What Personal Information Do We Collect?
The Personal Information Protection Act (British Columbia) (the “Act”) defines “Personal Information” broadly as information about an identifiable individual or as information that allows an individual to be identified. For the purposes of this policy, Personal Information means information about an identifiable individual as defined from time to time in applicable privacy legislation. Generally speaking Personal Information does not include what is considered business contact information: your name, title or position, business address, telephone number, facsimile number or e-mail address. The types of Personal Information that Terra Law may collect about you includes your name, home address, telephone number, personal e-mail address, billing and account information, information about a client’s legal issue and other information incidental to providing legal advice and services (including Personal Information about witnesses, family members, beneficiaries, directors, officers, employees, adverse parties, parties-in-interest, investigators, decision-makers, experts, other professional advisors and our clients’ business partners, investors, shareholders, competitors and customers whom are individuals). Where practical, we endeavour to collect Personal Information directly from the person to whom the information pertains. When necessary, we will collect Personal Information from other sources.
The Act deems that an individual has consented to our collection, use or disclosure of Personal Information about that individual if, at the time the consent is deemed to be given, the purpose would be considered obvious to a reasonable person. In such circumstances, we will collect, use or disclose Personal Information without obtaining a written or verbal consent to do so. The Act also permits us to collect, use or disclose Personal Information about an individual in some circumstances without the individual’s consent. Those include (but are not limited to) circumstances in which:
- the collection, use or disclosure is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way;
- it is reasonable to expect that the collection or use of Personal Information with the consent of the individual would compromise the availability or accuracy of the information, and the collection or use of the information is necessary for an investigation or proceeding;
- it is reasonable to expect that the disclosure of Personal Information with the consent of the individual would compromise an investigation or proceeding, and the disclosure of the information is necessary for an investigation or proceeding;
- the Personal Information is available to the public from a prescribed source; and
- the collection, use or disclosure of Personal Information is required or authorized by law.
Why do We Collect Your Personal Information?
In general, Terra Law collects, uses and discloses Personal Information about our clients and service providers in order to provide our clients with professional legal services. More specifically, we collect, use and disclose your Personal Information for the following purposes:
- to establish and manage client relationships, provide legal advice, perform legal services, fulfill legal duties, and avoid conflicts of interest. This may include the sharing of Personal Information by and between Terra Law personnel and affiliated companies and partnerships for such purposes;
- to share Personal Information to and from third parties for the purpose of providing legal services. Such third parties may include opposing parties; parties in interest; opposing, foreign and other counsel and advisors; witnesses; decision-makers; and experts;
- to consider whether Terra Law should establish a commercial relationship with clients, suppliers and other third parties, including to evaluate credit standing and to match credit bureau or credit reporting agency information;
- to establish and maintain commercial relationships with clients, suppliers and other third parties, including to issue invoices, administer accounts, collect and process payments, and to fulfill contractual obligations;
- to understand and respond to client, supplier and other third party needs and preferences, including to contact and communicate with such parties and to conduct surveys, research and evaluations;
- to develop, enhance, market, sell or otherwise provide Terra Law’s products and services;
- to market, sell or otherwise provide products and services of third parties with whom Terra Law has a commercial relationship;
- to distribute our newsletters and other informational e-mail communications, conference information and other material to individuals on our mail and e-mail lists, including via third party mailing houses and e-mail service providers;
- to develop and manage our precedent systems and databases;
- to develop and manage Terra Law’s business and operations;
- to detect and protect Terra Law and other third parties against error, negligence, breach of contract, fraud, theft and other illegal activity, and to audit compliance with Terra Law’s policies and contractual obligations;
- to engage in business transactions, including a purchase, sale, lease, merger, amalgamation or any other type of acquisition, disposition or financing involving Terra Law;
- as permitted by, and to comply with, any legal or regulatory requirements or provisions; and
- for any other purpose to which you consent.
To Whom Do We Disclose Your Personal Information?
From time to time, Terra Law may disclose your Personal Information to:
- service providers, including an organization or individual retained by Terra Law to perform functions on its behalf, such as marketing, data processing, document management and office services;
- an organization or individual retained by Terra Law to evaluate your creditworthiness or to collect debts outstanding on an account;
- a financial institution, on a confidential basis and solely in connection with the assignment of a right to receive payment, the provision of security or other financing arrangements; or
- a person who, in the reasonable judgment of Terra Law, is providing or seeking the information as your agent;
- to our insurers and to regulatory agencies such as provincial law societies, insurers or others in connection with regulatory or other activities relating to the obligations of Terra Law and its practice of the profession of law; and
- any third party or parties, where you consent to such disclosure or where disclosure is required or permitted by law.
