Date: 20 April 2020
- We respect your privacy
1.1 At Law Elements Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries (Law Elements), we respect your right to privacy and we are committed to safeguarding the privacy of our customers and website visitors. We adhere to the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act). The APPs detail how Personal Information may be collected, used, disclosed, stored and destroyed, and how an individual may gain access to or make complaints about the Personal Information held about them.
1.2 In the course of doing business, we predominantly collect business information. However, the ancillary collection of Personal Information in some instances is necessary or unavoidable. When we provide legal services that relate to your personal affairs, we will also collect Personal Information.
2.1 Personal Information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:
(a) whether the information or opinion is true or not; and
(b) whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.
2.2 Sensitive Information means:
(a) information or an opinion about an individual’s:
(i) racial or ethnic origin;
(ii) political opinions;
(iii) membership of a political association;
(iv) religious beliefs or affiliations;
(v) philosophical beliefs;
(vi) membership of a professional or trade association;
(vii) membership of a trade union;
(viii) sexual orientation or practices; or
(ix) criminal record,
that is also Personal Information;
(b) health information about an individual;
(c) genetic information about an individual that is not otherwise health information;
(d) biometric information that is to be used for the purpose of automated biometric verification or biometric identification; or
(e) biometric templates.
- Collection of Personal Information
3.1 We collect and hold a range of Personal Information in carrying out our business and functions as a legal services provider. The kinds of Personal Information that we collect and hold about you will depend upon the nature of our relationship with you.
3.2 If we do not collect, hold, use or disclose your Personal Information, or if you do not consent to the provision of such information, then we may not be able to answer your enquiry, complete the transaction you have entered into, or provide the legal services that you or your organisation have engaged us to provide.
3.3 Our clients
(a) We typically collect and hold the following kinds of Personal Information about our clients:
(i) name, job title and contact details;
(ii) communications between you and us;
(iii) financial information;
(iv) information about your areas of legal interest or specialisation; and
(v) other Personal Information that you provide to us or that we collect in the course of our relationship with you.
(b) To the extent that it is relevant to the work we are undertaking for a client or our general relationship with a client, we may also collect and hold Personal Information about clients that is Sensitive Information under the Privacy Act.
3.4 Our contractors, service providers, suppliers and job applicants
(a) We typically collect and hold the following kinds of Personal Information about contractors, service providers, suppliers and job applicants:
(i) name and contact details;
(ii) information contained in resumes;
(iii) educational details, academic and other transcripts, employment history, skills and background checks;
(iv) references from past employers and referees;
(v) information collected during the interview or assessment process;
(vi) details of your performance under any contract; and
(vii) Personal Information required to make payments, such as bank account details.
(b) We may also collect Sensitive Information contained within the sources set out above, such as membership of a political, professional or trade association or trade union, criminal records and health information.
3.5 Website users, online contacts and attendees at seminars and other functions
(a) When you browse our website, contact us electronically or engage with us on social media, we record geographical tagging and statistical data from your activity including:
(i) your computer system internet address;
(ii) your top level domain name (for example .com, .gov, .au, .uk etc);
(iii) the date and time of your visit to the site;
(iv) the pages you accessed and documents downloaded;
(v) the previous sites you have visited; and
(vi) the type of browser you are using.
(b) None of the statistical information we collect allows us to identify a visitor to our website. The information we collect from your visit to our website is used by us to help administer and improve the website.
(c) The only Personal Information which we collect about you when you use our website or contact us online is what you tell us about yourself, such as when you complete an online subscription form to our publications, alerts and newsletters, when you accept an invitation to attend a seminar or function, complete one of our online forms, including through our marketing campaigns, or through information you provide to us when you send us an email.
(d) The kinds of Personal Information that we may collect through our website, online, when you register to attend function or attend a function include:
(i) your name, contact details, employer and job title; and
(ii) your areas of legal interest or specialisation.
