What personal information do we collect?
To provide you with our services, we need to collect personal information. If any of the personal information you provide is incomplete or inaccurate, we may be unable to provide services to you or the quality of those services and the accuracy of the advice we provide may be compromised.
The nature of the relationship we have with you, the services you require and the particulars of any matter in which we act will determine the personal and other information we collect. The personal information may include:
your name, email address, telephone numbers and address;
Personal Information (including Sensitive Information) which is provided to us in the course of a matter by you or a third party;
bank details, credit card details and expiry dates;
information contained in a CV if you apply for a position with us; and
information relating to the matter in which we are acting for you.
How do we collect and hold your personal information?
We usually collect personal information in the following ways:
directly from you, either in person, in documents or by email;
from third parties, such as your business associates, business counter parties or your employer; and
from publicly available resources.
We hold personal information in hard copy and electronic files.
When using HWL’s website
When using the HWL website you may voluntarily disclose personal information to us. Our server may automatically record details such as your internet address, domain name (if applicable), and the date and time of your visit to our website. This information is used for internal purposes only, including statistical purposes.
We will not try to identify users or their browsing activities except as necessary to investigate or report any suspected unlawful activity, as required or authorised by law, or as reasonably necessary for the activity of an enforcement body.
Why do we collect, and how do we use, personal information?
HWL collects, holds and uses personal information about you to provide you with a range of services, to meet our obligations to you as well as to enable us to conduct our business and improve and promote the services we provide. Such purposes may include:
providing you and/or our client with the services requested (generally legal services);
improving and marketing our services including developing our knowledge management resources, maintaining a database of clients and matters that record HWL’s experience and supporting internal management reporting;
responding to your and/or our clients' enquiries or providing you with assistance you have requested;
providing you with publications and event invitations based on the areas of interest and mailing lists that you subscribe to;
personnel management including recruitment of personnel; and
complying with our legal and professional obligations including checking for conflicts of interest, undertaking anti-money laundering checks and other client take on procedures.
We do not provide your personal information to any other person for marketing purposes.
From time to time we may use your personal information to provide you with information on legal issues or to invite you to seminars or events we are holding. We do not, however, use Sensitive Information for this purpose.
If at any time you no do not wish to receive any additional material from us, contact our Privacy Officer using the details below and we will remove your details from our marketing database.
Who does HWL disclose personal information to?
We will only disclose personal information for the purpose for which it was collected or in the following circumstances:
internally to directors and staff of our firm;
subject to our obligations to clients, to any person where necessary or desirable in connection with the provision of our services, such as to the client, regulatory authorities and other parties;
to external service providers so they can provide us services related to our business, for example mailing services, IT services, data storage or archive services;
your representatives (including your financial advisors) if you have provided consent for such disclosure;
to barristers and other legal representatives;
where required or authorised by law; and
where you consent to the disclosure.
Where applicable, we may rely on employee and related bodies corporate exemptions that are available to us under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) when using or disclosing personal information.
Cross-border disclosure of personal information
We may deal with third parties who are based overseas, such as software providers that store data on servers located overseas or overseas clients. As a result, your personal information may be disclosed to a recipient in a foreign country, including but not limited to New Zealand, countries of the European Union and the United States of America. For example, we may discuss your personal information with an overseas client.
How secure and accurate is your personal information?
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that all personal information we hold is:
stored in a secure environment; and
protected from misuse, interference and loss as well as unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Staff with access to such information are subject to obligations of confidentiality.
If any of your details change, please let us know as soon as possible by contacting our Privacy Officer using the details below so we can maintain the accuracy of your personal information.
How can you access and correct your personal information?
It is important the information we hold about individuals is up-to-date. Individuals should contact us if their personal information changes.
In most cases, you can gain access to personal information that we hold about you upon request. Please contact our Privacy Officer (see the ‘Contact us’ section below) to request access to your information.
We will deal with all requests for access to personal information in accordance with the APPs and as quickly as reasonably possible. Requests for a large amount of information or information which is not currently in use may require further time before we can respond. In some cases, we may refuse to give you access to personal information we hold about you where we are entitled to do so under the APPs. If we do this, we will advise you why.
Some personal information that we collect may be "Sensitive Information". Sensitive Information includes: information relating to a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, trade union or other professional or trade association membership, sexual preferences and criminal record that is also personal information; health information and genetic information about an individual.
We will only collect this information if you provide it voluntarily, consent to us collecting it or we are otherwise authorised or required by law to do so.
How can I contact HWL?
If you have any questions about how we handle your personal information or would like to update any of your personal information that we hold, you can contact our office on 02 8224 0200 during business hours or by email.
We will consider and respond to any complaint notified to us within 21 days.
If you are not satisfied with the way in which we handle your enquiry or complaint, you can contact the Office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner on 1300 363 992 or by email.