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.
Monday, 16 October 2006 10:04

Back Page: Scrap Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Cards

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If there was a tipping point in the last federal election, it was probably the Boxing Day shootings in Toronto. Crossfire from a gangland gun battle killed 15-year-old Jane Creba while she was shopping and injured six others. Until then, gun crime was something the Canadian public generally associated with the United States, or at least not with “good” Canadian neighbourhoods.

Monday, 16 October 2006 09:01

Law & Money: Mob rule?

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Law & Money: Mob rule?New book implicates Canadian lawyers in money laundering in a tale worthy of a John Grisham novel.

Managing Partner: Gowlings grows from its Ottawa roots Unlike many national law firms, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP’s roots weren’t Bay Street. Rather, the firm grew from its base in Ottawa and over the past decade has morphed itself into a legal heavyweight, building on its expertise in intellectual property and merging along the way with top regional firms from across Canada. Today, it encompasses eight offices, including one in Moscow, and about 700 lawyers, making it one of Canada’s biggest firms. Managing partner Scott Jolliffe talks about the challenges of growing a national law firm.

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Sunday, 10 September 2006 21:00

Managing Partner: Cockrall juggles booming markets

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Managing Partner: Cockrall juggles booming marketsWith about 100 lawyers working in offices in Calgary and Edmonton, the century-year-old law firm of Parlee McLaws LLP is one of the largest regional firms in Alberta. For managing partner Terrence Cockrall, who has been practising corporate/commercial law for more than 40 years, the challenge is to manage offices in two cities with different cost structures, both experiencing a boom, and finding the right lawyers and support staff that will help the business law firm continue its independence.

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