Privacy Policy

Whittens & McKeough Pty Ltd trading as Whittens (‘Whittens’, ‘We’ or ‘Us’) is a law firm located at Level 5, 137-139 Bathurst Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

In the course of our business, we collect personal information from time to time. We take your privacy seriously, and take all reasonable measures to ensure that personal information is not mismanaged or abused.

The following Privacy Policy guides the usage of all personal information which we collect, and contains your rights in respect of your personal information. This policy may be updated from time to time, at our discretion.

Whittens & McKeough Pty Ltd complies with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles, and all other privacy laws which it is subject to within the Australian jurisdiction.

Information collected to provide legal services

Whittens collects and holds personal information predominantly to provide legal services to our clients. This includes the collection of information as required or desirable:

  • to ensure that our provision of legal services is prompt, efficient and comprehensive;
  • to fulfil our obligations as legal service providers;
  • for inclusion in legal documents; or
  • to comply with any law or order from a court or tribunal.

For this purpose we may collect personal information including the following:

  • about clients: contact details, billing details, employment details or any corporate office held, personal history and other personal details required to provide the legal services requested;
  • about employees or other associates of clients: contact details, employment or any corporate office held, details of the role and relationship with our client and any other personal details required to provide the legal services requested by our client;
  • about third parties: any personal details required to serve legal documents or process payments, to investigate and enforce our clients legal rights, to negotiate on our client’s behalf and to provide legal advice to our clients and may include the history of dealings with our client.

Whittens collects information about individuals directly from our clients and their associates, from publicly available sources such as various public registers or online and print publications or from third parties either by request or pursuant to court orders.

If you are a client, we also use your personal information for other communications such as requesting feedback, providing you other relevant information and suggesting other services which we feel would be of value to you. You may at any time contact us to request that we no longer communicate with you for this reason and we will honour such requests.

Information collected for the purposes of recruitment and engagement of services

Whittens also collects and holds information in order to assess whether or not to offer an individual employment or use an individual’s services and in the course of employing an individual or accessing services offered by individuals.

If you are a job seeker, information we may collect includes your contact details, information about your previous employment and academic history and any other information relevant to our decision to offer you employment and we source this information directly from you, from your previous employers and educational institutions, from nominated referees and from any publicly available online or print publications.

If you are an individual service provider, the information we collect includes your contact details, details regarding your expertise and experience and prior work performed and we collects such information directly from you or from any publicly available online or print publications.

Holding and destruction of personal information

Any personal information collected by Whittens may be stored both electronically and in hard copy in our office or at a secure offsite storage facility.

Where we no longer require any physical documents or records which contain personal information, such documents are securely destroyed by a specialised secure destruction service.

Disclosure of personal information

Whittens discloses personal information to other persons for the purposes listed in this document, as required by law, or with your permission.

In order to provide legal services we may need to disclose personal information to public bodies such as court and tribunals or other professionals such barristers, experts or other advisors. We may also disclose documents containing your personal information to other third party service providers such as business that provide data processing, archival services, transcription services, copying and litigation support, delivery services, service of process, mailing services, website and technology services, external data hosting, research, banking, payment processing and insurance .

In providing legal services we are bound by a duty of confidentiality and will not disclose personal information collected to provide legal services for any other purpose unless required by law or with your permission. We will also not disclose personal information collected for this purpose unless the party receiving those documents is also subject to similar duties of confidentiality, but may not always have written agreements documenting this.

Unless you tell us otherwise, we may disclose your personal information to refer your business or services to others.

We may also disclose your personal details when we are asked to provide feedback on your services or employment, but will not in such cases disclose personal details other than your employment or service history, without your consent.

As Whittens provides legal services in Australia, we are unlikely to disclose personal information to overseas recipients, but may do so if we are acting for a client which is located overseas or in relation to a cross border transaction. In such cases we are likely to disclose personal information collected in Australia to our clients or to their overseas legal or accounting representative, or to counter-parties. Where we provide personal information to an overseas recipient, we have a legal obligation to take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that the recipient does not breach certain Australian privacy laws, unless a similar privacy regime applies in the overseas jurisdiction.

Access to your personal information

If you are one of our clients, you may access your personal information upon request. We may charge a fee for providing such information in accordance with our standard costs agreement or any other agreement we have with you.

If you are not one of our clients, we will give you access to your personal details where we are obliged to do so under privacy laws.

As a law practice, we are generally prevented by law and the duty of confidentiality from disclosing personal information we collect for the purpose of providing legal services, to persons other than our clients. However, there may be limited circumstances in which we are obliged to provide you access to your personal information, including where such information is not protected by legal professional privilege, is not confidential to our client, the disclosure would not unreasonably impact on the privacy of another individual, your request is not frivolous and vexatious and no other exceptions apply under the National Privacy Principles or any other relevant law.

Where we receive a request for access to personal information, we will determine whether we are obliged by law to provide such access and will endeavour to give a response in writing within 30 days of the request. Where we are obliged to provide you access to personal information, we may charge a reasonable fee for such access, of which we will advise ahead of time.

Corrections and complaints

If you believe that the personal information we hold is inaccurate or not up to date, you may request that a correction is made to that information, in which case we will keep a note of the new information you provided against the relevant record.

If you have a complaint with respect to our handling of your personal information in relation to this Privacy Policy or any privacy laws, please advise us of your complaint in writing. Where we receive a genuine complaint which is not vexatious or frivolous, we will endeavour to investigate the complaint and advise you of any outcome within 45 days of receiving the complaint.

Contact details

Any communications for the purposes of this policy may be made by the following means:

Mail:         PO Box A2621, Sydney South NSW 1235

Email:      amckeough@whittens.com.au

Phone:    02 8072 1400

 

Date of policy: April 2015