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Balancing the need to specialize against covering the basesOne of the prime challenges faced by in-house counsel is balancing the increasing specialization of law with the need to continue to cover the bases in a general way. 
Addressing challenges faced by racialized licenseesThese are very interesting times to be a lawyer in Ontario. Although the protector of justice and equity in society, the legal profession is also one of the slowest professions to actually deal with the racism and sexism that, unfortunately, is still very prevalent at all levels of our profession.
Monday, 07 November 2016 09:57

How to get your daily dose of risk management

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(from left) David Bowles, associate general counsel of UrtheCast, Catherine Chow, GC The Keg, Richard Thomas, SVP chief compliance officer with PI Financial, Andrew McLeod, partner Blakes and Mark Morrison, partner Blakes discussed going after low-hanging fruit in the area of risk management at the B.C. ACC chapter seminar last Thursday in Vancouver.
(from left) David Bowles, associate general counsel of UrtheCast, Catherine Chow, GC The Keg, Richard Thomas, SVP chief compliance officer with PI Financial, Andrew McLeod, partner Blakes and Mark Morrison, partner Blakes discussed going after low-hanging fruit in the area of risk management at the B.C. ACC chapter seminar last Thursday in Vancouver.
As Catherine Chow puts it, lawyers can see grey sky on a blue-sky day. That’s what makes them perfectly positioned to be the ones helping to identify risk and shepherd management of that risk in an organization.
Controlling e-discovery costs – some initial thoughtsMost articles about e-discovery start with a reference to the ever-increasing volumes of electronically stored information or the ever-rising costs of e-discovery. There. Done.
Direct and indirect sales

Distribution agreements help with product liability claimsTypically businesses either choose to sell their products directly to customers or indirectly through distributors.

The critical difference between the two channels is that in the former, the business enters into a sales contract directly with its own customer. In the latter, the supplier sells the product to the distributor and the distributor in turn enters into its own sales contract with the end customer. There is no privity of contract between the supplier and the distributor’s end customer, so we know that the end customer must rely on a tort remedy to get at the business for a product liability claim.
Adopting data analytics a critical part of successThe practice of law is changing. Technology and data analytics are penetrating one of the last remaining professions that had, until recently, escaped the disruption that these new ways of doing business and practising law bring. Soon, the unfettered discretion of the general counsel to operate his or her legal department will come to an end. It is the responsibility and obligation of all in-house and private practice counsel to make sure they ride this wave, as otherwise there is a very good chance it will drown them.
Monday, 26 September 2016 10:36

Law by design

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(Photo: Anothersin/PureSolution)
(Photo: Anothersin/PureSolution)
Change management by design, or design thinking, may sound like a complicated business school theory but, in fact, many businesses tackle it every day. The application of it for in-house legal departments and law firms can be transformative, but it requires a serious desire to look at how things are currently being done and an equal desire to actually make change.
Pulling off successful meetings in your in-house law departmentOne of the most painful yet underestimated problems of modern business is bad meetings. If not properly structured, meetings can be demotivating, alienating and unproductive.    
Monday, 19 September 2016 09:00

Lessons from the Innovatio Awards

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Lessons from the Innovatio AwardsThe role of in-house counsel has changed dramatically over the last decade. Although at first it was a cost-saving strategy to bring external legal counsel in-house at lower rates, today’s in-house counsel bring much more value than just cost savings — they play a critical strategic role within their organization. The strategic value of in-house counsel was put on display at the recent Innovatio Awards. These awards, hosted by Thomson Reuters and Canadian Lawyer magazine, recognize and reward the attributes that make in-house counsel a key strategic player: the ability to establish the processes, programs and policies that allow clients to do things better, faster and more efficiently, with less risk and liability. 
The student’s perspective: What I learned in-house this summerAs the summer draws to an end, so does the placement of another summer student within our legal department. We have been very lucky to have very high-calibre law and articling students through our summer program and through the Law Practice Program.
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