How Do We Protect Your Personal Information and Where is it Stored?
Terra Law recognizes its professional and legal obligations to protect the confidential information of its clients. Terra Law also recognizes its legal obligations to protect the personal information gathered about its clients and others during the course of our practice of law.
As such, Terra Law employs administrative and technological safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the Personal Information. Personal Information is stored in secured locations and/or on servers controlled by Terra Law, located either at our offices or at the offices of our service providers. We operate secure data networks protected by industry standard firewall and password protection systems. Where Personal Information is sent to a third party for processing we make commercially reasonable efforts, through our contacts with them, to ensure that all Personal Information is kept secure.
How May You Obtain Access to Your Personal Information?
The Act permits individuals to submit written requests to us to provide them with:
- their Personal Information under Terra Law’s custody or control;
- information about how their Personal Information under Terra Law’s control has been and is being used by Terra Law; and
- the names of the individuals and organizations to whom their personal information under Terra Law’s control has been disclosed by Terra Law.
Terra Law will respond to requests in the time allowed by the Act and will make a reasonable effort to assist applicants and to respond as accurately and completely as reasonably possible. All requests may be subject to any fees and disbursements the law permits us to charge.
An individual’s ability to access his or her Personal Information under Terra Law’s control is not absolute. The Act provides that Terra Law must not disclose Personal Information when:
- the disclosure could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety or physical or mental health of an individual other than the individual who made the request;
- the disclosure can reasonably be expected to cause immediate or grave harm to the safety or to the physical or mental health of the individual who made the request;
- the disclosure would reveal Personal Information about another individual; and,
- the disclosure would reveal the identity of an individual who has provided Personal Information about another individual and the individual providing the Personal Information does not consent to disclosure of his or her identity.
The Act further provides that Terra Law is not required to disclose Personal Information when:
- the Personal Information is protected by solicitor-client privilege;
- the disclosure of the Personal Information would reveal confidential commercial information that, if disclosed, could, in the opinion of a reasonable person, harm the competitive position of an organization;
- the Personal Information was collected without consent for the purposes of an investigation, and the investigation and associated proceedings and appeals have not been completed; and
- the Personal Information was collected or created by a mediator or arbitrator in the conduct of a mediation or arbitration for which he or she was appointed to act either under a collective agreement, under an enactment, or by a court.
Requests for Correction of Personal Information
The law permits individuals to submit written requests to us to correct errors or omissions in their Personal Information that is in our custody or control. We will:
- correct the Personal Information and, if reasonable to do so, send correction notifications to any other organizations to whom we disclosed the incorrect information; or
- decide not to correct the Personal Information, but annotate the Personal Information that a correction was requested but not made.
Privacy and Our Website
Online Communications – In order to provide our website visitors with a service or information, visitors may voluntarily submit Personal Information to us for purposes such as asking a question, obtaining information, reviewing or downloading a publication, subscribing to a Legal Update newsletter or a mail or e-mail list, participating in a seminar or other event, and participating in contests and surveys. If you are known to Terra Law as a registered user of an online service, we may combine and store Personal Information about your use of our website and the online information you have provided with certain other online and offline information we may have collected.
E-mail Communications – Occasionally, we may send marketing or promotional e-mail communications to you with information that may be useful, including information about the services of Terra Law and other third parties with whom we have a relationship. In this process, we may collect certain information such as the date/time you first opened our e-mail communications, the number of times you open our e-mail communications, the number of click-throughs per article, total click-through activity on the contents of our e-mail communications and compile generally the related statistics. We may combine and store any such information to manage and improve our e-mail communications to you. We will include instructions on how to unsubscribe and inform us of preferences if you decide you do not want to receive any future marketing or promotional e-mails from Terra Law.
Links – Our website may contain links to other websites which are provided as a convenience only. Visitors are advised that other third party websites may have different privacy policies and practices than Terra Law, and Terra Law has no responsibility for such third party websites.
Suite 2800, 650 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 4N7