In September, the Competition Bureau released a post-study assessment to its 2007 report that looked at restrictions impeding competition in five professions, including the law. The profession had been on tenterhooks as to what the assessment would say and how it would affect the regulation, in particular, of the profession across the country.
- Editor's Desk
This month’s cover story, “A decade on,” examines the state of anti-terrorism laws in Canada over the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. These efforts have two difficult issues to surmount, and they are the same ones faced by many countries, including the U.S.: how to heighten security while balancing individual rights and freedoms, and how to fight a “war” on terror that’s often beyond national borders and doesn’t involve a state player. Not an easy task for any government.
- Legal Ethics
The big news of this issue is, of course, our second annual Top 25 Most Influential list. Our first effort last year got quite a bit of feedback, and we took that into account when planning this latest edition. Nominations came from readers, members of last year’s list, as well as an internal panel of Canadian Lawyer and Law Times writers and editors. We think it’s a pretty good mix of people and really showcases some of the influential voices in the legal profession in Canada.
|Art director Bill Hunter, staff writer Robert Todd, and myself celebrating our success at the KRW Awards last month. Photo: Heather Gardiner|
- Banking on Corporate
A recent U.S. court decision reminds us of the importance of considering potential third-party-beneficiary issues when drafting contractual indemnity provisions in Canada. On March 3, the New York Supreme Court (Appellate Division) upheld a lower court decision giving Diamond Castle Partners, a U.S. private equity firm, the right to sue IAC/InterActiveCorp. for damages for breach of representations IAC made in connection with the sale of its subsidiary, PRC LP, in late 2006. Diamond Castle was not a party to the purchase agreement. Instead, the representations were made to Panther/DCP Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of Diamond Castle formed for purposes of completing the acquisition. After the deal closed, PRC and Panther merged. In January 2008, PRC filed for bankruptcy and Diamond Castle’s equity interest in PRC was extinguished as part of the ensuing reorganization.
For both partners and associates at law firms, it’s all about the money. And I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. The way lawyers get paid and earn revenue is at the heart of most law firms. Every law firm — no matter what type of law you practise, where you are located, or how many people there are in your firm — needs to make money in order to stay afloat. But you may be surprised at how “shy” Canadian lawyers are to talk about money.
|Illustration: Dushan Milic|
I’m not going to opine about who was wrong or right in the conflagration between the Canadian Bar Association and the former board and executive director of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, the topic of this month’s cover story, “Fighting for independence.” All I can say is that it has not been pretty, but at the end of the day, here’s hoping that corporate counsel end up benefiting from it.