Protecting your privacy is very important to De Grandpré Chait LLP and the members of our firm (hereafter collectively “DGC” or “We” or “Us”), and our clients’ trust remains our priority.

This Privacy Policy (hereafter “this Policy”) is designed to reflect our commitment to protect the confidentiality of the information we have on our clients and to inform you about our practices concerning the collection, use and disclosure of personal information you provide to DGC. This Policy applies each time you provide us with personal information, either during a phone conversation, by email, when visiting our offices, in writing by filling out the authorization form at our reception desk or at any other moment where it is required by DGC for the purposes set forth.


Identification and Verification Requirements

The Barreau du Québec and other organizations regulating the legal profession have set certain rules regarding the identification of clients when opening new files or when retaining our services for the use of a trust account.

“The new Regulation respecting accounting and standards of professional practice of advocates came into force on July 8, 2010.

The Regulation sets out new rules for identifying and for verifying the identity of clients. These rules are based on a model regulation developed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Identical rules have been passed in all the other provinces and territories of Canada to prevent the use of lawyers’ trust accounts for money laundering transactions and financing of terrorist activities. These rules are among the undertakings given by Canada to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The new Regulation provides that all lawyers practising law in Québec must identify their client in every new file. They must also verify the identity of their client in certain specific circumstances. These rules even apply to clients with whom the lawyer already has a long-standing business relationship.” Extract from the Notice to the Members of the Barreau du Québec, August 2010.

When a new client account is opened for a corporation or an organization, we must therefore gather information relating to this entity, such as its corporate name, contact information, certificate of incorporation number or identification number, place of issuance and the general nature of the activities of the company, partnership or organization unless it is a financial institution, public body or reporting issuer. We also need to have the name, position, address and telephone number(s) of the person(s) authorized to give instructions pertaining to the mandate or contract for services. When opening an account for an individual, we must obtain the client’s contact information and occupation.

In addition, in some specific cases, the Regulation includes an obligation to verify the identity of clients and some third parties. This verification rule applies only if the mandate or the contract for services requires a financial operation, i.e. the receiving, paying or transferring of funds or if the lawyer gives instructions to that effect other than by means of an electronic transfer of funds. A series of exceptions limits the scope of this obligation.

In accordance with this Regulation, we must use all reasonable means to verify the identity. This verification must be based on documents, data or information from an independent and reliable source. We must obtain and retain a copy of that information in our file, either on paper or via information technology, as long as copies can be easily reproduced at any time.

In order to prove the identity of an individual, the following documents, data or information obtained from an independent and reliable source are required and must be kept on file: a copy of his passport, copy of his driver’s license, or copy of his health insurance card. When the client is a corporation or an organization, we must obtain from a proper authority the following documents, data or information that must be kept on file: i) the existence, name and address of the company, partnership or organization; ii) the name and occupation of the directors (except if the company, partnership or organization is a stockbroker); iii) the name, address and occupation of any shareholder holding 25% or more of the company, partnership or organization’s voting shares.


Responsibility and Commitment

We are responsible for the personal information under our control. DGC has appointed one of its officers to ensure compliance with this Policy and all applicable privacy laws. The firm has implemented this Policy along with relevant administrative measures to protect your personal information, to receive any complaint from its clients and to address them promptly. DGC ensures constant training of its staff and oversees their compliance with our policies and related administrative measures about the protection of personal information. If you have any questions or wish to talk to the appointed officer, please contact Stéphanie Thurber, DGC Chief Privacy Officer, at 514.878.3247 or sthurber@dgchait.com.


Purpose for identification

DGC collects various personal information, such as your name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, job title, financial data and bank details, credit card number,  data on your preferences, interests and dietary requirements (when participating in our events), information and statistics on your visits and tracking technology cookies related to the use of our website, other identification and verification information, such as a copy of your passport, driver's license, and information obtained in connection with the mandates you entrust to us, and our provision of services, data related to the recruitment of our members, namely those included in the resumes we receive and data from public sources. For example the following websites: Registre des entreprises, Plumitifs Service, Données Québec, social media or data from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. Some personal information are mandatory to accept a mandate, while others are optional.

