Introduction

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, including information collected via our website at www.birchandco.com.au (“our website”).

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. It also applies to information that we collect from third parties.

In this policy, a reference to “we”, “us” or “our” is a reference to Birch & Co.

Personal Information

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 employees;
  • information about individuals that we collect in the course of acting for clients;
  • suppliers and their employees; and
  • employees, prospective employees and contractors.

We may collect and hold current and historical personal information including your name, contact details, identification details, insurer, employer, entities in which you have an interest or hold an office, occupation, employment history, education, qualifications, family relationships, professional memberships, interest in areas of legal practice or events, and information about your 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.

Collection

We will collect information directly from you, from clients, from authorised representatives, 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.

We may collect information from you directly, through your dealings and interactions with us, or indirectly through the use of cookies or traffic logs and analyses in connection with our website. Information collected via our website may include the IP of address of the device accessing any resources on our website, other technical details about the device, and the nature of the visit.

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.

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 our services; and
  • where we are required or permitted to do so by law.

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.

Accessing and Correcting your Personal Information

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 info@birchandco.com.au.

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 and you will be notified of the making of any decision in relation to your complaint as soon as reasonably practicable, usually within 30 days.

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 or ask us to provide services of any kind to you.

This policy will be reviewed from time to time to take into account new laws and technology, and changes to our practices and business environment. The most current version of this policy is located on our website at birchandco.com.au. You should review the privacy policy page on our website regularly to ensure that you are aware of any changes to its terms.

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):

(a) creates a client-lawyer relationship between Birch & Co and you;

(b) creates any obligation on Birch & Co to keep your personal information confidential;

(c) constitutes the provision of legal advice to you; or

(d) 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 proprietor/partner, associate and employee of Birch & Co.

Last updated: 26 February 2015