Our Commitment to Privacy and Confidentiality
Robertson Stromberg LLP is a Saskatchewan law firm with a longstanding commitment to the protection of your privacy and confidential information. This commitment extends to our related organization RSP (Saskatoon) Legal Prof. Corp.
Consistent with the requirements of our profession we adhere to the duty to hold in strict confidence all information concerning the business and affairs of our clients gathered in the course of our professional relationship, and not to divulge such information unless expressly or impliedly authorized by the client, required by law, or otherwise permitted or required by the Code of Professional Conduct.
What is personal information?
Personal information is any factual or subjective information, recorded or not, about an identifiable individual.
Why do we collect personal information?
We provide legal services and products to a wide range of clients. In doing so, we collect personal information by fair and lawful means for the following limited purposes:
- To represent you as our client;
- To maintain communications with you;
- To provide you with information and services respecting the law.
How do we collect your personal information?
Wherever possible we collect your personal information directly from you, at the start of a retainer and in the course of our representation.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources: for example,
- your insurance company;
- your real estate agent in a property transaction;
- from a government agency or registry;
- your employer, if we are acting for you, at its request;
- your accountant;
- Your credit granting institution;
- Your medical caregivers.
In most cases, we shall ask you to specifically consent, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information. Normally, we ask for your consent in writing, but in some circumstances, we may accept your oral consent. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
Use of Your Information
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client (time and billing databases) and to provide you with information and services respecting the law. If you tell us that you no longer wish to receive information about our services, or about new developments in the law, we will not send any further material.
We do not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services. For example, we do not provide our client mailing lists to other law firms.
Disclosure of your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, we may be obliged, justified or permitted to disclose your personal information without your knowledge or consent. To illustrate these include:
- when we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example if a court issues a subpoena, warrant or order;
- where we believe upon reasonable grounds, that there is an imminent risk to an identifiable person or group of death or serious bodily harm;
- where it is alleged that a member, associate or employee of the firm is guilty of a criminal offence, civilly liable in a civil action or guilty of malpractice or misconduct;
- when the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your personal information to third parties (for example in litigation there is a duty to disclose relevant personal information) your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- if the collection use or disclosure is clearly in your interest and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way.
- where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
- if we retain other law firms in other jurisdictions, on your behalf;
- if the information is already publicly known;
- in which case we will not disclose more information than is required.
Updating Your Information
Since we use your personal information to provide legal services to you, it is important that the information 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.
Information Retention And Destruction
Upon conclusion of the work for which your personal information was collected, and payment of the account your file will be closed.
Consistent with time limitation requirements under the law, and recommendations from the Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association for the retention of files, the file will be retained in a secure setting until destroyed.
Generally files involving commercial finance transactions will be destroyed after fifteen years, and in all other cases after 8 years from the date of last work.
How Is Your Personal Information Secured?
We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect your information are:
- premises security, including locks, security cards and restricted access;
- restricted file access to personal information;
- deploying technological safeguards like security software encryption, and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- internal password and security policies;
- confidentiality agreements with third parties.
Access to Your Personal Information
You may ask your lawyer for access to any personal information we hold about you. If that is not satisfactory you may contact the firm privacy officer.
Summary information is available on request. More detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
If we hold information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, we will take reasonable steps to correct it. If the information cannot be changed your request and our decision will be noted in the file.
Exceptions to Access
We will endeavour to provide you with access to your personal information. However, in certain circumstances it may not be possible. In any case where we are unable to or cannot grant you access to personal information we will provide you with reasons on request.
Exceptions to access may include:
- Information that is prohibitively costly to provide;
- Information that has been destroyed;
- Information that contains personal information about a third party or is protected by solicitor client privilege, or would reveal confidential commercial information, and which cannot be severed from disclosure;
- For other legal and security reasons which relate to the enforcement of any law of Saskatchewan or Canada.
Communicating with Us
You should be aware that e-mail and cell phone communications are not 100% secure mediums, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
Requests for Access or Complaints
If you have any questions, or complaints or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Contact at:
Robertson Stromberg LLP
Suite 600 – 105 21st Street East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 0B3
Attention: Reynold Robertson, Privacy Officer (306) 933-1348
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
112 Kent Street,
Ottawa Ontario, K1A 1H3
Toll Free: 1-800-282-1376