Privacy Policy & Accessibility

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Privacy Policy

 

Wilson Vukelich LLP and TCBL Services Inc. (collectively “WV” or the “firm”) is committed to protecting the privacy rights of its clients and employees, as well as others with whom the firm deals. This commitment extends beyond our professional obligations and our compliance requirements under applicable law.  The relationships between a law firm and its various stakeholders are based on trust. WV understands the importance of this trust and how it is embodied in the ways in which we protect personal information that we receive in the course of carrying on our business.

 

Definition of “Personal Information”: Canadian privacy legislation defines “personal information” as any information about an identifiable individual. Generally, personal information does not include business contact information (including name, title or position, business address, telephone or facsimile numbers, or email address) or information contained in publicly available databases, such as public telephone listings.

 

Accountability: WV is accountable to maintain the privacy, security and accuracy of all personal information under its care and control. Our lawyers and support staff have all been trained in this respect.  Personal information is only collected, used and disclosed as permitted by, and in compliance with, applicable legal or regulatory requirements or provisions. WV will not use personal information for any other purpose than identified in this privacy policy at or before the time of collection. WV has appointed a privacy compliance officer to oversee privacy matters for the firm – see Questions and Further Information below.


What Type of Personal Information is Collected?: WV may collect the following personal information: 

  • name and home contact information, including address, telephone and facsimile numbers, and personal email address;
  • billing and account information, including bank or credit card information; and
  • information concerning the provision of legal advice and services by the firm, including the personal information of shareholders, directors, officers, agents, employees,
    investors, buyers, security-holders, business partners, competitors, customers, suppliers, beneficiaries, family members, witnesses, adverse parties, parties-in-interest, professional advisors, investigators, adjudicators, experts and other parties who are individuals.


WV does not use an individual's Social Insurance Number as a means of identifying or organizing the information held by the firm in respect of such individual.


Purpose of Collection of Personal Information: WV collects and uses personal information from its clients and prospective clients in order to establish, develop and/or manage client relationships, provide legal representation and services, fulfill legal duties, avoid conflicts of interest, and develop and manage our business and operations.  WV collects personal information from its employees, firm members, and prospective employees and firm members in order to consider the admission of individuals as employees and members of the firm, and carry out internal administrative functions. WV also produces direct marketing materials and publications concerning its services and developments in the law, as well as notices of seminars and events at the firm, and other marketing or promotional communications concerning the firm, and WV shares such information with its clients, prospective clients, referral sources, employees and members of the firm. All of this may include the sharing of personal information to and from third parties for such purposes. Such sharing of information with third parties is only on an "as needed" basis and provided such third parties agree to be bound by this privacy policy. By way of example, WV may disclose personal information to:

  • service providers performing functions on behalf of WV,
  • organizations retained by WV to assess creditworthiness or to collect debts,
  • financial institutions on a confidential basis in connection with the assignment of a right to receive payment, the provision of security or other financing
    arrangement,
  • persons who WV may reasonably believe are providing or seeking such information as an individual’s agent,
  • advisors and expert witnesses engaged by WV on behalf of an individual, including without limitation the retention of lawyers in other jurisdictions,
  • WV’s insurers and regulatory agencies relating to the practice of law,
  • any other third party(ies) where consent is given to such disclosure or where such disclosure is required or permitted by law, and
  • any other third party(ies) where the information has already been disclosed publicly without breach of this privacy policy.


WV does not disclose personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services.


Where does WV Store Personal Information?: WV stores personal information in electronic and physical files, located either at our offices or at the offices of our service providers, that are secure and to which access is restricted. WV’s security measures include, without limitation, physical premises that are monitored by security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, password-protected computers and the use of technology safeguards, such as firewalls, encryption and intrusion detection, to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet or by electronic mail can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, WV cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information transmitted electronically.

 

Consent: WV collects personal information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Wherever possible, WV collects personal information directly from the individual, but it may obtain personal information from other sources, such as insurance companies or other financial institutions, real estate agents, government agencies or registries, the individual's accountant or the individual's employer in the event WV acts for the individual. In addition, WV, in order to make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money laundering, may request personal information from the files of consumer reporting agencies and other databases.

