Monday, 07 April 2008 05:28

Beware the IT jabberwock

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If you’re a business generalist or in-house counsel, you likely wouldn’t try to complete a multimillion-dollar real estate transaction without benefit of counsel specialized in such work. So why would you think of flying solo on a blockbuster deal to acquire vital information technology services for your client or company?

Monday, 07 April 2008 05:25

A woman takes the reins at Parlee McLaws

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In February, Jerri Cairns became managing partner of Alberta-based Parlee McLaws LLP. At 47, she is the first woman to head a large Alberta law firm. 
Monday, 07 April 2008 05:10

To carbon tax or not to carbon tax

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When the British Columbia government recently announced plans to introduce a consumer-based carbon tax, to apply to virtually all fossil fuels, it was lauded by some and heavily criticized by others.

Canadian Hugh Verrier was elected chairman of White & Case LLP, the 10th largest law firm in the world, last year. Trained at the law schools of McGill and Harvard universities, Verrier has been with White & Case for 24 years, most recently as the manager of the firm’s Moscow office. His four-year term as chairman sees him leading a firm of 2,300 lawyers in 36 offices across 24 countries. The firm’s 2006 revenues, the latest available, were $1.85 billion. Verrier talks to Canadian Lawyer about leadership, the economy, and his experiences so far.
A few years ago, blawging — blogging by lawyers — was almost unheard of. Now dozens are doing it in Canada; scores, possibly hundreds, are doing it in the U.S. Whether you should be doing it too is a discussion for another column. Here I tackle the question: which Canadian blawgs should I be reading?

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2008_March_ediscovery.jpgE-discovery is everywhere. Lawyers across the country are well aware elements of it are in every area of law, from commercial litigation to family cases. As e-discovery becomes more prevalent, the need for those with specialized knowledge in this increasingly complex area is becoming apparent to many litigators.
Borden Ladner Gervais  LLP is one of the largest law firms in Canada with offices in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, and Waterloo, Ont. Sean Weir is the national managing partner of the firm, which employs close to 2,000 people across the country, including 700 lawyers, of which 400 are partners. Weir makes no bones about being the head of a highly competitive firm that asks for hard work and a strong commitment from its lawyers. While BLG is not a touchy-feely place to work, the firm provides strong support mechanisms to help lawyers stay on top of the game.
Lawsuits haven’t really hit Canada yet, but U.S. companies are already finding themselves liable for employees who have automobile accidents while talking on their cellphones.
Friday, 18 January 2008 06:15

Managing Partner: Good times for Macleod Dixon

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With strong roots in energy, resources, and mining, it’s a good time for Macleod Dixon LLP. The firm first opened in Calgary in 1912, and now has more than 250 legal professionals in Calgary; Toronto; Caracas, Venezuela; Moscow; Almaty and Atyrau, Kazakhstan; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Worldwide managing partner W.H. (Bill) Tuer says, although times are good for the firm, finding the right talent can still be a challenge. But creativity can go a long way, he adds.

MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP has been around for about 70 years and is one of the largest law firms in Saskatchewan. About six years ago, the firm expanded into Alberta, opening an office in Calgary and in Edmonton in 2006. The firm now has about 90 lawyers in its four offices in Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Calgary. Managing partner Donald K. Wilson chats with Canadian Lawyer about operating in four different hot markets and the challenges of staffing and maintaining MLT values.

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