In this Policy, “personal information” means information about an identifiable individual, such as your name, home address or contact information (including home telephone number and personal e-mail address). Not all information you share with us is considered personal information. For example, business contact information is not considered personal information.
Collection and Use of Personal Information
We might collect your personal information when we provide the Services or when you access the Website. We only use that personal information for the purposes described in this Policy, or for other purposes which are disclosed to you and to which you consent. We collect and use personal information from clients and potential clients based on the information and services requested. Examples of the types of personal information collected are:
- name, address, contact details (including phone numbers and email addresses), bank account or other financial details, and other incidental information relating to the Services we provide;
- details regarding legal issues, which will vary based on the type of issue for which you seek advice and may include financial, employment, or tax information (as examples), and any other information that we may request or that you may provide when we act on your behalf;
- while acting for clients, we might collect information about employees of clients, and other parties, such as adverse parties, other counsel, advisors and consultants; and
- other information that we might collect with your consent or as permitted or required by law.
We use this information:
- to establish and manage our business relationship with you, including:
- offering and providing the Services or legal information to you (including with respect to general areas of legal interest, such as when we invite you to attend one of our events or send you newsletters or other communications regarding general legal issues);
- to issue and collect accounts; and
- to fulfill our ethical and professional obligations;
- for potential clients, to confirm whether we can act for you, having regard to our professional and ethical obligations regarding conflicts of interest;
- as allowed or required by law; and
- for other purposes where you have provided consent.
Further, we collect and use personal information (or other information) from users of the Website in a variety of ways. Specifically, we might collect and use personal information collected through the Website:
- to share information about us, the Website, and other of our services with you;
- to communicate with you regarding inquiries for information or other requests submitted through the Website;
- to distribute newsletters and other information you have requested, including through third party marketing and email platforms; and
- for other purposes for which you have provided your consent.
We might also collect aggregate information which tells us about visitors to the Website, but not the identity of those visitors. For example, we might collect information about the date, time, and duration of visits and which pages of the Website are most commonly accessed. The purpose of collecting this aggregate information is to help us administer and improve the Website. We reserve the right to provide our analyses based on such anonymous and aggregated data to third parties.
Additionally, if you apply or inquire about an employment opportunity with us, we may use personal information you provide to process and respond to your application or inquiry. By submitting personal information to us, you consent to us collecting your personal information.
How We Disclose and Share Your Personal Information
We disclose personal information only as described in this Policy, with your consent, or as otherwise permitted or required by law. To provide legal services, we may sometimes disclose our clients’ personal information to third parties, including government or regulatory agencies and agents in foreign legal jurisdictions. We may disclose personal information:
- to third parties, where disclosure is necessary to provide the Services to you, including foreign jurisdiction agents or law firms retained to act on your behalf, experts, consultants, or as part of a proposed or actual transaction, such as a financing or other business transaction;
- to our service providers, inside or outside Canada, who assist us with marketing or other services, including mailing or payment processing services. We use reasonable measures to require our service providers to use your personal information only to perform the applicable services. For example, we use Braintree (a PayPal product) to process online payments and we use MailChimp to manage and distribute our newsletters. For more information on what personal information they process and use, please refer to their respective privacy policies (Braintree’s here; MailChimp’s here);
- where we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example, where we suspect you might suffer imminent harm, we may disclose your information to police;
- to third parties, where it is necessary to collect fees, for instance, to a financial institution or collection agent;
- to anyone who we reasonably believe is your agent;
- to third parties where you have instructed us to disclose your personal information to those parties;
- to our insurers or regulatory agencies (including the Law Society of British Columbia) to comply with our professional and ethical obligations related to the practice of law; and
- where you consent or as permitted or required by law.
It is important to us that we collect, use or disclose your personal information only where we have your consent to do so or as provided in this Policy. Depending on the sensitivity of the personal information, your consent may be express, implied, or deemed. Express consent can be given orally, electronically, or in writing. Implied consent is consent that can reasonably be inferred from your action or inaction. Deemed consent is consent we assume in the event you do not exercise an opt-out mechanism offered to you. If you choose to provide any personal information to us, we assume you consent to the collection, use, and disclosure of your personal information as outlined in this Policy
Consent to the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by us may be implied by the fact that you have hired us to provide the Services, where the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information relates to the performance of the Services. If you provide personal information about another person to us, we assume you have the consent of that individual to enable us to collect, use, or disclose their information as described in this Policy. For example, if you ask us to issue shares in your company to your sister, we assume she will have consented to you providing to us any personal information about her that you give to us.
If you do not consent, please do not provide your personal information or, where applicable, exercise the opt-in or opt-out options offered. You may change or withdraw your consent at any time, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice, by contacting our Privacy Officer by email or one of the other means listed below under the heading “Contacting Us” set out below. If you withdraw your consent to certain uses of your personal information, we might no longer be able to provide some or all of the Services.
We might also collect, use, or disclose your personal information without your consent, for example, to collect a debt you owe to us or to comply with applicable laws or court orders.
We assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that by receiving a copy of this Policy or by continuing to deal with us, you have consented to the collection, use, and disclosure of your personal information as explained in this Policy.
