Stephen Rotstein has been named chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s Canadian Corporate Counsel Association for 2016-2017.
Rotstein, who is vice president, policy and regulatory affairs and general counsel at the Financial Planning Standards Council, takes over from Frédéric Pérodeau of Montreal.
The past chair of the Ontario chapter of the CCCA, Rotstein says he wants to work on promoting the services the CCCA provides to its more than 4,500 members including tools for career management such as the job site the organization launched a few years ago, and the Certified In-House Counsel designation — a business leadership program for in-house counsel considered to be a kind of mini MBA program.
In a time when the in-house bar has grown substantially, Rotstein says the CCCA plays an important role in offering career management resources and opportunities to help members grow to their next role.
“I remember when I was called to the bar there was really one place we looked for jobs and that was the Ontario Reports. For in-house, there were only ever maybe one or two jobs posted in the ORs. Now, a large number of the jobs advertised are for in-house or government. It’s a great area to be working right now,” he says.
And once in-house, Rotstein says lawyers quickly realize there are skills they don’t have that they need to gain, and in many cases they are working in solo departments or with just one paralegal to support them. That’s when being able to reach out to a community of other in-house counsel becomes important.
“That’s why I got involved with CCCA initially,” he says. “It’s nice to be able to pick up the phone and call others in a similar situation.”
Rotstein wants to see more members volunteering within the organization —something he has done for many years through mentoring and other areas.
“We want to encourage more of our members to share their expertise and connect with each other through mentoring and by speaking on topics they’re passionate about at our events,” Rotstein says. “Our members are full of talent and expertise, and we’ll be working to make better use of that collective wisdom throughout the coming year.”
Despite challenges in certain parts of the country such as Alberta, Rotstein says CCCA membership has been growing year over year.
“I’m always in recruitment mode asking people ‘Why aren’t you a member?’” he says.