1. Our Commitment to the Protection of Personal Information

Spiegel Sohmer Inc. and its management corporation, Avoman LP (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Spiegel Sohmer", "we" or “us”), are committed to protecting the privacy, confidentiality, accuracy, and security of the personal information they hold.

It is with this in mind that we have adopted this privacy policy (hereinafter the "Policy"), which sets out how we collect, hold, use or communicate to third parties the personal information of our clients and other individuals (“you”), other than Spiegel Sohmer’s employees, partners and contracted staff, which is dealt with separately.

We are committed to treating any personal information we collect with care, within the limits of this Policy and applicable law. In addition, we ensure that we comply with all our ethical and professional obligations, including maintaining the confidentiality of any information covered by solicitor-client privilege and professional secrecy.

2. Type of Personal Information we Collect

The Policy applies to personal information, whether held by Spiegel Sohmer or by a third party in connection with our legal and related services, regardless of the type of medium or the form in which it is accessible: written, graphic, sound, visual, taped, filmed, computerized, or others.

By definition, personal information is any information concerning a natural person that directly or indirectly allows that person to be identified. By way of illustration, personal information could consist of, but is not limited to:

  • first and last name;
  • date and place of birth;
  • telephone and fax numbers, home address and e-mail address;
  • information appearing on government-issued identification (driver's license, passport, or similar documents);
  • tax residence and tax identification number information;
  • financial, credit, billing, and account information;
  • details about the use of our website, obtained by means of cookies or similar tools;
  • recruitment-related information such as curriculum vitae, information about your professional or academic background, or any other information relevant to potential recruitment; and
  • any other personal information provided.

3. The Purposes for which we Collect Personal Information

We collect, use, or disclose personal information about our clients for the following purposes:

  • to provide legal and related services;
  • to develop and manage Spiegel Sohmer’s business, activities and operations;
  • to comply with our legal, regulatory, risk management, ethical and professional obligations, including client identification and verification;
  • to determine whether Spiegel Sohmer will enter into a professional relationship with clients or a commercial relationship with third parties, including checking for conflicts of interest;
  • to evaluate a job candidate’s application and to determine whether to offer a job candidate a position at Spiegel Sohmer;
  • to share personal information with third parties while providing our legal and other services, as further explained in Section 5 below;
  • to prevent fraud or to conduct background checks as required by applicable law;
  • any purpose permitted (through implied consent or otherwise) or as required by applicable law.

4. Means by which we Collect Personal Information

We collect personal information directly from the person concerned in the course of providing our legal and related services, including when you use our website (hereinafter the “Website”). We also collect information from a number of independent private and public sources, such as our service providers, social networks, recruitment agencies and other business partners.

We may additionally collect information passively using cookies, which are small text files or strings that a website can send to your device in order to identify your web browser and the activities of your computer on the Website and other websites. Cookies can be used to personalize your experience on the Website, to assist you in using the Website (such as saving time by not having to reenter your name each time you use the Website), or to allow us to statistically monitor how you are using the Website to help us improve our offerings. You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to access and/or fully experience the interactive features of the Website.

In order to serve you better, we may also use web analytics services including Google Analytics to help analyze the use of our Website. These tools also use cookies to collect and generate information about your visits to our Website (including your IP address) that is transmitted to their servers anonymously for processing. The purpose is to study patterns of website activity so we can improve the visitor experience to our sites. The use of these tools does not allow us or our analytics service providers to identify individuals. You may opt out of such activity by setting your browser to notify you when a cookie is sent and block analytics cookies if desired.

5. Outsourcing of Personal Information and Transfer Outside of Quebec

In some circumstances, in order to provide our services, we may be required to disclose the personal information we have collected to third parties, such as without limitation :

  • third parties in connection with our legal services (e.g., opposing parties, experts or agents);
  • third-party service providers (e.g., data storage and processing, cloud computing, website hosting, security or office services); and
  • governmental authorities and law enforcement agencies when required by applicable laws and regulations or when necessary for the rendering of our services.

Additionally, it is possible that some of your personal information may be transferred to places other than your province, territory, state or country of residence. Indeed, we may call upon foreign correspondents while providing services, for instance, for the registration of trademarks. We also use service providers located outside of Canada (including outside of the province of Quebec) to carry out specific mandates in the normal course of business.

To protect your information in all such cases, we use contractual and other means to provide a comparable level of protection to that used by Spiegel Sohmer.

That said, be sure we will not divulge any information protected by solicitor-client privilege unless you have waived such privilege yourself, we have your authorization, or if we are compelled by applicable law. Moreover, we will never, by any means, sell or exchange your personal information for payment.

6. Your Consent under this Policy

We will not collect, hold, use or disclose personal information without your consent unless it is authorized or required to do so by applicable law.

By submitting your personal information, using our services and or accessing our Website, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information to the extent described in this Policy and as required or permitted by applicable law.

If you provide personal Information concerning another individual (including adverse parties and other individuals involved in legal proceedings) to us, you represent that, prior to submitting such information, you have obtained the necessary consent or authority to permit us to collect, use and disclose such personal information for the purposes set out in this Policy, or the collection, use and disclosure is permitted by applicable law. In the case of a minor under the age of 14 years of age, their consent must be given by the holder of parental authority or by their tutor. If a minor is 14 years of age or older, their consent may be given by the minor, the holder of parental authority, or by the tutor.

You may vary or withdraw your consent to the use and disclosure of your personal information, or opt-out of certain uses and disclosures, subject to legal and contractual restrictions. Please note that the withdrawal of your consent may prevent us from providing or continuing to provide you with our services.

If you require any assistance in understanding the scope of the consent being sought or to vary or withdraw your consent, please contact our Privacy Officer (listed in Section 10) for more information.

7. Your Rights

You have, inter alia, the following rights regarding your personal information:

  • to request an exported or physical copy of the documents containing your personal information, subject to the exceptions provided by applicable law;
  • to have the personal information we have about you rectified, amended and updated if it is incomplete, ambiguous, out of date or inaccurate;
  • to request the deletion of your personal information if the collecting of such information is not permitted by law; and
  • to withdraw or change your consent to our processing of your personal information, subject to applicable legal and contractual restrictions. In some instances, withdrawing your consent may result in Spiegel Sohmer no longer being able to provide you with our services.

8. How we Safeguard Personal Information

In order to protect the personal information that is in our possession, Spiegel Sohmer employs administrative, physical, and technological safeguards which are appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information provided. These safeguards also prevent the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, unauthorized alteration or disclosure, access, or misuse of the personal information in our possession. Spiegel Sohmer follows generally accepted industry standards to protect the information that is provided during its submission and once it has been received. Once communicated, the personal information is kept in a file for the person it pertains to, either physically at the Spiegel Sohmer office, electronically within our document management system or third-party technologies used by the Spiegel Sohmer, or both. Only those personnel who reasonably require the personal information to perform their duties are granted access to the information and they are bound by a duty of confidentiality.

It is important to note that despite our best efforts to protect your personal information, there is a risk involved in the communication, exchange and safeguarding of information, as no method of electronic transmission or storage is completely secure. Spiegel Sohmer assume no liability for any destruction, loss, unauthorized access or disclosure, or alteration of personal information, or any damages suffered in consequence thereto. That said, rest assured, if a confidentiality incident occurs at Spiegel Sohmer, we have put in place a policy for handling confidentiality incidents as well as an incident response plan in accordance with applicable law.

9. Retention and Destruction of Personal Information

The personal information we obtain from you will only be kept for as long as reasonably necessary to fulfil the purposes in which it was obtained, for those set out in the Policy, and in order to comply with our legal and regulatory requirements. It will also depend on the services we have provided, the nature of the file, and the nature of the personal information. Typically, the retention periods range as indicated below, starting from the date the file is completed :

  • Litigation, tax and business law files (including corporate services): 7 years
  • Intellectual property files: 15 years
  • Trusts: 20 years
  • Wills and mandates: for life

In the case of an applicant, if they are not offered a job at Spiegel Sohmer, their information is kept for a reasonable period of time in case a position at Spiegel Sohmer becomes available, or if the applicant reapplies for a job, unless the applicant requests that we delete their information. When it is no longer necessary for us to maintain your personal information, whether based on law or otherwise, we will erase or destroy the personal information that has been provided in a manner that is consistent with our policies and procedures.

10. How to Contact Us

In order to obtain more information on the Policy or the use of your personal information, to exercise your rights or to file a complaint, please contact our Privacy Officer at the following coordinates:

Spiegel Sohmer Inc.
Attn: Privacy Officer
1255, Peel Street, Office 1000
Montréal, Québec, H3B 2T9, Canada
(514) 875-2100

11. Changes to this Policy

We may change the Policy, at any time and at our sole discretion, by posting the amended terms on the Website. Changes will be effective immediately upon posting on the Website. If you do not agree with the updated terms of the Policy, you should stop using our services and contact our Privacy Officer. Failing to do so indicates your acceptance of the updated terms of the Policy. It is your responsibility to regularly review this Policy.