Regional Law Firm Rankings

Monday, 07 March 2016 09:00

Laser focus

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Laser focus“What we’re seeing, in Quebec anyway, is an overall increase in the volume of legal work that needs to be done. I think the issue is how much is being done in-house and how much is being done outside,” says Don McCarty, the managing partner of Lavery de Billy LLP, the top vote-getter in this year’s Canadian Lawyer top Quebec regional law firms survey. “When work is referred to private practice, it is often work that’s complicated, more specialized, or more bet-the-bank. Law firms are being used for more complex issues, more complex transactions, and more complex litigation.”
Monday, 07 September 2015 09:00

Efficiency, Flexibility, and Focus

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Efficiency, Flexibility, and FocusDespite muted activity in pockets of the legal market and the Canadian economy facing tough headwinds, Ontario’s top regional law firms say they’ve had a solid couple of years thanks to emerging opportunities and their unrelenting focus on efficiency.
Monday, 01 September 2014 08:00

Stronger than ever

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Stronger than everCanadian Lawyer returns to our survey of western and northern-based firms to find a region filled with excitement and not afraid to flex its muscles. Merger-mania is over and the regional firms left standing are stronger than ever. “I think there’s been a seismic shift,” says Richard Bereti, managing partner of Harper Grey LLP.
Monday, 03 March 2014 08:01

Distinct advantages

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Distinct advantagesLast year’s ratification of a deal allowing lawyers to practise across common and civil law jurisdictions is seen as a boon for Quebec’s regional law firms. The national mobility agreement, expected to be fully implemented this year, will make it easier for the province’s lawyers to work wherever their clients need to be.
The law firms in Canadian Lawyer’s 2014 Top 10 Quebec regional firms say they already serve clients across the country, but the agreement will undoubtedly help to further smooth the path.
Monday, 07 October 2013 09:01

A surge in the east

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A surge in the eastA surge of infrastructure projects related to energy, mining, and shipbuilding is encouraging a positive outlook by Atlantic Canada’s top 10 law firms, alongside an awareness of provincial deficits and demographic challenges.
Monday, 02 September 2013 09:01

Opportunities and risk

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Opportunities and riskOntario law firms see opportunities and risks in an era of consolidation and slow economic growth. Clients who are released by merged firms due to conflicts, or are unwilling to pay the fees demanded by international behemoths, may well look to smaller firms located in and around Canada’s financial and administrative centres.
Monday, 04 February 2013 08:00

Prairie heat

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Prairie heatCanadian Lawyer returns to the Prairies for our latest regional firm ranking, and it seems we aren’t the only ones eyeing the area. “We’re continuing to see a flood of resumes from younger lawyers who either trained here, or have past history in the province,” says Glen Peters, managing partner of Winnipeg-based Fillmore Riley LLP. “They’re people who are well trained, and have worked in big shops in the east or west, but who have made a decision that they want to return. It’s a unique opportunity for firms here, and we’ve certainly taken advantage of it in the last few years.”
Monday, 01 October 2012 09:01

Embracing regionalism

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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
In years gone by, some regional law firms were busy preening themselves in the hope of a date with an attractive large national partner. These days in western and northern Canada, they’re single and proud. There’s never been a better time to embrace regionalism, says Field Law managing partner James Casey — in-house counsel are more willing than ever to take a chance on a smaller firm, as long as it can do the job, and cut a deal price-wise. “Regional firms have a lot of momentum in the marketplace right now. They’re being recognized and embraced by clients,” he says.
Monday, 07 May 2012 09:04

The home field advantage

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Regional law firms in Quebec are hoping to prove the home field advantage is just as much a factor in legal services as it is in sports.
Canadian Lawyer returns to Quebec this year for our latest regional firm survey, to find the province’s full-service outfits jockeying with local and national rivals alike for a position on Plan Nord, the multibillion-dollar project for the development of Quebec’s north. “In Quebec, everybody talks about Plan Nord, which I think is simply applying what you already do in a new conjuncture. There’s a lot of opportunity there,” says Chantal Chatelain, managing partner of the Montreal office at Langlois Kronström Desjardins LLP. “The fact of being a regional firm I think is a great advantage because we’re already spread out across the province, we already have the business relationships with entrepreneurs in the construction industry in the north, and we have experience in dealings with government regulations and authority.”
Top-ranked Lavery de Billy LLP and its predecessors have spent the better part of a century cultivating roots in the province, and Richard Dolan, the chairman of the firm’s board, says that continues to give them an edge over larger newcomers to Quebec’s legal market. “Our deep understanding of the Quebec business market has positioned us really well. It allows us to quickly understand the opportunities and challenges that the Quebec market presents to not only our Quebec clients, but also national clients,” he says.
At Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP, another firm with more than 50 years of history, co-managing partner Bruno Floriani says the recent economic downturn has increased demand for regional firms like his, even from international businesses looking to expand in North America. “We got looked at a lot more seriously by some in-house counsel who were looking to retain the same quality of service, but perhaps without the infrastructure that goes along with the national firms,” he says. “There is a growing realization among some of the larger international companies that there are very good lawyers in these regional firms that are as good as any of the national firms.”
At the other end of the scale, Delegatus Services Juridiques Inc. makes its first appearance on our list in just its seventh year of business. The firm has established itself with a unique business model that offers senior lawyers flexible work arrangements and pricing options. The strategy has paid off, attracting lawyers from larger, more traditional firms and an impressive roster of clients. “We allow our lawyers to self-determine the amount of time they put in in billable hours yearly, so our work environment is much healthier. They don’t take as many clients maybe, but the ones they have they are extremely well looked after,” says vice president Paul St-Pierre Plamondon. “We’ve tripled our revenues in only a year and a half, because our lawyers are anything but laid back. They care about an excellent life, but they’re also very proactive and entrepreneurial.”
At LKD, Chatelain has also made headway attracting talent from national firms. “What lawyers see as a big advantage is they have more flexibility. They could be a very small fish in a very big pond, or a big fish in a smaller pond. Financially speaking, there’s not that much difference between the two. In fact, sometimes they get a better cut in a firm like ours than one with a very large business structure to support,” she says. “We’re living proof that not only is there space for regional firms, but there’s a vibrant space for us and a need.”
Read on to find the full list of Quebec’s Top 10 Regional Firms. The 2010 positions are noted in parentheses.
Photo: Luc-Antoine Couturier
Photo: Luc-Antoine Couturier
Regional law firms in Quebec are hoping to prove the home field advantage is just as much a factor in legal services as it is in sports.
Monday, 03 October 2011 09:00

Prairie gold

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Photo: Just a Prairie Boy
Photo: Just a Prairie Boy
It’s not easy being a full-service regional firm in Saskatchewan and Manitoba these days. When not turning clients away because you’re just too busy, you’ve got to field calls from national firms looking to link up and establish a presence in some of Canada’s most lively economic zones. And the firms featured in Canadian Lawyer’s list of top 10 Prairie law firms are sure to be on the top of anyone’s list of targets, whether for legal services or a law firm merger. So you can just imagine how swamped they are.
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