A time of transition - Part 2
- Subtitle: Top Prairie Firms: Saskatchewan
This article is a continuation of 'A Time of Transition' from the March issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine. Click here to read Part 1.
Top Saskatchewan Law Firms
McDougall Gauley LLP (Saskatoon, Regina)
Total lawyers: 80
Offices (with # of lawyers): Regina (41); Saskatoon (39)
Core practice areas: litigation, including complex commercial, class actions and insurance defence; criminal; corporate-commercial; insolvency and restructuring; banking and financial services; labour and employment; wills and estates
Key clients: Graham Construction Engineering, North Ridge Development Corp., SaskPower, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, University of Regina, Business Development Bank of Canada
Notable mandates: representing corporate defendants in class actions; applications under the Charter including a successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada to establish Internet identity can only be disclosed with judicial authorization; representing professionals in various regulatory and criminal matters
Star alumni: Saskatchewan lieutenant governors George Brown and Frank Bastedo; Saskatchewan Court of Appeal justices Thomas Wakeling, Hector MacDonald, and Neal Caldwell; Federal Court justice James Russell; Tax Court of Canada justice Georgette Sheridan; Queen’s Bench justices R. Shawn Smith, Merri-Ellen Wright, Richard Danyliuk and Daryl Labach; Provincial Court justice Kevin Lang; former chancellor of the University of Regina William Ready.
Affiliations: Canadian Litigation Counsel
The firm: McDougall Gauley LLP is a Saskatchewan firm with a diversified local, provincial, national and international practice. Since 1891 it has served the legal needs of domestic and international organizations, insurance companies, individuals in business, government, law and finance, as well as local, national and multinational corporations. With over 80 legal professionals, the firm offers a wide range of services and has been in business for 125 years.
“Over the past five years, they have been involved in some of the largest real estate developments in Western Canada,” said one respondent. Another said the firm has “quick service and turnaround. Minimal follow up required (they stay on top of workload and get things done as requested). Always willing to answer questions and provide guidance on deals (structure, security issues, etc). Don’t nickel and dime us or our clients for some of the small requests and questions.”
McKercher LLP (Saskatoon, Regina)
Total lawyers: 65
Offices (with # of lawyers): Saskatoon (47), Regina (18)
Core practice areas: personal injury and insurance litigation, corporate commercial litigation, class actions, administrative litigation including professional regulation for a number of professional organizations as well as professional defence, labour and employment, agriculture and agribusiness, corporate/commercial, mining, natural resources and environmental, First Nations and aboriginal law
Key clients: Canadian Medical Protective Association, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Wal-Mart Canada Corp., Overwaitea Food Group (Save-On-Foods), Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, Global Transportation Hub, Input Capital Corp., 49 North Resources, Redhead Equipment Group
Notable mandates: local counsel working in conjunction with in-house counsel for Fortis Properties Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc. in the disposition of its hotel portfolio, which was comprised of 22 hotels in seven Canadian provinces; counsel for Wright Construction Western Inc. and its parent in financial close of the Saskatchewan Joint-Use Schools Project, which includes 18 elementary schools and nine joint-use facilities in the province; acted in conjunction with in-house counsel for Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan as special counsel (securities) in the privatization of Information Services Corporation; one of two negotiators for 50 Catholic entities parties to the Indian Residential School Settlement Class Action; acted for Input Capital in a one-of-a-kind private placement of shares offering used to fund canola streaming contracts for farmers seeking capital; assisted Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP in the acquisition by the Great-West Life Insurance Co. of several shopping centres across Canada; involved in development and subsequent expansions of, and represents, Canadian Light Source Inc., the country’s only national synchrotron research facility
Star alumni: Saskatchewan Minister of Justice and Attorney General Gordon Wyant; Saskatchewan Court of Appeal Justice Peter A. Whitmore; Federal Court of Appeal Justice Denis Pelletier; Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench Justices Neil G. Gabrielson, Daniel B. Konkin and Richard W. Elson; Provincial Court of Saskatchewan Judge Shannon Metivier; former Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice R. D. Laing; former Saskatchewan Court of Appeal Justice Percy Maguire; former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Emmett Hall; CEO of Morris Industries Casey Davis
Affiliations: Lawyers Associated Worldwide, Risk Management Counsel of Canada, Employment Law Alliance
The firm: With offices in Regina and Saskatoon, McKercher LLP has more than 60 lawyers practising in all major areas of the law. Tracing its roots back to 1926, its lawyers have been involved in many of Saskatchewan’s significant commercial projects and cases. The firm has offices in Saskatoon, known as a strong commercial and economic hub, and Regina, the provincial capital and centre of government activity.
