At Apels Solicitors we recognise that your privacy is very important and we consider this another vital aspect in providing you with the highest level of service possible. To provide comprehensive legal advice to you it is essential that we obtain accurate information from you. This way our advice can properly address your needs.
It’s all part of our commitment to provide you with the best advice and service.
Further information on privacy in Australia may be obtained by visiting the website of the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner at http://privacy.gov.au
Your Personal Information
Personal information held by Apels Solicitors may include the following information:
your name, date of birth, current address, telephone/mobile/fax numbers, email address;
information regarding your dependents and family;
your occupation, employment history and details of family relationships and social security eligibility and/or entitlements;
your financial needs and objectives;
your assets and liabilities (current and future), income, and expenses; and
details of your business/employment arrangements.
If you choose not to provide certain personal information or provide incorrect information, the advice and/or recommendations our Firm provides may be in appropriate or inadequate.
How We Collect Your Personal Information
Apels Solicitors collects personal information in a number of ways, including:
directly from you through:
meetings and discussions with you;
when you provide information through a data collection form;
when you provide information by telephone;
via an email or the internet; and
directly from your professional advisor, bank, superannuation funds, life insurance companies and other parties if authorisation has been provided by you.
How We Use Your Personal Information
Your personal information is used to help provide legal advice and services to you.
Using Government Identifiers
Although in certain circumstances we are required to collect government identifiers such as your Tax File Number, Medicare Number or Pension Card Number, we do not use or disclose this information other than when required or authorised by law or unless you have voluntarily consented to disclose this information to any third party
When Do We Disclose Your Personal Information?
We collect information about you for the purpose of reporting to AUSTRAC under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 and the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Rules Amendment Instrument 2014 (No. 3).
For the purposes set out above, we may disclose your personal information to organisations outside Apels Solicitors. The organisations to which we disclose information may include:
your professional advisor, including your solicitor or accountant as authorised by you;
government and regulatory authorities and other organisations, as required or authorised by law; and
solicitors and staff at Apels Solicitors if necessary for the handling of your files.
In addition, our employees and other parties are obliged to respect the confidentiality of any personal information held by Apels Solicitors.
Apels Solicitors takes its obligations to protect your information seriously. We operate throughout Australia and overseas and as part of our operations some uses and disclosures of your information may be required to occur outside your State or Territory and/or outside of Australia. In these circumstances we will obtain your consent before this occurs.
Dealing With Us Anonymously
You can deal with us anonymously where it is lawful and practical to do so. For example, if you telephone requesting our postal address.
Your Personal Information Storage & Security
We keep your personal information in your client file. These files are accessible to authorised personnel only and are secured out of hours.
Your personal information may also be held on our computer database. All computer-based information is protected through the use of access passwords. Data is backed up regularly and stored securely off site.
It is a legislative requirement that we keep all personal information and records for a period of 7 years. Therefore, if you are no longer a client of Apels Solicitors, we will maintain your personal information on or off-site in a secure manner for 7 years. After this, we will ensure it is discreetly destroyed.
Apels Solicitors is constantly striving to provide our clients with exceptional service. If, at some point in the future, you choose to no longer be a client of Apels Solicitors, we would welcome your feedback as to the reasons behind your choice. This feedback is an important mechanism enabling us to evaluate and continually improve our client services. Therefore, upon receiving notification that you no longer wish to be a client of ours, either by yourself or a third party, a member of our team may contact you, as a means to obtain this feedback.
Your Accurate Personal Information
Apels Solicitors takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that the personal information we collect, use and disclose is accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. To make certain we can maintain this level of accuracy and completeness, we recommend that you:
inform us of any errors in your personal information as soon as possible;
update us with any changes to your personal information as soon as possible; and
co-operate with any reasonable request by our staff to check the currency and correctness of your information.
Your Sensitive Information
Without your consent we will not collect information about you that reveals your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or affiliations, membership of professional or trade associations, membership of a trade union, details of health, disability, sexual orientation, or criminal record.
This is subject to some exceptions including:
where the collection is required by law; and
when the information is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal claim.
Your Personal Information-Access
You have a right to access your personal information, subject to certain exceptions allowed by law. We ask that you provide your request for access in writing (for security reasons) and we will (subject to certain exceptions) provide you with access to that personal information. Please note we may require verification of identity before releasing information on a written request. Access to the requested personal information may include:
providing you with copies;
providing you with the opportunity for inspection; or
providing you with a summary.
If charges are applicable in providing access to you, we will disclose these charges to you prior to providing you with the information. Should we refuse you access to your personal information, we will provide you with a written explanation for that refusal.
National Privacy Principles
In all activities when dealing with personal information Apels Solicitors makes sure that our practices are in accordance with the National Privacy Principles. Personal information includes our clients’ contact details.
Please contact Mr Apel if you wish to report or make a complaint about any breach or potential breach of your privacy rights. Your complaint will be responded to within 3 days. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you are entitled to contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
Apels Solicitors and Notary
138 Byrnes Street, Mareeba QLD 4880
Tel: (07) 40 92 2522
Fax: (07) 4092 2138