 

If an individual has voluntarily provided personal information to WV or its service providers and agents, such individual has consented to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information as described in this privacy policy and as permitted or required by law, and WV may rely on the fact that such individual has all necessary authority and/or has obtained all necessary consents to enable WV to collect, use and disclose such personal information. WV will not use personal information for any purpose other than that for which consent was received.  If WV seeks to use your personal information for purposes other than those for which your consent has previously been obtained, or requires personal information for a new purpose, it will obtain the necessary consent from you.

 

There may be occasions where more specific personal information is necessary for WV to proceed with a request for information, or provide the individual with legal services. In such cases, WV will provide such individual with a description of the information required. In all cases, WV limits the amount and type of information collected to only the personal  information that is required.

 

Subject to legal and contractual requirements, an individual may refuse or withdraw consent to certain of the identified purposes at any time by contacting the WV privacy compliance officer.

 

Website Privacy:  

  • Cookies – Cookies are small browser features, stored on the hard-drive of your computer, which are used to track and collect information concerning your visit to our website. WV may use cookies to collect non-personal information such as the type of Internet browser and operating system used by you, the domain name of the website from which you came, the date and duration of your visit, number of visits, average time spent on the WV website, pages viewed and number of cookies accumulated – basically to analyze website usage. Unless a visitor specifically informs us (by voluntarily providing contact information), WV will not be able to identify individual visitors. An individual can set his or her browser to either provide notification of the receipt of cookies or to reject cookies; however, by doing so he or she may not be able to use some of the features available on the WV website.
  •  
  • Commercial Electronic Communications – WV sends commercial electronic communications (such as emails), with publications, announcements, event invitations, and other information, to subscribers, individuals with whom WV has commercial activities, and individuals with whom we have a business or personal relationship. WV would like to ensure that express opt-in consents are in place to allow individuals to receive our publications, announcements, event invitations, and other commercial electronic communications we send from time to time for the purpose of: (i) sharing information; and (ii) establishing, developing and/or managing relationships. Accordingly, if you have not already provided WV with such consent and wish to receive or continue to receive such communications from us, please feel free to contact us by email at information@wvllp.ca or by telephoning 905-940-8700, ext 0.  If you wish to withdraw your consent at any time please feel free to contact us by email at information@wvllp.ca or by telephoning 905-940-8700, ext 0.
  •  
  • Online Communications – In order to provide website visitors with publications, requested services or information, visitors may voluntarily submit personal information to us for
    such purposes. WV uses the information provided only for the purpose for which it was provided.
  •  
  • Links – The WV website may contain links to other websites. These links are provided as a convenience only, and WV has no responsibility for such third party websites. Visitors should be aware that the collection and use of their personal information by such third party websites, and the privacy policies of such websites, may significantly differ from the privacy policies and practices of WV.


Accuracy of and Access to Personal Information Collected: WV makes every effort to keep personal information collected and used by us as accurate, complete, current and relevant as necessary for the purposes described in this privacy policy. WV will update any changes to personal information, when received from an individual. If WV holds personal information about an individual, which can be established by the individual to be inaccurate, incomplete or not up-to-date, WV will take reasonable steps to correct it.

 

At the written request of an individual to WV's privacy compliance officer, such individual may view or edit their personal information as collected by WV. WV will inform such individual of what personal information WV has about them, what it is being used for and, in cases where it has been disclosed, to whom it has been disclosed. The right of access to personal information is not absolute, and access may be denied in one or more of the following circumstances:

  • WV is required or authorized by law to do so;
  • the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against such individual;
  • the granting of access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of otherss;
  • the granting of access would prejudice negotiations with a client;
  • in order to protect the rights and property of WV; or
  • in the event that the request is frivolous or vexatious.

If access to personal information is denied, WV shall explain the reason(s) behind such refusal to the individual, as applicable.

 

Wherever it is legal and practicable to do so, WV may be able to deal with general inquiries without disclosing personal information. The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (Canada) requires WV to confirm the identity of all new clients and may require disclosure of information in respect of certain large cash transactions.