“The high level of legal expertise and its strong focus on the local community,” was cited by one respondent, while another described the firm as a “modern full service firm with finger on pulse of innovation and client service.”
Miller Thomson (Saskatoon, Regina)
Total lawyers: 32
Offices (with # of lawyers): Regina (21); Saskatoon (11); satellite office in Estevan
Core practice areas: agribusiness, capital markets and securities, construction/infrastructure, municipal, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, corporate tax/private client services/social impact, energy/environmental/renewable energy/natural resources and aboriginal, financial services and insolvency, IP/IT, labour and employment, litigation — commercial/construction/insurance, real estate
The firm: Miller Thomson helps businesses of every size, entrepreneurs and individuals. It works with not-for-profit organizations as well as financial institutions and governments. The national firm is close to 550 lawyers, with 11 offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Toronto, Markham and Montréal.
One respondent described the firm as a “great place to work for both lawyers and staff.”
MLT Aikins LLP (formerly MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP) (Regina, Saskatoon)
As MLT has merged with Aikins MacAulay & Thorvaldson LLP, a full description of the firm can be found under MLT Aikins LLP in the Manitoba section.
Robertson Stromberg LLP (Saskatoon)
Total lawyers: 28
Offices (with # of lawyers): Saskatoon (28)
Core practice areas: mining and energy, business law, insolvency and restructuring, corporate finance, commercial and civil litigation, urban development and construction, professional regulation
Key clients: Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., Canpotex Ltd., Scotiabank, West Wind Aviation, Saputo Dairy Products Canada GP, Liberty International Mutual Insurance Co., AIG Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Postmedia Network Inc., Siemens Transportation Group, College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Medical Association
Affiliations: Meritas, The ARC Group Canada
Notable mandates: At the request of the Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan, Robertson Stromberg completed an independent investigation into the legal issues surrounding the troubled SaskPower Smart Meter program. Robertson Stromberg was lead counsel in relation to the merger and subsequent privatization of present-day Cameco and in relation to the privatization of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.
Star alumni: Justice G. Goebel and Justice G. Currie (Saskatchewan, Court of Queen’s Bench); Justice R. Ottenbreit (Saskatchewan, Court of Appeal); Frank Quennell (Minister of Justice, Saskatchewan), James Wilfred Estey, (attorney general for Saskatchewan and later a justice on the Supreme Court of Canada); Dr. Arthur Moxon (first dean of the University of Saskatchewan College of Law); and Peter G. Makaroff (distinguished civil libertarian best known for his representation of labour and minorities during the Great Depression).
The firm: For nearly a century, Robertson Stromberg LLP has offered its clients service in every major area of the law. It has 28 lawyers, two articling students, seven paralegals and 32 administrative staff with a portfolio of individual, corporate and institutional clients across the province and country.
One respondent cited the “quality of their lawyers and their innovation,” while another mentioned the firm was “collegial, good client relations.”
Click here to read 'A Time of Transition' Part 1 from the March issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine.
Published in Regional Law Firm Rankings
Mallory Hendry is associate editor for Canadian Lawyer. Mallory is dedicated to delivering the latest news in legal education across Canada. She contributes to both print and online content.