James H. Brown and Associates LLP recognizes the importance of privacy and the sensitivity of personal information. As a law firm, we have a professional obligation to keep confidential all information we receive from our clients, unless clients direct us otherwise. We are committed to protecting all personal information we hold. This Privacy Statement outlines how we manage personal client information and safeguard our clients’ privacy.
As of January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities in Alberta must comply with the Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”) of Alberta and the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPDEA”). PIPA is applicable to lawyers and law firms, including James H. Brown and Associates LLP. PIPA gives clients rights concerning the privacy of personal information. Most client information is still subject to solicitor and client privilege and PIPA does not abrogate nor limit this privilege.
Personal information is any information that identifies a client, other than the client’s business contact information. In Alberta, business contact information is office addresses, job titles, business phone numbers, email addresses, fax numbers and other related business contact information that is not considered personal information.
We collect personal information for the purpose of serving our clients’ legal needs and advancing their interests. We do so using lawful and fair means. We sometimes will obtain information from third parties about our clients in order to provide the best legal services possible. When we make directed requests for a client’s sensitive personal information from a particular organization or business, we will obtain your consent. Whenever possible we will collect personal information directly from our clients. Depending on the legal services provided, with client consent, we may obtain personal information from the following non-exhaustive list of individuals and organizations:
We may ask for client consent at the start of our retainer with the client or during the solicitor and client relationship. Client consent may be in writing, verbal or implied as necessary to further a client’s needs. Our practice is to request a client’s written or express verbal consent, provided the client’s identity is authenticated.
If a client volunteers to provide relevant personal information either verbally or in writing, we assume that the client is consenting to the collection, use and disclosure of the client’s personal information in a reasonable manner.
Under certain circumstances, we will disclose a client’s personal information without consent if:
When we release personal information about a client, it is done to serve specific needs in the course of providing legal services. We do not disclose or sell clients’ personal information or business contact information to third parties wishing to market their products or services. With a client’s consent, we may provide information to:
We take steps to ensure that client information is accurate and up to date. Clients have the right to request a correction of their personal information held by the firm. We rely on the client to provide us with accurate and up-to-date personal and business information for the purposes of providing the client with legal services and to maintain contact with the client.
Clients may request access to the personal information we have about them. The request must be in writing and be directed to our firm’s privacy officer (identified below). We will charge a reasonable fee for retrieval and copying of a client personal information. If the retrieval, copying or client request is extensive, we will notify the client of the fee prior to retrieval and copying.
There are exceptions to a client’s right to access his or her information. By law, our firm must deny a client access to his or her personal information when:
If our firm denies a client’s request for access to personal information, then we shall explain the reasons for denying the request.
In order to protect each client’s personal information, we take the following steps:
We may review and change our Client Privacy Statement from time to time in order to update our privacy commitment to our clients and to keep current with respect to privacy laws.
Clients should contact our firm’s Privacy Officer if:
For further information, please contact:
Our firm’s Privacy Officer
James H. Brown & Associates LLP
2400 Sun Life Place
10123 – 99 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3H1
Phone: 780-428-0088 (toll-free at 1-800-616-0088)