Teece Hodgson & Ward Solicitors complies with the Privacy Act in the way we collect, use and disclose personal information. This policy explains how we deal with your personal information.
What type of personal information do we collect?
Teece Hodgson & Ward collects personal information that is necessary to provide legal advice and services for our clients. The type of information we collect can include your name and address or other identifying information and, depending on the kind of work we are doing for you, details about your family, business or property details, financial details, employment details and details about other parties involved in your transactions or matters.
How do we collect personal information?
We normally collect information directly from our clients or from their advisers such as accountants, financial planners, real estate agents. In Court cases, we also collect information during the case from third parties, including the other parties involved in the case and their lawyers and third parties who are asked to provide information, such as banks, hospitals and doctors. We also collect personal information about prospective employees received from applicants or through employment agencies.
How your personal information is managed.
We take reasonable steps to ensure that all personal information we collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete, up-to-date and stored in a secure environment accessed only by authorised persons.
While we aim to keep your information safe, because the internet is not entirely secure we cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us over the internet. This includes information sent by email or entered on our website. Once we receive your information, we will take reasonable steps to keep it secure. We keep information in hard copy on our files, as well as on our computer system. Files are often stored in hard copy for up to 10 years to meet legal compliance requirements and to provide future access to that information if our clients need it – but we do not guarantee that files or other personal information will always be available for that long. Clients who want to keep copies of documents and information on our files can ask for copies to be provided at their cost if they wish. Sometimes we may transfer your files or documents to another law firm. This will normally only be done at your request or with your consent.
How your personal information will be used.
We will use the personal information we collect to provide legal advice and perform legal services for our clients, for administrative and billing purposes, to meet our statutory and legal obligations and for limited marketing purposes, such as providing updated details and information about the firm and our services or details of developments in the law. If you do not wish to receive information about our firm or services or about legal developments, you can let us know by sending our Privacy Officer a message by post, fax or e-mail at any of the addresses set out below.
Will my personal information be disclosed to a third party?
Personal information we collect from our clients is kept confidential but will be used and disclosed to others where necessary in the course of providing legal services to our clients for the purposes for which it is collected. For example: in a property transaction, we may need to disclose your personal information to a real estate agent, to the buyer or seller’s solicitor, to your bank or to your accountant or financial adviser. In a Court case, we may need to disclose your personal information to a barrister briefed to represent you, to other experts or service providers engaged to help in your case, or to the other parties involved in the case or their lawyers.
Other than for the purposes of the legal matter in which you are involved, we will not disclose your personal information without first obtaining your consent unless we are required to do so by law or it is reasonably necessary for the purposes of our performing our legal services for our client. Where possible, we will take reasonable steps to ensure that any personal information disclosed to a third party is protected by that party in accordance with the Privacy Act.
How you can access your personal information.
You can ask for access to your personal information we hold, except in circumstances where access may be denied under the Privacy Act or other law. Examples of these circumstances are:
- where providing access will pose an unreasonable impact on the privacy of another individual;
- where providing access would be unlawful, would pose a threat to the life or health of an individual, may prejudice an investigation of possible unlawful activity, may prejudice enforcement of laws; or
- where denying access is authorised by law.
To make a request for your personal information, please contact our Privacy Officer (contact details below). We will endeavour to respond to a request for personal information within 14 days. If personal information is provided to you as the result of a request, you may be charged a fee for costs incurred in providing that information such as photocopying, administration and postage. If we are unable or unwilling to give you access to personal information, we will tell you why.
How you can correct your personal information.
If you believe that the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, incomplete or not up-to-date please let us know. Provided we agree with you, we will correct it. If we do not agree with you, we will place a statement of what you allege is correct where that information is kept and accessed.
How to contact us
If you have any queries or complaints in regard to our collection, use or management of your personal information, please contact us at:
Teece Hodgson & Ward
1 Chifley Square Sydney NSW 2000
P: 02-9232 3733
F: 02-9231 6093
You can also contact the Privacy Commissioner or visit the Privacy Commissioner’s web site at www.privacy.gov.au if you would like further information about privacy.