Michael McKiernan

Michael McKiernan

Monday, 08 April 2013 08:00

Hot competition - part 2

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2013_April_thumbs-up_blue.jpgThis article is a continuation of 'Hot competition' from the April 2013 issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine.
Click here to read part 1.
Monday, 01 April 2013 11:15

Hot competition - part 1

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2013_April_thumbs-up_blue.jpgLong before they get to court, personal injury boutiques face a foe every bit as tough as the stingiest of insurers: each other. “It’s very competitive, and it’s going to become even more so,” says Alan Farrer, managing partner of Thomson Rogers in Toronto. His firm recently teamed up with fellow boutiques Oatley Vigmond Personal Injury Lawyers LLP and McLeish Orlando LLP to form the Personal Injury Alliance.
Monday, 04 March 2013 08:00

Making waves

Photo: Liam Sharp
Photo: Liam Sharp
When she’s not in one of her Toronto offices or at home with her family, chances are good Janet Leiper is in an ocean somewhere in the world, trying to catch a wave. “I love surfing, and I spend as much time as I possibly can doing it,” says Leiper. “There are so many great metaphors there for court and advocacy. The conditions are always changing, so you can’t count on things always being the same. You have to adjust yourself, and you have to show respect for the environment that you’re in . . . I’m always trying to encourage people to take it up, because it is such a great antidote to our lives here. When you go out into the ocean, any problem you have is gone by the time you come out.”
Monday, 04 February 2013 08:00

Prairie heat

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2013_February_6158590_copy.jpgCanadian Lawyer returns to the Prairies for our latest regional firm ranking, and it seems we aren’t the only ones eyeing the area. “We’re continuing to see a flood of resumes from younger lawyers who either trained here, or have past history in the province,” says Glen Peters, managing partner of Winnipeg-based Fillmore Riley LLP. “They’re people who are well trained, and have worked in big shops in the east or west, but who have made a decision that they want to return. It’s a unique opportunity for firms here, and we’ve certainly taken advantage of it in the last few years.”
Friday, 01 February 2013 12:00

High stakes

Illustration: Joel Kimmell
Illustration: Joel Kimmell
David Hill may not have known it at the time, but he was playing a high-stakes game of poker when he sued the Toronto Catholic District School Board over a real estate deal gone bad.
Monday, 14 January 2013 08:00

Drilling down - part 2

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2013_January_thumbs-up.jpgThis article is a continuation of "Drilling down" from the January 2013 issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine. Click here to read part 1.
Monday, 07 January 2013 08:00

Drilling down - part 1

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2013_January_thumbs-up.jpgIn days gone by, an insurance defence firm may have sounded like a pretty niche outfit. But as boutiques in the area enter a second generation, they’re drilling down to even more precise specializations in order to stand out from the crowd. Most of the firms that made our list this year now have at least two decades of experience behind them, many after breaking away from larger, full-service firms. “It’s a mature market, and it’s not a new area of law, so the gross revenue is not increasing dramatically,” says Eric Dolden, co-founder of Vancouver firm Dolden Wallace Folick LLP. “You’re always going to have your auto cases and house fires, but that’s kind of static. The growth is in new areas where you couldn’t get insurance 10 years ago.”
Monday, 17 December 2012 08:00

Who carries the true duty to consult?

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-INHOUSE_2012_December_tractor.jpgWhen members of the northern Ontario Wahgoshig First Nation stumbled across an exploratory drilling team preparing to clear forest and bulldoze access routes on its traditional land in the spring of 2011, the work crew was unwilling to disclose whom they were working for.
Monday, 12 November 2012 07:58

Getting beyond bias

Illustration: Mick Coulas
Illustration: Mick Coulas
Every culture has its taboos, and for expert witnesses the biggest of them all is the issue of bias. “It’s something people don’t seem to like speaking about out loud,” says Paul Okrutny, an associate at forensic service firm Giffen Koerth Inc. “If you do hear people talking about it, it’s to say of course they’re not biased. But it’s a big issue in the legal field, and I think maybe we don’t talk about it enough.”
Monday, 01 October 2012 09:01

Embracing regionalism

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
In years gone by, some regional law firms were busy preening themselves in the hope of a date with an attractive large national partner. These days in western and northern Canada, they’re single and proud. There’s never been a better time to embrace regionalism, says Field Law managing partner James Casey — in-house counsel are more willing than ever to take a chance on a smaller firm, as long as it can do the job, and cut a deal price-wise. “Regional firms have a lot of momentum in the marketplace right now. They’re being recognized and embraced by clients,” he says.
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