1. About This Policy
- Act means the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
- Panetta McGrath means Panetta McGrath Lawyers Pty Ltd ACN 137 735 945, ABN 18 137 735 945 ].
- We and us refer to Panetta McGrath and our has a corresponding meaning.
- Personal information includes personal information and sensitive information and has the same meaning as in the Act.
- APPs means the Australian Privacy Principles which are incorporated in the Act.
Purpose of this policy
- Panetta McGrath is subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
- how we protect the privacy of information in compliance with Australian privacy law;
- the principles by which we collect, store, use and disclose any personal information you provide to us or we collect from other sources;
- how you can access your personal information, correct personal information held by us and lodge complaints.
2. What kinds of personal information do we collect and hold?
We collect and hold personal information which in our opinion is necessary for or connected with the operation of our legal practice. This may include your:
- name and contact details (mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address);
- information concerning legal proceedings and/or matters requiring legal advice and assistance; and
- billing and payment details
We may also collect sensitive information, such as your membership of a professional or trade association, or health information, where it is reasonably necessary for us to provide legal services or carry on our business operations. However, we will only collect sensitive information where:
- you consent to the collection of sensitive information (usually by our retainer with you or other written correspondence) and the collection is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of Panetta McGrath’s functions and activities; or
- an exception to the prohibition against collection of sensitive information applies, such as:
- the collection of the information is required or authorised by law (e.g. civil procedure legislation); or
- the collection of the information is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal or equitable claim.
3. Notifying you about our collection of your information
When Panetta McGrath collects your personal information, we must take reasonable steps to ensure you are aware of particular matters associated with our collection of your personal information.
4. The purpose for which we may collect, hold, use and disclose information
Panetta McGrath collects personal information only where reasonably necessary for one or more of the functions and activities connected to the operations of our law firm. We collect personal information for the primary purposes of:
- providing clients with legal advice;
- considering making offers of employment or for contracted employment purposes;
- receiving services provided by you or your employer; and
- advising you of legal developments, seminars and events and in conducting our marketing activities.
While under the Privacy Act, individuals generally have a right to remain anonymous, in most circumstances this right does not apply when you seek legal advice or representation, as it is usually impracticable for us to provide legal advice to you without knowing your true identity. If you choose to not give your personal information to us we may not be able to provide you with legal advice.
5. How Panetta McGrath utilises and discloses your information
Generally, we use and disclose personal information only for the primary purpose for which we collect it. For example, if you provide us with personal information in the course of instructing us to give legal advice or run litigation, we may disclose this information to:
- barristers or experts engaged in any matter to which you are a party; or
- interstate or overseas law firms for the purpose of obtaining relevant legal advice relevant to your matter.
We will generally not use or disclose your personal information for any secondary purpose unless you have consented, or we are otherwise permitted or required to do so (whether under the APP’s, the Act or another law).
If we send your personal information to an overseas recipient, Panetta McGrath will
- take reasonable precautions to ensure the overseas recipient does not breach the APPs; and/or
- seek to establish a reasonable belief that the overseas recipient is subject to protections which, overall, are at least substantially similar to those in the APPs (and which can be enforced).
An example of a precautionary measure is incorporating a confidentiality clause into a contractual agreement to legally protect your personal information.
From time to time we may engage service providers who are located overseas and/or who store information outside of Australia, for example, cloud-based storage solutions. Whilst the use of overseas service providers will not always involve a disclosure of personal information, by providing us with your personal information, you consent to the possibility that it may be stored on overseas servers.
We will not disclose your personal information to third parties for the purpose of allowing them to direct market any products and services to you.
6. Direct marketing
We may use your personal information to provide you with updates on areas of law and information about our services, unless you request not to receive such communications from us. You may also subscribe to our newsletters or specific industry alerts.
All of our direct marketing communications contain a facility whereby you can opt-out of receiving future communications. You may also at any time separately request not to receive direct marketing communications from us. We will comply with any request to unsubscribe as soon as reasonably possible.
When you visit our website – www.pmlawyers com.au, our server attaches a small data file called a “cookie” to your computer’s memory.
8. Collection of anonymous information via our website
As most website owners and operators do, Panetta McGrath tracks usage patterns on our website on an anonymous aggregate basis. Each time you visit our website – www.pmlaywers.com.au, a web server makes a record of your visit.
Specifically, it records your:
- internet Service Provider;
- date and time of your visit;
- pages accessed and the documents downloaded;
- search items entered; and
- referring URLs (universal locators).
9. Information about other people that you provide to Panetta McGrath
If you or your organisation is subject to privacy laws and you provide information to Panetta McGrath about someone else (such as directors or employees of your organisation), you must ensure that you are entitled to disclose that information under the APPs, without Panetta McGrath taking further steps to make sure your disclosure is compliant.
10. Maintaining currency of your information
Panetta McGrath is committed to ensuring that all reasonable procedures are followed to ensure your personal information is accurate, complete, and up to date whenever we collect or use it. If we believe the information we hold is inaccurate, out-of-date, irrelevant, incomplete or misleading, we will take steps to correct the information.
If you are aware or suspect that any of your personal information held by Panetta McGrath is inaccurate, out-of-date, irrelevant, incomplete or misleading, please contact us immediately and we will take all reasonable steps to correct your personal information.
11. How Panetta McGrath secures your personal information
Your personal information may be stored by us either in hard copy documents or as electronic data in our information technology systems. Panetta McGrath maintains a high level of physical security over our hard copy and electronic data stores and premises, including locks, alarms and barrier systems
In respect of our electronic data, we maintain a high level of computer and network security. Our information systems log all details in relation to the creation, location, access and destruction of electronic documents, allowing tracing of access and activity. We have developed specific policies governing information security in respect of local and remote systems access, including passwords and authentication devices for corporate and personal email, internet browsing, use of laptops and mobile and tablet devices. All network transactions are secured by SSL certificates, Firewalls and Enterprise Antivirus software (provided by Symantec).
12. Gaining access to personal information held by Panetta McGrath
You are entitled at any time, upon request, to access your personal information held by us. We will respond within a reasonable time after the request is made and give access to the information in the manner requested by you, unless it is impracticable to do so. We are entitled to charge you a reasonable administrative fee for giving you access to the information requested.
Should access to any personal information be refused, Panetta McGrath will explain the reasons for refusal, and inform you of any exceptions under the Act relied upon as the basis for such a refusal.
13. Lodging a complaint
The Privacy Officer will make good faith efforts to rectify the issue and respond within a reasonable period after the complaint is made.
14. Contacting us
Level 5, 179 St Georges Terrace
Perth, Western Australia 6000
Tel: 08 9321 0522