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Monday, April 13, 2009

GREEN STIKEMANS

Stikeman Elliott LLP has become Canada’s first national law firm to have its offices certified carbon neutral, a move that included the purchase of carbon offsets.

“Carbon neutrality is the latest step in our firm’s commitment to corporate social responsibility,” said firm chairman Pierre Raymond in a release. “Our people have encouraged the firm to be leaders in adopting more green and sustainable practices and the firm has acted.”

The move is part of Stikemans’ GoingGreen program, which has brought in measures to cut down on waste, increase recycling, and improve energy efficiency at offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver.

The firm purchased carbon offsets from the CarbonNeutral Co. Ltd.mpany for renewable energy projects in wind power, hydroelectric power, and methane capture.

The firm said it eventually plans to switch exclusively to energy-efficient lighting, increase its use of recycled paper, enhance policies on business travel and procurement, expand participation in recycling programs, and look for new ways to get involved with community environmental initiatives.

“We have communicated to our firm members that this milestone still represents only the first step,” said Raymond. “We will continue to develop and enhance initiatives which will enable us to focus on reductions and set an example in our communities.” BLG AWARD FINALISTS

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and Canadian Interuniversity Sport last week announced the eight finalists for the 17th Annual BLG Awards, which recognize the country’s top university athletes.

“It will be our great pleasure to recognize these outstanding student-athletes along with our clients and guests at the 17th Annual BLG Awards in Toronto,” said the firm’s national co-chairman, Doug Mitchell.

“Our goal in hosting these awards in Toronto is not only to focus attention on the importance of athletes at Canadian universities, but also to shine a spotlight on the exceptional athletes produced right here in Canada.”

The awards were established in 1993 to recognize the top athletes affiliated with CIS. This will be the first time the awards are held outside of Calgary.

The nominees will be honoured at the award ceremony at the John Bassett Theatre on Monday, April 27. One female and one male winner each will receive a $10,000 post-secondary grant.

OBA HONOURS OMBUDSMAN

The Ontario Bar Association has recognized Ontario Ombudsman André Marin’s work in public sector law, announcing plans to honour him with the Tom Marshall Award.

“Your career and contributions are exemplary; your dedication to serving the public is renowned,” wrote OBA public sectors lawyers chairman Dan Abrahams in a congratulatory letter to Marin.

He will receive the award, which is named for former Ministry of the Attorney General lawyer and frequent Supreme Court advocate Thomas Marshall, at an April 27 ceremony.

Marin has served as the province’s ombudsman since April 2005, and spent six years as Canada’s first ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. He was director of the AG’s Special Investigations Unit from 1996 to 1998, and before that was an assistant Crown attorney in Ottawa.

PBLO GETS U.S. HONOUR

The American College of Trial Lawyers has made Pro Bono Law Ontario the first Canadian entity to receive the Emil Gumpert Award, which recognizes programs that aim to maintain and improve the administration of justice.

The honour comes with a US$50,000 monetary award. PBLO plans to use the cash to open a walk-in, legal help centre in Ottawa.

“Thanks to their dedication, almost 3,000 individuals received help with their legal needs in 2008,” said PBLO executive director Lynn Burns in a release.

“Now that we can expand this much-needed service to Ottawa, the result will be that many more Ontarians will have professional guidance and support in dealing with the justice system.”

FASKENS NAMES LITIGATION HEAD

Gerald Ranking has been named chairman of Fasken Martineau DuMmoulin LLP’s Ontario litigation department, replacing Bill Hourigan, who was recently appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Ranking was called to the bar in 1984 and practises in the areas of civil, administrative, and commercial litigation. He is recognized as a leading commercial litigator in Chambers Global and the Canadian Eedition of Best Lawyers for 2007, 2008, and 2009.

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