Privacy Policy

Shelston IP and Shelston IP Lawyers (collectively Shelston IP) are committed to complying with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Privacy Principles. We understand our responsibilities in relation to privacy and the importance of how we treat the “personal information” we collect.

Under the Privacy Act, “personal information” means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether that information or opinion is true or not, and whether that information or opinion is recorded in material form or not.

Personal information collected and held by Shelston IP

When a client engages Shelston IP, we collect personal information about individuals associated with the client, including names, titles, contact details and other information related to our professional dealings. We may also collect similar personal information about third parties to allow us to provide intellectual property or legal advice to the client. Prior to collecting sensitive information from a client, we will always obtain consent from the individual concerned. As the relevant matter progresses, we may collect additional personal information relating to the individual’s personal circumstances and financial and business affairs including bank account and credit card details.

To provide intellectual property and legal advice, Shelston IP may also collect personal information from third parties, including names, titles, contact details and other information related to our professional dealings. Third parties from whom we collect personal information include employers, colleagues, landlords, advisers, contractors, other professional services and public records.

Personal information is also collected about individuals associated with suppliers and providers of business services to the firm. This includes name, position and title, company and business name, contact details and similar information.

Individuals applying for employment with Shelston IP will usually provide a significant amount of personal information. Shelston IP will collect this information and may collect additional personal information from referees, past employers and sources named in CVs, academic institutions, our professional contacts and our clients.

The purposes for which Shelston IP collects, holds, uses and discloses personal information

We collect, hold, use or disclose personal information for the purpose for which it was collected as set out below (“primary purpose”). The context will be important for determining the primary purpose. Typically, the primary purpose is one or more of the following:

  • the provision of intellectual property and related legal advice, representation and other services by this firm to clients or prospective clients;
  • purchases and acquisitions on behalf of this firm;
  • employment of an individual with this firm;
  • marketing and business development purposes;
  • invitations to events, seminars, training sessions and functions;
  • provision of information on legal or industry developments, issues, and other matters expected to be of interest to the individual;
  • other agreed business dealings between Shelston IP and the subject individual.

We may also use or disclose information for the following purposes (“secondary purposes”):

  • where the information is not sensitive information, a purpose related to one of the primary purposes; or
  • where the information is sensitive information, a purpose directly related to one of the primary purposes,
  • if the individual would reasonably expect us to use or disclose the personal information for the secondary purpose.

Shelston IP will not sell, exchange, or otherwise trade in personal information.

Shelston IP may be unable to provide requested services and advice or perform the functions specified above if the individual does not provide certain personal information.

Marketing information

Individuals or organisations that no longer wish to receive marketing information or be contacted by Shelston IP for marketing purposes may advise us by emailing our Privacy Officer at the email address specified below or by clicking the ‘unsubscribe function’ (where marketing information is sent electronically). After receiving a request, we will take steps to ensure that such marketing information is no longer sent in the future unless we are legally required to provide such information.

To whom does Shelston IP disclose personal information?

Personal information may be disclosed to third parties to provide the services requested from Shelston IP or to carry out the client’s or prospective client’s instructions. These third parties may include:

  • barristers, advocates, solicitors and patent attorneys (including foreign associate firms – see further below);
  • experts including scientists, medical practitioners, engineers, accountants, actuaries, business consultants, advisors;
  • Courts and Tribunals, industry regulators and authorised government agencies;
  • businesses who provide services to support Shelston IP’s practice operations; and
  • other persons authorised by the client or prospective client.

Shelston IP will also disclose personal information when it is permitted or required by law to do so.

Disclosure of personal information to foreign associate firms

Shelston IP has relationships with foreign associate firms in other countries. Clients or prospective clients may instruct us to engage these firms to provide intellectual property, legal and other services to our clients or prospective clients. We may disclose personal information to foreign associate firms located in jurisdictions relevant to the particular matter for this purpose. This will necessarily involve sending certain personal information overseas as required to enable the relevant work to proceed. In turn, those firms may need to disclose certain personal information to third parties in their country as required to enable the work to proceed.

The Privacy Act requires us to ensure that foreign associate firms and service providers to whom we disclose personal information comply with the Australian Privacy Principles unless the relevant individual agrees otherwise. By providing Shelston IP with personal information or obtaining services provided by us, each individual:

(i) consents to Shelston IP disclosing and transferring their personal information to our foreign associate firms and service providers located in jurisdictions relevant to the individual’s particular matters;

(ii) consents to those foreign associate firms and service providers storing that personal information outside of Australia and

(iii) agrees that the requirement under the Privacy Act for Shelston IP to ensure that our foreign associate firms and service providers comply with the Australian Privacy Principles in respect of that personal information does not apply.

How Shelston IP assures the quality of personal information

Personal information collected by Shelston IP is continuously reviewed to ensure that it is accurate, up-to-date, complete and relevant. The quality of personal information collected and disclosed is assured by Shelston IP staff following established procedures and proven protocols.

How Shelston IP assuressecurity of personal information

Shelston IP keeps personal information secure from misuse, interference and loss, and unauthorised access, use, modification, copying and disclosure by:

  • secure storage of paper records and electronic records in our premises which are locked, alarmed, security patrolled, and fire-protected;
  • limiting access to premises and information to authorised persons;
  • security destruction of surplus paper records and electronic media; and
  • off-site security storage of specified records.

How individuals may access and correct personal information held by Shelston IP

Shelston IP will provide access to personal information held by the firm about the individual, subject to the exceptions in the Privacy Act and our professional obligations to observe patent attorney privilege, legal professional privilege and client confidentiality.

Requests for access to individual personal information must be made in writing, supported by appropriate proof of identity, and addressed to the Privacy Officer at Shelston IP.

All requests for access will be attended to within ten business days. We will advise if and when access will be given. Requests for access to personal information will not attract a charge, but we reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee for giving access to personal information where the information requested is unusual, difficult or complex. Should Shelston IP decline a request for access to personal information, we will state the reasons for our decision except to the extent where it would be unreasonable to do so.

If an individual wishes to correct their personal information held by Shelston IP, we will firstly validate the new data. We will then correct our records to ensure that, having regard for the purpose for which the information is held, the information is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading. If Shelston IP does not agree with the requested amendment, we will advise you of our reasons.

Further information

From time to time, Shelston IP may amend its privacy policy without notice to any person. Additional information and updates on this policy will be available from the Shelston IP’s Privacy Officer. Complaints or queries regarding these matters, or our approach to client confidentiality or information handling within the practice should be addressed to:

Chris Bevitt

Privacy Officer

Shelston IP

T  +61 2  9777 1111

Email Chris Bevitt

In the unlikely event of dissatisfaction with our response, complaints may also be lodged with the Australian Information Commissioner.