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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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Inside Story

Monday, August 3, 2015

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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