At Foster & Company, we recognize the importance of protecting our client’s personal information. This policy outlines the framework of our procedures regarding its collection, use, retention and disclosure and supplements, where applicable, our professional obligations of confidentiality and lawyer/client privilege.
In the course of our commercial activities and, in particular, providing service to clients, we at Foster & Company collect personal information about our clients, our employees and others. This information may be used for contact purposes, for general human resource purposes and, more broadly, to communicate with our clients and others respecting legal affairs relevant to them and, more specifically, the services we provide.
When retained to act on behalf of clients – we use, retain and disclose personal information on behalf of, and as instructed by, that client in conjunction with our advice. Our use, retention, and disclosure of such information is governed by our duty of confidentiality to our clients and, as applicable, by lawyer/client privilege.
Our privacy principles only apply to personal information concerning identifiable individuals. This is not applicable to business information. Personal information does not include the name, title, business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization. In the context of this policy, the term “clients” shall be understood as all current, former and prospective.
Foster & Company collects personal information so as to provide legal products and services to its clients. In addition, we produce newsletters and papers and also hold seminars concerning legal developments which we provide as a service to our clients and others in the business community. At no time will we require, as a condition of providing a service, information not deemed pertinent to such a service.
Foster & Company collects personal information by lawful and fair means only for reasons deemed reasonably necessary for purposes identified. Whenever possible, we collect personal information about clients and other individuals directly from those parties or through referrals by persons whom such parties have requested to provide such information.
Oftentimes Foster & Company will obtain information from other sources including:
• government agencies or registries
• accountants or other professional advisors
• financial institutions
• insurance companies
• credit bureaus
• other third parties who exercise the right to disclose such personal information
We may also use your personal information for the following reasons:
• billing, record-keeping and other client service matters
• accessing our clients’ credit eligibility
• audit purposes
• account collection purposes
• the management and development of business and operations
• to communicate with clients regarding current and future products and services
• to follow up on client inquiries, comments and/or suggestions
Foster & Company will only disclose your personal information for purposes related to provision of service, with your written consent or if requested or authorized by law. We may disclose your information only in cases where:
• legal services provided require us to share your information with third parties such as lenders in real estate mortgage transactions
• it is deemed necessary to establish or collect fees
• we engage expert witnesses on your behalf
• we retain law firms in other jurisdictions on your behalf
• a court of law issues a subpoena
We may obtain your consent to collect, use and disclose your information either expressly, for stated purposes (such as in a retainer letter or by completing a client publication request form), or impliedly when purposes are not stated expressly but are indicated by relevant circumstances or by following logically from other expressly stated purposes (such as providing regular publications and updates in areas of law in which we have provided advice previously).
You may withdraw or amend any consent previously given by contacting our Privacy Officer, subject to any legal or contractual restrictions and upon given notice.
Since your personal information is collected for use in the procurement of legal assistance, it is of utmost importance that such information be accurate and up to date. Please advise us at the very onset of any changes to such information.
Foster & Company holds all personal information in the strictest of confidence and utilizes appropriate security measures in its protection against loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, use or modification of such information. Security measures will vary depending on the sensitivity, amount, format, nature and storage of such information and will involve, as applicable, physical, organizational and electronic security measures. Sophisticated premise security, restricted file access, technological safeguards including security software, passwords and firewalls have all been instituted as measures against the unauthorized access and use of any and all personal information.
Foster & Company requires that all third party service providers to whom personal information may be transferred provide a level of security that meet equally high standards established by Foster & Company. It should be noted at this juncture that communication through email is not a fully secure medium and assurance cannot be guaranteed.
We will respond promptly to any request for access to your personal information at no cost to you, with the exception being the cost of obtaining copies of records and/or disbursements arising from significant retrieval costs. In the event of such a request, you will be notified of the cost, if any, prior to the retrieval of such records or information. Foster & Company will not respond to requests deemed to be vexatious, frivolous and/or repetitious.
In certain circumstances we may be unable to provide access to some or all personal information. Such circumstances include those in which personal information cannot be separated from the records of others, cannot be disclosed for reasons relating to personal security or commercial confidentiality (including Foster & Company) or is protected by professional standards relating to confidentiality or lawyer/client privilege.
Should you participate in our subscription program for our newsletter or other publications, or if you are one of our past or present clients, your subsequent information disclosure may be used for the purpose of providing you with hard copy or electronically formatted information – at your request. In addition, we may provide you with other information on legal developments, upcoming seminars and general information on areas of law which we deem relevant to you or your business.