Privacy Policy

"I had never heard of Litigation Lawyers until I recently needed one. Schultz Toomey O'Brien Lawyers helped me to resolve a complicated partnership dispute. I really could not have asked for better legal representation or more professional advice." Kate, Nambour

Schultz Toomey O'Brien Lawyers respects people's privacy. All our staff are required to read this policy and understand their responsibilities when dealing with personal information.

1. Our Privacy Principles 

Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act 1988 (the Act). Our policy has been updated to comply with the amended policy as of March 2014. We have adopted internal policies and procedures to ensure that personal information that we collect, store, use and disclose is dealt with in accordance with the APPs. You can see the full text of the APPs online at www.comlaw.gov.au.

2. Collecting personal information 

We may need to collect personal information about you and others including names, addresses, phone numbers and other contact details. We may also collect details of the age, sex, hobbies and other personal information about you or others. 

Personal information refers to any information or any opinion, whether true or not, from which an individual’s identify is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained. 

We may need to collect personal information so we can: 

  • Identify our clients, potential clients and their representatives; 
  • Identify parties with whom our clients have dealings or who are in some way involved in proceedings involving our clients; 
  • Inform you or others of any initiatives we think may be of interest to you or them; 
  • Inform you or others of developments in the law and relevant business markets; 
  • Provide or offer you or others services or other benefits; 
  • Conduct our business and provide our services in a professional and efficient manner; or 
  • Develop and implement initiatives to improve our services. 

If we are not provided with all the personal information we request, we may be unable to act for or do business with you or others. 

Where possible we will collect personal information directly from the individual concerned. However, an individual's representatives may hold personal information (e.g., financial or bank account details or a credit reference) that we may need to access for particular dealings, legal proceedings or other purposes. Where we are at liberty to do so, we will use our best endeavours to seek an individual's consent before obtaining their personal information from third parties. 

       2.1 Collecting sensitive information 

We may need to collect sensitive information about you or others for dealings or in relation to proceedings. 

Sensitive information refers to information about a person's racial or ethnic origin, political opinions or associations, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, trade and professional memberships, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record or health information. Under the APPs we are entitled to collect sensitive information about you or others for a number of reasons, including where the collection is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal or equitable claim. 

Where we are required to and it is practicable to do so, we will seek your consent before collecting your sensitive information and inform you of the purpose at the same time. 

       2.2 Means of Collection

Any personal information that is collected by us is done so when the following situations occur:

  • We are contacted about our services, in person or over the telephone or Internet; 
  • During the course of a dealing or proceedings involving a client; 
  • We negotiate and enter into dealings; or 
  • We respond to an inquiry, where we consider personal details are required or appropriate to fulfil the query. 

The personal information of our clients or their representatives will usually be recorded or up-dated on our computer database. Otherwise personal information will be kept on the file involving the matter in which the individual concerned is involved or for which the personal information was collected. 

Any additional purpose for the collection (not included in this policy) will be identified when we collect the personal information, or as soon as practicable afterwards.

3. Use of Personal Information 

We will use personal information: 

  • To identify individuals and protect them from unauthorised access to their personal information, accounts or services; 
  • To improve our services to you or others; 
  • Where reasonably required to provide legal services that we are obliged to provide; 
  • To inform you or others of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers marketing initiatives; 
  • To inform you or others of developments in the law and relevant business markets; 
  • To p or aggregate anonymous information from which individuals cannot be identified; 
  • To prevent or lessen a threat to a person's life or health; 
  • Where disclosure is reasonably necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal or equitable claim; 
  • For the purpose for which it was collected, or for a related purpose (or a directly related purpose in the case of sensitive (information) that the individual concerned would reasonably expect from us; 
  • Where reasonably required to provide legal services that we are obliged to provide; or 
  • For any other purpose, where an individual has consented to p use for that purpose. 

3.1 Use and Disclosure of information 

Except where indicated above, we will not disclose personal information to a third party unless: 

  • The disclosure is for a primary purpose for which the information was collected; 
  • The individual concerned has consented to the disclosure; 
  • The third party is our agent or contractor, in which case we will require them to disclose and to use the personal information only for the purpose for which it was disclosed; 
  • The third party is a person involved in a dealing or proposed dealing (including a sale) of all or part of our assets and business; 
  • There are reasonable grounds to believe that disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a threat to your life or health or that of another person; 
  • The disclosure is to a related body corporate; 
  • To prevent or lessen a threat to a person's life or health; 
  • The disclosure is reasonably necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal or equitable claim; or 
  • The disclosure is permitted, required or authorised by or under law. 

If for any reason we use or disclose personal information in accordance with the above, we will contact you and make note of the use or disclosure.

       3.2 Marketing 

We may use personal information to update the individual of new services and marketing initiatives that we think may be of interest to them. This may include newsletters, invitations to seminars or business functions, and general information about Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers. 

Those who prefer not to receive information about our services or seminars, can contact our Privacy Officer to be removed from the relevant circulation list. Contact details for our Privacy Officer appear at the end of this policy. Alternatively, they can choose the ‘opt-out’ on any electronic newsletters they receive.

We never disclose personal information to a third party for the purpose of allowing them to direct market their products or service on an individual, unless individuals have expressly consented to that disclosure. We may require written confirmation of a request to be removed from our circulation list, for example where legislation requires us to provide particular communications to the individual concerned. 

       3.3 Information collected our website 

To ensure we are meeting the needs and wants of our website users, and to develop our online services, we may collect aggregated information by using cookies. Cookies are unique identification numbers like tags that are placed on the browser of our website users. The cookies do not in themselves identify users personally, but are linked back to a database record about them. 

