Protecting your privacy – our Privacy Policy

Who are we?

Health Sector Law is a private legal practice with Dr Tim Smyth as the Practice Principal. We provide corporate and commercial legal services to clients in the health and government sectors. For more information on our services please visit our website www.healthsectorlaw.com.au.

We are committed to providing quality, client centred legal services. As a fundamental part of this commitment, we recognise the importance of protecting the privacy and confidentiality of the information that we collect about your legal matter, you and your business or organisation. If you have any questions about our Privacy Policy please do not hesitate to contact us.

As well as being an important professional and ethical commitment to you, we are required to comply with the Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules and with applicable Commonwealth, State and Territory privacy laws. Rule 9 of the Solicitors’ Conduct Rules set out a duty of confidentiality:

9 Confidentiality

9.1 A solicitor must not disclose any information which is confidential to a client and acquired by the solicitor during the client’s engagement to any person who is not:

9.1.1 a solicitor who is a partner, principal, director, or employee of the solicitor’s law practice, or

9.1.2 a barrister or an employee of, or person otherwise engaged by, the solicitor’s law practice or by an associated entity for the purposes of delivering or administering legal services in relation to the client, EXCEPT as permitted in Rule 9.2.

9.2 A solicitor may disclose information which is confidential to a client if:

9.2.1 the client expressly or impliedly authorises disclosure,

9.2.2 the solicitor is permitted or is compelled by law to disclose,

9.2.3 the solicitor discloses the information in a confidential setting, for the sole purpose of obtaining advice in connection with the solicitor’s legal or ethical obligations,

9.2.4 the solicitor discloses the information for the sole purpose of avoiding the probable commission of a serious criminal offence,

9.2.5 the solicitor discloses the information for the purpose of preventing imminent serious physical harm to the client or to another person, or

9.2.6 the information is disclosed to the insurer of the solicitor, law practice or associated entity.

Under current privacy laws, we are classified as a small business, and as we do not provide health services, we fall within the exemptions under the Commonwealth privacy law (Privacy Act 1988) and the NSW privacy law (Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002).

Our key partners

To provide a comprehensive corporate and commercial legal service to our clients, Health Sector Law has a strategic alliance with Holding Redlich lawyers. A copy of Holding Redlich’s privacy policy is available on their website www.holdingredlich.com . If we need to involve Holding Redlich lawyers in your matter we will advise you. We may also need to liaise with other professional advisers such as accountants or business experts in providing our legal services to you. We will advise you if this is required.

What personal and health information do we collect, store and use?

In providing high quality legal services to you, it is essential that we are able to identify you, know your business or organisation, contact you and understand the nature of the matter you have asked us to advise and assist you.

Generally, we will collect this information directly from you (and, where required, from your staff and other advisers you have involved in your matter). If we need to get information from other persons, we will ask your permission to do so.

We may collect this information through a variety of ways, including telephone, email and SMS. You may also provide this information to us through our website.

It is important that the information we hold about you remains accurate and up to date. Please let us know of any changes in your contact and other personal details. We may need to confirm your current address and contact details with you from time to time for this purpose.

What do we do with the information?

The information we hold about you will be used for the purposes of assessing your matter, providing legal advice and assisting you with the matter. In providing our legal services we may be required to provide, or seek, information to or from other persons. We will send this information in the most appropriate way, generally by telephone or email.

Unless required by law, we will not provide this information to persons who are not directly relevant to or involved in your matter.

We respect and protect your privacy, and we do not disclose your identity to any other persons without your knowledge and agreement.

In rare circumstances, due to legislative requirements or a court order (eg subpoena), we may be required to disclose information about to you to regulators, law enforcement bodies or other parties without your prior knowledge or consent. Subject to any legal constraints, we will use reasonable steps to let you know of these requests.

How do we store and protect the information we hold about you?

We store your information at our practice premises, in a mix of hard copy and electronic systems under our control. We take appropriate steps to protect the security of the information we hold about, including protection against unauthorised access, virus or other electronic intrusions, theft or loss. We use a backup server to store the electronic information we hold on you and your matter.

How long do we keep the information?

We are required by law to keep your information securely for at least 7 years after our last contact with you (and up to the age of 25 if you are under the age of 18 at the time of our services to you). Much of the information in our electronic information systems will be automatically retained for longer periods.

Queries or questions?

Should you, at any time, have a query or concern in relation to our privacy policy and/or management of your information please let Dr Tim Smyth know.