Written by Judy van Rhijn Issue Date: May 2009
In recessionary times employers look to save costs by reducing labour costs, and those times have come to Canada. All across the country, labour lawyers are seeing an upswing in activity indicating a downturn in fortunes. Ron Pink, managing partner of Pink Larkin in Halifax, has noticed a large increase in cold calls from individual employers since January and calls the slowdown “profound.” André Nowakowski, a labour lawyer at Miller Thomson LLP in Toronto, has seen activity picking up since last fall. “It doesn’t matter what size the employer, we are seeing it everywhere. It’s a painful process for everyone.”
- Real estate
For some lucky people, a foreclosure is a buying opportunity. As layoffs, credit squeezes, and depressed markets are forcing some property owners to give up their homes or close their businesses, others are looking for great deals in power of sale purchases. Available in Ontario and some other jurisdictions, power of sale is the right of the mortgage lender to force the sale of a property without judicial proceeding. It’s the easiest and most common way for mortgagees to turn delinquent loans into cash — and, even though power of sale transactions are required to reflect market values, they can be good bargains for purchasers in a depressed market.
- Law office management
It may fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but for James Scott there is no better time to launch a solo property law practice than in the depth of a recession and real estate slump.
Written by Gail J. Cohen Issue Date: March 2009
Stuart “Kip” Cobbett is the chief operating officer and Montreal managing partner of 500-lawyer Stikeman Elliott LLP. His firm has recently become involved in a UN program with 14 other corporate law firms from around the world that are looking to identify whether and how national corporate law principles and practices foster corporate cultures respectful of human rights. He also talks to Canadian Lawyer about business and the current economic situation.
Andrew Tremayne is the managing partner of Ottawa labour and employment law boutique Emond Harnden. Since the firm’s inception in 1987, it has grown from three to 24 lawyers. He talks to Canadian Lawyer about how the largest boutique of its kind in the nation’s capital goes from strength to strength.
Written by C. Graham, W. King and Nick G. Pasquino Issue Date: January 2009
Lawyers advising directors and corporate directors will take some comfort in the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in BCE Inc. v. 1976 Debentureholders, which affirmed that Canadian corporate directors owe a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the corporations they serve, and not to any other stakeholders.
Written by Gerry Blackwell Issue Date: December 2008
Alarm bells have been going off for years now, warning litigators they need to get up to speed on e-discovery, and fast.
Written by Gail J. Cohen Issue Date: December 2008
Based in Montreal, Guy Tremblay is national co-managing partner of Heenan Blaikie. At 62, Tremblay has been practising law for 37 years and has seen a lot of change. He talks about managing a firm of 480 lawyers and the value it places on creative individuals, part of what has made the firm one of Canadian Business magazine’s Top 50 Best Places to Work in Canada.