3.6 Other individuals
(a) In the course of providing our clients with the services they have requested, and carrying out their instructions, we may be required to collect Personal Information about other individuals including other parties to our clients’ matters, their legal representatives and other service providers or contractors retained by them. The nature of information collected will depend upon the individual circumstances of the matter, but is likely to include name, contact details, job title and communications with these other individuals. Depending upon the circumstances of the matter, it may also include Sensitive Information.
(b) If you approach us for information we may record your name and contact details and collect additional Personal Information about you to verify your identity and consider whether to provide you with the information that you have requested.
(c) We will also collect Personal Information about you if you provide us with your business card at a function or otherwise provide your Personal Information to us in person or contact us through social media (such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook).
(d) We will, from time to time, receive and store Personal Information you enter onto our website, provided to us directly or given to us in other forms.
- How we collect your Personal Information
4.1 We aim to collect Personal Information only directly from you, unless it is unreasonable or impracticable for us to do so. For example, we collect Personal Information from you or about you from correspondence that you submit to us, meetings and interviews with us, telephone calls with us, the instructions you provide to us, submissions you make on our website, and registration and feedback forms you may fill in for our marketing-related activities and events.
4.2 In some instances, we may receive Personal Information about you from third parties, such as associated businesses, government agencies, local Councils and referrers (such as other law firms, accountants, real estate agents, financial planners, insurers and business consultants etc). We may also receive Personal Information about you from your family members, authorised third parties and publicly available sources.
4.3 We may collect Sensitive Information from you or about you where there is a legal requirement to do so, or where we are otherwise permitted by law. In all other situations, we will specifically seek your consent.
- Use of your Personal Information
5.1 We collect, hold, use and disclose Personal Information from you or about you where it is reasonably necessary for us to carry out our business functions and activities, and to provide our legal advice and other service offerings. For example, we collect, hold, use and disclose your Personal Information as necessary to provide our legal services to you or your organisation, or to act for our client in a matter against you.
5.2 Our business works closely with other businesses, such as government departments and agencies, other law firms, barristers, accountants, real estate agents, financial planners, insurers, local business and industry networks, Chambers of Commerce, business and industry alliances, auditors and other consultants, etc. We routinely disclose your Personal Information to these third parties where it is reasonably necessary for them to assist us to provide our legal services to you, or to enable them to provide related service offerings that you have requested. We may also disclose your Personal Information to banking institutions (to verify and process your payments).
5.3 We also collect, hold, use and disclose your Personal Information for purposes related to the provision of our legal services that you would reasonably expect, such as internal audit investigations, performance reporting, file research, legal services planning, our own internal administrative and accounting functions, our professional and reporting obligations, data backups, marketing and promotions, ongoing newsletter communications, providing you with details about law changes, educational briefings and other service offering updates, conducting client satisfaction surveys and feedback requests, statistical collation and website traffic analysis.
- Direct Marketing
6.1 If you are a client or have otherwise expressed interest and provided us with your contact details, we may send emails to you with information about legal developments (such as publications, alerts and newsletters) and marketing our services (such as seminar and function invitations).
6.2 We may use an “email management system” to automate the management and dispatch of these emails. The system operates by inserting tracking codes in the emails that we send to you. The tracking code allows us to collect Personal Information about you, such as whether you received and opened an email, and whether you clicked through to any links to our website. The Personal Information that the email management system collects and holds about you is used by us to:
(a) ensure that you only receive correspondence that you have informed us that you wish to receive;
(b) insert your Personal Information into our communications with you;
(c) determine whether the information that we send to you is suitable for your interests, information needs and profile;
(d) ensure that the email address that you have provided us is still operational;
(e) determine whether emails that we send to you are received by you;
(f) update a request that you make to us to unsubscribe from a publication that we send to you; and
(g) review the effectiveness and relevance of our emails to you by collecting other statistical information.
6.3 If you do not wish for us to send you such emails, you may unsubscribe from our email notifications by clicking on the ‘Unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of our email notifications and following the prompts or by emailing us by clicking the ‘Contact Us’ button.
