Schmidt-Liermann Pty Ltd (ABN 11 147 193 404 trading as Schmidt-Liermann Lawyers (we, us, our) are committed to protecting your privacy, in accordance with applicable Australian privacy laws. This Policy is designed to give you an understanding of how we collect, use, disclose and handle personal information, and the steps we take to protect it. This policy is separate to our client confidentiality obligations (which are set out in our terms of engagement) or our privacy obligations in respect of credit reporting.
What is personal information?
Personal information means information or an opinion, whether true or not and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual who is identified or reasonably identifiable.
We are required to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act. The APPs regulate the manner in which personal information is handled throughout its life cycle, from collection to use and disclosure, storage, accessibility and disposal.
We are also required to comply with more specific privacy legislation in some circumstances.
WHAT WE COLLECT
The type of personal information that we collect about you depends on the type of dealings you have with us.
For example, if you:
- are a client of the firm, we will collect your name, job title, address, contact details, information about our dealings with you, the legal areas that are of interest to you and information about the events and seminars that you have attended
- are involved in a matter that we are working on, we may collect your name, contact details and information about the relevant matter
- ask to be placed on one of our mailing lists, we will collect your name, address and contact details
- supply goods or services to us, we will collect your name, address, contact details and financial details for payment purposes
- send us an enquiry or provide us with feedback, we will collect your name, contact details and details of your enquiry or feedback
- apply for a job with us, we will collect the information you include in your job application, including your cover letter, resume, contact details and referee reports
- are involved in a dispute with our client, we will collect your name, address, contact details and relevant file numbers held by our client.
Sensitive information is a type of personal information that is generally given a higher level of privacy protection. It can include information about racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association or trade union, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record and information about health.
We only collect sensitive information where it is reasonably necessary for our functions or activities and either:
- the individual has consented, or
- we are required or authorised by or under law to do so.
COLLECTION OF INFORMATION OTHER THAN PERSONAL INFORMATION THROUGH OUR WEBSITE
When you visit our website, some of the information that is collected about your visit is not personal information, as it does not reveal your identity.
Site visit information
For example, we record your server address, the date and time of your visit, the pages you visited, any documents you downloaded, the previous site you visited and the type of device, browser and operating system you used.
WHAT IF YOU DON'T PROVIDE US WITH YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION?
The nature of the business carried on by our firm means that, generally, it is not possible for us to provide services to our clients anonymously.
HOW WE COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION
Methods of collection
In the course of providing legal services, we collect personal information in a number of ways, including:
- in person (for example, at a meeting or function)
- through one of our websites
- over the telephone
- through written correspondence
- on hard copy forms
- from third parties, including:
- credit reporting bodies and credit providers
- regulatory authorities
- from public registers
WHY WE COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION
The main purposes for which we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information are to:
- provide our clients with legal services
- assess credit-worthiness
- send you information if you are on one of our mailing lists
- obtain goods and services
- perform research and statistical analysis, including for customer satisfaction and service improvement purposes
- protect the security of our offices, staff, clients and the property held on our premises
- answer queries and resolve complaints
- recruit staff and contractors
We may also collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for other purposes explained at the time of collection or which are required or authorised by or under law or for which you have provided your consent.
We may use your personal information to send you information about our products and services, including legal updates and invitations to seminars and functions and relevant products and services of third parties either where we have your express or implied consent, or where we are otherwise permitted by law to do so. We may contact you for these purposes in a variety of ways, including by mail, email, SMS, telephone or social media campaigns.
Where you have consented to receiving these communications from us, that consent will remain current until you advise us otherwise.
WHO WE MAY SHARE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION WITH
We may share your personal information with third parties where appropriate for the purposes set out in this policy and which may include:
- financial institutions for payment processing
- barristers, experts or other relevant third parties in relation to your matter
- external lawyers who we contract to assist us in providing legal services to you
- our related bodies corporate
- credit reporting bodies and credit providers
- government regulators (for example to update ASIC records or where required under anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws)
- referees whose details are provided to us by job applicants
- our contracted service providers, including:
- information and communication technology providers
- data storage and archive service providers
- function and event organisers
- marketing and communications agencies
- research and statistical analysis providers
- delivery and shipping providers
- business advisers (such as recruitment advisors, accountants, auditors and lawyers)
In each case, we may disclose personal information to the service provider and the service provider may in turn provide us with personal information collected from you in the course of providing the relevant products or services.
DATA QUALITY AND SECURITY
We hold personal information in a number of ways, including in hard copy documents, electronic databases, email contact lists, and in paper files held in drawers and cabinets. Paper files may also be archived in boxes and stored offsite in secure facilities. We take reasonable steps to:
- make sure that the personal information that we collect, use and disclose is accurate, up to date and complete and (in the case of use and disclosure) relevant
- protect the personal information that we hold from misuse, interference and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure
- destroy or permanently de-identify personal information that is no longer needed for any purpose that is permitted by the APPs.
You can help us keep your information up to date, by letting us know about any changes to your details, such as your address, email address or phone number.
The steps we take to secure the personal information we hold include website protection measures (such as firewalls and anti-virus software), security restrictions on access to our computer systems (such as login and password protection), controlled access to our corporate premises, policies on document storage and security, personnel security, staff training and workplace policies.
Online credit card payment security
We process payments using EFTPOS and online technologies. All transactions processed by us meet industry security standards to ensure payment details are protected.
While we strive to protect the personal information and privacy of users of our websites, we cannot guarantee the security of any information that you disclose online and you disclose that information at your own risk. If you are concerned about sending your information over the internet, you can contact us by telephone or post.
Third party websites
ACCESS AND CORRECTION
Please contact our firm if you would like to access or correct the personal information that we hold about you. We may require you to verify your identity before processing any access or correction requests, to make sure that the personal information we hold is properly protected.
We will generally provide you with access to your personal information, subject to some exceptions permitted by law. We will also generally provide access in the manner that you have requested , provided it is reasonable and practicable for us to do so. We may however charge a fee to cover our reasonable costs of locating the information and providing it to you.
If you ask us to correct personal information that we hold about you, or if we are satisfied that the personal information we hold is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading, we will take reasonable steps to correct that information to ensure that, having regard to the purpose for which it is held, the information is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading.
Timeframe for access and correction requests
We will endeavour to respond to access and correction requests within 14 days.
If you have a complaint about how we have collected or handled your personal information, please contact us.
We will endeavour to deal with your complaint and take any steps necessary to resolve the matter within 7 days.
OUR CONTACT DETAILS
If you have any queries about the personal information that we hold about you or the way we handle that personal information, please contact us.
Further general information about privacy is available on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at www.oaic.gov.au or by calling the OAIC's enquiry line at 1300 363 992.
CHANGES TO THIS POLICY