Regional Law Firm Rankings

Distinct advantages

  • Top Quebec regional firms
Written by Posted Date: March 3rd, 2014
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2014_March_PQ-flag.jpgLast 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.

A surge in the east

  • Top Atlantic Regional Firms
Written by Posted Date: October 7th, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2013_October_atlantic.jpgA 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.

Opportunities and risk

  • Top Ontario regional firms
Written by Posted Date: September 2nd, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2013_September_onflag.jpgOntario 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.

Prairie heat

  • Top Prairie Regional Firms: Big deals, an economic boom, exciting challenges, and lots of legal work are bringing lawyers to Manitoba and Saskatchewan like never before.
Written by Posted Date: February 4th, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2013_February_6158590_copy.jpgCanadian 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.”

Embracing regionalism

  • Canadian Lawyer's top 10 firms from B.C., Alberta, and the territories are in a sweet spot right now.
Written by Posted Date: October 1st, 2012
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.

The home field advantage

  • Canadian Lawyer's Top 10 Quebec Regional Law Firms
Written by Posted Date: May 7th, 2012
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.

Prairie gold

  • Canadian Lawyer's top 10 prairie law firms are keeping very busy
Written by Posted Date: October 3rd, 2011
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.

Global reach, regional focus

  • The top 10 Ontario regional firms are proud of their mid-market positions but say that doesn’t mean they can’t serve clients around the world.
Written by Posted Date: May 2nd, 2011
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_May_top_10_ontario_firms.jpgOpportunities have certainly opened up for Ontario’s full-service regional firms in recent years. Since Canadian Lawyer last ranked them along with their Quebec peers in 2006, two of the top three have moved on or out. The top firm, McMillan Binch Mendelsohn LLP, has rebranded itself as McMillan LLP and combined forces with Lang Michener LLP to join the national crowd. And who could forget the March 2007 dissolution of the once-formidable Goodman and Carr LLP, which placed third in the 2006 rankings? “I think that’s to our benefit,” Torkin Manes LLP managing partner Jeffrey Cohen says of these departures from the mid-market. He says the hollowing out has made it easier to identify the clients his firm is chasing, and better tailor its services and marketing efforts to them. “We’ve stayed the course. We know who we are; we understand where our limitations are, and we don’t worry about what we can’t do. We focus on what we can do.”

In the limelight

  • Top 10 full-service law firms in Atlantic Canada
Written by Posted Date: October 3rd, 2010
Economic growth and development have led to an optimistic outlook among Atlantic Canada’s top 10 full-service law firms. Increased investment and development in the region mean more opportunities for all firms on this year’s list — large and small, say managing partners. The firms made this year’s list through Canadian Lawyer’s annual survey based on the votes of lawyers across Canada. To qualify, these firms needed to offer a wide range of legal services and have offices only in Atlantic Canada — New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

The crème de la crème

  • Lavery de Billy takes top spot in Canadian Lawyer’s ranking of the top 10 Quebec regional law firm
Written by Posted Date: July 4th, 2010

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_2010_July_quebec-flag.jpgCanadian Lawyer’s latest top firm survey takes us to Quebec, where regional, full-service firms have established a confident foothold.

One of those firms is BCF LLP, and its managing partner, Mario Charpentier, says any regional firm in Quebec hoping to survive must keep a close eye on its clients’ interests. He believes strong rapport with entrepreneurs and CEOs of mid-market companies is the key to his firm’s survival in the face of heavy competition from large firms. “We can attract those clients, and we win our battles on this ground,” he says.

 

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