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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.
Monday, 05 October 2015 09:00

Where was compliance at Volkswagen?

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Experts say Volkswagen executives must have known at some level about the  the emissions-cheating TDI program. Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
Experts say Volkswagen executives must have known at some level about the the emissions-cheating TDI program. Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
The scandal currently rocking Volkswagen could take “months and years” to overcome and is proof compliance programs need to be brought from the back office to the front office, say risk management experts.
Monday, 28 September 2015 09:00

Are you really the trusted business adviser?

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If execs and the board don’t heed your warnings, it could mean quitting your job, says Alan James.
If execs and the board don’t heed your warnings, it could mean quitting your job, says Alan James.
Often referred to as the “trusted business adviser,” general counsel enter the corporate sphere balancing a heavy burden. To be effective, they need to get into the trenches and be a team player while also maintaining their independence when providing solid legal advice that doesn’t compromise the company or their own moral or professional codes.
Monday, 21 September 2015 09:42

Lessons learned from in-house innovators

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Lessons learned from in-house innovatorsLast week, I had the honour of judging and then attending the Innovatio Awards ceremony in Toronto. This award ceremony celebrates in-house counsel and their legal departments for their innovative achievements in introducing programs or approaches for reducing costs, increasing efficiencies and, thereby, improving the overall image and increasing the value of in-house legal counsel.
Monday, 21 September 2015 09:00

Nurses win dispute over vaccinate-or-mask policy

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‘I think hospitals in Ontario really do have to pay attention to this case and its implications,’ says Elyse Sunshine.
‘I think hospitals in Ontario really do have to pay attention to this case and its implications,’ says Elyse Sunshine.
As the flu season approaches, hospitals in Ontario have a new decision to ponder from an arbitrator who says a policy of “vaccine or mask” for nurses was contrary to the Ontario Nurses’ Association collective agreement because it was unreasonable.
Spotting sleeper clauses with material contractsCompanies are increasingly implementing comprehensive document management programs into their businesses. These include the use of contract management databases that serve as a repository for agreements that are downloaded as they are entered into.
Monday, 07 September 2015 09:00

‘No harm, no foul’ in airline surcharge fees

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The court said the plaintiffs knew of fuel surcharges charged by airlines like Air Canada, and no class-wide damage occurred.
The court said the plaintiffs knew of fuel surcharges charged by airlines like Air Canada, and no class-wide damage occurred.
A decision from the British Columbia Supreme Court is expected to “stem the tide” of consumer protection class action claims where the plaintiffs haven’t suffered any real damage or loss.
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