Harris Freidman Lawyers (ABN: 81 115 384 677) are dedicated to providing you with a quality service including protecting your privacy. Our team respects the confidentiality of your personal information and it is our policy to manage it appropriately. The Federal Government’s Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) governs privacy matters in Australia. The rules around how we, at Harris Freidman Lawyers, maintain your personal information and how we handle any requests to access and correct this information are based on this Act as well as the Australian Privacy Principles.
In this policy, we summarise how we collect, use, hold, disclose and manage personal information.
Definitions and interpretations
Where the context permits, words and phrases defined in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (as amended or replaced from time to time) have the same meaning in this policy. For ease of reference, some of those words and phrases are set out below.
- APP means an Australian Privacy Principle; and
- Personal information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:
- Whether the information or opinion is true or not; and
- Whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.
What information do we collect?
Harris Freidman Lawyers collects and holds personal information so that we can provide professional services to our clients and so that we can operate and market our legal practice business. The Privacy Act defines personal information as …information or an opinion, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable.
Our firm collects and holds information such as:
- contact information, including residential and postal addresses, mobile or telephone number, and email addresses;
- information about your current occupation including employer and salary;
- billing and credit card information; and
- 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 Number.
Other types of personal information we collect and hold includes:
- information and details of other people involved directly or indirectly in legal transactions or matters of which we:
- are currently involved;
- have been involved; or
- are considering becoming involved in; and
- from time to time, depending on the nature of the legal matter or transaction, particularly in relation to the family law, employment law, succession planning, wills and estate, litigation and dispute resolution matters:
- health information or individuals; and/or
- sensitive information of individuals.
Our firm will only collect personal information that is actually needed for us to provide you with legal services. We will generally explain to you 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 that our firm collects information:
- Client Information Sheet;
- in the course of meeting with our clients;
- in correspondence from our clients or third parties, including legal advisors, government agencies;
- in court documents or other publicly available sources; or
- via our website
- in the course of meeting with you or talking to you directly, on the telephone or via Skype;
- in correspondence from you or third parties;
- via “Contact Us” or “Enquiry” forms on our website;
- via appointments booked with our firm, either by telephone or in person; and
- in court documents or other publicly available sources.
If it is reasonable and practical to do so, we will collect personal information about you and 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. If we do have to collect information about you from a third party 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, correct and update it.
Third parties we may contact to collect personal information, include:
- public searches;
- a relative;
- an associate;
- other professional advisers, including, accountants, financial planners, financiers, insurance advisers, brokers or other advisers;
- medical practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists and other experts.
Please note, that 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 Sydney. 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 confidentially and legal professional privilege, including as prescribed by the Australian 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 business; and
- 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 or use disclosure.
Our firm aims 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.
We endeavour not to collect, hold, disclose your personal information for any other purpose, unless:
- you consent; or
- we are permitted to so at law.
In relation to users of our intranet site, we may collect:
- your IP address; or
- other information you provide to us
Our site may contain links to external websites. However, we are not responsible for the privacy practices or content of such sites.
Cross-border disclosures 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; or
- we have engaged an overseas recipient to provide services to us, such as SaaS (software as a service) or cloud-based storage solutions.
The 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.
Please note that 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 is with your personal information, you consent to the storage of such information on overseas serves and you acknowledge and agree that APP 8.1 will not apply to the extent that such storage constitutes a cross-border disclosure. For the avoidance of doubt, in the event that an overseas recipient breaches the APP, that entity will not be bound by, and you will not be able to seek redress under, the Act.
At this stage, we are not likely to disclose personal information to an overseas recipient, other than disclosing personal details (including email addresses and contact details) which are used for email newsletters, invitations, announcements and editorial content managed through MailChimp.
We understand MailChimp is based in the United States of America
How do we maintain personal information and its security?
We maintain personal information in physical records (both at our office premise and at our storage facility), and as electronic records on our local servers.
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.
What do you do if you want to access and correct your personal information?
At any point in time, 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.
No fee is charged by our firm for a request to update or correct your personal information, but a small fee may be charged by our firm 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.
Please note that the Privacy Act 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, accurate, complete, relevant and not misleading.
If you are a current/previous client or have otherwise expressed interest you may receive emails from us about legal developments (e.g. newsletters, alerts and publications) or the marketing of our services (e.g. conference/seminar invitations). These emails may be sent via an automated email management system such as Mailchimp.
If you do not wish to receive these emails, you can contact our reception on + 61 2 9231 2466 or via email email@example.com and they will remove you from the automated email list.
If unsolicited personal information is received by our firm and it has been determined that we could not have acquired the information by lawful means, reasonable action in accordance with the law will be taken to de-identify or destroy the personal information.
Our firm wants to ensure our services meet all client expectations. We, therefore, take complaints seriously, and we will aim to investigate and resolve your complaint in a timely manner. You can contact our reception on + 61 2 9231 2466 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
All inquiries and complaints about personal information should be addressed to:
Victoria Thompson (Privacy Officer/Practice Manager)
Harris Freidman Lawyers
Level 10, 25 Bligh Street, Sydney NSW 2000
If you are unhappy with our response, you can contact the Office of Australian Information Commissioner via its inquiries line 1300 363 992 or visit their website http://www.oaic.gov.au/ where you can lodge a complaint.