As of January 1, 2022
- business contact information;
- information that is publicly available and recognized as such under applicable privacy legislation; and
- information that does not otherwise fall within the meaning of personal information under applicable Canadian federal and Ontario law.
Collection of Information
Goodmans collects Personal Information verbally, by written correspondence, though the Site, in documents provided to us and occasionally by survey. Personal Information is usually collected directly from our clients. However, Personal Information may also be obtained from other sources during the course of our work; for example, from:
- insurance companies;
- financial institutions;
- real estate agents in a property transaction;
- witnesses in litigation matters;
- other parties to a transaction or matter for which you have retained us;
- government agencies or registries; and
- accountants, business advisors and other consultants.
By implication, our clients consent to the collection of Personal Information that is useful and necessary for the provision of our legal services and advice on the matters for which we have been retained.
- Log Files: Log files make a record of each visit to the Site and log a number of details, including: your operating system; the date, time and duration of the visit; the pages and documents accessed; and the previous site accessed by you (such as, the search engine that referred you to the Site). Such information is collected for aggregated statistical purposes only, such as to track the number of visits to the Site, the number of views to particular pages, time-based traffic patterns, and the proportion of visitors using certain devices. Goodmans will not attempt to identify users according to their browsing activity through such records.
- Device Identifiers: A device identifier, such as an IP address, is a distinctive number associated with a device. We may use your device identifier to identify you when you visit the Site to determine repeat visitors and detect and prevent fraudulent activity. By using device identifiers to approximate geographic location (to a city level), we can determine your approximate time zone, and better understand the locations of users.
- Web Beacons: We may use web beacons, also known as pixel tags, clear GIFs or other similar technologies in connection with some of the Site pages and HTML-formatted email messages. This allows us to track the actions of users and email recipients, and compile statistics about our Site and email response rates. These technologies usually work in conjunction with cookies. If you do not want your cookie information to be associated with your visits to these pages, you can disable or block cookies as noted above. If you turn off cookies, web beacons (or similar technologies) will still detect visits to these pages, but the notices they generate cannot be associated with other cookie information and are disregarded.
- Analytics: We use Google Analytics to provide statistics about the visitors to the Site. Google Analytics tracks and analyzes non-personally identifiable statistical information, including, without limitation, search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, email marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents. For more information about Google Analytics, including instructions on how to control the information collected by Google, see: https://policies.google.com/technologies/partner-sites.
On an aggregate basis and in a non-personally identifiable form, Technical Information is used for the following purposes: (a) for Site and system administration purposes; (b) to improve the Site; (c) to conduct internal reviews of the number of visitors to the Site; (d) to help us better understand visitors’ use of our Site; (e) to respond to specific requests from our visitors; and (f) to protect the security or integrity of our Site when necessary.
Limits on Collection of Personal Information
The Site and our legal services are intended for and directed to individuals who are the age of majority or older in their jurisdiction of residence. We do not knowingly collect Personal Information of minors. However, if a minor (as defined by applicable law) provides us with their Personal Information without parental or legal guardian consent, we encourage the parent or legal guardian to contact us to have this Personal Information removed from our records.
Purposes of Collection Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
Goodmans’ professionals (including lawyers, law clerks, articling students and students-at-law) and their support staff, as well as our management and administrative staff, collect, use and disclose Personal Information for purposes authorized or required by applicable federal and Ontario privacy legislation and, specifically, for the following purposes:
- to provide our legal services and advice and to facilitate the provision of anticipated future legal services and advice;
- to establish, maintain and enhance our client and supplier relationships, including providing legal updates which we believe to be of relevance to our clients and sending holiday cards, professional development or other event invitations, alumni newsletters and other greetings from the firm;
- to fulfill our obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Law Society of Ontario and to avoid conflicts of interest;
- to carry out our client identification and verification obligations mandated by the Law Society of Ontario;
- to satisfy our records retention requirements as mandated by the Law Society of Ontario and our insurers;
- to share information with third parties for the purpose of providing our legal services and advice, including data and information technology service providers, registry agents, cloud-based service providers, agents in other jurisdictions retained on our clients’ behalf, other suppliers of products and services ancillary to the provision of our legal services and, in the case of litigation, opposing counsel, foreign counsel, witnesses and experts;
- to manage and develop our business, operations and strategic planning;
- to detect and protect Goodmans, our clients, you and others from error, negligence, fraud or other illegal activity, which may include providing Personal Information to insurers, auditors, investigators or regulatory authorities;
- to issue invoices, process payments and collect debts owed to us; and
- to comply with other legal and regulatory requirements.
