What information do we collect?
We collect and hold personal information so that we can provide professional services to our clients and so that we can operate and market our legal practice. We collect and hold information such as:
- contact information including residential and postal addresses, mobile or telephone numbers and email addresses
- information about your current occupation including employer and salary
- billing and credit card information
- other personal information necessary to help us with your legal matter such as personal health information, information about your children and government issued identifiers such as Tax File Numbers
Other types of personal information that we collect and hold include:
- information and details of other people involved directly or indirectly in legal transactions or matters of which we:
- are currently involved
- have been involved
- are considering becoming involved in
- from time to time, depending on the nature of the legal matter or transaction:
- health information of individuals
- sensitive information of individuals
We only collect personal information that is actually needed for us to provide you with legal services. We generally explain why we are collecting your personal information and how we plan to use it. Our ability to provide you with legal services may be impacted if the personal information requested is not provided to us.
How do we collect information?
There are various ways we collect information:
- client information sheets
- in the course of meeting with our clients
- correspondence from you or third parties
- court documents or other publicly available sources
- via our website
- during meetings with you or talking to your directly
- via “Contact Us” or “Enquiry” or “Get Started Online” forms on our website
If it is reasonable and practical to do so, we collect personal information about you only from you. Given the nature of the services that we provide, we may have to collect personal information about you from a third party and if so, we will where necessary, take reasonable action to notify you or make sure that you are aware that we are holding personal information about you as well as how we will use and disclose this information and that you may contact us to gain access to and correct and update it.
Third parties we may contact to collect personal information include:
- public searches
- other professional advisors, including accountants, financial planners, financiers, insurance advisers, brokers or other advisers
- medical practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists and other experts
It may not always be necessary for us to notify you. This will be the case where doing so would mean a breach of our legal professional privilege or obligations of confidence. Any personal information submitted via one of our online forms will be processed by one of our employees working from our office located in Maroochydore. By submitting personal information via one of our online forms, you automatically consent to the disclosure of that information to someone at our firm.
Why do we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information?
We are bound by professional obligations of confidentiality and legal professional privilege including as prescribed by the Australia Solicitors’ Conduct Rules. Where these obligations apply, we treat information that we receive and hold (including personal information) in accordance with our obligations.
We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information to provide or offer legal services to you and to comply with relevant laws and regulations. Other reasons include the following purposes of:
- providing information on our services or products
- providing information on matters which may affect you or someone you know
- operating a legal practice
- marketing our products and services or opportunities which you may be interested in
We may also use and disclose personal information about you:
- for purposes necessary or incidental to the provision of legal services
- to send you direct marketing material, client updates or event invitations
- where the use or disclosure is required or authorised by law
- where you have given us your consent (express or implied)
- to avoid, lessen or prevent a serious emergency or crime
If we use or disclose personal information about you in those circumstances we will make a written record of such use or disclosure.
We aim to keep all personal information strictly confidential. There may be times when providing legal services to you that we need to disclose personal information to other third parties, such as law firms involved in your matter, barristers and mediators, valuers and conveyancers, government departments and courts. The personal information we provide to such parties will depend on the circumstances requiring disclosure of that personal information and will not always be the same because of this.
Cross border disclosure of information
We may disclose personal information to overseas recipients where:
- the overseas recipient is a party to the matter for which you have instructed us
- we have engaged an overseas recipient to provide services to us, such as cloud based storage solutions
These countries in which such recipients are located will depend on the nature of the services being provided by us and the particular matter involved. We will, where practicable, advise you of the countries in which overseas recipients are likely to be located.
The use of overseas service providers to store personal information will not always involve a disclosure or personal information to that overseas provider. However, by providing us with your personal information, you consent to the storage of such information on overseas services and you acknowledge and agree that Australian Privacy Principle 8.1 will not apply to the extent that such storage constitutes a cross border disclosure.
How do we maintain personal information and its security?
We maintain personal information in physical records (both at our office and at our storage facility) and as electronic records on a cloud based storage facility.
We take reasonable action to hold all hard copy and electronic records of your personal information in a secure way to ensure that it is protected from misuse, loss and interference and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Where your personal information is no longer required by us for a valid purpose or needed to be kept by law, we will destroy or de-identify your personal information.
Personal information we collect may also be used to send automated emails. Such correspondence is automated by Settify. It is your responsibility to ensure that the personal information you have provided to our firm for such correspondence is secure and only accessible by you alone.
What do you do if you want to access and correct your personal information?
You may request to access or correct your personal information if you think that it is erroneous, incomplete, out-of-date, unrelated or misleading. A reason is not needed when you make a request.
We do not charge a fee for a request to update or correct your personal information but a small fee may be charged by us for providing access to your personal information if it involves a substantial amount of time to collect or locate it or to present it in a suitable form.
The Privacy Act 1988 allows us to deny you access in some situations. This may include circumstances where providing the personal information would constitute a breach of our obligations of confidence or legal professional privilege. If we do not allow you access to your personal information or we are not able to make your requested amendments, a reasonable explanation for doing so will be provided to you.
You must notify us of any change to your personal information to ensure it is up to date, accurate, complete, relevant and not misleading.
We endeavour to update your personal information promptly after you notify us that it requires correction to keep it up to date, complete, relevant and not misleading.
Personal information will not be used by our firm for the purpose of direct marketing.