Privacy Policy

This Policy sets out the practices of Chernos Flaherty Svonkin LLP (CFS) and its affiliates (including CFS Management Co. Ltd.) regarding the personal information that we collect, use and disclose.

What Is Personal Information?

Personal information is any information about or that can be used to identify you as an individual. Ordinarily it will not include most information that might appear on a business card or information that is available in public records. It does not include corporate information such as your business address or business telephone.

Principles

When collecting, using and disclosing your personal information we follow these principles:

  1. We are accountable for personal information under our control.
  2. The purpose for collecting personal information is identified at or before the time it is collected.
  3. We obtain your consent before collecting, using or disclosing your personal information, except where otherwise permitted or required by law.
  4. We limit the personal information we collect to that which is necessary for us to conduct business.
  5. The personal information we collect is only used, disclosed or retained for its original intended purpose (unless you provide your consent to a different use or disclosure) and we retain it only as long as necessary for those purposes.
  6. We take care to ensure that the information we have is accurate.
  7. We safeguard the privacy of your personal information through security measures.
  8. We are open with you about our policies and practices related to managing your personal information.
  9. Upon request, we provide you with access to your personal information, subject to any limitations imposed by law.
  10. We address your concerns. If you have questions or concerns regarding your privacy or this Policy please contact us as described below.

Collection and Use of Personal Information

We collect and use personal information:

  • to determine whether we can act for or against you, including to identify conflicts of interest;
  • to offer and provide legal services to you;
  • to administer our client records and to bill for our services;
  • to fulfill our legal and professional obligations;
  • to better serve you and to enhance our relationship with you and to communicate with you about our firm and our services; and
  • as permitted or required by law or for purposes for which you otherwise provide your consent.
We will generally collect personal information from you directly. However, in the course of providing legal services to clients or for legal, administrative, marketing or management purposes, we may collect personal information through outside sources such as credit bureaus, government agencies or institutions or through other third parties such as employment and other references, employers and service providers. Before your personal information is used or disclosed for a new purpose, we will ask for your consent unless use or disclosure without your consent in the circumstances is otherwise permitted or required by law.

Consent

By providing us with your personal information, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of that information as described in this Policy. The form of the consent that we will seek may vary depending upon the circumstances and the type of information, and includes express oral or written consent, implied consent and opt-out consent. We will consider the sensitivity of the information and the individual’s reasonable expectations in determining how consent must be given.

You may refuse to give personal information and may, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice, withdraw consent at any time to the continued use and disclosure of personal information previously collected. The period of reasonable notice will vary depending on the nature of the information and its purpose to CFS. CFS will inform you of the implications of refusing or withdrawing consent, which may have legal consequences or preclude CFS from providing legal or other services.

If you provide us with the personal information of another individual, you represent and warrant that you have the authority to do so, including where applicable that you have obtained the necessary consent of the other person for us to collect, use and/or disclose their personal information.

If you send personal information through our Site, we will use it to assess website use and traffic, and to respond to your feedback, questions and comments.

Commercial Electronic Messages

We may distribute legal and other publications to people on our mailing lists, who can elect to receive materials on one or more subject matters. We may distribute such materials by e-mail and other forms of commercial electronic messages. At any time, you may change your preferences or unsubscribe from our mailing lists.

Disclosure of Personal Information

We disclose personal information only as described in this Policy, with your consent, or as otherwise permitted or required by law. We have a professional obligation to maintain the confidentiality of information that we receive within a lawyer–client relationship. To provide legal services, we may sometimes disclose our clients’ personal information to CFS’ affiliates and to third parties, including foreign agents and government or regulatory agencies. We may disclose personal information:

  • to third parties when it is necessary to do so to provide legal services to you – for example, when we engage an expert or consultant on your behalf in a matter or when we retain another law firm or agent to act or assist us on your behalf;
  • to service providers, inside or outside Canada, retained by CFS to assist us with marketing or other services, including technical support and mailing. We limit the service provider’s right to use the personal information only for the services it provides to us, and we require the service provider to maintain the confidentiality of the personal information and to take steps to protect the security of the personal information we give it where you have instructed us to disclose your personal information to a third party for a designated purpose. Personal information provided to third parties outside of Canada is subject to the laws of those jurisdictions outside of Canada.
  • to third parties to assist us in evaluating your creditworthiness or to collect debts outstanding on an account;
  • to anyone who we reasonably believe is your agent;
  • to our insurers and to regulatory agencies in connection with regulatory or other activities relating to the obligations of CFS and its professional responsibilities in relation to the practice of law;
  • in connection with a business transaction involving CFS; and
  • to third party or parties, where you consent or where such disclosure is required or permitted by law.

Retention of Personal Information

CFS will retain information, including personal information, for as long as it is needed for the purposes for which it was collected. CFS may also be subject to legislative requirements regarding the retention of certain types of information.

Protection of Personal Information

We use the standard safeguards of the legal profession to protect the security of personal information in our possession, including physical, organizational and technological measures.

Your Access to Your Personal Information

You can ask to view your personal information by writing to our Privacy Officer, whose address is at the end of this Policy. You can request that corrections be made where you can show that the information we possess is inaccurate. Please note that under certain circumstances, you may not be permitted access for example, where the disclosure of your records would cause security, legal or confidentiality concerns.

Internet Server Provider

Certain other information may be collected on the Site through various technologies, described below, without your actively providing the information. Our website is hosted on servers shared with an Internet service provider (ISP). Any personal information collected on our behalf by the ISP, such as server log data (see below), is managed in accordance with this Policy and is protected by applicable law. Certain information about Internet users’ traffic patterns is passively and automatically collected and linked to users’ Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses. These unique IP addresses are assigned to all Web users by their ISPs, and are automatically logged by Internet servers. While the IP address itself does not identify an individual, it may, in appropriate circumstances such as an investigation of a security breach, be used with the cooperation of the ISP to locate and identify an individual using the website. In the normal course of establishing and maintaining Internet connections, our servers automatically log information about visits to our website. Server logs record statistical information, such as a visitor’s IP address and type of operating system, the time and duration of visit and Web pages requested. The server logs also identify categories of visitors by items such as domain and browser type. These statistics are reported in aggregate form to us and are used to improve our website and ensure that it provides the optimal online experience for visitors.

Cookies

Our Site may make use of "per session" cookie technology. Per session cookies are small text files that contain a unique identification number that is automatically deposited on a visitor’s computer. These cookies track information during an open session and are stored only temporarily in your computer’s memory. This information helps us determine the total number of visitors to the Site on an ongoing basis and the types of Internet browsers and operating systems that our visitors use. We use this information to facilitate and enhance your online visits. We do not cross-reference this information with any type of personal information that is voluntarily offered through the Site. The use of cookie technology is common on the Internet, and many Internet browsers are initially set to accept cookies automatically. If you would prefer not to accept cookies, you can set your Internet browser to notify you when your computer is receiving a cookie or to refuse cookies automatically. To readjust your Internet browser’s cookie options, please refer to the instruction documentation of your particular browser or seek online assistance.

Changes to This Policy

We may amend this Policy at any time. We will post the Policy as amended on our website and will take reasonable steps to inform you of any amendments. We will obtain the necessary consents required under applicable privacy laws if we seek to collect, use or disclose your personal information for purposes other than those to which consent has been obtained unless otherwise required or permitted by law.

More Information About CFS' Privacy Practices

Please contact CFS' Privacy Compliance Officer (pflaherty@cfscounsel.com) with any questions or concerns you have about this Policy or CFS' handling of your personal information. We will investigate and respond to your concerns.

Suite 710
40 University Ave.,
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5J 1T1