 

To make a request for access to your personal information, please send a letter, email or facsimile addressed to the WV privacy compliance officer at the address indicated below, with your name and contact details, as well as the nature of the request.

 

Summary information is available on request, subject to the foregoing limits, but more detailed requests requiring archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to WV's normal professional and disbursement fees. 

 

Questions and Further Information: Any questions or comments about this privacy policy or WV's handling of personal information should be directed, preferably in writing, to WV's privacy compliance officer, Mr. Dan Condon, who can be reached as follows:  

  • e-mail, at dcondon@wvllp.ca;
  • telephone, at (905) 940-5505;
  • facsimile, at (905) 940-8785; or
  • mail, at 60 Columbia Way, Suite 710, Markham, Ontario, L3R 0C9.

Changes to the Privacy Policy: WV reserves the right to change or update this privacy policy at any time, with all amendments to be published on this website. Clients and others are therefore advised to check for changes regularly. Amendments will be made available, upon request to WV’s privacy compliance officer.

 

For more information contact us at information@wvllp.ca

 

ACCESSIBILITY - ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE PLAN

 

Wilson Vukelich LLP and TCBL Services Inc. (hereinafter collectively referred to as "WV") is committed to maintaining an accessible environment for persons with disabilities in the delivery of its goods and services.

Preamble

This is an Accessible Customer Service Plan, established in accordance with the Customer Service Standard adopted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

WV will provide a copy of this Plan upon request and will provide it in a format so reasonably requested.

This Plan deals with:

  • The use of guide dogs, service animals and support persons;
  • the steps to be taken in connection with a temporary disruption;
  • the training policy, including a summary of the contents of the training and details of when the training is to be provided;
  • records of the training provided under this policy, including the dates on which the training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it is provided;
  • the feedback process.

Documents produced further to this Plan and so required by the Customer Service Standard are available upon request and are provided it in a format so reasonably requested.

 

Objectives

WV is dedicated to ensuring that all reasonable efforts are made to:

    (i)        provide services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;

   (ii)        provide services in a manner that is integrated, unless an alternate measure is necessary to enable a person with disabilities to obtain WV's services; and

  (iii)        give persons with disabilities an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain WV's services.

 

 

Application

This policy applies to WV services that are provided externally to the public or third parties.

 

The policy applies to all lawyers, paralegals and staff with WV. The policy also applies to all agents, volunteers, clients, and visitors of/to WV.

 

 

Providing Services to People with Disabilities

 

1)   Communication

When communicating with persons with a disability, WV will make all reasonable efforts to take into account the person's disability.

WV's employees who communicate with members of the public will be trained on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.  Further to this, the employees will be trained on how to develop a communication plan in recognition of the persons' disabilities. For example, WV and the person may agree to deal with complex matters in writing and in plain language.   

 

2)   Assistive Devises

WV recognizes that persons with disabilities may require the use of personal assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from WV's services. Personal assistive devices are usually devices that people bring with them, such as a walker or a personal oxygen tank. Some personal assistive devices, such as a magnifying glass, are readily available for WV to provide to its clients.

 

Persons with disabilities are permitted to obtain, use or benefit from WV's services through the use of their own assistive devices (except where use of such a device would pose a danger to others or would result in WV's being in violation of a municipal, provincial or federal law or regulation).

 

Where requested, WV will provide the person with a disability with any personal assistive device which WV has available to offer.

 

In the event that a person with a disability is hindered from accessing any services offered by WV despite his/her assistive device, WV will strive to accommodate the person by attempting to deliver the same services in another way.

 

WV's employees who interact with members of the public will be trained to ensure that they are familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by people with disabilities while accessing WV's services.

 

3)   Service Animals

WV recognizes that persons with disabilities may require the use of a service animal to obtain, use or benefit from WV's services. Examples of service animals are dogs used by persons who are blind and hearing alert animals for those who are Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.

 

WV welcomes persons with disabilities and their service animals. Services animals are allowed in the areas of WV's premises that are open to the public and third parties. Service animals are not permitted where prohibited by a statute or regulation or where, by operation of a statute or regulation, the service animal should not be permitted onto the premises or that area of the premise. For example, service animals may be prohibited from going into WV's kitchen.