The above collections, uses and disclosures are a necessary part of our relationship with our clients and our third party service providers and suppliers.
Disclosure of Personal Information
Subject to our professional obligations to keep all our clients’ information confidential, under certain circumstances, Goodmans will disclose Personal Information to a third party without express consent, such as when required or authorized by law (if permitted with disclosure to you) (for example, if a court issues a subpoena), or where the legal services you have retained us to provide require us to give Personal Information to a third party (for example, to a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction, or to a governmental agency for permit applications, consents, regulatory filings etc.). Goodmans will also disclose Personal Information with the consent of the affected individual or consent of another person authorized to provide that consent.
Safeguarding Your Personal Information
Goodmans takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that Personal Information is safe from loss or theft, and from unauthorized copying, use, access, modification or disclosure. Such measures, which may necessarily evolve over time as the availability and effectiveness of methods vary, include physical, organizational and technological safeguards, such as:
- restricting access to our systems, electronic databases or other electronic formats that may contain Personal Information through password protection and internal security policies; and
- implementing technical security measures such as firewall technology, anti-malware screening and data encryption technology.
We may exchange electronic versions of documents and emails with you and may maintain and process Personal Information using commercially available software and electronic systems. Unfortunately, the available technology is vulnerable to attack by viruses and other destructive electronic programs and may be intercepted or interfered with by third parties. We cannot guarantee that all electronic communications and documents will always reach the intended recipient, will always be virus free, and will never be intercepted or interfered with by third parties, and we make no representation or warranty with respect to any electronic communications or documents. You consent to our exchanging electronic communications, including those containing confidential documents and other confidential information, unencrypted. In addition, while we routinely assess and monitor the security of our electronic systems and adopt safeguards intended to protect and prevent unauthorized access to and use of our electronic systems, we make no representation or warranty with respect to the security of electronic communications or our systems.
We make every effort to use the right technology for the efficient delivery of our legal services. We may use collaborative technologies, artificial intelligence, machine-learning document analysis, matter management tools, electronic signatures, etc. in connection with the provision of our legal services to our clients (sometimes managed internally and sometimes involving cloud-based systems). We may also use cloud-based platforms to manage corporate records and minute books, data rooms, e-discovery and other litigation support, legal research and various transaction closings. While we assess and monitor the security of our cloud-based third party service providers, we make no representation or warranty with respect to the security of their systems.
When Goodmans provides Personal Information of clients to third party service providers or suppliers for the processing of data (e.g. for contracted services such as photocopying, printing, scanning, computer backup services or archival storage services) or to other third party service providers or suppliers in respect of the legal services we are providing to our clients, we will ensure that those third parties agree to only use the Personal Information for the specified purposes, and to provide a level of protection to the Personal Information comparable to that adopted by Goodmans.
Links to Other Websites
Access to Personal Information
You may have access your Personal Information held by Goodmans to the extent required by law. Individuals may write to or email our Privacy Officer at the address below to request access to Personal Information held about them. Upon written request and authentication of identity, we will comply with our legal obligations to provide you with your Personal Information under our control, information about the ways in which that Personal Information is being or was used, and a description of the individuals and organizations to whom that Personal Information may have been disclosed.
We may charge a reasonable fee for providing Personal Information in response to an access request and will provide an estimate of any such fee upon receiving an access request. We may require a deposit for all or part of the fee. We will make the Personal Information available within 30 days or provide written notice where additional time is required to fulfill the access request.
In some situations, we may not be able to provide access to certain Personal Information. For example, access would be denied if disclosure would reveal Personal Information about another individual, the Personal Information is protected by solicitor-client privilege, the Personal Information was collected for the purposes of an investigation, or disclosure of the Personal Information would reveal confidential commercial information that, if disclosed, could harm Goodmans or any of its former, current or potential clients. There are also circumstances where Goodmans may be prevented by federal or Ontario law from providing access to certain Personal Information.
If a request for access to Personal Information is denied, Goodmans will provide an explanation of the reasons for such refusal.
Accuracy and Correction of Personal Information
We take reasonable efforts to ensure that the Personal Information we collect, use or disclose is accurate and complete. In most cases, we rely on you and/or our client to ensure that the Personal Information provided to us is current, complete and accurate.
If you demonstrate to us the inaccuracy or incompleteness of your Personal Information, we will amend the Personal Information as required. If appropriate under the circumstances, we will send the amended Personal Information to third parties to whom the Personal Information had previously been disclosed. If a request to correct the accuracy of Personal Information is not resolved to your satisfaction, we will annotate the Personal Information under our control with a note that the correction was requested but not made.
333 Bay Street, Suite 3400
Toronto, ON M5H 2S7