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Privacy Policy and Credit Reporting Policy

Privacy policy


Introduction

Swaab Attorneys (Swaab) is a Sydney based law firm with a reputation for providing effective and innovative legal solutions for our clients.  At Swaab we collect and hold personal information necessary for us to carry out our activities as providers of legal advice, representation and other services.

At Swaab, we respect the confidential and private nature of the information you disclose to us.  We are committed to protecting all personal information entrusted to us.  We believe that respect for your privacy is an integral part of our legal and professional obligations to you.

To deliver on our commitment to protect personal information we have developed this privacy policy concerning the management of personal information.  Our privacy policy outlines various principles concerning the collection, storage and use of personal information consistent with the Australian Privacy Principles (APP's) in the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act).

We may amend or modify our privacy policy from time to time.  We encourage you to check our website (www.swaab.com.au) regularly to ensure that you are aware of Swaab's current privacy policy.

For information about our management of your credit-related information, please see our Credit Reporting Policy.

Collection, use and disclosure of your personal information
General

Swaab collects personal information so that we can provide you with comprehensive legal advice and related services.  Personal information is any information from which your identity is apparent.  Often the information includes basic information such as your name and contact details and in other circumstances we may require more detailed information about you including sensitive information and credit related personal information.

If you do not provide us with complete or accurate information it may compromise our ability to provide you with the legal services you have requested.

We may collect personal information directly from you either in person, by telephone, email or other means of communication including our website for the purposes of providing legal advice, representation and services, to respond to enquiries, and for direct marketing such as sending you newsletters, marketing information and invitations to seminars.

Swaab is bound by professional obligations of confidentiality and legal professional privilege.  We will continue to maintain our obligations in respect of the treatment of your personal information as applicable.

Third party collection

There may be occasions where Swaab will collect personal information about you from third parties, such as public agencies, credit reporting bodies and contractors who provide services to Swaab.  This information will be collected for the purposes of providing legal advice, representation and other services, and to communicate and correspond with third parties as permitted under the Privacy Act.

Disclosure to third parties

In the delivery of our professional services to you, you acknowledge that it may be necessary for us to disclose personal or sensitive information to our affiliates, agents, contractors and third party advisers in Australia or overseas, including those countries serviced by our affiliates in the Meritas Global Alliance.  A level of disclosure will be provided to our email filtering hosts (who are based in the United Kingdom) in order for them to effectively manage our systems.

We may also provide your personal information to our affiliates in order to provide you with information that may be of interest to you or in the process of engaging with you in relation to marketing activities.

We may also be required to make files available for inspection by legal regulatory bodies.

Our website and the use of cookies
Our website

When you visit our website, a record is made of your visit.  We log the following information for the purpose of analysing and evaluating the performance and operation of our website: your IP address, the date and time of your visit to the site, the pages you accessed and documents downloaded, the previous site you have visited, and the type of browser you are using.

A "Cookie" is a small text file which is placed on your computer by webpage servers.  The purpose of a cookie is to help analyse web traffic and to let the website know when you visit a particular page.  Cookies allow a web application to respond to you as an individual.  They can record information about your visit to the site, allowing it to remember you next time you visit and provide any relevant information to you.  Cookies are also used to enhance the secure use of websites.

Cookies can be stored in your hard drive (persistent cookies) or in memory (session cookies).  A persistent cookie is a cookie which will enable a continuing record to be kept of your visits to the website.  A session cookie is a cookie which is a transient cookie and tracks your visits for a website session only.

Swaab uses session cookies to identify which pages of our website are being used for a website session only.  Upon closing your browser the session cookie set by our website is destroyed and no personal information is maintained.  Swaab does not make any attempt to identify users or their general browsing activities.

Links to third party websites

For your convenience, our website may contain links to other third party websites.  If you do choose to use or follow a link to a third party website, please be aware that those websites have their own privacy policies and we cannot accept any responsibility for their use of any information you may provide to them.

Storage, data protection and destruction of records

Personal information is contained both in hard copy (usually in the form of a matter file) and in an electronic format within the Swaab offices.  These files are maintained in a secure environment subject to strict privacy protection measures.

Records containing personal information are only accessible to personnel of Swaab who require access to enable them to perform their duties.  All Swaab personnel have signed Privacy and Confidentiality Agreements binding them to comply with the Privacy Act.

Swaab will destroy records relating to personal information when such information is no longer necessary to be retained within Swaab's records.

Access to records

You may access the personal information that we hold about you.  To access or correct your personal information, please write to our Swaab Privacy Compliance Officer Bronwyn Pott (bjp@swaab.com.au).  We may deny your request in certain circumstances, however, will advise you of the reasons why.  

Contact us

Swaab is committed to providing those persons whose personal information it holds, a fair and responsible system for the handling of queries concerning the collection, accuracy or disclosure of personal information.

Our Privacy Compliance Officer may be contacted for any complaints, queries, concerns or requests you may have, including if you would like to discontinue receiving any direct marketing materials such as newsletters, marketing information and invitations to seminars.

Please address all correspondence to:

The Privacy Compliance Officer (CEO)
BJP@swaab.com.au
GPO Box 35
Sydney NSW 2001

Our Privacy Compliance Officer may also be contact on +61 2 9233 5544.

