Small Myers Hughes Lawyers and its associated entity SMH Legal Pty Ltd (“SMH”) are committed to the privacy of our clients and other individuals. SMH is subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (and amending legislation and includes the NPP). Further, our professional obligations also include confidentiality.
1. What Information Do We Collect And Hold?
SMH collects and holds personal information (including in some circumstances sensitive information) from:
- Clients and prospective clients and their business associates and employees;
- Employees, prospective employees and our contractors and suppliers of goods and services;
- Third parties during the course of acting for clients throughout a matter.
SMH may collect any or all of the following personal information including:
- Contact information (including name, postal address, email address, telephone number);
- Date of birth;
- Photographic Identification, eg driver license or passport;
- Financial information, eg credit card details, bank account details, Tax File Numbers;
- Health or genetic information;
- Internet Provider Address (IP address)
- Political Associations or opinions, members of associations or unions
- Criminal Record;
- Sexual Preferences or practices.
The type of information we will collect will depend upon the type of legal services we provide you with, or our interaction with you.
You do not need to supply us with personal information but if you do not we may not be able to provide you with legal services, communicate with you or complete our legal obligations to you.
2. How Do We Collect Information?
SMH may collect personal information by:
- Interacting with us in person or electronically, eg a telephone call, completing a form, an interview, submitting information on our website, emails, written correspondence;
- From a third party, eg a financial advisor, an accountant, a doctor, a broker, a website analyst, a contra party.
3. Website Collection of Information
SMH collects personal information about visitors who use our website. Examples of this are:
- If the individual provides information to us through our “Contact Us’ form;
- Information such as IP addresses, browser type, operating systems and domain names, as well as dates and times of access.
- We also use analytical software, eg Google Analytical, Yellow Pages Online, to collect information about the use of our website. This information includes navigation through the website, number of visits, duration of visits and commonly used areas of the website. This information is used to improve our website and our services and is not used to identify visitors personally.
- If you do not wish to receive cookies, you can disable them or receive a warning when cookies are being used by altering the security settings of your website browser. Please note that disabling cookies may impact on your ability to use parts of the website.
4. How Do We Hold Information?
The information collected will be:
- held securely within our office (including locked cabinets, compactus, security room and alarm systems);
- at a third party site;
- on our computer network (using methods such as password protection, anti virus and firewall software).
SMH takes steps to ensure the protection of all information we collect and takes steps to ensure that there is no:
- unauthorised access;
- misuse; or
- alteration of personal information
It is a condition of our staff’s employment that they will keep your personal information secure and respect your confidentiality.
5. The purpose for which we collect, hold, use or disclose information?
At SMH we use personal information for a number of reasons as determined by our relationship with you.
In all cases we may collect, hold, use or disclose personal information for the following purposes:
- Providing legal services;
- Conducting our business including our legal requirements;
- Provision you with information services relevant to your business;
- Communication with you or your entitles;
- To purchase goods or services;
- To market our service to you by way of email.
If you are a client you consent for us to collect, use, disclose and store your personal information so that we:
- can conduct our business; and
- provide legal services to you.
Examples of this may include providing information to barristers, consultants, medical practitioners, allied health professionals, valuers, third party experts.
6. How may you access the personal information held by Small Myers Hughes and seek correction of the information if need be?
You may request access to the personal information which we hold or seek correction to that information by contacting us by phone on +61 7 5552 6666 or by email on [email protected] or by post to PO Box 1876, Southport QLD 4215.
Depending on the nature of your request, we will:
- Respond to your request for access to your personal information within a reasonable period after the request is made;
- Provide you with access to such information so long as an exception to access under the Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) is not applicable;
- Give access to the information in the manner in which you request if it is reasonable and practicable to do so;
- Consider your request for the correction of your personal information and, if appropriate, take reasonable steps to correct the personal information to ensure that it is accurate, up to date, complete, relevant and not misleading;
- Provide you with a written notice if we refuse to correct your personal information setting out the reason for the refusal (except where it would be unreasonable to do so) and the mechanisms available to complain regarding the refusal.
There may be a fee associated with providing you with access to such information. Where this is the case, you will be advised of the estimated cost in advance.
7. Is your personal information likely to be disclosed to an overseas recipient?
We store all personal information in Australia.
Throughout the course of a matter we may need to disclose your information to an overseas recipient. We will do this if:
- You authorise us to do so;
- We are required by law or a court/tribunal order;
- We send the information to a third party expert we have engaged to assist us in providing legal advice (eg a barrister or consultant) provided that we reasonably believe that country has similar privacy protections as in Australia.
Generally speaking we will disclose the information to New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, United Kingdom, USA, Indonesia and Dubai.
8. What can you do if you wish to make a complaint?
If you wish to make a complaint about the collection, holding, use or disclosure of your personal information by our firm, you can do so by contacting us by phone on +61 7 5552 6666 or by email on [email protected] or by post to PO Box 1876, Southport QLD 4215. We will respond to your complaint within a reasonable timeframe.
In circumstances where you are dissatisfied with our response, you may submit a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
9. Changes to this Policy
At any time we may change this policy without notice to you. You accept these changes by continuing to use our website and our services.
10. No Client/lawyer Relationship
You also acknowledge that we may represent a third party in a matter adverse to you, even if you provide us with information that could be used against you in the matter, even if you provided the information in good faith to retain us.
The provision of information does not create a lawyer/client relationship.