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Monday, 05 March 2007 08:54

Legal Report: Environment

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Legal Report: EnvironmentAs political parties jockey for position to be seen as the party most friendly to the environment, law firms should brace themselves and prepare to ramp up their environmental law bench strength. Canada appears to be entering a new era of environmental conservation. But is current federal environmental legislation enough and will good intentions survive an election or is it simply a lot of political hot air?

Back Page: The Burma boondoggle and human rightsThere are two ways for Canadian lawyers to visit dictatorships like China and Burma. One is to meet with local dissidents and civil rights activists and learn about their repression and bring international legal and political pressure on the regimes. The other is the way chosen by the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations.

 

Monday, 05 March 2007 08:20

Managing Partner: Knowing your strengths

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Managing Partner: Knowing your strengthsSometimes the practice of law requires a leap of faith. That’s what the partners at Langlois Kronström Desjardin (LKD) did when they appointed two of the three managing partners of their Levis, Quebec City, and Montreal-based offices.

 

In its 30 years, Canadian Lawyer has reported and commented on enormous changes in the legal profession.
The advent of the Charter moved the political center of gravity from political parties and elected legislators to lawyers and appointed judges — and directed an entire generation of young activists towards law school. But it’s not just the laws themselves that have changed. The entire legal culture has, too.



 

Friday, 02 February 2007 08:57

Managing Partner: Focusing on growth

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The words “business development,” “entrepreneurial,” and “growth” flow off Howard Drabinsky’s tongue with the smoothness of water over Niagara Falls. That’s because Lang Michener LLP’s managing partner of its eastern division exudes a confidence in where his firm is headed and what it takes for one of Canada’s oldest law firms to survive in the cutthroat legal services marketplace. The subject of perpetual merger rumours, Drabinsky says do not believe everything you read. The 200-lawyer firm, which is a member of two law associations, TerraLex and Eu-Lex, isn’t looking to grow simply for growth’s sake. It’s quite content to continue operating as a tri-city firm, with a presence in Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa, and wait for the right opportunity to present itself. Drabinsky comments on a wide range of topics, from what it takes to compete against mid-sized and national firms to business development, mergers, and compensation.
Back Page: Battle of wills over judicial appointments process The era of Canadian judicial activism started with a bang on April 17, 1982, with the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and it ended with a whimper on Nov. 9, 2006. That was the day the “Court Party” — Canada’s clique of activist judges, lawyers, law professors, and journalists who see the Charter as a tool for their political ambitions — started playing defence, after nearly a quarter-century of offense.

 
Monday, 08 January 2007 07:59

Managing Partner: ‘Culture is king’

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Managing Partner: ‘Culture is king’ Bennett Jones LLP national managing partner Hugh MacKinnon has seen the best and worst of building a legal business outside your home jurisdiction. In 1999, the affable MacKinnon was parachuted in from the Calgary headquarters to fix the struggling Toronto office, after Bennett Jones rejected being part of a three-way merger involving Torys LLP and its now U.S. arm.

Back Page - Good riddance: Let the Court Challenges Program rest in peace Judges don’t like champerty, but lawyers sure do. Having a third party fund lawsuits to stir up strife clogs up courtrooms with troublemakers. Which naturally brings us to the subject of the Court Challenges Program (CCP), scrapped in September by the new Conservative government. 
 
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 06:10

Law Office Management: November 2006

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Law Office Management: November 2006 Law firms abandon their old style for new, modern approach to managing their office layout.
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 06:07

Managing Partner: King looks to provide leadership

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Managing Partner: King looks to provide leadership While most lawyers simply focus on the task of running their practice, Winnipeg’s Bruce King doesn’t have that luxury. Not only does King have a busy commercial practice at Winnipeg’s Pitblado LLP, but as managing partner he also oversees the 60-lawyer business law firm, effectively wearing two hats — juggling both a working practice and overseeing the firm. King talks about how he manages both in the competitive Winnipeg marketplace.
 
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