2. Our Commitment to You
We are committed to protecting personal information we collect from you in accordance with all legal requirements including but not limited to the Australian Privacy Principles (APP) and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act).
The purpose of this policy is to inform you about:
(a) what personal information we collect from you;
(b) how the personal information we collect from you is used;
(c) to whom the personal information we collect from you may be disclosed;
(d) how you can access and update personal information you have supplied to us; and
(e) how to contact us about this policy.
This policy applies to personal information you provide to us:
(a) when visiting our website;
(b) when you engage us to act as your lawyers or provide other services to you (additional terms set out in our retainer agreement and our further instructions may also apply to personal information provided to us pursuant to our provision of legal services); and
(c) when you correspond or communicate with us including over the telephone, or in any other manner such as in person or by letter, facsimile or email at any time.
This policy does not apply to any information we collect about you from third parties pursuant to our provision of legal services to you or to third parties.
3. What Information Do We Collect?
We collect personal information that is necessary for us to perform and provide our services as lawyers to our clients, to develop and promote our services and to assist us with complying with all applicable legal and regulatory obligations and to operate our business generally. The kinds of personal information we collect will depend upon the services we provide.
The personal information collected may include any personal information you provide to us; such as your name, address (work, home or delivery), title or position, telephone numbers (work, home or mobile), email address, social media addresses, expertise and interests. We may supplement the personal information that you provide with other information that we obtain from our dealings with you or from third parties in providing legal services.
It may be necessary in some circumstances in order to provide our services for us to collect sensitive information about you. Sensitive information is a class of personal information including but not limited to professional memberships, financial information, health information and your criminal or civil penalty history. We will collect personal information that is sensitive information when it is reasonably necessary for us to provide our services. The nature of the work we carry out for our clients and the activities of the firm mean that there is no effective way for us to deal with clients who wish to remain anonymous or to use a pseudonym when dealing with us. If you do not consent to our collection of personal information we may not be able to provide legal services to you.
4. How Will We Use and Disclose Your Personal Information?
Personal information that we obtain will be recorded, used, disclosed and protected by us in accordance with this policy.
We will primarily use or disclose (or both) any collected personal information:
(a) to provide our services including undertaking any transaction or providing the legal services the subject of any instructions;
(b) to respond to a request or communicate with you (or both) including to provide legal services, to inform you of events we are holding and to provide you with articles or information regarding areas of law;
(c) for record keeping purposes;
(d) for administrative purposes;
(e) to improve the quality of our service;
(f) for market research;
(g) to track activity on our website; or
(h) for job applicants, to consider making offers of employment or for employment purposes (or both). Any personal information we collect from employees is dealt with pursuant to the terms of further employment agreement(s).
When we collect personal information from you this will be for the primary purpose of providing legal services. By providing personal information you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information (including any sensitive personal information) for that purpose.
How we collect, manage and transfer your personal information while we are retained to provide legal services provider is detailed in our retainer agreement and in our further communications to you.
You may provide us with someone else’s personal information (and there are a range of circumstances where this could occur). Where you do, then we will accept that personal information on the basis that you have their authority or consent to provide us with their personal information or that such information has been provided pursuant to terms of our retainer agreement and our provision of legal services.
5. Disclosure of Your Information
In order to provide our services to you, we may engage third parties to carry out activities pursuant to our provision of legal services. These third parties may include barristers, other law firms, law enforcement, insurance companies and their agents, experts, delivery organisations, third party suppliers, agents and other service providers and third parties that are relevant to our provision of legal services.
These third parties will have access to information needed to perform their function. By giving your personal information to us, you consent to us disclosing this personal information to third parties for any purpose related to purposes set out in this policy.
6. Direct Marketing
We will use your relevant personal information for the purpose of marketing our services. If you do not want to receive marketing material from us, please contact us on the details set out at the end of this policy, alternatively:
(a) For electronic communications, you can click on the unsubscribe function in the communication.
(b) For hard copy communications, you can unsubscribe from receiving this information by emailing us at [email protected] or by post at the address at the end of this document.
7. Use or Disclosure of Your Information Outside Australia
Depending on the nature of our engagement or the circumstances of your matter, we may disclose your personal information to entities overseas (for example, other law firms, experts or advisers) to provide legal services to you and as allowed by this policy. The countries to which such disclosures are made, and the nature of the personal information disclosed, will depend on the specific circumstances of our engagement to provide legal services and the instructions you provide.
These countries will have laws relating to the protection use and disclosure of personal information that are different from those that apply in Australia.
We may also store, process or back-up your personal information on servers that are located overseas (including through third party service providers). Given the nature of how data is stored, either in the “cloud” or on third party servers located at multiple sites, it is not possible for us to advise you of those countries where your personal information may be stored.
We use “cookies” and other software tools to track your use of our website. Cookies are small pieces of information that are stored by your browser in your computer’s memory and they are used to record how you navigate our website on each visit. Cookies and other tools that are used in any part of our website will be used for our internal management purposes including collating of statistics regarding website traffic. Most browsers automatically accept cookies and other online tools in common use, but you can usually change your browser to prevent cookies being stored and to reject other tools our site may use.
9. Security of Information
All reasonable steps are taken to ensure that all personal information is treated confidentially, kept secure and protected against unauthorised use and is used or disclosed or both for the purpose for which it was collected. Please be aware that the Internet is not a secure environment and when you provide us with information over the Internet you do so at your own risk.
10. Your Right to Access and Review Your Personal Information
In some cases, you have the right to access and review your personal information held by us, subject to exceptions provided by law including our obligations to provide legal services and to preserve information. Please direct all requests to the Privacy Officer in writing at the contact details below. We may charge a small fee towards the cost of administering any request you make.
All reasonable steps are taken to update the personal information we hold if the information is not accurate and complete. You may update your personal information by emailing us at [email protected]. Please include your name, address and/or email address when you contact us.
Please note our website contains links to other websites which are provided for your convenience. We are only responsible for the privacy practices and security of our website. We recommend that you check the privacy policies and procedures of other websites that you visit.
12. How to Contact Us
If you would like any further information about this policy or if you have any comment, complaint or question on any privacy issue affecting us:
Attention: The Privacy Officer
SME Lawyer Pty Ltd
Level 4, 83 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060
PO Box 1669 North Sydney NSW 2059
13. Changes to This policy
This policy may change from time to time. Accordingly we recommend that you check this page from time to time on our website in order to review the current policy.