MICHAEL LYNCH FAMILY LAWYERS
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers Pty Ltd (referred to in this policy as “Michael Lynch Family Lawyers”) recognises the importance of protecting the privacy of personal information. This policy applies to the collection, use, disclosure and handling of personal information by Michael Lynch Family Lawyers including personal information collected via our website.
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers is committed to abiding by the Australian Privacy Principles as set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (referred to in this policy as the “Privacy Act”). The Australian Privacy Principles set out the way in which personal information must be treated.
In addition, we must comply with our professional obligations (including confidentiality obligations) in dealing with an individual’s personal information.
1. PERSONAL INFORMATION
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers collects personal information that is necessary for our business to perform our legal obligations and duties as lawyers and to market our services.
In some circumstances e.g. making an initial telephone enquiry or enquiry via our website, it is possible for an individual to use a pseudonym or remain anonymous when dealing with us for enquiry or general information purposes. However, we are unable to comply with our professional obligations in performing a legal service without ascertaining the identity and correct name of the individual.
‘Personal information’ is information or an opinion relating to an individual which can be used to identify that individual. The information collected varies and is dependent upon the nature of our dealings with you.
The type of personal information we may collect from you incudes, but is not limited to:
- Your name and contact details including your address, email address and telephone number
- Your date of birth and proof of your identity e.g. driver’s licence, passport etc.
- Your income and financial information including, but not limited to, your bank account details, assets, liabilities and superannuation details.
- Any other financial information required in order to properly perform our legal services including your tax file number, income tax returns, financial and bank statements, child support details and valuation reports.
- Information relating to entities you may be associated with and personal information relating to other people which may be relevant to your legal matter.
We will collect this personal information directly from you either when we meet with you in person or when we communicate with you by telephone, email or other means. This information may be collected by a variety of methods including, but not limited to:
- New client questionnaire
- Copying of Driver’s Licence/Passport
- Disclosure documents and other information particulars acquired during the course of a matter
- Other party details during the life of a file (no consent by the other party given necessarily)
- Attendance at marketing seminars
- Website enquiries (including recording of an IP address and email address)
- Comments/complaints made to the firm
Sometimes, during the course of a legal matter, Michael Lynch Family Lawyers may need to collect personal information about individuals from third parties e.g. expert reports which are necessary to provide appropriate legal services to the client. We may also receive unsolicited personal or sensitive information from third parties e.g. the other side in a matter. In such circumstances you will notified of such provision of personal information from the third party as soon as practicable after the event.
2. SENSITIVE INFORMATION
“Sensitive information” is a subset of personal information. The type of sensitive information we collect from you or record about you is dependent upon the services provided to you by Michael Lynch Family Lawyers. Sensitive information may include information or opinion about an individual’s ethnic origin, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, criminal record and health information. Sensitive information will only be collected with your consent and its use will be limited to the purpose for which it is collected.
3. USE AND DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
We take all reasonable steps to use and disclose personal information for the primary purpose for which it is collected. The primary purpose for which information is collected varies, depending on the particular service being provided, but is generally to provide legal advice and services to an individual.
Personal information may also be used or disclosed by us for secondary purposes which are within the individual’s reasonable expectations and related to the primary purpose of collection. This may include disclosing personal information to other service providers in order to provide the legal service to the individual (e.g. other solicitors, barristers, experts, accountants etc.).
Otherwise we will only disclose personal information to third parties with the relevant individual’s consent or if compelled under limited circumstances (such as a Court Order) to disclose such information or if the disclosure is permitted by the Privacy Act.
4. DIRECT MARKETING
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers may, from to time, use personal information that individuals have provided for the purpose of direct marketing to provide information and promote business activities and functions. This is done, in most cases, with the consent of the individual. This marketing includes, but is not limited to, sending to clients and other parties email and hardcopy newsletters containing information which we consider may be of interest to you. Recipients of direct marketing are always able to opt out of receiving direct marketing communications by using the “unsubscribe” facility included in the email or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not disclose personal information to third parties for the purpose of allowing them to send direct marketing material to you.
5. DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION OVERSEAS
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers will generally be unlikely to disclose personal information about individuals to overseas recipients. Personal information will only be disclosed by Michael Lynch Family Lawyers to overseas recipients in accordance with Australia Privacy Principle 8, such as in circumstances where the individual consents to the disclosure of the information to an overseas recipient or if the disclosure is required by Australian law.
6. ACCESS TO AND CORRECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers is committed to and takes all reasonable steps necessary to maintain accurate, complete and appropriate information about our clients. Individuals should contact us if their personal information changes. Individuals may request access to the personal information we hold or ask for their personal information to be corrected.
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers may require the individual to verify their identity in relation to any request for access to or correction of personal information.
If incorrect or out of date information regarding an individual has been supplied by Michael Lynch Family Lawyers to a third party then, on the request of the individual, we will take all necessary steps to notify the other party of that correction.
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers will grant an individual access to their personal information as soon as possible, subject to the request circumstances. We may deny access to personal information if:
- the request is impractical or unreasonable;
- providing access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of another person;
- providing access would compromise our professional obligations; or
- there are other legal grounds to deny the request.
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers will respond to any requests for access or correction within a reasonable time of receipt of the request but by no later than 30 days of the request being received.
7. YOUR CREDIT INFORMATION
We do not use an individual’s personal information to assess their credit eligibility. However, during the course of providing the legal service to the individual, we may collect credit information that is necessary to provide them with the legal service. What kinds of credit information may we collect?
The main kind of credit information we collect is an individual’s identification information.
However, in the course of providing legal services to you, we may be given (and subsequently hold) the following other kinds of credit information:
- information about any credit that has been provided to you;
- your repayment history;
- information about your overdue payments;
- if terms and conditions of your credit arrangements are varied;
- if any court proceedings are initiated against you in relation to your credit activities;
- information about any bankruptcy or debt agreements involving you;
- any publicly available information about your credit worthiness; and
- any information about you where you may have fraudulently or otherwise committed a serious credit infringement.
We do not collect your credit information from credit reporting bodies, banks or other credit providers unless it is necessary to provide you with the legal service or you have expressly asked us to.
- How and when do we collect credit information?
In most cases, we will only collect credit information about you if you disclose it to us and it is relevant in providing you with the legal service.
Other sources we may collect the credit information from include:
(a) banks and other credit providers;
(b) other individuals and entities via referrals; and
(c) your suppliers and creditors.
However, in most cases you will be aware that this information is being collected as part of the legal service we are providing to you.
- How do we store and hold the credit information?
We store and hold credit information in the same manner as outlined in section 8 of this policy.
- Why do we collect the credit information?
Our usual purpose for collecting, holding, using and disclosing credit information about you is to enable us to provide you with the legal service.
We may also collect credit information to process payments.
- Overseas disclosure of the credit information
We will not disclose your credit information to overseas entities unless you expressly advise us to, apart from the following circumstances:
(a) to the extent that your credit information is contained in emails which are filtered by our email filtering host; or
(b) to the extent that it is necessary or desirable to make such a disclosure to obtain payment of money owed to us.
- How can I access my credit information, correct errors or make a complaint?
You can access and correct your credit information, or complain about a breach of your privacy in the same manner as set out in section 12 of this policy.
8. SECURITY AND STORAGE
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers have security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of personal information under our control. We take all reasonable steps to protect personal information that is under our control from misuse, interference, loss and/or unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. All hardcopy personal information is kept securely and all personal information kept electronically is held on secure servers with substantial security measures in place. The employees of Michael Lynch Family Lawyers are contractually required to respect the confidentiality of personal information and the privacy of individuals.
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers is required by law to hold client information and files for a period of seven (7) years after we cease acting in a matter. These hardcopy files are held in a secure off-site facility and are destroyed securely when no longer required. If we destroy any hard copy document or the complete file before the date seven years after the completion or termination of our engagement for your matter, then we will create an electronic copy of the document or file. We will destroy the electronic copy file seven years after the date of the final bill rendered by us in this matter.
No data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be absolutely secure and therefore we cannot warrant the security of any information transmitted to it or from our online services and users do so at their own risk. Once the data or information is received by Michael Lynch Family Lawyers, we make every effort to ensure the security of such transmission within our office systems.
If it becomes apparent to us that your personal information is involved in an eligible data breach, you will be notified in accordance with provisions of the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
When a user visits our website, our internet service provider may record personal information such as the user’s internet address, the user’s domain name, the user’s internet service provider, information about the computer being used by the user. Individuals cannot be identified from this information and such information is only used for statistical and website development purposes to assist us in providing an effective service on our website.
Should you not wish to accept cookies or wish to delete existing cookies, you may configure your browser to reject cookies or manually delete existing cookies from your hard drive.
Our website may contain links to other websites and those third party websites may collect personal information about individuals. Michael Lynch Family Lawyers are not responsible for the privacy practices of other businesses or the content of websites that are linked to our website. We encourage users to read the privacy statements of each and every website irrespective of whether those websites collect personally identifiable information. Michael Lynch Family Lawyers does not endorse, approve or recommend the services or products provided on third party websites.
The Principal, Michael Lynch Family Lawyers, PO Box 12027, GEORGE STREET. BRISBANE. QLD. 4003