 

If a service animal is excluded from WV's premises or part of WV's premises, WV will suggest appropriate alternatives and provide accommodation in order to assist that person in obtaining WV's services.

 

WV's employees who interact with members of the public will be trained on how to interact with customers who are accompanied by service animals. 

 

4)   Support Persons

WV recognizes that persons with disabilities may require the use of a support person to obtain, use or benefit from WV's services. A support person is an individual who accompanies the person with a disability to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to services. A support person may be a paid professional, a volunteer, a family member, a friend, a case worker, or a social worker.

 

WV welcomes persons with disabilities and their support persons. Support persons are allowed to accompany the person with a disability on WV's premises.

 

Upon consent of the client, the client's support person may be present while confidential information is being exchanged, for example at a lawyer-client meeting.

 

WV's employees who interact with members of the public will be trained on how to interact with customers who are accompanied by a support person. 

 

5)   Providing Legal Services to Persons with Disabilities

When representing clients with a disability, WV shall adhere to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

 

Further, when representing clients with a disability, lawyers and paralegals with WV shall follow the Law Society of Upper Canada's Rules of Professional Conduct, including the Rules with respect to serving clients with disabilities (Rules 1.03(1)(b), 2.02(6) and 5.04).

 

WV's presumption is that an adult client is capable of instructing counsel.  This presumption is not rebutted by the mere fact that a client is a person with disability.

 

 Where WV has concerns about a client or a prospective client's capacity to instruct counsel, WV may need to take steps to, such as:

  • seek to obtain the client or prospective client's consent to discuss those concerns with the individual's family members and/or health care providers;
  • seek the assistance of the Capacity Assessment Office, a qualified capacity assessor, or a qualified medical professional;
  • have a lawfully authorized representative appointed (i.e. a litigation guardian); or
  • obtain the assistance of the Office of the Public Guardian or the Office of the Children's Lawyer.

 

 

Unfortunately, in some cases WV may be required to withdraw their services where a client lacks the capacity to instruct counsel.

 

 

WV recognizes that finding a client incapable of providing instruction to counsel is a serious matter and impacts upon a client's access to justice. In the event that WV finds that a client no longer has the necessary legal capacity, WV shall make all efforts to ensure that the client's interests are not abandoned.

 

 

6)   Billings

WV is committed to providing accessible invoices. Upon request, WV's invoices can be provided in reasonable alternative formats.  

 

 

Notice of Temporary Disruptions

WV acknowledges that persons with disabilities may only access and attend at its premises by using certain services and facilities (e.g. the elevator).

 

 

WV will provide notice when there is a temporary disruption in those services or facilities that persons with disabilities may rely on.  This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and, if applicable, a description of alternative facilities or services that may be available.  Notice of service disruptions will be provided as soon as reasonably practicable after WV is made aware of the disruption or the scheduled disruption.

 

 

The notice of a disruption may be provided by way of postings in conspicuous places at the office, in other facilities of the building (i.e. the lobby), on WV's website or by any other means that will reasonably ensure that the notice reaches those persons potentially affected by the temporary disruption in a manner that is accessible to them.

 

 

Training

WV will ensure that all persons (including employees and contractors) who deal with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of WV will be provided:

  • instruction on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
  • instruction on how to interact with persons with disabilities who use assistive devices or require the assistance of a guide dog, other service animal or a support person;
  • instruction on how to use equipment or devices available on firm premises or that the firm otherwise provides, that may help people with disabilities access services; and
  • instruction on what to do if a person with disabilities is having difficulty accessing firm services.

WV will keep records of the training provided, including the dates on which training was received and the names of participants.

 

 

Feedback process

WV welcomes any feedback regarding the methods it uses to provide services to persons with disabilities. Individuals may provide their feedback in person, by telephone, in writing, or by email to the Office Manager, Cathy Whittaker, information@wvllp.ca

 

 

 

Complaints may be made in writing to the Office Manager, Cathy Whittaker.  The Complaint will be reviewed and a response to the Complaint, including any suggested resolution, will be provided. 

 

 

 

 

 


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