Fernando Garcia

Fernando Garcia

Fernando Garcia is the General Counsel for Nissan Canada, Inc. Fernando’s duties include providing strategic and legal advice on Canada-wide dealer operations, labour relations and employment law, government affairs and all general legal matters. He holds an MIR from the University of Toronto, and LLB/BCL from McGill and recently completed an MBA at Wilfrid Laurier University. He can be reached at:  fernando.garcia@nissancanada.com.

Column: In-house Coach
Monday, 24 July 2017 09:00

L.I.O.N.s, bears, sheep and ghosts

L.I.O.N.s, bears, sheep and ghostsI have often made reference to the fact that, in my humble opinion, lawyers (both in private practice and inhouse counsel) must become increasingly comfortable with using social media to promote not only their achievements and relevant or interesting best practices or developments in their legal practice area, but also to build and grow their personal brand and networks.
Over the last few years, I have made selectively growing my social network a priority. LinkedIn is one such platform for this sharing of ideas and personal brand promotion and it is the one I have focused on the most to strategically meet my objective. Unfortunately, many lawyers I meet have little or no social media presence.
Nice guys and gals always finish . . . first!As I sat in my chair at the Canadian General Counsel Awards and looked around the sold out room, beyond the wonderful tuxes and dresses, the smiles and the great food, two important things ran through my mind. First, how incredible it is to see a room so full of capable, knowledgeable and accomplished external counsel, in-house counsel and other leaders of industry who are no longer actively practising law. This, I will admit, is always a great reason for attending wonderful events like the CGCA and the Innovatio Awards.
The next step for diversity: sharing our successAt the end of the month, I will be travelling to Dublin, Ireland. While yes, there will be an element of pleasure travelling around this beautiful country (how can I avoid the temptation), there is a more important reason for my travel. As part of DRI’s Conference, titled Hot Topics in International Dispute Resolution, there is a break out session focusing on women in the law. I have been invited to speak at this session and our panel will be specifically sharing our views and best practices on “Building and Maintaining an International Law Book of Business: To What Degree Does Diversity Play a Role?”
The ‘plus-shaped’ lawyer for the 21st centuryThe Canadian Corporate Counsel Association’s national spring conference wrapped up Tuesday afternoon in Toronto. I was honoured and privileged to act, along with my colleague Mary Ellen Bench, as the co-chairperson for such a wonderful event. Speakers from across the country spoke on topical issues such as CASL compliance, the changing United States/Canada relationship, modernizing insurance coverage, drafting 101 and more.
Monday, 20 March 2017 09:00

Speak up, even if nervous!

Speak up, even if nervous!Please, let’s just keep this discussion between us, because I am a bit embarrassed to admit this. Depending on which stats you use, between 50 and 75 per cent of people admit to being terrified of speaking in public. 
General counsel are filling the role of jack of all tradesThere is an old saying that reads: “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” With this phrase, I will waddle into the murky debate as to the role of the general counsel. More specifically, the discussion will focus on what is best, being a “generalist” general counsel or a specialist in-house counsel?
Monday, 16 January 2017 09:00

Get ready for the legal tech revolution!

Get ready for the legal tech revolution!Data analytics, artificial intelligence and legal tech solutions generally are increasingly becoming critical tools for law firms and in-house counsel.
Monday, 12 December 2016 09:00

Career advancement: My two cents

Career advancement: My two centsAs I come to a close on my second year of writing as the In-House Coach for Canadian Lawyer, the most frequent question I have heard raised by readers and fellow in-house counsel has been: What additional training can I do to make me a more valuable in-house counsel and/or to assist in advancing my career?
It is trite to say that, for most of us, time is of the essence. The challenge of juggling career, family and community/volunteer time unfortunately means that there is often very little time left to squeeze out of our days. Consequently, any investment in time and resources must be well thought out and must provide you with a strong bang for your buck/ROI.
Addressing challenges faced by racialized licenseesThese are very interesting times to be a lawyer in Ontario. Although the protector of justice and equity in society, the legal profession is also one of the slowest professions to actually deal with the racism and sexism that, unfortunately, is still very prevalent at all levels of our profession.
Adopting data analytics a critical part of successThe practice of law is changing. Technology and data analytics are penetrating one of the last remaining professions that had, until recently, escaped the disruption that these new ways of doing business and practising law bring. Soon, the unfettered discretion of the general counsel to operate his or her legal department will come to an end. It is the responsibility and obligation of all in-house and private practice counsel to make sure they ride this wave, as otherwise there is a very good chance it will drown them.
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