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Monday, 07 December 2015 09:00

The art and science of legal bill review

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Legal bills often require clarification or explanation so reviewing them is key, says Dean Scaletta.
Legal bills often require clarification or explanation so reviewing them is key, says Dean Scaletta.
The mystery and minutiae behind law firm legal bills are things in-house counsel love to rant about, but those who have frequently been burned are finding ways to get clarity.
Infrastructure Ontario’s GC Marni Dicker was among the lawyers honoured in this year’s Women’s Executive Network Top 100 awards. Photo: Sandra Strangemore
Infrastructure Ontario’s GC Marni Dicker was among the lawyers honoured in this year’s Women’s Executive Network Top 100 awards. Photo: Sandra Strangemore
Lawyers from banking, the public and private sector, and law firms were well represented in this year’s list of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
Monday, 23 November 2015 09:00

Managing crises in a franchise situation

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The choice of spokesperson or persons is an important issue that should be contemplated and planned well before a crisis hits. Photo: Shutterstock
The choice of spokesperson or persons is an important issue that should be contemplated and planned well before a crisis hits. Photo: Shutterstock
When it comes to a crisis, companies with franchises spread across the country and around the world may have a tougher time managing the message.
Monday, 16 November 2015 09:00

Tips for becoming a better GC

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Tips for becoming a better GCI recently spent a Sunday acting as an executive in residence at the Business Leadership Program for In-House Counsel run by the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and Rotman School of Management. This seminar was being led by one of the most innovative and talented leaders in the legal profession, Ken Fredeen, the general counsel at Deloitte Canada. In this particular module, we were discussing the role of the general counsel. Some of the key issues included:
Immigration lawyers such as Paul Hesse hope the new Liberal government will address hurdles created by the temporary foreign worker program.
Immigration lawyers such as Paul Hesse hope the new Liberal government will address hurdles created by the temporary foreign worker program.
While the new federal Liberal government is working to quickly address the Syrian refugee crisis, immigration lawyers hope it will also tackle hurdles around temporary foreign workers, work permits, and the backlog of requests for labour market impact assessments.
Short selling and the role of in-house counselLaval, Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals lost almost more than half of its market value ($10 billion) since Oct. 21, 2015 when Citron Research, which shorted Valeant’s stock, first publicly alleged that Valeant fraudulently “stuffed the channels,” calling it the “Enron” of Big Pharma.  
Speakers at the annual general counsel panel included (from left) Nikki Latta, Catherine Forbes, and Stephanie Robinson. The moderator was Lexpert editor-in-chief Jean Cumming. Photo credit: Jennifer Brown
Speakers at the annual general counsel panel included (from left) Nikki Latta, Catherine Forbes, and Stephanie Robinson. The moderator was Lexpert editor-in-chief Jean Cumming. Photo credit: Jennifer Brown
External counsel should pay attention as their in-house clients are keeping tabs on their performance even when they're acting on the other side of a deal.
Alison Burton of RBC says the bank is reluctant to settle some employment cases.
Alison Burton of RBC says the bank is reluctant to settle some employment cases.
BOSTON — When it comes to the option of settling a constructive dismissal case or going to court, the Royal Bank of Canada says it opts to choose litigation first as plaintiffs often see “deep pockets” and the possibility of a settlement.

Should in-house counsel be eligible for whistleblower compensation?In September 2012, the Internal Revenue Service awarded Bradley Birkenfeld, a former banker at United Bank Switzerland, US$104 million for blowing the lid off certain aspects of the secretive Swiss banking system. The information he provided greatly diminished Switzerland’s status as an anonymous haven for American tax cheats and allowed the IRS to recover billions in unpaid taxes. Because of his own complicity however he also served 40 months in prison.

Karen MacDonald says counterfeiting cases are ‘death by a 1,000 cuts’ and summary trials make a huge difference in the ability to go after counterfeiters.
Karen MacDonald says counterfeiting cases are ‘death by a 1,000 cuts’ and summary trials make a huge difference in the ability to go after counterfeiters.
Those fighting against the proliferation of counterfeit goods won a victory in Federal Court recently when a judgment of $380,000 was granted against two corporations and an individual found to be selling fake Chanel merchandise.
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