Service Terms

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. Hansell LLP has therefore 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, Hansell LLP 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  only once 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. Hansell LLP 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, Hansell LLP’s 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 Hansell LLP 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.