Monday, 08 June 2009 06:48

Cashing in on insolvency

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Insolvency lawyer Sylvain Vauclair likes to compare the negotiations that take place between creditors of big corporate debtors before they go into proceedings to implement a restructuring plan to a high-stakes poker game. “The premise of the whole solvency thing is that there’s never enough money for everybody,” says Vauclair. “People struggle to get the biggest piece of the pie.”

Monday, 08 June 2009 06:35

Big BD

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b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_Covers_Current_Archive_CanadianLawyer_2009_cl_june_09.jpgA lawyer with a small Victoria firm, Erik Magraken doesn’t have the luxury of a business development department to help him drum up clients. His firm still does lots of marketing, but Magraken has also taken it upon himself to do some of the work on his own, much of it from home. “What I’ve done is I try to commit one to two hours a day, usually in the evening, for business development and law firm marketing,” says Magraken, a 32-year-old partner practising personal injury law at MacIsaac & Co.

Monday, 04 May 2009 06:04

The privacy dance

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It’s a pain, but Jennifer Stoddart is quite happy to put a password on her BlackBerry. Of course, she’s the same person who keeps a shredder in her bedroom. And retailers beware: Forget asking Stoddart for her phone number at the cash register. “Giving out my home phone number in order to buy a tube of lipstick, I’ll push back because this all goes into making your marketing profile, which is often based on telephone numbers. It’s not a legal requirement to give your telephone number to purchase anything.”
Monday, 04 May 2009 05:56

Saskatchewan has come a long way, baby

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The longtime, have-not province and economic weakling has developed into a powerhouse over the past few years, recently posting a $425-million annual surplus while most governments are drowning in deficit. At the same time, Saskatchewan continues to boast the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 5.2 per cent coupled with strong wage growth. Employment is forecast to grow by 8,000 jobs this year, or 1.6 per cent, the largest increase in the country. (Every other province except Manitoba is projected to lose jobs this year.) A year ago, Saskatchewan’s oil industry was flush with cash. Today, its potash sector is rolling in it.

Wednesday, 08 April 2009 10:08

The regulatory Wild West

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Climate change may be a new frontier in Canadian law, but for Canadian businesses the lingering uncertainty about what governments will do about greenhouse gas regulations is starting to get old. “The problem that we have here is that we’re in a regulatory Wild West,” says Adam Chamberlain, the head of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s national climate change group in Toronto.
Tuesday, 07 April 2009 09:06

Controlling the cost centre

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The Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop houses a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A engines, specifically designed to power the Canadian-made regional aircraft. When the contracts for supplying those engines are discussed, undoubtedly Bombardier Inc.’s Daniel Desjardins and Pratt & Whitney Canada’s Alain Rondeau are involved. As senior legal officers at the two Quebec-based aerospace giants they are also faced with the realities of managing what almost everyone in the business world considers a cost centre — the legal department — during a worldwide economic downturn.
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 10:49

Lawyering for the future

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Early in the decade, Mark Hicken found a way to get clients to do the bulk of their own wills online. Using a web-based questionnaire, clients would submit information about their assets and beneficiaries, all of which would feed into software that would create the first draft of a will.
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 10:32

War of the words

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“Without knowing the force of words,” Confucius said, “it is impossible to know men.” He was right of course. It seems he always is. Words start fights and stir yearning hearts to acts of bravery and bloodshed. We use words to debase others and exalt ourselves. We pray with words. We shout, organize, slander, teach, threaten, understand, share ideas in Internet chat rooms, and boast in blogs. Words of our lovers, mothers, and enemies roll around in our heads when we can’t sleep making us mad with jealousy, regret, revenge.
Tuesday, 03 February 2009 07:55

The grinding wheels of justice

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It was a high-profile terrorism case that took four years to conclude from arrest to judgment, but the trial of Mohammad Momin Khawaja could have gone on even longer.
Friday, 09 January 2009 08:31

January 2009 - Law School Survey

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Canadian Lawyer's new-style Law School Survey does away with rankings, instead offering an overall review of each school with some input from students and alumni.


Read survey... 


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