At Jennifer Blundell and Associates Pty Ltd (we or us), we respect your rights under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (The Act) and we comply with all of its requirements. This policy explains how we collect, manage, use and disclose your personal information for the purpose of conducting our legal services.
What kinds of personal information do we collect and hold?
The kind of information we collect includes personal and sensitive information concerning current clients and potential clients, persons we collaborate with for the purpose of conducting our legal services, suppliers, consultants, employees and employment applicants.
Personal information is any information or opinion held about you that identifies you or by which your identity can be reasonably determined.
Sensitive information is information or opinion held about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin; political opinions; religious beliefs; membership of a professional trade association or trade union; sexual preferences or practices; criminal record; genetic, biometric and health information.
How do we collect and hold personal information?
When collecting personal or sensitive information, we may collect it in various ways including:
- Through telephone conversations;
- Through your access to and use of our website;
- Interviews or any conversation between you and our representatives;
- Completed questionnaires and forms;
- From other documents that we have been provided with.
In the context of conducting our legal services, we often collect information from external professional sources (i.e. financial advisors, health professionals, accountants, other legal parties and their legal advisors). With the exception of information obtained from opposing legal parties, this information is, in the usual course, obtained with our client’s express consent and authority and is securely stored on their file.
For what purpose do we collect, hold use and disclose personal information?
The purpose for which we collect, hold or use personal or sensitive information is if it is reasonably necessary primarily for:
- Making an assessment as to whether we are able to act for an individual or a group of individuals;
- Providing legal services and advice;
- Conducting an effective management of our business;
- Complying with any law, rule, regulation, lawful and binding determination, decision or direction of a regulator, or other governmental body; and
- Marketing our legal services.
When ceasing to act for clients or at the conclusion of their legal matters, we are required to keep their legal files for a minimum period of 7 years, unless we are instructed to do the contrary. In some instances we may be required to retain documents for a longer period of time (e.g. documents that are relevant to the making of a Will).
As we believe that keeping information confidential, we will not disclose it to third parties, without consent, unless it becomes necessary to lessen or prevent a serious and imminent threat to life, health or safety or unless otherwise compelled by law. Circumstances in which we may be compelled to disclose information by law include court orders or statutory notices to produce documents under laws relating to social security, taxation, bankruptcy, anti-money laundering, counterterrorism and the management of incorporated entities.
What happens if we cannot collect your personal information?
In the event that you do not provide the personal or sensitive information we require for the purposes mentioned above, we may not be able to:
- accept you (or your associated company or other entity) as a client or provide our services to you (or your associated company or other entity);
- provide you with our publications, brochures and newsletters; and
- tailor the content of our website to your preferences and your experience of our website may not be as relevant, enjoyable or useful as it could be.
Who do we disclose your personal information to?
We may disclose your personal or sensitive information to:
- our employees, related entities, contractors or third party service providers in connection with the services that we are providing to you, including our IT providers, data room operators, discovery service providers and couriers;
- any third parties that we engage on your behalf or which you engage directly in connection with the services we provide to you, including barristers, accountants, auditors. Third party experts and other advisors or consultants;
- our insurers and professional advisors, including our business advisors, consultants and accountants;
- any legal industry regulatory body in NSW; and
- any other organisation or individual for any authorised purpose with your express consent.
Do we disclose your personal information to overseas recipients?
Normally we do not disclose your personal or sensitive information to overseas recipients, unless we are required to do so by law.
Business development and marketing
Occasionally, we may use your personal or sensitive information to send you details of legal updates, new services we offer and invitations to events and seminars. We may also ask you to participate in a client feedback survey conducted by us or external consultants. We will obtain your consent prior to disclosing your information to the external consultants for this purpose and we will respect your wishes if you do not want to participate.
To opt-out from you receiving and business development and marketing material please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with that request.
For statistical purposes we collect information on website activity such as the number of users who visit our website, the number of pages viewed, the location of the people that view our website, and the date and time of their visits. This information does not identify individuals but it does provide us with the opportunity to analyse it and as a result improve our website.
As our website is linked to the internet, and the internet is inherently insecure, we cannot provide any assurance regarding the security of transmission of information you communicate to us online. We also cannot guarantee that the information you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted over the internet. Accordingly, any personal information or other information which you transmit to us online is transmitted at your own risk.
Our website may contain links to other websites operated by third parties. We make no representations or warranties in relation to the privacy practices of any third party website and we are not responsible for the privacy policies or the content of any third party website. Third party website providers are responsible for informing you about their own privacy practices.
Security and data quality
The information we are provided with is stored on computer and paper-based files, as appropriate. In our endeavour to keep all information safe, we take all reasonable precautions to protect the information from misuse, unauthorised access and loss, disclosure or modification. Our security measures include: implementing username and password protected access to all of our telephone and IT systems; implementing anti-virus protection to all of our IT systems; educating all of our personnel about the vital importance of privacy protection and client confidentiality; secure access to and surveillance over our office premises; effective document destruction (when legally appropriate) and secure physical storage of archived information.
What is the process for complaining about a breach of privacy?
If you believe that your privacy has been breached, please contact us using the contact information below and provide details of the incident so that we can investigate it. The complaint process is treated with confidentiality and with the endeavour that any issues are resolved at a reasonable time as required per the Act.
If the complaint can be resolved by procedures for access and correction, we will suggest these, or any other alternative, to you as possible solutions on a confidential and without prejudice basis in our response. If the complaint cannot be resolved by means that we propose, we will suggest that you refer your complain to the office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
How can you access and correct your personal information?
You may request access to your personal or sensitive information that we hold about you at any time by contacting us (see the details below). Where we hold information that you are entitled to access, we will try to provide you with suitable means of accessing it (for example, by posting or emailing it to you.
There may be instances where we cannot grant you access to the personal information we hold. For example, we may need to refuse access if granting access would interfere with the privacy of others or if it would result in a breach of confidentiality or legal professional privilege. If that happens, we will give you written reasons for our refusal.
If you believe that any personal information that we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then you may request that we correct it. We will consider if the information requires correction. If we do not agree that there are grounds for correction, then you may request that we add a note to the personal information stating that you disagree with it.
In certain circumstances, we are permitted to deny the request for access, or limit the access that we provide. For example, we will give an explanation of a decision not to offer an individual a client retainer, rather than direct access to the evaluative information connected to the final decision. We are also entitled to withhold a legal file unless and until a satisfactory arrangement has been agreed concerning the payment of outstanding legal costs.
Our Privacy Officer can be contacted via:
Jennifer Blundell & Associates Pty Ltd
PO Box 1199
NEWCASTLE NSW 2300
|Phone||(02) 4929 7022|