If you believe that Swaab has not adequately handled your privacy complaint, query, concern or request, you may contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner on 1300 363 992 or at:

GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2001
enquiries@oaic.gov.au

For further information about privacy, visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
 

Credit reporting policy


Introduction

Our credit reporting policy (CRP) has been developed in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) and the Credit Reporting Code (CRC). The CRP details how we generally manage your credit-related information.

For information about our management of your personal information, please see our Privacy Policy. This CRP is relevant to current and former clients, as well as other individuals we deal with in connection with credit we provide (such as guarantors and directors).

Collection, use and disclosure of your credit-related information
Types of credit-related information

We collect and hold various types of credit-related information, including:

  1. your current and prior names and addresses, age, occupation and your driver's licence number;
  2. your repayment history;
  3. payments owed to us in connection with credit provided to you or in relation to which you are a guarantor, overdue for more than 60 days (and, if you subsequently repay any such overdue payment, the fact of that repayment);
  4. whether you have entered into arrangements with us or other credit providers in connection with credit provided to you;
  5. court proceedings information, personal insolvency information and credit-related publicly available information;
  6. certain administrative information relating to credit, such as account and customer numbers.
Collection of credit information

Credit information may be collected by us in a number of ways including:

  1. provided by you directly to us or by persons acting on your behalf (such as on applications or other forms);
  2. in the public domain; 
  3. information derived by us from your usage and (where applicable) repayment of any account held with us.
Holding credit information

We may hold your credit information in physical form or in electronic form on our systems.

Our procedures are designed to prevent your credit information being accessed by unauthorised personnel, lost or misused. If you reasonably believe that there has been unauthorised use or disclosure of your credit information please contact our Privacy Officer (details above).

Purposes of collection, use and disclosure of credit information

We will only collect personal information, to use and/or disclose your credit information as reasonably necessary for our business purposes and as permitted by law. 

These purposes may include:

  1. to form decisions as to whether to provide you, or an entity associated with you, with credit or to accept you as a guarantor;
  2. to assist you to avoid defaulting on your credit-related obligations;
  3. to undertake debt recovery and enforcement activities, including in relation to guarantors, and to deal with serious credit infringements;
  4. to deal with complaints and meet legal and regulatory requirements.

(Some credit information may only be used or disclosed under the Privacy Act for some of these purposes or in some circumstances).

Disclosure of credit information to Credit Reporting Bureaus

We may disclose your credit information to credit reporting bureaus (CRB) for purposes such as those described above where the Privacy Act permits us to do so. 

We will give you at least 14 days written notice of our intention to disclose your information to a CRB.

We commit to advising our CRB of payment information within a reasonable timeframe once the amount reported has been paid.

Disclosures of credit information to third parties

We may (if permitted by law) disclose your credit information with third parties. In some circumstances we may require your consent before being able to make such disclosures.

We will not disclose your credit information to overseas entities unless you expressly advise us to, apart from where it is contained in emails which are filtered by our email filtering host in the United Kingdom.

Accessing and correcting your credit information
Accessing your credit information

You are entitled under the Privacy Act to access personal information we hold about you by contacting our Privacy Officer (details below). Should you require access to your personal information, please request access and be specific about the information you require.

We will need to validate the identity of anyone making an access request, to ensure that we do not provide your information to anyone who does not have the right to access that information.

Gaining access to your personal information is subject to some exceptions allowed by law. If access is refused, we will give you a notice explaining our decision to the extent practicable and your options.

There is no charge for making an access request. Your request will be dealt with in a timely manner.

Correcting your credit information

If you believe that any credit information held by us about you is incorrect you have the right under the Privacy Act to request that we correct that information. If you would like to do so please contact our Privacy Officer (details below).

We will attempt to resolve your correction requests in a timely manner. If we need more time to resolve your request we will notify you in writing as to the delay and seek your agreement to a longer period.

If we do not agree with a request to correct credit information we hold about you we will give you notice in writing as to our reasons and the mechanisms available to you to complain about our decision.

There is no cost involved for you to make a correction request or for the correction of your information.

Complaints and disputes

If you have reason to believe that we have not complied with our obligations under the Privacy Act in relation to your personal information, please contact our Privacy Officer. 

You will receive an acknowledgment of your complaint as soon as practicable and in any case within 7 days after we receive it.

We will investigate all complaints and aim to resolve them within 30 days. If we cannot resolve your complaint within this period we will notify you as to the reasons why, specify a date when we expect a resolution and seek your agreement to extend this 30 day period (if you do not agree, we may then not be able to resolve your complaint).

If we find a complaint justified, we will resolve it. If necessary, we will change policies and procedures to maintain our high standards of performance, service and customer care.

If you are not happy with the way your privacy-related complaint is being handled, you can also contact the Privacy Officer using the contact details above.

If you wish to find out more information, or raise any specific or general concerns, about our Privacy Policy and privacy practices, please contact us.

Association Memberships
Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation
  • 2017 - Winner Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards
  • 2017 - Finalist Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards
  • 2017 - Finalist Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards