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Monday, 26 November 2012 10:18

Feds get tough on white-collar crimes

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Anyone convicted of price-fixing, bid-rigging, and misleading advertising now faces jail time.
Anyone convicted of price-fixing, bid-rigging, and misleading advertising now faces jail time.
In its efforts to get tougher on white-collar crime, the federal government may have made it tougher for the Competition Bureau to get individuals and corporations to work with its established leniency programs.
Monday, 19 November 2012 08:00

Things I wish I had been taught in law school

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Things I wish I had been taught in law schoolI like to have experienced in-house counsel speak to my “Introduction to the in-house practice” class at Georgetown University Law School — this exposes my students to ideas they do not generally receive in their other courses with the added benefit that I always learn something as well.
Monday, 19 November 2012 08:00

Why there are so few Asian lawyers at the top

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Xerox’s Don Liu says he works hard to break down stereotypes of Asian lawyers that can impair their careers. Photo: Jennifer Brown
Xerox’s Don Liu says he works hard to break down stereotypes of Asian lawyers that can impair their careers. Photo: Jennifer Brown
The general counsel for Xerox Corp. says there are too few Asian lawyers in positions of power in the legal profession and more should be putting themselves forward for leadership positions both in-house and at law firms.
It is clear that in-house lawyers now play pivotal and influential roles in the corporate world. In his blog, Ben Heineman recently noted: “The general counsel, not the senior partner in the law firm, is now often the go-to counsellor for the chief executive and the board on law, ethics, public policy, corporate citizenship, and country and geopolitical risk. The general counsel is now a core member of the top management team and offers advice not just on law and related matters but helps shape discussion and debate about business issues. Because ‘business in society’ issues pose so much risk (and in some cases opportunity), the general counsel is viewed in many companies as having the same stature as the chief financial officer. Company legal departments are staffed not just by broad generalists but by outstanding specialists in all the areas covered by private firms, including litigation, tax, trade, mergers and acquisitions, labour and employment, intellectual property, environmental law.”
Had the retention bonuses been pensionable, the pension benefit would have been much higher than the value of the contributions.  Photo: Shutterstock
Had the retention bonuses been pensionable, the pension benefit would have been much higher than the value of the contributions. Photo: Shutterstock
In-house counsel and pension plan administrators may want to review how retention bonuses are treated when it comes to employee’s pensionable earnings following a case involving a hospital executive in Ontario.
Video: Trevor Faure, author of the Smarter Legal Model, speaks to CBA/CCCA in CalgaryTrevor Faure is the Global Leader & Partner, Legal Services with Ernst & Young Global. He presented the keynote at the recent Canadian Bar Association's Law Firm Management conference Oct. 29. He also conducted a Master Class for in-house counsel members of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association
Monday, 29 October 2012 09:00

Law department budgeting 101

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Law department budgeting 101If your in-house team is feeling squeezed for resources you might want to look in the mirror and ask how you’re already delivering value — before someone else does the asking.
Kerry O'Reilly, head of legal for corporate and marketing at mining giant Vale, says law firms need to understand the difference between 'raw intelligence and emotional intelligence.'
Kerry O'Reilly, head of legal for corporate and marketing at mining giant Vale, says law firms need to understand the difference between 'raw intelligence and emotional intelligence.'
Law firms looking to gain the attention of in-house counsel would be wise to get a true sense of what their clients really need and build the “emotional intelligence” within their firms to create an intuitive culture of great service.
Christine Kowbel says the Pacific Brooker project may have another shot if the company alters its plan.
Christine Kowbel says the Pacific Brooker project may have another shot if the company alters its plan.
A mining company proposing to establish an open-pit copper and gold mine near a lake in northern British Columbia has been denied an environmental assessment certificate, but that shouldn’t signal concerns that mining is off limits in the area, say lawyers.
Monday, 15 October 2012 09:00

You can’t do it alone

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You can’t do it aloneI closed last month’s column on great leaders needing great followers with a comment about the importance of developing your own network of people whose judgment and discretion you can rely on. Let’s expand that thought.
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