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Monday, 13 February 2012 09:42

Keeping an eye on insurance

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Insurance — getting the right kind, properly fulfilling the associated obligations, and taking advantage of the coverage when it exists — represents an ongoing challenge for companies without a competent insurance expert. It is incumbent on you as an in-house lawyer to become familiar with the company’s policies of insurance. You cannot do your job properly unless you do this. Most of our clients either misunderstand or have a limited understanding of their insurance policies. Over the years I have encountered some key things to keep an eye on:
Monday, 06 February 2012 09:37

Magna unveils new corporate governance

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Magna International vice president and secretary Bassem Shakeel. Photo: Mark Blinch/Reuters
Magna International vice president and secretary Bassem Shakeel. Photo: Mark Blinch/Reuters
Magna International Inc. is adopting a number of corporate governance enhancements as part of initiatives it began in 2010 to become more friendly to shareholders.
Monday, 23 January 2012 09:37

Follow the money

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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Whether an in-house legal department is large or small, having a solid understanding of the time and cost being billed by outside law firms has become more important than ever as executives eye the bottom line.
‘I like to think they are circling in on some kind of stable way of thinking about the GAAR,’ says Benjamin Alarie.
‘I like to think they are circling in on some kind of stable way of thinking about the GAAR,’ says Benjamin Alarie.
Tax law experts are applauding the clarity of a recent unanimous decision from the Supreme Court of Canada in a case involving the general anti-avoidance rule, but say it won’t change how many view the confusing piece of tax legislation.
Monday, 16 January 2012 10:14

Are in-house counsel ignoring arbitration?

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Geoff Creighton, senior vice president and general counsel at IGM Financial Inc.
Geoff Creighton, senior vice president and general counsel at IGM Financial Inc.
Many Canadian corporate counsel are paying insufficient attention to arbitration as an aspect of dispute resolution risk management, lawyers argue.
Monday, 09 January 2012 11:20

Defining the boundaries of in-house counsel

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A friend and former colleague, who has spent many years as general counsel to several organizations, recently moved into a role as chief operating officer. There is a piece in this month’s Canadian Lawyer InHouse magazine about Riccardo Trecroce, who also at one point in his career moved into the role of chief executive officer. These moves are still relatively few in number but certainly not unheard of.
Baffinland Iron Mines’ Mary River Project north of the Arctic Circle must deal with Nunavut’s unique regulatory regime.
Baffinland Iron Mines’ Mary River Project north of the Arctic Circle must deal with Nunavut’s unique regulatory regime.
If Canada wants to keep the investment community interested in the country’s natural resource sector it should find ways to better manage the red tape posed by regulatory regimes in this country.
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 11:19

Changes to export controls catch some off guard

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As of Dec. 16, there are products that now require export permits that did not a month ago. Photo: Shutterstock
As of Dec. 16, there are products that now require export permits that did not a month ago. Photo: Shutterstock
Changes to Canada’s Export Control List have left some companies scrambling over the holidays to figure out whether they now need permits to get their products to market in time.
The Supreme Court has made the difficult-to-deal-with standard of review easier, says one lawyer.
The Supreme Court has made the difficult-to-deal-with standard of review easier, says one lawyer.
The Supreme Court has upheld the decision of an Alberta privacy commission adjudicator in a case that challenged the timeline for the standard of review when dealing with a complaint.
Monday, 12 December 2011 09:41

Look for creative solutions to external legal bills

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Do your own insecurities, biases, and risk tolerances cost your company money in external legal fees? That’s a question I have been mulling over ever since I recently heard the managing partner of a non “seven-sister” firm suggesting that in-house counsel pay too much because they insist on going to the big firms for matters that smaller firms can do just as well and much less expensively.
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