Monday, 03 October 2011 09:00

Prairie gold

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.
Sunday, 02 October 2011 09:00

Cracking down on corruption

Illustration: Anthony Tremmaglia
Illustration: Anthony Tremmaglia
In March of this year, Canada received a slap on the wrist from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for its approach to international anti-corruption enforcement. It was the second time the country had received such a censuring by the international economic partnership, and perhaps deservedly so. Despite introducing legislation in 1999 aimed at punishing domestic companies engaged in corrupt practices abroad, the country had yet to land a single significant prosecution using its provisions.
Published in Issue Archive
Monday, 29 August 2011 10:51

The elusive brass ring

The elusive brass ringA growing shortage of articling positions has left hundreds of law grads saddled with the prospect of having run up massive student debts for a shot at a profession that has no room left at the inn. The problem — primarily concentrated in Ontario, although British Columbia appears to be experiencing a minor shortage as well — has a simple explanation. More prospective lawyers than ever before are seeking entry to the legal profession, especially practitioners trained outside Canada. Stats show that in 2006, the Law Society of Upper Canada accepted 1,400 registrants to its licensing program. That number spiked to 1,750 in 2010. Meanwhile, in 2008, 5.8 per cent of applicants failed to secure an articling position within their first year of eligibility. That number rose to 12.1 per cent in 2011.
Published in 4Students Cover Story
Monday, 01 August 2011 06:54

Here to stay

If Canadian in-house counsel did not feel overwhelmed enough in their role protecting their companies’ interests, a new threat reached their radar screens over the course of the past year: shareholder activism.

Published in Issue Archive
Monday, 29 November 2010 12:16

Video: Lexpert's rising stars

Video: Lexpert's rising starsCanada's top lawyers under 40 years of age were recently honoured at Lexpert's Rising Stars gala dinner and award ceremony.
click here to view video
Published in Web exclusive content
Sunday, 14 November 2010 19:00

Greener pastures

Greener pasturesJoel Kennedy sat down with a road map after being called to the Ontario bar in 1974. Raised in the burgeoning city of Brampton, Ont., he wanted to pursue a more relaxed lifestyle and was looking for some direction. He focused his gaze on the low-key and lush northern part of the province, and after a few calls to friends found an opening in the scenic town of Parry Sound. He has been there ever since. “It’s a good life,” says Kennedy. “I can look out the window here and see my boat in the water and sneak away early if I want to.”


Tuesday, 07 September 2010 06:05

A Major undertaking

A Major undertakingThe morning of June 23, 1985 was a typical Sunday for John Major. At the time a highly touted litigator at Bennett Jones LLP, he enjoyed a pleasant Sunday morning round at the historic Calgary Golf & Country Club, one of the few hobbies the self-confessed workaholic partakes in away from the law. But as he left the course, a startling news report chimed in on the car radio. An Air India plane was reported missing over the North Sea. Major was well aware of India’s internal strife at the time: the country’s prime minister, Indira Gandhi, had been assassinated in October 1984 by two of her bodyguards as radical Sikhs rallied to create their own country in the Punjab. In an effort to quell the campaign, Gandhi had earlier ordered a raid of the revered Sikh Golden Temple. These factors led Major, as he wound his way through the golf course grounds, to assume the plane’s fate was attached to “internal” Indian turmoil.
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 05:49

The new frontier

The new frontierThe Université de Montréal law faculty’s Centre de recherche en droit public drew the ire of lawyers across the globe in 1996 when it launched the CyberTribunal project. The groundbreaking venture was the first to offer consumers an exclusively online mediation and arbitration platform to settle disputes with online vendors. Many lawyers were appalled by the brazen experiment in managing disputes between parties that would never come face to face and, perhaps more to the point, not pay counsel to help generate a settlement.


Published in Features
Sunday, 03 October 2010 20:00

Legal aid: a system in peril

Legal aid: a system in perilJordan Weisz is the kind of lawyer who has kept Canada’s legal aid system afloat for the past two decades. About 80 per cent of the clients who come to his doors each year have a legal aid certificate in hand. Yet they represent less than half of his revenue. As a senior practitioner, he qualifies for Legal Aid Ontario’s top tariff rate of $106.90 per hour. But LAO is forced to make do with a fixed amount of funding each year regardless of demand for services. To cover the shortfall, it restricts the number of hours for which lawyers are compensated, regardless of what may be required for a proper defence.


Monday, 27 September 2010 06:15

Video: 2010 Zenith Awards

Video: 2010 Zenith Awards Lexpert's Zenith Awards recognizing lawyers' outstanding pro bono efforts were held last week in Toronto. Click here for a glimpse into the awards ceremony.

Published in Web exclusive content
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