Inhouse counsel

  • The five pillars of performance for the legal department

    May 13, 2019
  • I worked in-house and private practice, here are the differences

    May 13, 2019

    Whether you decide to go in-house at the junior end of your legal career is a calculated and personal decision. I was fortunate to have experienced private practice and in-house roles as a junior lawyer. Each has its own benefits and will require different skillsets to do well.

  • How to make the most out of in-house opportunities

    May 6, 2019

    So, here are a few tips and lessons that I take from my experience, with the hope that it can assist junior associates and in-house counsel looking to boost their profile or become increasingly involved in initiatives within the legal profession:

  • System and process change: hard, harder, hardest

    May 6, 2019

    Though the rewards can be significant, implementing new systems and processes always seems like such a massive challenge. And it is. It is hard work to determine what the current process is, where it meets and does not meet your organizational objectives, and then to map out the desired process. Once done, it can be harder yet to implement your new system and process that will improve the product or service delivery.

  • Rough start for remediation agreements

    Rough start for remediation agreements

    Apr 30, 2019

    The proper use of newly minted remediation agreements was always going to be a judgment call. Now it appears judgment may have been seriously lacking in what would have been the very first application of a new Criminal Code amendment allowing corporations to avoid prosecution.

  • Due diligence gets a makeover

    Due diligence gets a makeover

    Apr 30, 2019

    When it comes to conducting due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, it’s all about looking for risks in a haystack of data, thanks in large part to the proliferation of documents and information to review for a proposed deal.

  • Map the data

    Map the data

    Apr 30, 2019

    Fitness trackers are just one of the data-gathering devices that we either wear or stare at too many times in a day that have exploded in popularity in recent years. They are also increasingly offered to staff as part of employee wellness programs in large companies.

  • Communication while in crisis

    Communication while in crisis

    Apr 30, 2019

    If circumstances arise where there is a need to consider retaining outside litigation counsel, it is almost certainly not a good news situation for a private sector company or government entity.

  • The role of in-house in AI adoption

    The role of in-house in AI adoption

    Apr 30, 2019

    When I left private practice and went in-house, I was given valuable advice from a mentor of mine. She said that my role is not just about being an advisor to my business clients and it was important that I not limit myself to being just a “legal risk manager.”

  • The Autorité des marchés publics is the new actor in the Quebec public contracts regime

    The Autorité des marchés publics is the new actor in the Quebec public contracts regime

    Apr 30, 2019

    January 25 marked the beginning of the official operations of the Autorité des marchés publics, the new entity responsible for overseeing and managing public contracts between enterprises and Quebec government entities.

  • There be dragons ahead

    Apr 30, 2019

    The Patent Law Treaty harmonizes and streamlines procedures before patent offices in member countries. Although Canada signed the PLT on May 21, 2001, its implementation in Canada was delayed until a series of wide-ranging intellectual property reforms were begun in 2014.

  • Finding a co-ordinated approach to cyber-threats

    Apr 30, 2019

    Cyberattacks on Canadian businesses are increasing in volume and sophistication. Thankfully, Canada’s approach to fighting such threats is also becoming more sophisticated — and, importantly, more co-ordinated.

  • Relationship effectiveness

    Relationship effectiveness

    Apr 30, 2019

    Amid the hype and ongoing dialogue around the future of law and innovation in the legal profession, the reality is many small law departments in Canada still feel effective legal advice and suitable fee arrangements come not from new service delivery models but through good management and long-term cultivation of relationships with external counsel.

  • Revamping the KM approach

    Revamping the KM approach

    Apr 30, 2019

    Full disclosure. I’m a total geek. So, when our legal division enshrined knowledge management into one of our teams, I was like a kid in a candy store.

  • Controlling the contract lifecycle

    Controlling the contract lifecycle

    Apr 30, 2019

    While it may seem obvious that establishing a contract lifecycle management system would improve the way contracts are handled, it is more than possible that in-house departments could derive additional benefits from such a system in the form of getting themselves more time.

  • Why ‘in-house’ wasn’t just another beat

    Apr 30, 2019

    In the summer of 2011, I joined the Canadian Lawyer and Law Times team at Thomson Reuters and in the space of about seven days attended the American Bar Association conference (it was held in Toronto that year) and the Canadian Bar Association conference in Halifax. It was a baptism by fire.

  • The future is about adaptability

    Apr 9, 2019

    When people talk about innovation in the legal market, a couple of themes inevitably come to mind: technology and a change in the way clients obtain legal services. But at the crux of all of this is not tech or billable hours — it’s about the people and how they will need to adapt to change.

  • Practise in-house or in private practice?

    Apr 1, 2019

    I was recently part of a panel at the 3rd Annual Disruption in Legal Practice program at Osgoode Hall Law School. In discussing the changing legal practice, our panel was asked an interesting question which, at first blush, seemed simple and straight forward to answer. Upon reflection, the response became detailed and complex. The question was: how does the role of in house counsel differ from a private practice lawyer (within this group I include lawyers in mid-to-large-size law firms and boutique law firms) and which unique skills are needed to succeed in the in-house role? The old rule applies, that if one person asks, there are many others with the same question.

  • Accept risk - How you manage it is the issue

    Apr 1, 2019

    Many articles have been written on the issue of risk management and I do not propose to write the seminal piece on the subject. Rather, my point is that as in-house counsel you need to look at risk as organizational risk, not simply legal risk. To do this you must know your organization’s tolerance for risk and the return on resource investment to manage its risks. Without looking at the RORI for risk management, you are just measuring identifiable risks against some arbitrary standard (typically legal) of what is acceptable risk.

  • Sizing up AI for in-house

    Sizing up AI for in-house

    Mar 25, 2019

    Elisabeth Demone is no stranger to artificial intelligence. The chief legal officer at Symcor, one of Canada’s leading financial processing services providers, is keenly familiar with the potential AI has to offer.