We may use cookies to track use of our web site, and to compile statistics on visits to the site in an aggregated form and log anonymous information such as: 

  • The address of a user's server; 
  • A user's top level domain (such as .com. or .au); 
  • The date and time of a user's visit; 
  • The pages a user accessed and downloaded; 
  • The search engine a user used; or 
  • What type of browser was used. 

When a user visits our site a cookie may be placed on their machine. Where a user has visited us before the cookie may be read each time they re-visit the site. We do not use this technology to access any other personal information of a user in our records and a user cannot be personally identified from a Cookie. If a user chooses not to have their browser accept cookies from our site, they will still be able to p the text on their screens.  

       3.4 Transferring information overseas 

We may transfer personal information overseas if necessary for the conduct of a legal matter or for a business transaction or other dealing. Otherwise, we will not transfer personal information outside Australia unless: 

  • We reasonably believe that the recipient of the information is subject to legal obligations that uphold principles for the protection and fair handling of personal information that are substantially similar to the principles contained in this policy; or 
  • We are given consent by the individual concerned to do so, expressly or by implication; or 
  • We are contractually required to do so; or 
  • The transfer is for the benefit of the individual concerned and it is not practicable for Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers to obtain their consent and if they were able to grant consent, they would be likely to p it. In this instance we will p the individual concerned to whom their information has been disclosed as soon as practicable. 

4. Updating your information

We ask that you tell us of any changes to the personal information we hold about you. We can be notified at any time to update personal information or to be told that the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate or incomplete. We will then take reasonable steps to correct the information in the manner requested. 

If we consider that the personal information we retain does not require amendment, we will annotate the request on our files 

       4.1 Security 

The protection of personal information is a priority for Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers. We are committed to maintaining: 

  • Safeguards to protect personal information against unauthorised use, disclosure, access, alteration, destruction and accidental loss. All personal information we hold is dealt with in accordance with the APPs; 
  • Industry standards for the security and protection of information. Personal information is stored securely and access is restricted to authorised personnel only. Our computer systems require access passwords, and these are kept secure by our personnel; and 
  • The date and time of a user's visit; and 
  • Internal policies on management of personal information, and staff training to ensure compliance with these policies. All our staff are required to read this policy and understand their responsibilities in relation to personal information. 

5. Access to personal information

We will generally allow an individual access to any personal information that we hold about them on request - subject to any Exceptions of Access. We will try to give the individual concerned, access in a form and manner that suits their needs. To request access please contact our Privacy Officer. 

       5.1 Restrictions on access 

We are entitled to restrict access to personal information in accordance with the APPs. You may not be allowed access to personal information we hold where access would reveal evaluative information generated by Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers in connection with a commercially sensitive decision-making process. Instead, Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers may give you an explanation for the decision, rather than direct access to the information. 

If we have given you such an explanation and you believe that direct access to the evaluative information is necessary to provide a reasonable explanation of the reasons for the decision, we will, at your request, review the decision. Personnel other than the original decision-maker will conduct the review. 

Wherever direct access by you is impractical or inappropriate, we should consider together whether the use of a mutually agreed intermediary would allow sufficient access to meet both our needs and concerns. 

Other instances where it may not be appropriate to provide you with access to the personal information we hold, include where: 

  • Providing access would pose a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual or to public health or public safety; or 
  • Providing access would have an unreasonable impact upon the privacy of others; 
  • The request for access is frivolous or vexatious; and
  • The information relates to an anticipated or existing legal dispute and disclosure would compromise our position or the position of others. 
  • Giving access would reveal the intentions of the entity in relations to negotiations with the individual in such a way as to prejudice those negotiations; or
  • Denying access is required or authorised by or under Australian law or a court/tribunal order; or
  • Providing access would reveal evaluative information generated within Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers in connection with a commercially sensitive decision-making process.

       5.2 Charges for access 

An individual will incur no charges for lodging a request to access personal information. However, we may levy a reasonable charge for providing the access. We will provide an estimate of any charge on request, or if it appears to us that the work will be onerous or otherwise warrants a charge.

6. Changes to our policy

We may update or change this policy. When we do so, we will publish the current policy on our web site. If you have any suggestions or concerns that are not addressed in this privacy policy, please contact our Privacy Officer.

7. Complaint resolution 

We are committed to constantly improving our procedures so that personal information is treated appropriately. If you feel that we have failed to deal with your personal information in accordance with the APPs or this policy, please speak to us so that we have an opportunity to resolve the issue to your satisfaction. 

Our Privacy Officer will manage the following process for us to: 

  • Listen to your concerns and grievances regarding our handling of personal information; 
  • Discuss with you the ways in which we can remedy the situation; and 
  • Put in place an action plan to resolve your complaint and improve our information handling procedures if appropriate. 

If this process does not result in an outcome that is satisfactory to you, you may contact the Privacy Commissioner's Office. We will work together with the Privacy Commissioner's Office to resolve the issues between us. 

The contact details for the Privacy Commissioner's Office are as follows: 

Privacy Commissioner's Office

Level 8, Piccadilly Tower, 133 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000
GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 1042 

P: 1300 363 992 (for the cost of a local call anywhere in Australia)
TTY: 1800 620 241
F: +61 2 9284 9666
E: privacy@privacy.p.au 

Further information about privacy and your rights can be obtained at the Federal Privacy Commissioner's website at www.privacy.p.au 

Contact information 

If you wish to access any personal information that we hold about you, or have a query about this policy, please contact our Privacy Officer: 

Privacy Officer 
Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers 

Level 2.
8 Innovation Parkway
KAWANA QLD 4575 

P: 07 5413 8900
F: 07 5413 8958
E: mail@stolaw.com.au