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Strength not growth main results of international mergers

Tali Folkins - Monday, August 3, 2015

When Montreal-based Ogilvy Renault LLP announced its plans to merge with UK-based Norton Rose in 2010, the company said its extended reach as part of a global giant would help it better serve its increasingly international clients. And in 2012, when Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP declared its intention to join with SNR Denton and Salans to create a new international giant, the firm said the move positioned it to capture both more inbound and outbound work.
In both cases, the implication seemed to be that the moves were coming primarily out of a desire to take advantage of new growth opportunities.

Now, although the heads of the Canadian branches of both firms say they’re delighted with how the mergers have gone, the number of lawyers at each remains roughly unchanged — while industry watchers speculate that these and other high-profile mergers involving Canadian law firms were at least as much about keeping up in an industry undergoing dramatic transformation as much as they were about expansion.

Andrew Fleming, managing partner at Norton Rose Fulbright’s Toronto office, describes Ogilvy’s merger with Norton Rose as an “unqualified success.” The new economies of scale afforded by the merger have allowed it to exp...


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10-year limit on tribunal appointments could have serious negative impact

The Ontario ombudsman has “serious concerns” about the possible impact of a rule putting a 10-year limit on the terms of administrative tribunal appointments, according to the annual report released by his office last week.

LAO boosting funding for domestic violence victims

Legal Aid Ontario is looking at boosting its services for domestic violence victims — and wants your opinion on what should be included in its expanded offering.

The Hill: Bill C-51 challenge has silver linings for Conservative election prospects

The Conservative government is heading back to court, where it usually loses, as it faces yet another constitutional challenge over one of its laws.

Focus: Advocates concerned about fate of betting bill

With the Pan Am Games taking place in Toronto, Ontario is likely losing money from bets placed either underground or offshore while a bill that would legalize single-sports betting in Canada languishes in the Senate, according to gaming industry professionals.

Inside Story

Monday, August 3, 2015

LAWYER AWARDED $1K FOR HUMAN RIGHTS BREACH
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has awarded a lawyer $1,000 in damages over a security guard’s treatment of him when he entered a mall with his service dog.

The July 16 award followed lawyer Andrew Sprague’s complaint the guard at the mall owned by RioCan Empress Walk Inc. made him wait when he tried to enter it with his dog, Flicka, in August 2014.

Sprague said he’s often questioned when going in places with his dog but is fine when he presents certification and a medical note. In this case, the guard made Sprague and his pregnant wife wait at the door for about four minutes while he purportedly sought clarification from a supervisor on what to do but instead went to an office to watch the couple on video.

“The applicant testified that during the wait, he was particularly concerned about his wife, who was 37 weeks pregnant,” wrote adjudicator Brian Cook....

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