- Disclosure of your Personal Information
7.2 We may from time to time need to disclose Personal Information to comply with a legal requirement, such as a law, regulation, court order, subpoena, warrant, in the course of a legal proceeding or in response to a law enforcement agency request.
7.3 We may also disclose your Personal Information to third parties (including, without limitation, government departments and agencies, enforcement bodies and professional registration and accreditation bodies) where required or permitted by law.
7.4 We may also use your Personal Information to protect the copyright, trademarks, legal rights, property or safety of Law Elements, its customers or third parties.
7.5 Information that we collect may from time to time be stored, processed in or transferred between parties located in countries outside of Australia.
7.6 If there is a change of control in our business or a sale or transfer of business assets, we reserve the right to transfer to the extent permissible at law our user databases, together with any Personal Information and non-Personal Information contained in those databases. This information may be disclosed to a potential purchaser under an agreement to maintain confidentiality. We would seek to only disclose information in good faith and where required by any of the above circumstances.
- Security of your Personal Information
8.1 We are committed to ensuring that the information you provide to us is secure. We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that all Personal Information we hold is secure from any unauthorised access, misuse or disclosure. However, we do not guarantee that Personal Information may not be accessed by an unauthorised person (e.g. a hacker) or that unauthorised disclosures will not occur.
- Data Breaches
9.1 In Australia, if we suspect that a data breach has occurred, we will undertake an assessment into the circumstances of the suspected breach within 30 days after becoming aware of the occurrence of the suspected breach. Where it is ascertained that a breach has actually occurred and where required by law, we will notify the Privacy Commissioner and affected individuals in accordance with our legal requirements.
- Access to your Personal Information
10.1 You may request details of Personal Information that we hold about you in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act. A small administrative fee may be payable for the provision of information.
10.2 If you would like a copy of the information, which we hold about you or believe that any information we hold on you is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10.3 In most cases, we expect that we will be able to comply with your request. However, if we do not agree to provide you access or to correct the information as requested, we will give you written reasons why.
10.4 We reserve the right to refuse to provide you with information that we hold about you, in certain circumstances as set out in the Privacy Act.
- Complaints about privacy
11.1 If you have any complaints about our privacy practices, please feel free to send details of your complaints to Level 1, Unit 1C, 201 Leichhardt Street, Spring Hill QLD 4000 or email us at email@example.com. We take complaints very seriously and will respond shortly after receiving written notice of your complaint.
- Destruction and De-identification
12.1 We will retain your Personal Information whilst it is required for any of our business functions, or for any other lawful purpose. For example, we necessarily retain records of client names and the names of opposing parties indefinitely, so as to avoid conflicts of interest.
12.2 We will also retain your Personal Information for the time periods required by law (commonly, seven years).
12.3 We use secure methods to destroy or to permanently de-identify your Personal Information when it is no longer needed:
(a) paper records are sent for secure destruction. In some instances, paper records and original transaction documents will be returned to you and/or relevant third parties.
(b) electronic records retained for longer than 7 years may be archived to alternative storage with suitable electronic safeguards in place.
14.1 When you visit our website
(a) When you come to our website (https://www.lawelements.com.au) we may collect certain information such as browser type, operating system, website visited immediately before coming to our site, etc.
(b) This information is used in an aggregated manner to analyse how people use our site, such that we can improve our service.
(b) Cookies are small text files placed on your hard drive by website hosts. Cookies recognise a repeat visitor to its site and enable sites to store information on the user’s computer so that the information can be referenced later.
(c) Cookies are not malicious programs that access or damage your computer.
(f) Cookies may be used to serve relevant advertisements to website visitors through third party services such as Google Adwords. These advertisements may appear on this website or other websites you visit.
14.3 Third party sites
(a) Our website also contains links to other websites of interest not owned or controlled by us.
(b) These links are meant for your convenience only.
(c) Links to third party websites do not constitute sponsorship or endorsement or approval of these websites.
(e) We encourage our users to be aware, when they leave our website, to read the privacy statements of each and every website that collects personal identifiable information.