Legal Basis – European Economic Area
For our commercial activities in the European Economic Area (the “EEA”), the legal basis for processing your personal information depends on the circumstances for which it was collected.
In many circumstances, we will seek consent to process your personal information for specific purposes. In those instances, we will not process your personal information other than for those identified purposes without your prior consent or as otherwise permitted by law. However, we may also rely on one or more of the following legal bases (as applicable) to process your personal information:
- to enter into contracts and comply with our contractual commitments to you;
- to pursue our legitimate business interests, including to provide our Services to you and to manage our business relationship; and
- to protect our legal rights and interests and comply with our legal obligations.
Where We Keep Your Personal Information
Personal information we collect is stored and processed by us primarily in Canada, regardless of your country of residence. We also use third party service providers, including payment processors and electronic signature services, to provide the infrastructure required to provide our Services. Those service providers may store and process personal information in Canada, the United States and other jurisdictions. Personal information provided to third parties outside of Canada is subject to the laws of those jurisdictions and may not be afforded the same legal protections that are available in Canada. In those cases, we will put appropriate contractual and other controls to protect your personal information, as required by applicable laws.
If you are located in the EEA, we take steps to ensure that adequate protections and appropriate safeguards are in place for your personal information that is processed or stored outside of the EEA. This may include reliance on the adequacy status of the country’s data protection laws (in the case of personal information processed in Canada), the incorporation of standard data protection clauses in our agreements with third parties, or reliance on an EU-US Privacy Shield registration.
By providing us with your personal information, you consent to the transmission, processing, and storage of your personal information in these countries.
We have implemented reasonable physical, organization, and technological security processes designed to protect the personal information in our control. Technological and operational policies and procedures are in place to protect personal information from misuse, loss, and unauthorized modification or disclosure. We will dispose of personal information where it is no longer necessary to fulfil the purposes for which the information was collected, in accordance with our documented retention policy or as required by law.
Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed as completely secure. While we strive to protect your personal information, including using a third party provider (with encryption technology) to process account payments on the Website, we cannot ensure the security of any information transmitted to us over the Website.
Website Creates no Lawyer /Client Relationship
Any information you transmit to us through the Website might not be secure, might not be treated as confidential, and is not protected by solicitor-client privilege.
We collect your email address if you complete the form located in the subscription area of the Website in order to receive newsletters or promotional material. We will use this personal information only for the purposes of including your information in our database and in our mailing list in order to provide you with the requested information and to invite you to upcoming events that might be of interest to you and to respond to any specific request that you have made.
Cookies and similar technologies
When you visit the Website, a cookie might be placed within the memory of your internet access device. We might use permanent cookies or server-side artifacts to help us track use of the Website by users, including casual visitors to the Website—such as the number and frequency of visits to our pages and which parts of the Website are visited. This information provides us with constructive feedback about the Website so we can identify the most effective areas and improve the less popular ones.
Cookies cannot determine the identity of individual users. It is a feature of your internet browser which you can disable at any time. However, if you refuse or disable cookies, some of the Website’s functionality might be limited for you.
We are committed to complying with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.
Where we have your consent or it is lawful to do so, we might provide you with direct communications about general legal issues which might be of interest to you. That information usually would be sent to you by email.
If you do not wish to receive further materials about the services we offer and developments in the legal world, or if you do not wish to receive further invitations to our events, you may unsubscribe or ask us not to contact you for these purposes by contacting our Privacy Officer by email or by one of the other means listed below under the heading “Contacting Us”.
Access, Corrections, and Other Rights
You have the right to know what personal information we have about you and to correct any inaccuracies. We take reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is accurate for the purposes for which we use it, including to provide you with the Services. If there has been a change in your personal information, please inform us as soon as possible to ensure our records are up-to-date.
In certain circumstances, you might have additional rights, including under applicable data protection laws, to:
- request a copy of your personal information;
- request further information about how we use your personal information;
- request us to restrict our use or disclosure of your personal information;
- object to our use or disclosure of your personal information; and
- request us to delete the personal information we hold about you.
Please direct any such requests by email to our Privacy Officer or by one of the other means listed below under the heading “Contacting Us”.
Your request will be investigated as soon as possible and you will be provided with a written response.
We retain your personal information as long as is necessary in order to manage our relationship with you (or fulfill the purposes for which it was collected), in accordance with our documented retention policy or as otherwise permitted by law. The length of time we retain personal information varies and might extend beyond the end of your relationship with us.
Links to other Websites
The Website contains links to the websites of other organizations which might be of interest to you. Similarly, you might be directed to the websites of other organizations to perform certain functions provided on the Website. Linked websites are responsible for their own privacy practices and you should check those websites for their respective privacy policies.
Changes to the Policy
We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time and will take reasonable steps to advise affected individuals of any material changes, if necessary. You should review this Policy from time to time to ensure that you are aware of and accept any changes made.
If you have any questions or comments about this Policy, your information, our third-party disclosure practices or your consent choices, please contact our Privacy Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact us at:
Bell Alliance LLP
201 – 1367 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6H 4A7
Phone: (604) 873-8723
Last Revised: January 2023