securitization or financing or other transaction;
- to form and maintain commercial relationships with clients, suppliers and other third parties, including issuing invoices, administering accounts, collecting and processing payments, and fulfill contractual responsibilities;
- to determine whether Smart & Biggar should form or remain in a solicitor-client, patent/trademark agent or other relationship with existing or prospective clients, suppliers and other third parties, including evaluating credit standing;
- to form, manage and terminate contractual and partnership relationships;
- to understand and address client, supplier and other third party needs and preferences, which include communicating with such parties and conducting market research and evaluating client service and satisfaction;
- to develop, improve, market, sell or otherwise provide Smart & Biggar products and services;
- to market, sell or otherwise provide products and services of third parties with whom Smart & Biggar has a commercial relationship;
- to circulate Smart & Biggar publications, invitations to events, and other informational material to individuals subscribed to our mailing lists;
- to develop and manage our databases and knowledge-management systems;
- to develop, manage and enhance Smart & Biggar’s business, operations and service offerings;
- to detect and protect against error, negligence, breach of contract, fraud, theft and other illegal activity, and to audit compliance with Smart & Biggar policies and contractual obligations;
- as permitted or required by any legal or regulatory obligations or provisions; and
- for any other purpose to which you consent.
As Smart & Biggar has offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal, we may share Personal Information between offices to perform legal services or for administrative, marketing, management or legal purposes.
If you send Personal Information through our web site, we may use it to assess web site use and traffic, and to respond to your feedback, questions and comments.
Limiting the collection, use, disclosure and retention of Personal Information
Wherever possible, we limit the amount of Personal Information we collect, use or disclose to that which is necessary and appropriate to provide our legal services, representation and to operate our firm business.
In accordance with regulatory requirements and professional standards, we keep records, which may include Personal Information, of the work performed and services provided by us. These records are stored with safeguards against inappropriate or unauthorized access (see Safeguards/Security below).
To the extent that we enter into arrangements with third party service providers, agents and/or contractors to store, handle or process such Personal Information on our behalf, we will not disclose more Personal Information that that which is required for them to fulfil the purposes for which they were retained.
We will retain Personal Information for as long as it is needed or is appropriate for the purposes for which it was collected or to comply with legal, regulatory and professional obligations. We may also be subject to legislative requirements regarding the retention of certain types of information.
When the Smart & Biggar website is visited, we may, for example, collect information, such as the type of Internet browser and operating system the individual uses, the date and duration of visit, the number of visits, the pages viewed and the number of cookies accumulated. We use this information to facilitate and enhance your online visits.
Visitors to our website may voluntarily submit Personal Information for purposes such as obtaining information, reviewing or downloading a publication, subscribing to a mailing list, or participating in contests and surveys. If you are known to us as a registered user, we may combine and store Personal Information about your use of our website and the online information you have provided, with certain types of other online or offline information we may have collected.
Occasionally, we may send marketing or promotion e-mails to you containing information that may be of interest or useful to you. In this process, we may collect certain information such as the date or time you first opened the e-mails, the number of times you open the e-mails and the click-through activity on the contents of the e-mails. We may analyze and store such information to improve our e-mails to you. Such e-mails will include instructions on how to unsubscribe from future marketing or promotional e-mails from Smart & Biggar.
Links (to other websites)
Smart & Biggar’s website may contain links to other websites which may collect Personal Information. We are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of other websites, and accordingly encourage all visitors to review the privacy policies of any and all external websites.
We are committed to protecting the security of your Personal Information. We protect Personal Information in our possession from loss, misuse and unauthorized access by using physically secure facilities, standard security practices and well-defined and -organized internal policies and practices. We will advise you at the first reasonable opportunity upon learning of an incident where your Personal Information is lost, stolen, accessed, used, disclosed, modified or disposed of by unauthorized persons or in an authorized manner.
That being said, most methods of communication are not fully secure and security measures may create challenges to efficient communication. Email is often our preferred method of communication, and unless you object we usually use unencrypted emails when communicating with you. As a client if you prefer to communicate via a more secure channel we do have the capability to implement a TLS connection to support email encryption to and from your environment and may do so upon your written request.
Access to and Accuracy of Your Personal Information
You can ask to view your Personal Information, however, please note that your rights to access to the information are not absolute. For example, we may not provide access to Personal Information about you, if it is intermingled with Personal Information of others, if it is privileged, if it includes confidential information, or if it is otherwise not properly the subject of an access request.
In order to maintain a professional level of service, we may occasionally ask you to update your Personal Information or preferences. Alternatively, you may request corrections to be made where you can show that the information we possess is inaccurate. You are responsible for ensuring that the information you have provided is truthful, accurate, reliable and complete, and does not infringe the rights of others.
If you wish to access, verify or update your Personal Information, or have concerns relating to your access to or to the accuracy of your Personal Information, you may contact our Chief Information Officer whose contact information can be found below. Clients are encouraged to direct such requests or concerns to their lawyer. We will respond to such requests or concerns within a reasonable timeframe.
Chief Information Officer
Chief Information Officer
v. 1.0 – August 2019