We are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth) and the National Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988. Paterson & Dowding is committed to maintaining your privacy in any event. Our policy in relation to our collection and use of your personal information is set out below.
Collection and use of personal information
Paterson & Dowding is a law firm practising exclusively in the field of family law. We may collect your personal information for any or all of the following reasons –
a) To provide legal services to you.
b) To communicate with you. We may therefore record your street or postal address; your email address; phone number, etc.
c) For internal marketing, database and other management statistics. If you visit our website, we may record your server address; domain name; IP address; the date and time of your visit; pages accessed; documents downloaded; previous site visited and the type of browser used, and cookies. Cookies are small files of information which save and retrieve information about your visit to our website. If you do not wish information to be gathered on a cookie it is possible to disable cookies in your web browser. If you want to do this you should contact your ISP. If this site uses a cookie to deliver contents we consider will interest you, the cookie may also be used for authentication.
d) To check the accuracy of your information. We may therefore obtain information from third parties which may include –
• the other party’s lawyer;
• other parties to litigation or a transaction;
• your agents and contractors, including your accountant, finance broker, settlement agent, financial advisor, insurance broker, insurer, banks and other financial providers;
• credit reference agencies and other information-providing bodies;
• statutory bodies such as Landgate and ASIC, and other government agencies and instrumentalities;
e) To obtain your payment for our services and/or disbursements to third parties that are reasonably necessary to properly conduct your matter. We may therefore record and store your bank account and/or credit card details. We will not use your details for these or any other purposes without your knowledge or consent.
f) When required or permitted by law.
g) When dealing with courts or tribunals.
h) For employment purposes.
We will take reasonable steps to –
• Inform you why we are collecting personal information.
• Advise you what will happen if you do not provide personal information to us.
• Identify to whom we may provide your personal information to.
• Ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete and up-to-date.
We will not collect your personal information which can also be characterized as sensitive information (such as religious beliefs; health, genetic or biometric details, sexual orientation, etc), unless reasonably necessary to act for you and we will use such information only in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.
Disclosure of Information
We will maintain the privacy and confidentiality of your personal information, except where –
a) We are required or permitted by law to use such information;
b) We reasonably believe it is necessary on health or public safety grounds to use your personal information for another purpose.
Where practicable we will seek your consent before we use your personal information for the provision of marketing materials, including but not limited to newsletters, articles, offers, brochures, etc. You may tell us at any time you do not wish to receive any further marketing materials. If you do, we will stop sending you such materials.
We may disclose your personal information to a third party for the purpose of instructing that party to collect outstanding legal fees.
We will take reasonable steps to protect your personal information and data from misuse, damage or loss.
We store electronic records of your personal information on a secure in-house server which is only accessible to authorised personnel. We do not store your information in the “cloud”. We back up our data regularly which is stored on tapes in a secure off-site facility.
At the completion of your matter, we will store hard copies of your personal information in a secure off-site storage facility for 7 years after which time it will be destroyed.
Your access to and correction of your personal information
If you are a client of Paterson & Dowding, you may request access to, or seek correction of your personal information by contacting us during normal business hours.
Complaints and contact
Please contact us on phone (08)9226 3300 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries or complaints in relation to your personal information. If you wish to take matters further, you may refer your concerns to the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner.
For further information regarding compliance with the Privacy Act visit the Privacy Commissioner website at www.privacy.gov.au.