Objective and scope of policy
Gowling WLG is an international law firm comprising the members of Gowling WLG International Limited, an English Company Limited by Guarantee, and their respective affiliates. Each member and affiliate is an autonomous and independent entity. Gowling WLG International Limited promotes, facilitates and co-ordinates the activities of its members but does not itself provide services to clients.
References on this website to “Gowling WLG”, “law firm” and “legal practice” are to the members of Gowling WLG International Limited and their respective affiliates (together the "Gowling WLG entities" and each a "Gowling WLG entity") or (as the context requires) the Gowling WLG entities collectively.
Gowling WLG takes the protection of Personal Information seriously. Our obligations as legal professionals are governed, in part, by rules of professional conduct which impose duties and obligations regarding the confidentiality of the information provided to Gowling WLG by its clients. We require all professionals, employees, contractors and agents who provide services in connection with our delivery of legal and other services to our clients professional conduct to comply with these obligations.
In accordance with the United Kingdom Data Protection Act 1998, Gowling WLG (UK) LLP and Gowling WLG International Limited are registered as a 'Data Controller' on the public Register of Data Controllers as maintained by the Information Commissioner.
What information do we collect?
As a general rule, all information concerning the business and affairs of a person or organization acquired: (1) for the purpose of determining whether Gowling WLG will enter into a professional relationship; or (2) in the course of a professional relationship, shall be held in strict confidence and not revealed to anyone unless expressly or implicitly authorized by the person or organization concerned or permitted or required by applicable law. A professional relationship develops when Gowling WLG agrees to be retained to provide services to an individual or organization.
In the course of its relationship with you, Gowling WLG will need to collect, use, and sometimes, disclose various types of Personal Information for various purposes associated with the scope of the services we provide as directed by you or your organization. Given the nature of Gowling WLG services, it is impractical to list all of types of Personal Information that may be collected, used or disclosed. However, the Personal Information we collect may include:
- your full name;
- contact information, such as your address, telephone number, e-mail address, or job titles;
- information regarding your legal requirements, situation, and interests;
- whether you have subscribed or unsubscribed from any our mailing lists, or accepted any of our invitations;
- information regarding your organization or other organizations, including information regarding directors, officers, or employees of our clients or other parties, witnesses, beneficiaries, adverse parties, related parties, parties in interest, business partners, investors, shareholders, security holders, buyers, business partners, and customers of clients;
- your payment information; and
- any other Personal Information that you voluntarily choose to provide to us.
How do we use and disclose personal information?
Gowling WLG may use and disclose Personal Information for the following purposes:
- internal record keeping;
- answering your queries;
- market research; and
- optimising our website
The marketing email messages sent by Gowling WLG entities will give you the opportunity to update your contact details and mailing list preferences or unsubscribe from mailings from that Gowling WLG entity altogether.
If you decide at any time that you no longer wish to receive marketing emails from a Gowling WLG entity, please follow the unsubscribe link in one of its marketing email messages. You may also contact Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP or Gowling WLG (UK) LLP using the contact information provided below, to update your preferences or unsubscribe from any marketing they may send you.
Gowling WLG may share Personal Information amongst its members for the purposes set out in this policy.
Gowling WLG allows certain authorized third party providers to track and store certain information about visitors to our websites (including domain names, IP addresses and page views as described below). Gowling WLG may also disclose Personal Information to organizations that perform services for us. Personal Information will only be provided to such organizations if they agree by way of contract to provide appropriate protection for such information.
Personal Information may also be subject to transfer to another organization in the event of corporate transaction such as a merger, or change of ownership. This will occur only if the parties have entered into an agreement under which the collection, use and disclosure of the information is restricted to those purposes that relate to the business transaction, including a determination whether or not to proceed with the business transaction, and is used by the parties to carry out and complete the business transaction.
Lastly, we may disclose your Personal Information for any other purpose to which you consent.
Limiting collection, use, disclosure and retention of personal information
Gowling WLG may collect your Personal Information in many forms (hard/soft copy, electronically, facsimile, telephone conversations/recordings, etc.), but will only do so by lawful means and only for necessary purposes that have been disclosed to you.
Personal Information collected in any form will only be retained by Gowling WLG so long as it is required: a) for the purpose for which it was collected; b) to be retained by law; or c) to address any issues that may arise at a later date. When your Personal Information is no longer required for these identified purposes, Gowling WLG uses secure procedures to destroy, delete, erase or convert the Personal Information into an anonymous form.
Our websites and cookies
In general, you can use our websites without giving Gowling WLG any Personal Information. If you are one of our anonymous visitors, please bear in mind that we may still record certain analytical information and as further set out in this section.
Consent may be given in different ways such as: a) expressly by signing a document, agreeing through electronic means or verbally; or b) implicitly by providing the Personal Information voluntarily.
There may be circumstances where you have provided Personal Information for an identified purpose, and Gowling WLG later needs to use that information for a different purpose. In such circumstances, Gowling WLG will seek your consent to use the information for the new purpose.
Please note that there are circumstances where the use and/or disclosure of Personal Information may be justified or permitted or where Gowling WLG may or must disclose information without consent, in accordance with the applicable law.
Where obliged or permitted to disclose information without consent, Gowling WLG will not disclose more information than is required for the purpose that obligates or permits us to disclose such information.
You have the right to revoke your consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your Personal Information at any time. However, revocation of your consent may result in our inability to provide services to you. We will discuss with you the reason we need your Personal Information and why the revocation of your consent affects our ability to provide the service or product to you.
Storage and security
Gowling WLG has taken steps to maintain physical, procedural and technical security for Personal Information.
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP holds Personal Information principally in the cities in which it has offices or production facilities and nearby municipalities where off-site storage facilities may be located, and such information may be accessed by those individuals that need to know such information in order that Gowling WLG may provide our services.
Accuracy and access
Gowling WLG endeavours to ensure that any Personal Information provided and in its possession is as accurate, current and complete as necessary for the purposes for which we use that information.
You have a right to request access to your Personal Information and to request a correction to it if you believe it is inaccurate. In the event that you believe that your Personal Information is not accurate or you wish access to your Personal Information, you may make a request to the applicable Gowling WLG entity. You may find the contact information for Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP and Gowling WLG (UK) LLP below. A small fee will be payable for access to personal information held by Gowling WLG (UK) LLP.
We will always endeavour to provide timely access to your Personal Information. However, we may verify your identity to our satisfaction prior to doing so. Further, there may be circumstances where access cannot be granted. For example, where access would lead to the disclosure of Personal Information of another individual and that individual refuses to provide consent to the disclosure, or information subject to privilege or other legal restrictions. In such cases you will be notified of the reason why it is not possible to grant access to your Personal Information.
- access Personal Information that you have already provided so that you can correct or update it, or request that it be deleted, or
You may contact the applicable Gowling WLG entity, or the Gowling WLG professionals with whom you have a relationship.
You may contact Gowling WLG (UK) LLP at email@example.com or on +44 (0)370 903 1000.