Privacy Policy

General

MDRN Pty Ltd trading as McCarthy Durie Lawyers (referred to in this document as “we”, “us” or “our”) is committed to protecting the personal information we collect from you.

This policy sets out how we collect, use, disclose and manage your personal information.

We are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (“Privacy Act”) and the Australian Privacy Principles (“APPs”) set out in the act. This policy applies to any person for whom we currently hold or may in the future collect personal information. This policy does not apply to acts done or practices engaged in which relate directly to the employee records of our current and former employees. Some of the work performed by us falls within the following permitted general situations as set out in s16A of the Act:

The collection, use or disclosure is reasonably necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal or equitable claim; or
The collection, use or disclosure is reasonably necessary for the purposes of a confidential alternative dispute resolution process.

Except where a permitted general situation applies, this Privacy Policy will apply to all your dealings with us, whether in person, or via telephone, email, correspondence or on our website at www.mdl.com.au.

Pseudonym / Anonymous

In very limited circumstances, and only where lawful and practical, it may be possible for you to use a pseudonym or remain anonymous when dealing with us. If you wish to use a pseudonym or remain anonymous you should notify us when making first enquiries or providing initial instructions. We will use our best endeavours to deal with you as requested, subject to our professional obligations and ability to perform the legal service without using your name. In most cases however, our professional obligations will require you to deal with us using your real name. Limited circumstances where it may be possible to use a pseudonym or remain anonymous.. include when replying to surveys which we may conduct or in some situations when providing feedback in circumstances where your identity is not necessary to assist in resolving any issues arising from such feedback. You will be advised at the time in circumstances where the option to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym is available.

What is Personal Information

“Personal Information” means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether the information or opinion is true or not, and whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.

Management of Personal Information

We manage the personal information we collect by ensuring that all of our officers, employees and subcontractors are aware of and understand our obligations as well as their own obligations under the Act. We will achieve this through the provision of training and through maintaining and implementing internal policies and procedures to prevent personal information from being collected, used, disclosed, retained, accessed or disposed of improperly. We provide training to our employees about professional obligations, including those relating to confidentiality, legal professional privilege and privacy.

Collection of Personal Information

We may collect and hold personal information about you, that is, information that can identify you and is relevant to providing you with the services you are seeking.

Kinds of Personal Information

The kinds of information we may collect and hold include name, gender, date of birth, address, phone number, facsimile number, email address, bank account and credit card details, place and type of business, tax file number if we have money invested in our trust account for you, financial information, business circumstances, family circumstances, information about assets and investments, employment history, expertise and interests, driver’s licence and other photographic information, medicare card number for identity purposes, information otherwise required by law or our professional obligations and/or other information relevant to providing you with the services you are, or someone else you know is, seeking.

Sensitive Personal Information

Depending on the type of legal matter involved, we may need to collect sensitive information about you including but not limited to information about your health, medical records, criminal record, racial or ethnic origins, political opinions and membership of political associations, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of professional or trade associations or unions, sexual preferences or practices, genetic information, any sensitive information required to be disclosed by law and any other sensitive information required to perform the legal services required by you.

We will only collect sensitive information in circumstances where:

  • it is reasonably necessary for one or more of the services we provide or functions we carry out; and
  • you consent to the collection of the information; or
  • we are required or authorised by law to collect the sensitive information.

Purpose of Collection

The personal information that McCarthy Durie Lawyers collects and holds about you depends on your interaction with us. We hold different information depending on the differing legal services provided to clients or, in the case of prospective employees, the information needed to assess future employment with us. In the course of providing legal services for a client we are likely to collect personal information about individual clients and third parties.

Generally, we will collect and hold your personal information for the purpose of:

  • providing legal services to you or someone else you know and receiving payment for those services.
  • Verifying your identity for the purposes of your matter and to comply with our professional and any legal obligations
  • Establishing your authority to provide us with instructions in relation to specific matters
  • providing you with information about other services that we offer that may be of interest to you
  • providing you with information relevant to your type of business or other area of expertise or interest.
    • Note: You may opt out of receiving such information by contacting us using the details set out below. Upon receiving such a request we will remove your contact details from our distribution lists.
  • providing you with the opportunity to meet other people and attend seminars and conferences in your type of business, other areas of expertise or interest.
  • facilitating our internal business operations, including the fulfilment of any legal requirements analysing our services and customer needs with a view to developing new and/or improved services.
  • In the case of prospective employees then assessing for future employment with us.
  • Contacting you to provide a testimonial for us.
  • To respond to or provide services in relation to comments, enquiries or requests made via our website.
  • Complying with any legal obligations that we may have to collect and hold such information.

