Service Terms

Certain Terms of Service

  1. Know Your Client Rules
  2. File Retention and Disposal
  3. Electronic Communications
  4. Privacy Policy
  5. Accessibility

1. Know Your Client Rules

The governing bodies of the legal profession in Ontario and Quebec have imposed certain rules relating to the opening of new matters for clients and the operations of law firm trust accounts that are designed to assist in the prevention of activities such as money laundering, sometimes referred to as "Know Your Client" rules. Accordingly, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP has implemented certain file opening and trust account procedures in order to ensure that we comply with our obligations as efficiently as possible while minimizing the impact on our clients.

Client Identification: When we are retained to act on a new file, whether for a new or an existing client, Davies must collect certain specific information. For clients that are organizations, this will normally include information such as the client's incorporation or business identification number and jurisdiction of formation. For clients who are individuals, we must also record the client's occupation, home address and telephone number. We are obligated to obtain this information also in regard to any third parties for whom our client may be acting in the matter. Except to the extent relevant information changes from time to time, it has to be obtained once only per client.

Client Verification: Additional requirements may apply when the firm is engaged in or gives instructions with respect to the payment or receipt of funds or negotiable instruments, for example, if our trust accounts are used in connection with a client transaction. For clients that are organizations, we must obtain additional information, including the name and occupation of each director and details regarding any persons owning 25% or more of the organization or its shares. We are also required to examine an official document confirming the organization's existence, such as a certificate of good standing or documents evidencing the organization's formation. In addition to these identification requirements, we must take reasonable steps to verify the identity of the individual client or, in the case of an organization, of the client's representative instructing the firm on the client's behalf. This will involve examining an individual's identification document (such as a driver's licence or passport) and retaining a copy for our files. In certain instances, a third party, such as the client's local counsel or in-house counsel, may examine such documentation on our behalf. Davies values its clients' privacy, and we treat all client information with the utmost care and confidentiality. While we collect certain client information for administrative and billing purposes and to maintain and foster client relationships, the information and documentation we obtain in compliance with the “Know Your Client” rules will be used solely to comply with our professional obligations and access will be limited on a “need to know” basis. Except where legally compelled to do so, we will not release such documentation or any information contained therein to any third party. For more information about the manner in which we collect, use and disclose personal information about individuals, please consult our Privacy Policy.

2. File Retention and Disposal

As part of an ongoing retainer, Davies' lawyers will make every effort to ensure the client is provided with all documentation relevant to the matter. Clients who, upon termination or completion of a matter, wish us to send to them any additional documentation are requested to please so advise us. Otherwise, any documentation that our clients or others have provided to us and our work product produced for that matter will be dealt with in accordance with our records retention program (subject to strict protection of client confidentiality), which may include destruction of these materials after an appropriate time has elapsed.

3. Electronic Communications

We will communicate with clients and others and provide documents through various forms of electronic communications, including email through the public Internet. Clients may also correspond with or provide documents to us through electronic means. These electronic communications may contain information that is confidential or privileged, unless our clients instructs us not to send such information electronically. There is a risk that any such electronic communications may be intercepted or interfered with by third parties or may contain computer viruses.

In addition, we employ filtering techniques (e.g., anti-spam software) which might interfere with the timely delivery of electronic communications sent to us. Neither party will be responsible to the other, or have any liability for any actions of third parties, with respect to electronic communications either of us might send to the other, or for any delay in delivery or non-delivery or other damage caused by virtue of a communication having been made in electronic format.

Clients wishing to discuss other means of delivery of information are asked to please contact any Davies lawyer engaged on their matter. In addition, if you have any concerns or doubts about the authenticity or timing of any electronic communication purportedly sent by us, please contact us immediately.

4. Privacy Policy


This privacy policy (the "Privacy Policy") outlines the manner in which Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and its affiliates ("Davies" or "we") collect, use and disclose personal information of individuals ("you") in Canada in the course of operating our business. The confidentiality of your personal information and protection of your privacy are important to us. In addition to adhering to the provisions of applicable privacy legislation, as lawyers we are also subject to professional and ethical obligations relating to the confidentiality of the information we receive in the context of the lawyer-client relationship. We take these obligations very seriously and have implemented measures to ensure that your personal information is managed in a responsible and appropriate manner.

"Personal information" is a broad term that includes any information about or that can be used to identify an individual. The types of personal information we may collect about an individual will depend upon the nature of the services we are requested to provide or the purpose for collecting the information (see "Purposes for Collecting, Using or Disclosing Personal Information", below). Generally, personal information may include a person's name and home contact information, billing and account information, information relevant to their legal matters (such as information about their business or financial affairs) and other information incidental to the provision of legal advice and services by our firm. We may also collect personal information about directors, officers, shareholders and employees of a client, adverse parties and other parties who are individuals. In certain circumstances, we may be required pursuant to our professional or statutory obligations, including "Know Your Client" requirements imposed by our governing law societies, to verify the identity of a client or its representatives. This may include obtaining additional personal information, such as a person's occupation or date of birth and we may be required to obtain and retain a copy of an individual's personal identification document.

Personal information may not include business contact information, including your name, title or position, business or business email address, telephone or facsimile number in your capacity as an employee of an organization. Personal information also excludes certain publicly available information, such as information listed in a public telephone directory.