1. COLLECTION

DGC only collects personal information that is necessary for the following purposes:

  • 1.1     establish and maintain business and personal relationships with you, and evaluate the state of our relationship;
  • 1.2     provide legal advice and legal services;
  • 1.3     fulfill our obligations and avoid conflicts of interest;
  • 1.4     communicate with you and with third parties regarding the mandates entrusted to us;
  • 1.5     open a client account to meet our obligations and comply with our Professional Code;
  • 1.6     understand your needs and expectations;
  • 1.7     verify, if needed, the identity, solvency and credit record of our clients or to obtain information from a credit agency;
  • 1.8     answer your questions concerning, among other things, your account and your files;
  • 1.9     address the current legal and regulatory requirements with respect to the protection of personal information; 
  • 1.10   offer you advice and services according to your needs;
  • 1.11   develop, improve, market and promote our services;
  • 1.12   distribute our publications, invitations and other informational communications by mail, email, text message or by any other means of communication;
  • 1.13   develop and manage our databases and administrative systems;
  • 1.14   issue invoices, manage accounts, process payments and collect unpaid amounts;
  • 1.15   recruitment purposes and candidacy evaluation;
  • 1.16  risk management purposes, fraud prevention or any other legal recourse. 

DGC is committed to obtaining personal information about its clients by fair and lawful means. Should we have to obtain personal information for reasons other than those listed above, we will advise our clients in advance in order to obtain from them the proper authorization to collect, use and disclose their personal information.

2. USE AND DISCLOSURE

DGC uses and discloses its clients’ personal information only for the purposes identified above, or only when it is authorized to do so by its clients, save and except where it is not required by law. DGC can call upon third parties to manage certain aspects of its business operations, including the handling of personal information and technology services. Such third parties are bound by the same contractual confidentiality obligations and must protect your personal information in accordance with this Policy. DGC can further, from time to time, communicate on a confidential basis your personal information to the following parties: an agency or a corporation, which has been retained by DGC to evaluate your solvency, or to collect debts outstanding on an account, or debts owed to a regulatory agency, or a corporation related to DGC’s professional obligations, and its practice of the profession of advocate,  or any other end permitted or required by the applicable law. In addition, DGC can share your personal information with its professional counsels (legal, financial, commercial, banking, insurance, insurance brokers and auditors) if needed. 

We assure you that the personal information we manage is stored in Canada. However, some of the tools we use to secure our emails pass through a gateway located in England. DGC has an agreement with this trusted third party that guarantees the integrity, security and confidentiality of its clients' personal information.


DGC is committed to informing its clients, by means of this Policy, its website or its employees, of the purposes for collecting, using and disclosing personal information. By submitting your personal information to DGC, you agree that we may collect, use, disclose and keep such personal information in accordance with this Policy and as permitted or required by law.

By subscribing to our publications, you consent to receive by email our publications, newsletters and invitations to conferences or other activities organized by DGC. At your request, we will cease to send you our promotional information. Simply follow the unsubscribe instructions at the end of each email you receive from us or contact our Marketing Department at the following email address: info@dgchait.com.

When you access our website, you allow us to use a browser feature called a “cookie” which is designed to improve our website and offer you services and Web content addressing your needs and your Internet browser preferences. Cookies are used to track your visits to our website. Their sole purpose is to improve our personalized service and to know more about your preferred pages. You can reject cookies by changing the settings of your web browser accordingly. However, keep in mind that rejecting cookies may damage or limit your access to some of our website functions and thus restrict your access to various website options.

DGC is committed to informing you of any change to this Policy by indicating the date of the latest version at the end of this reviewed policy and the nature of such changes. You will also be informed of such changes in writing or through our employees.

At any time, you may refuse or withdraw your consent to the collection, use, disclosure (except for exemptions prescribed by applicable laws) and conservation of your personal information by contacting DGC Chief Privacy Officer, Stéphanie Thurber at 514.878.3247 or sthurber@dgchait.com. However, if you withdraw your consent, we could be unable to continue representing you or providing you with the legal services or information required.


Limitation of Use, Communication and Retention of Personal Information

DGC only uses and discloses its clients’ personal information for the sole purpose described in this Policy. DGC has established procedures for the retention and secure destruction of personal information under its control. DGC keeps personal information to the extent that it is necessary for the purposes aforesaid. DGC reserves the right to close completed files or accounts that have been inactive for more than twelve (12) months. When a file has been completed or an account has been closed, the personal information related to such file is archived for verification purposes and may be destroyed after seven (7) years.


Accuracy

DGC collects personal information directly from its clients. DGC requires its clients to update or rectify their personal information by communicating, if possible, such modifications to DGC. Please note that DGC does not systematically update its clients’ personal information unless it is necessary for the aforementioned purposes.


Security Measures

Acknowledging that privacy protection is important, DGC has implemented security measures appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information it manages. DGC maintains appropriate physical, procedural and technical safeguards in its offices and premises used for storing personal information. Consequently, DGC limits access to personal information only to those employees who require such information to accomplish their tasks. Files containing personal information on paper are kept in filing cabinets available only to authorized personnel. Personal information in electronic format is protected by technical and technological means such as passwords, firewalls, antivirus software and other protection software, as well as by encryption of certain data preventing the loss, theft, unwanted access, excessive use, unauthorized modifications and spyware attacks. DGC is committed to maintaining its servers in a safe environment and its computer infrastructure is managed by experts, dedicated to data protection. All DGC personnel is trained and aware of the importance of protecting the confidential nature of personal information.

However, we cannot guarantee the security of any personal information you submit to a third party via our website hyperlinks since such sites are owned and operated by independent third parties. Those sites have their own privacy policies and are not under our control. Any personal information you submit to third parties will be subject to their own privacy policies. DGC is not responsible or liable for any third party’s use, actions or management of this Policy.


Accessibility

Upon written request, DGC will inform you of the existence, use and disclosure to third parties of your personal information. You may also have access to your personal information, subject to the exceptions set forth in the applicable legislation. Upon request, you may obtain a list of organizations or third parties to whom your personal information could have been or has been disclosed for the purposes set forth herein. You may also challenge the accuracy and completeness of the personal information we have on file and request that we rectify same. DGC will then promptly modify your personal information once it has verified that you have provided us with accurate and complete information.

Such requests should be sent in writing to DGC Chief Privacy Officer, Stéphanie Thurber at 514.878.3247 or sthurber@dgchait.com. Your request should contain enough information to clearly identify you so we can inform you of the existence, use and disclosure of your personal information we have on file. DGC will review your written request within thirty (30) days of its receipt. This delay may be extended for a further period of thirty (30) days if the initial study of your request hinders DGC’s business operations or if it requires a professional consultation, in which case it would be difficult to maintain the original delay. There is no cost related to such a request, save and except if it is complex. DGC reserves the right to refuse to answer your request within the prescribed delay in accordance with applicable privacy laws. In such cases, any refusal will be properly documented and you will be notified of the legal remedies available. If you are not satisfied with our response, you may file a complaint to DGC Chief Privacy Officer, Stéphanie Thurber at 514.878.3247 or sthurber@dgchait.com as described in the following section.

Please note that if you contact us to exercise your privacy rights, we will verify your identity and your ability to assert those rights.


Complaint procedure

Should you wish to make a complaint concerning the application of DGC’s Privacy Policy, please send a letter to DGC Chief Privacy Officer, a/s Mrs. Stéphanie Thurber, at the following address: 800, René-Lévesque Blvd. West, 26th floor, Montréal, Québec H3B 1X9. The DGC Chief Privacy Officer is required to investigate and respond to your complaint within the prescribed deadlines. If your complaint is justified, we will make all the necessary adjustments.


Update

DGC reserves the right to change at any time this Policy and to publish the revised policy on our website or through any other means of communication. We ask that you read this section, which will regularly inform you about the date and nature of the changes. Any modification to this Policy will be made in accordance with the laws in force. By continuing to provide us with your personal information or visiting our website after changes were made to this Policy, you implicitly consent to the modifications made to this Policy.


Contact Us

DGC is committed to making its Privacy Policy easily accessible via its website, written communications or employees. If you have any questions or comments regarding this Policy or want to express your preferences on this matter, you can contact our Chief Privacy Officer, Stéphanie Thurber by calling 514.878.3247, by email at sthurber@dgchait.com or in writing at the following address: DGC Customer Services - Chief Privacy Officer, 800, René-Lévesque Blvd. West, 26th floor, Montréal, Québec H3B 1X9.  We will answer your written request within thirty (30) days of its receipt.


Last Update: July 2020