Features

Monday, 01 August 2011 10:43

The Top 25 Most Influential

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b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_August_cl_aug_11_-_cover.jpgCanadian Lawyer is back with our second annual list of the Top 25 Most Influential in the justice system and legal profession in Canada. Our inaugural Top 25 was one of our most-read, and most commented-on, features in 2010. As expected, it was controversial and lawyers across the country had lots to say about it. We took heed of the comments and this year put our list together slightly differently, asking for nominations from: legal groups and associations representing a variety of memberships and locations; some winners from last year’s Top 25; our general readership; and our internal panel of writers and editors. We received more than 100 nominations, which the internal panel then whittled down to about 55 candidates. We then posted the list online and once again asked our readers to participate, with more than 1,300 people voting in the poll. The final list is based on that poll with input and the last word from the internal panel.
Monday, 04 July 2011 15:54

The speaker

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Photo: Colin Rowe
Photo: Colin Rowe
It's hard to imagine a more natural setting for Peter Milliken. Sir Winston Churchill stares over his shoulder from a portrait on the wall. Row upon row of bound copies of Hansard line the wood-panelled walls of his elegant, now former, Centre Block office in Ottawa. Everywhere you look are mementos of his years as Canada's longest-serving Speaker of the House of Commons. Yet, Milliken appears serene as he discusses his decision to trade the pomp, circumstance, and power of his job as speaker for a life of semi-retirement, part-time academe, and occasionally consulting with his former law practice. “I’m not anxious for another full-time job at all,” he says with a grin and a slight twinkle in his eye. “I would rather have a more relaxed afterlife, if I can call it that.”
Monday, 04 July 2011 11:43

The 2011 Canadian Lawyer compensation survey

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b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_July_compensation_survey.jpgThere should soon be plenty of cheery lawyers across the land, based on the results of Canadian Lawyer’s 2011 compensation survey. If you’re a lawyer looking for work — or a change of scene — you’ll be glad to know that 44 per cent of the 60 law firms that participated in this year’s survey plan to hire more lawyers in 2011. Associates can smile over news that 63 per cent said their lawyers would receive a salary boost in 2012.
Illustration: Kim Rosen
Illustration: Kim Rosen
Across the country, courts have been struggling with the best way to present expert evidence. If you have been listening to the latest debates on the subject, you will probably have heard the term “hot tubbing” as a method for organizing expert evidence in a hearing. It was coined in Australia to describe the procedure of organizing all experts in a case into a panel and hearing their evidence concurrently. The growing bulk of academic and legal papers on the topic seem to agree that both judges and experts like the idea. The question is “Should lawyers like the idea?”
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_June_cl_june_11.jpgNorm Letalik remembers the reaction he got the day in 2002 when he told a room of fellow lawyers and management experts at a monthly professional development meeting that he was helping his newly merged firm put the final touches on what soon became what he believes was the first national training program for associates in Canada. “There was a lot of chuckling,” recalls Letalik, a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. “People basically said, ‘Good luck with that.’”
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_June_register.jpgCanadian Lawyer’s 2011 legal fees survey reveals evidence of a more vibrant legal industry, with responses from over 700 lawyers across the country signaling a greater willingness to charge higher fees than in 2010, when belt-tightening was the theme in response to ongoing global economic malaise.
Friday, 03 June 2011 11:52

New weapons of today’s proxy battles

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Illustration: Jeff Szuc
Illustration: Jeff Szuc
The art of war has changed for shareholders and the companies they’re looking to bring down or take over. The weapon of choice for many: proxy fights. “Three years ago this practice area really started taking off. People thought it would be the new mergers and acquisitions. Time has shown it’s taken its place with M&A,” says Walied Soliman, a partner with Norton Rose OR LLP in Toronto.
Monday, 02 May 2011 12:31

Fighting for independence

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b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_May_cl_may_11.jpgCheryl Foy’s membership renewal to the Canadian Bar Association and its subgroup for in-house lawyers, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, is coming up. The general counsel at Carleton University in Ottawa is very aware of this because there is a card on her desk serving as a constant reminder. The CCCA has been an important part of her life since 2005, when Foy started rising through the membership ranks, becoming treasurer, vice president, and eventually president of Canada’s oldest and largest organization serving corporate counsel.
Monday, 02 May 2011 11:19

The real truth in sentencing

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Illustration: Kim Rosen
Illustration: Kim Rosen
When Marvin Johnson sold $20 worth of cocaine to an undercover Toronto police officer on Feb. 26, 2010, he probably didn’t realize his case would become the first word from Canada’s courts upholding the constitutionality of a key plank in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s tough-on-crime initiatives. Nor could it have been predicted the same decision would also be lauded by the country’s defence bar as a clever path of breadcrumbs around the newly minted sentencing law.
Friday, 01 April 2011 15:26

Remains of the day

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b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_April_cl_april_11.jpgIt was a Canadian icon and global trailblazer, then it took a turn for the worse that reverberated around the world. The Nortel Networks Corp. insolvency will be one of the most protracted and complicated undertakings for all of the lawyers and financial professionals involved, but when it is finally resolved, it will indeed set a new model for multinational companies facing financial difficulty.
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