Issued on 11 March 2014
We understand that your personal information is very important to you and we are committed to protecting your personal information in accordance with our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Privacy Principles. The following provides a summary of the way in which we handle any personal information supplied to us.
What is personal information?
Personal information is information (or an opinion) that is reasonably capable of identifying individuals. The type of personal information we usually collect and store during the course of our business is personal information of potential clients, clients, service providers and consultants. The personal information may consist of
- Name, home and/or office address, occupation, employer, contact information (including email addresses and telephone numbers);
- Services, events or areas of law that interest the individual;
- Information about people’s dealings with us or our clients.
How does ACA Lawyers collect and store personal information?
We usually collect personal information from the individual at the time an enquiry is made. Further personal information may be collected if the individual becomes a client. We are required to keep client files for a period of 7 years from closure of the file.
The personal information will usually be collected by telephone, in person, an online enquiry form or by email. The personal information will then be stored in our IT system.
If you do not provide the personal information that we ask for, it may affect our ability to meet our obligations to you or our current and future clients.
How does ACA Lawyers use and disclose personal information?
We collect personal information for the primary purposes of:
- Allowing us to identify potential clients and assess whether we are able to act on their behalf;
- Undertaking the matter in which we have been instructed;
- Managing and accounting for the services we provide;
- Managing our relationship with you or our clients;
- Informing you of any coming events or legal developments that may interest you;
- Informing you of any shareholder class actions that may be of relevance to you;
- Facilitating our internal business operations, including to fulfil our legal requirements and professional obligations.
We may use and disclose personal information for the purposes for which it was collected or a related purpose, such as:
- On a confidential basis to external service providers that provide financial, administrative or other services in connection with our business;
- As compelled or permitted by law;
- Within our organisation;
- To the Court;
- To other parties to litigation;
- To experts and barristers assisting in an individual’s matter;
- To a litigation funder.
Under no circumstances will ACA Lawyers enter into a commercial agreement for the sale of personal information to third parties.
Will my personal information be disclosed to a person outside Australia?
It may be necessary in the conduct of a matter to disclose personal information outside of Australia, for example, to a United Kingdom or United States based litigation funder in relation to a potential or actual shareholder class action. The collection notice provided at the time of or shortly after the collection of personal information will identify whether disclosure outside of Australia is likely.
Does ACA Lawyers collect personal information through its website?
Our website collects statistical data of all visitors to the website, including data on the computer used (such as browser type, IP address) and the behaviour of the visitor (such as pages viewed, length of view). This information does not identify an individual but is used for internal statistical purposes and to improve our website.
We may from time to time send out information on other legal services we offer or publications we have produced. Those communications will always contain a simple ‘opt-out’ procedure for individuals who do not wish to receive such material from us in the future
Personal information regarding individuals applying for employment with ACA Lawyers will be collected. This information is held, used and disclosed as reasonably necessary for the purposes of the recruitment process and statistical reporting and tracking purposes. A resume will only be retained at the individual’s request or with the individual’s consent.
Is my personal information secure?
We take reasonable steps to protect your personal information from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
We store information in access controlled premises or in electronic databases requiring logins and passwords. We use anti-virus protection for our IT systems and our employees are required to comply with policy documents including password complexity requirements. Any physical information is archived securely in access controlled premises. When information we hold is no longer needed, we ensure it is effectively and efficiently destroyed.
Is the personal Information ACA Lawyers holds kept current?
We take reasonable steps to keep your personal information accurate, up to date and complete. If you are a client, please contact the lawyer with responsibility for your matter if any of the details you have provided to us change or if you believe there is a mistake in the information we hold so that we can correct the information and keep it current. If you are not a client, please contact us on (02) 9216 9898 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We may, from time to time, take steps to verify or update your personal information by collecting personal information from public sources (such as a telephone directory).
How can I access my personal information?
Clients can request access to their personal information that we have collected by contacting the lawyer with responsibility for their matter. Other individuals can contact us on (02) 9216 9898 or email@example.com.
Upon receipt of the request, we will respond within a reasonable time and provide access to your personal information in the manner requested, if it is reasonable and practical to do so.
If the personal information is easily accessible, it will be made available free of charge. Where the personal information is not easily accessible, we may charge a reasonable fee for the cost of accessing and/or retrieving the information.
We are permitted to deny your request for access, or limit your access, to personal information in certain circumstances. If we deny access, we will provide reasons in writing.
What if I am not happy with the way ACA Lawyers handles my personal information?
If you are dissatisfied with the way we handle your personal information, including any breach of the Australian Privacy Principles, you can lodge a complaint in writing by contacting the ACA Lawyers Complaints Officer as follows:
Craig Allsopp, Principal
Level 14, 25 Bligh St
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9216 9898
The complaint will be handled in accordance with ACA Lawyers’ Complaints Management Policy which is available on our website. If you do not receive a response to your complaint within 30 days, or the complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you are entitled to refer the matter to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.