At Butlers, we are committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of your personal information. It is important for us to ensure that you are confident that any personal information you provide to us is treated in an appropriate manner and with the appropriate degree of privacy.
What is "personal information"?
"Personal information" is any information or opinion about an identified individual or an individual whose identity may be reasonably identified.
Butlers offer expertise in many different areas of law, and the services it provides to you will inform the types of personal information that it may be necessary for us to collect and hold. We may collect and hold personal information about you or another person.
The kinds of personal information which we may collect and hold include:
- Names, addresses and contact details;
- Communications and records of communications; and
- Financial, medical and other records.
- Why do Butlers collect personal information?
At Butlers, we seek to provide the best possible legal service and to ensure that your legal needs are properly addressed. To achieve this, we may need to collect, hold, use and disclose personal information about you and the circumstances surrounding your legal matter.
Personal information assists us to:
- Identify you and the issues of your particular matter;
- Provide an appropriate level of advice relating to that matter;
- Contact you when necessary; and
- Ensure that you receive the best possible service and advice.
How do Butlers collect personal information?
Personal information may be collected during the course of our relationship with you in a number of ways, including:
- Through communication with you;
- Through contact with a financial institution, medical provider or another party, on your behalf; and
- From another person or organisation, during the course of providing legal services to you.
Where it is practical to do so, we will collect your personal information directly from you. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to obtain personal information from another party.
How do Butlers store personal information?
Butlers prides itself on its secure handling of personal information. We take all reasonable precautions to safeguard the personal information that is held by us from loss, misuse and unauthorised access or disclosure.
To ensure that your personal information is secure, Butlers employs a number of means, including:
- External and internal premises security;
- Confidentiality agreements for team members who can access personal information;
- Computer firewall protection;
- Restricted access to personal files and information;
- Up to date technology and computer maintenance to prevent unauthorised access; and
- Document handling and destruction procedures.
Butlers prides itself on the maintenance of up to date and technologically advanced computer systems. Our computers are continually updated to maintain their security and are regularly audited and tested by external experts to ensure that any breaches of security, potential or actual, are identified and rectified.
When Butlers no longer requires your personal information, your file will be held by us in archives, off location, for a minimum of seven years and then securely destroyed. If your file contains a privately signed Financial Agreement pursuant to the Family Court Act 1997 (WA) or Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), we will retain your file for a minimum of 20 years before your file is securely destroyed.
Access to your personal information
It is important to us that your Personal Information is up to date. If you find that the personal information we hold is inaccurate, please advise us so we can update our records.
You may access the personal information that we hold about you. If you wish to access your personal information, please contact us on +61 8 9386 5200. We will acknowledge your request for access to your personal information, and endeavour to handle your request as quickly as possible.
We may require you to sign a document stating that you have accessed your information. Depending on the way your personal information is held, it may be necessary to charge a fee to cover the cost of retrieval and supply of the personal information to you. If this is the case, we will endeavour to ensure that the cost of such retrieval and supply is reasonable.
In some circumstances, Butlers may be obligated by law to deny a request to access your personal information. If we deny you access to your personal information, reasons for that denial will be provided.
Butlers retain the right to deny access to personal information where the information may relate to existing or anticipated legal proceedings between Butlers and you, or where access may be regarded as frivolous or vexatious.
When will Butlers disclose personal information?
We may disclose personal information with your consent. Your consent may be given expressly, or implied from your conduct during the course of your relationship with us.
It may be necessary for us to disclose some of your personal information in documents sent on your behalf to a Court, a Government Department, or to another person or organisation. Butlers will also be required to disclose personal information in some circumstances. For example, personal information may be required to be disclosed in response to a Subpoena or a Court Order.
Some examples of parties outside Butlers to whom we may be required to disclose personal information, and the reasons for disclosure, are:
- Insurance companies, to ensure that policy claims are accurate;
- Government authorities and agencies, in respect to any claims for WorkCover, financial assistance and the like;
- Mortgagees, mortgage insurers and banks, for the purposes of establishing, discharging or insuring your mortgage;
- Barristers, who may have been retained in respect of your legal matter;
- Medical or any other experts, who may be required to provide a report on your matter;
- Solicitors within the firm other than those with the day-to-day conduct of your file engaged to assist in the progression of your matter; and
- Recipients of court documents in the normal course of pleadings.
As a client of Butler's, the information provided to us by you is subject to solicitor/client confidentiality.
Disclosure of personal information overseas
At Butlers, we do not usually disclose personal information to overseas recipients.
Web traffic information is disclosed to Google Analytics when you visit our websites. Google stores information across multiple countries. When you communicate with us through a social network service such as Facebook or Twitter, the social network provider and its partners may collect and hold your personal information overseas.
Certain information that may be collected by Butlers is regarded as sensitive information.
We will not collect sensitive information unless you consent to the sensitive information being collected, and the collection is reasonably necessary to provide legal services to you.
We will not disclose sensitive information without your direct consent unless the sensitive information is required to provide legal services to you, or we are required by law to disclose the sensitive information. Sensitive information includes information about:
- Sexual preferences or practices;
- Criminal and medical history;
- Membership of a political association, trade union or professional trade association;
- Philosophical or religious beliefs and affiliations;
- Political opinions; and
- Racial or ethnic origins.
Butlers may, from time to time, use your personal information, such as your address or contact details, to provide you with information about other services that we offer. If at any time you do not wish to receive any information about these services, please feel free to contact us on +61 8 9386 5200 and we will not send you any further material.
If you would like more information about the ways we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information, or if you wish to complain to us about how we have handled your personal information, please contact us by phoning +61 8 9386 5200, or by writing to the Managing Partner, Butlers at PO Box 460, Nedlands, WA 6909.
If we receive a complaint from you about how we have handled personal information, we will determine what (if any) action we should take to resolve the complaint. We will tell you promptly that we have received your complaint, and use our best efforts to respond to the complaint within 30 days.
If you are not satisfied with our response, you may contact the Federal Privacy Commissioner by phoning 1300 363 992 or by writing to the Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner at GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001.