Birch & Co is a boutique Brisbane law firm servicing small to medium enterprises and private individuals. This policy outlines the way in which we manage personal information provided to or collected by us, including but not limited to personal information collected via our website or social media pages.
This policy explains how we may use personal information that we obtain about you. For further information, please contact our Privacy Officer on the details set out below.
This policy applies to your use of our services (including our website), or as a result of your relationship with one or more of our clients or your engagement by us in any capacity (including, without limitation, as a representative or supplier). It also applies to information that we collect from third parties about you.
In this policy:
- “Birch & Co” is a reference to Birch & Co Solicitors Pty Ltd (A.B.N. 47 620 357 986) trading as ‘Birch & Co’;
- a reference to “our services” is to any services we provided directly or indirectly (including via third party service providers), and includes our website and social media pages;
- a reference to “representatives” includes agents, officers, directors, employees, contractors, consultants;
- a reference to “our social media pages” is to any social media platforms utilised by us and includes, without limitation, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn;
- a reference to “our website” means the website located at www.birchandco.com.au;
- a reference to “we”, “us” or “our” is a reference to Birch & Co; and
- a reference to “you” is to any person who engages or uses our services or who otherwise supplies any personal information to us (whether relating to themselves personally or to a third party), whether or not required by law or requested by us, in connection with any services we provide or are attempting to provide or otherwise in connection with our business (eg as a representative or supplier), and includes any personal information supplied to or requested by us directly or indirectly.
In this policy, “personal information” has the meaning given to it in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (“the Act”). Generally speaking, it means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether or not the information or opinion is true and whether or not it is recorded in a material form.
The type of information we may collect and hold includes personal information about:
- clients, business associates and potential clients or their representatives and suppliers;
- information about individuals that we collect in the course of acting for clients;
- suppliers and their employees; and
- existing and prospective representatives and suppliers.
We may collect and hold current and historical personal information about you, your officers, your employees or other third parties, including names, dates of birth, contact details, identification details, insurer, employer, occupation, employment history, education, qualifications, family relationships, professional memberships, financial and solvency status, interest in areas of legal practice or events, entities in which any of you have an interest or hold an office, and information about your respective dealings with us or with any of our clients. In some cases, we may collect “sensitive information” within the meaning of the Act, eg health information.
We will collect information directly from you or your representatives, from clients or their representatives or contractors, from publicly available records, or from third parties such as regulatory authorities, your employer, organisations with whom you have had dealings, government agencies, and credit reporting agencies.
If you provide personal information to us relating to a third party, including but not limited to your family members, representatives or any third parties with whom you are dealing, you confirm that you have any necessary permission or authority to do so. You are solely responsible for ensuring that the provision of that personal information complies with all data protection and other applicable laws. Without limiting the foregoing, you warrant to us that you have the authority to disclose personal information if it relates to someone else and that all such information is complete, accurate and up to date.
If you do not provide, or otherwise authorise us to collect, hold, use or disclose, any personal information required by law or which we may otherwise require or request, we may not be able to perform our obligations under any contract or arrangement we have with you (or with any client of Birch & Co with whom you have any relevant dealings or interactions) or otherwise provide any requested services.
Use and Disclosure
We will collect, hold, use and disclose personal information about you to assist us in conducting our business, providing and marketing our services, improving the content of our website, and meeting our legal obligations. You can ask us to stop sending you marketing messages at any time by contacting our Privacy Officer. We will not sell your personal information to any third parties.
We may disclose your personal information (including, where permitted by law, any sensitive information we hold about you):
- to our clients (unless we owe you a duty of confidentiality and you have not consented);
- to third parties who assist us in providing or marketing our services or operating or developing our business, including but not limited to third parties where necessary or convenient to carry out instructions given to us (eg the Land Titles Office and third party services providers such as Barristers and other experts or specialist consultants, debt collectors), our representatives, our IT support providers and other external service suppliers to our business; and
- where we are required or permitted to do so by law, including to courts, tribunals and regulatory authorities.
In certain circumstances, eg where there is an international aspect to our interactions or proposed interactions with you, we may disclose your personal information to the following overseas recipients:
- to entities, including individuals, who provide services or perform functions on our behalf, such as overseas lawyers and specialist consultants;
- to courts, tribunals and regulatory authorities;
- to anyone to whom you authorise us to disclose it; and
- to anyone to whom we are required by law to disclose such information.
Data security and retention
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. Access to your personal information is limited to our authorised representatives, who themselves are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We will retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes for which we collected it, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.
We accept no responsibility for, and to the full extent permitted by law we exclude any and all liability for any claim or loss arising in connection with, any third party websites or social media pages linked to or from our website or social media pages. You should always review the privacy policies of each such third party to ensure that you are aware of and agree to the manner in which they collect, hold, use and disclose personal information.
Accessing and Correcting your Personal Information
It is important that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if any changes in your personal information during the course of your relationship with us.
Subject to any applicable exceptions, including under the Act, you may seek access to and correction of the personal information we hold about you by contacting our Privacy Officer on +61 7 3251 6777 or via email at email@example.com.
You must verify your identity and specify what information you require.
If the law permits us to do so, we may refuse to provide access or we may provide such access only on the condition that you first pay us a fee for granting such access. In either case, we will provide you with reasons for our decision where required by law.
Making a privacy related complaint
You may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles insofar as it binds us. To do so, please lodge your complaint in writing to our Privacy Officer at the above contact details. Any complaint will be investigated by our Privacy Officer. We try to respond to all legitimate complaints within 30 days. However, it may take us longer than 30 days if your complaint is complex or if you have made more than one complaint.
If we are unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, you can contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (“OAIC”) at GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001 or by telephone on 1300 363 992 or +61 2 9284 9749. The OAIC’s website is located at www.oaic.gov.au.
Status and Updates
You will be taken to accept the terms of this policy if you use our website, provide us with personal information (whether directly or indirectly) or ask us to provide services of any kind to you. Without limiting the foregoing, if you are a party to any dealings or interactions with another person, eg a client of Birch & Co, whom you know or believe (or reasonably suspect) will provide your personal information to us, it is your responsibility to communicate to that other person directly any objection to may have to that person disclosing any of your personal information to us. If you fail to do so, you will be taken to have agreed to your personal information being supplied to us on and subject to the terms of this policy.
Our Legal Relationship with You
Subject to any law to the contrary, and then only to the extent prohibited by any such law, neither your use of our website nor your submission of unsolicited material to us, nor our provision of any information on our website (including but not limited to any articles, casenotes or blog posts):
- creates a client-lawyer relationship between Birch & Co and you;
- creates any obligation on Birch & Co to keep your personal information confidential;
- constitutes the provision of legal advice to you; or
- prevents Birch & Co from representing any party whose interests are adverse to your own,
and, to the full extent permitted by law, we hereby exclude any and all liability that in any way relates or arises out of any of the foregoing. The benefit of this exclusion extends to each representative of Birch & Co.