Purposes for Collecting, Using or Disclosing Personal Information

We collect, use and disclose personal information only for purposes that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances, and we limit the amount and type of personal information we collect, use or disclose to that necessary for the purposes identified. Generally speaking, Davies collects, uses and discloses personal information of clients and other individuals for the primary purpose of providing legal services and advice on matters in which we have been retained. In some cases, we may be required pursuant to "Know Your Client" regulations applicable to our profession to obtain certain personal information and in such cases the purpose is to comply with our regulatory obligations. We also collect and use personal information for administrative purposes (such as billing and payment processing) and the maintenance of our document management and precedent systems.

We also collect and use personal information of clients and prospective clients to establish and foster relationships by communicating about our firm and our services. We use personal information to distribute publications and invitations to events to individuals who subscribe to our mailing lists or are invited by firm members, to maintain contact lists and to conduct other activities to market our firm.

We may share personal information with third parties in the course of representing clients, including conducting negotiations, litigation or other proceedings. Such third parties may include opposing parties and their counsel, foreign counsel and advisors, witnesses, courts and adjudicators.

In addition to the above we may collect, use and disclose personal information for other purposes ancillary to our business. Examples include:

  • information about agents and suppliers of goods and services to Davies to establish and maintain commercial relationships (such as selecting suppliers and processing invoices);
  • information about visitors and guests of our premises for safety and security purposes;
  • information about individuals who apply to us for employment or partnership for purposes of considering and evaluating their suitability for such a position;
  • information about former employees and partners of Davies in order to maintain contact and comply with statutory obligations; and
  • as otherwise permitted or required by law.


We collect, use and disclose personal information only with consent. However, because we collect only such information as is necessary for our intended purposes, as a general rule our practice is not to request written consent to do so because consent can reasonably be implied in most cases. By contacting us or voluntarily providing us with your personal information or by subscribing to our mailing list, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy. To the extent that you provide personal information of another individual to us, you represent that you have the necessary consent or authority to permit us to collect, use and disclose such personal information for the purposes set out in, and in accordance with, this Privacy Policy. You may withdraw your consent to our continued use and disclosure of your personal information (upon reasonable notice and subject to legal or contractual restrictions), and we provide an opt-out opportunity to individuals from our publications and distribution lists. You can unsubscribe on our website or by emailing us at communication@dwpv.com.

In some cases we may be authorized or required by law to collect, use or disclose personal information without consent. For instance, we may be required to disclose information to civil or regulatory authorities or pursuant to a subpoena or court order.

Retention and Safeguards

Davies retains personal information for as long as it is needed for the purposes for which it was collected or in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements and professional standards.

We use safeguards that are standard in the legal profession to protect the security of personal information in our possession. This includes the establishment of policies and procedures and the training of personnel, the use of physically secure facilities, the adoption of other standard security practices and the appointment of a Privacy Officer.

Any information or documentation which we collect in compliance with our "Know Your Client" obligations is stored separately from other files and access thereto is limited to personnel who are responsible for ensuring that we comply with our obligations.

To the extent we enter into arrangements with service providers, agents and contractors to store, handle or process personal information on our behalf, such as for data processing, document storage and office services, we take reasonable steps, by contractual means or otherwise, to ensure that such parties use the information only for the purposes of complying with such arrangements and that they provide comparable privacy protection while the information is in their possession or control.

Our Website

Visitors to our website are not required to provide any individually identifiable information, such as a name or address, nor do we collect such information passively by electronic means. We collect only general information about visitors, such as their IP addresses and times of visit, and use this information to improve our website. However, if you decide to give us personal information, such as your email address, we will use it only for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy. Davies does not provide information to third parties regarding individual visitors to its website. While reasonable precautions are taken to protect all information given to Davies, due to the nature of the Internet Davies cannot guarantee that there will not be any unauthorized access to your information. From time to time, our website may contain links to other websites which may collect your personal information. We do not assume any responsibility for the privacy practices of the third parties operating such websites. You should read the privacy policies of these websites and in light of such policies, decide whether or not you want to provide your personal information to the operators of these third-party websites.

Access to Your Personal Information and Further Information

You have the right to access and challenge the accuracy and completeness of any personal information about you in our possession, and to have such information amended, subject to exceptions permitted or required by applicable law. To make an access or amendment request or if you have a question or concern about your personal information or this Privacy Policy, please send a written request to:

Privacy Officer
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
155 Wellington Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 3J7



Changes to our Privacy Policy

Our Privacy Policy is available in its entirety at www.dwpv.com. We reserve the right to change our Privacy Policy at any time by updating our Privacy Policy on our website. Please check back frequently for the most current version of our Privacy Policy.

5. Accessibility

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is committed to ensuring that all clients, partners and employees of the Firm with disabilities are treated in a manner that respects their dignity and independence. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of service to all clients of the firm and providing clients with disabilities an equal opportunity to access our services.

As required under the Ontario Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, our Toronto office maintains an accessibility policy outlining how we fulfil our commitments in this regard. Please click here to access our Accessibility Policy, which includes our Statement of Commitment and Multi-Year Accessibility Plan.

For more information, please contact accessibility@dwpv.com or Joyce Mah at 416.367.6924. If you would like to comment on the accessibility of our services, please access a PDF version of our feedback form. You may also request a copy of our feedback form or our Accessibility Policy in an alternate format by contacting accessibility@dwpv.com or Joyce Mah at 416.367.6924.