Method of Collection

Personal information will generally be collected by us directly from you, through the use of any of our standard forms, over the internet, via email or other written correspondence or through a telephone or general conversation with you. We may also collect personal information about you from third parties acting on your behalf (for instance, agents, brokers, financial advisors) and past or current employers, medical practitioners, government bodies, paid search providers or financial institutions etc. There may, however, be some instances where personal information about you will be collected indirectly because it is unreasonable or impractical to collect personal information directly from you. We will usually notify you about these instances in advance or, where that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable after the information has been collected.

Internet Users

If you access our website, we may collect additional personal information about you in the form of your IP address (that is, the single numerical address for your computer on the internet which consists of four consecutive numbers ranging between 0 and 255) and/or domain name (that is, the textual address for your location on the internet which corresponds to your IP address, which the internet computers can read). Our website may contain links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of linked websites and any linked websites are not subject to our privacy policies and procedures.

Collection of Statistical Information via our website
Our internet service provider makes a record of each visit to the website.

When you visit our website, the following information is logged for statistical purposes only:

  • Your server address;
  • Your top level domain name (for example .com; .gov; .au; etc)
  • The date and time of your visit to the site;
  • The pages you accessed and documents downloaded by you;
  • The previous site visited by you;
  • The type of browser used by you.

Copying / Scanning of Identification

In certain circumstances a copy (paper copy or electronic) of your identification may need to be taken and retained on our files as evidence that we have established your identity. This evidence may be required in order to best comply with our professional obligations, to confirm that we have verified your identity and established your authority to provide us with instructions, for insurance reasons or to be provided by us in the future in the event that a claim arises indicating fraudulent activities being conducted.

Failure to Provide Information

If the personal information you provide to us is incomplete and/or inaccurate, we may be unable to provide you, or someone else you know, with the services you, or they, are seeking.

Use and disclosure

Generally, we only use and/or disclose personal information about you for the purposes for which it was collected (as set out above) or as authorised under law. However, we may disclose personal information about you to:

service providers, who assist us in operating our business, including IT service providers who assist in managing our servers and networks including but not limited to ‘cloud’- utilising providers such as Postini, Google, Dropbox and Smart sheet etc. in order to perform one or more of our functions or activities or for the service provider to fulfil their service obligations to us.

These service providers may not be required to comply with our privacy policy;

  • a purchaser of the assets and operations of McCarthy Durie Lawyers’ business, providing those assets and operations are purchased as a going concern;
  • its related entities;
  • Entities where we are compelled by law (eg: under the Social Security Act or Financial Transactions Reports Act 1988 or Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 etc);
  • Others such as the Court, the Other party, Parties to litigation, Valuers, Experts, Barristers, Accountants, Insurers where necessary in furtherance of your claim or matter;
  • Government authorities where we are of the reasonable opinion that we are legally required to do so with or without reference or notice to you;

Debt Collection and Credit Reporting Agencies in circumstances where accounts rendered to you, for legal services provided to you, have not been paid in accordance with their terms and despite further requests payment has not been forthcoming. In that event only such information that is reasonably necessary and relevant to the collection of the outstanding debt will be disclosed. (See below for further information regarding our handling of credit information).

There may be circumstances in which it is necessary for us to collect an individual’s government related identifier such as a tax file number or drivers licence etc We will not use or disclose government related identifiers unless we are required or authorised to do so by law or by a court or tribunal order or in order to fulfil our professional obligations or obligations to a State or Territory authority.

Overseas Disclosure

Unless your matter or our dealings with you necessitate the disclosure of your Personal Information overseas and you are reasonably aware of such necessity or unless we have obtained your consent to a particular disclosure for the purposes of your matter or our dealings with you, we do not disclose personal information to overseas recipients apart from any disclosures which may occur as a result of the use by us of IT service providers who assist in managing our servers and networks and software including but not limited to “cloud”-utilising providers such as Postini, Google, Dropbox and Smart sheet etc. These providers may be based overseas or use overseas infrastructure to perform services for us, including in the USA, UK or EU.

Where the provision of this information to these providers is not considered a “disclosure”, we may provide this information as part of our “use” of this information for the purposes of allowing those IT providers to assist us in operating our business and providing required services to you.

Where the provision of this information to these providers is considered a “disclosure” then where we consider in our discretion that it is practical, we will take reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipients of your personal information do not breach the Australian Privacy Principles (APP’s) in relation to that information.

However by having dealings with us and or engaging us to act for you, you acknowledge and consent to disclosure of your personal Information to the overseas recipients described above in the circumstances described above only, and on the basis that, whilst those overseas entities may be required to comply with similar laws to the Australian Privacy Laws we cannot confirm this requirement and you may not be able to seek redress in that overseas jurisdiction, those overseas recipients will not be required to comply with the Australian Privacy Laws and you will not have any redress under the Australian Privacy Laws for a breach by them, we will not be required to ensure that the overseas recipient complies with the Australian Privacy Laws or otherwise be liable or accountable for how that recipient handles your personal information and the oversaeas recipient may be subject to a foreign law that could compel the disclosure of your Personal Information to a third party, such as an overseas authority. If you have any objections to this please let us know.

Credit Information / Credit Reporting Policy

We do not use an individual’s personal information to assess their credit eligibility. However, during the course of providing the legal service to the individual, we may collect credit information that is necessary to provide them with the legal service.

The main kinds of credit information we collect are an individual’s identification information, the fact that you have applied for services from us and where we have allowed you a time in excess of our standard billings terms to pay our account, then the fact that we are a credit provider to you.

However, in the course of providing legal services to you, we may be given (and subsequently hold) the following other kinds of credit information:

Information about any credit that has been provided to you;

  • Your repayment history;
  • Information about your overdue payments;
  • If terms and conditions of your credit arrangements have been varied;
  • If any court proceedings are initiated against you in relation to your credit activities;
  • Information about any bankruptcy or debt agreements involving you;
  • Any publicly available information about your credit worthiness; and
  • Any information about you where you may have fraudulently or otherwise committed a serious credit infringement.

We do not collect your credit information from credit reporting bodies, banks or other credit providers unless it is necessary to provide you with the legal service, relevant to our gaining assistance in the recovery of accounts not paid by you in accordance with our terms or you have expressly asked us to.

In most cases we will only collect credit information about you if you disclose it to us and it is relevant in providing you with the legal service. Other sources we may collect the credit information from include banks and other credit providers, other individuals and entities via referrals and your suppliers and creditors. However, in most cases you will be aware that this information is being collected as part of the legal service we are providing to you.

We store and hold credit information in the same manner as other personal information as outlined in this policy.

Our usual purpose for collecting, holding, using and disclosing credit information about you is to enable us to provide you with the legal service or gain assistance in the recovery of accounts not paid by you in accordance with our terms. We may also collect credit information to process payments.

We will not disclose your credit information to overseas entities unless you expressly advise us to, apart from the disclosure circumstances set out in this policy under the heading of “Overseas Disclosure”.

You can access and correct your credit information or complain about a breach of your privacy in the same manner as set out under the headings “Access” and “Feedback”.

Under the Credit Reporting Privacy Code, there are several “notifiable matters” that we are required to disclose to you at or before the time of collecting personal information that is likely to be disclosed to a credit reporting body.

Those matters are:

We may disclose your Credit Information to the following Credit Reporting Bodies listed below:

  • Veda Advantage c/ Level 15, 100 Arthur Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060, Ph 1300 921 621;
  • NCI c/ Level 2, 165 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, SA 500, Ph 1800 882 820; and
  • Dun & Bradstreet c/ Level 2, 143 Coronation Drive, Milton, QLD 4064, Ph 07 3360 0600
  • The credit reporting body may include the credit information we provide to it in reports which it the provides to other credit providers to assist those other credit providers to assess your credit worthiness;
  • If you fail to meet your payment obligations under an agreement with us or you commit a serious credit infringement, we may be entitled to disclose this to a credit reporting body;
  • You can request a copy of our credit reporting policy which forms part of our privacy policy by contacting us or obtaining it from our website;
  • A copy of the Credit Reporting Policy for the Credit Reporting Bodies listed above can be found on their websites or a hard copy will be provided upon request. If we engage a Credit Reporting body we will advise in this policy where their credit reporting policy can be obtained;
  • You have the right to access credit information we hold about you, request that we correct the information, and make a complaint as set out further in this Policy;
  • You can request a credit reporting body not to use your credit reporting information for the purposes of pre screening or direct marketing; and
  • You can request a credit reporting body not to use or disclose your credit reporting information if you believe on reasonable grounds that you have been, or are likely to be, the victim of fraud.

You can ask us to provide you a hard copy of this policy (including the Statement of Notifiable Matters).

As we are not the holder of an Australian Credit License we will not and cannot disclose your Repayment History Information to Credit Reporting Bodies.

Security

We store your personal information in different ways, including in paper and in electronic form. The security of your personal information is important to us. We take all reasonable measures to ensure that your personal information is stored safely to protect it from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure, including electronic and physical security measures. We cannot guarantee that personal information cannot be accessed by an unauthorised person (eg: a hacker) or that unauthorised disclosures will not occur.

Access to and Correction of your Personal Information

You may request access to personal information we hold about you, upon making a written request. We will endeavour to acknowledge your request within 14 days of its receipt and to provide you with access to the information requested within 30 days. We may charge you a reasonable fee for processing your request (but not for making a request for access). .You will need to verify your identity before access to your personal information is granted.

Once your request has been processed by us, wherever it is reasonable and practicable to do so we will endeavour to make the information available to you in the manner requested by you.

We may decline a request for access to personal information in circumstances prescribed by the Privacy Act, and if we do we will provide you with a written notice that sets out the reasons for the refusal (unless it would be unreasonable to provide those reasons) and provide you with a statement regarding the mechanisms available to you to make a complaint.

If, upon receiving access to your personal information, or at any other time, you believe the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date, please notify us immediately. We will take reasonable steps to correct the information so that it is accurate, complete and up to date. If we refuse to correct your personal information, we will provide you with a written notice that sets out the reasons for our refusal (unless it would be unreasonable to provide those reasons) and provide you with a statement regarding the mechanisms available to you to make a complaint. If we disagree with you about whether your personal information is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date, and you ask us to associate with your personal information a statement claiming that your personal information is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date, we will take reasonable steps to do so.

Updates

This privacy policy may be updated by us from time to time. We encourage you to check our website regularly for any updates to our privacy policy. This policy was last updated in March 2014. By using this website and by continuing to deal with us, you accept and agree to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy.

Feedback

If you have any queries or concerns about our privacy policy or the way in which we handle your personal information or wish to make a complaint about a breach of the Privacy Act, Australian Privacy Principles or a privacy code that applies to us, please contact McCarthy Durie Lawyers’ General Manager Shane McCarthy on the contact details below. We will take reasonable steps to investigate the complaint and respond to you. If you are not happy with our response, you may complain directly to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Postal address: PO Box 122 Capalaba QLD 4157
Telephone: 07 3370 5100
Fax: 07 3245 5150
Email: shanem@mdl.com.au

More information

For more information about privacy in general, you can visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s website at www.privacy.gov.au.

Disclaimer

The material on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest.

This website and the information contained within it, is subject to continuous change and although we attempt to ensure the content is correct and current we do not guarantee its currency nor correctness due to delays, errors and omissions which may occur.

To the maximum extent permitted by law, McCarthy Durie Lawyers takes no responsibility whatsoever to you or anyone else for any loss or damage suffered as a result of or in connection with the use of this website or any of its content. This includes, but is not limited to, the transmission of any computer viruses and any subsequent constructive loss which may occur. We recommend that prior to downloading any files, photos or articles, an appropriate virus check should be conducted.

McCarthy Durie Lawyers provides links to other sites for your convenience, however we take no responsibility as to the accuracy or currency of information on those sites. We do not endorse any information, goods or services referred to within the sites and our provision of links should not be taken to be an endorsement.

McCarthy Durie Lawyers authorises printing of content for personal use only and, all other use, copying or reproduction of this website or any part of it is prohibited (except to the extent permitted by law).