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Monday, August 15, 2011

GLOBAL ADR FIRM COMING TO TORONTO

Mediation and arbitration services provider JAMS will open a new resolution centre in Toronto early next year, the firm announced last week.

“We saw an exciting opportunity to enter the Canadian legal market,” said Chris Poole, JAMS’ president and CEO. “With the addition of talented and capable retired judges and lawyers in Toronto, we know we can make an impact in providing high-quality ADR services to that area.”

JAMS is currently putting together its roster for the Toronto location. As a result, it’s looking for people involved in the business/commercial, intellectual property, insurance, and construction areas.

JAMS, a provider of mediation and arbitration services in the United States, started its JAMS International business earlier this year with the ADR Center in Italy.

Headquartered in London, England, JAMS International also has locations in Amsterdam, Brussels, and Rome.

LAWYER LEAVES MCCARTHYS FOR BENNETT JONES

Randy Hughes has joined Bennett Jones LLP as a partner in the firm’s competition group in Toronto.

Hughes, who was previously at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, handles competition law and Investment Canada Act issues for domestic and international mergers and acquisitions and has represented clients before the courts in criminal proceedings under the Competition Act.

“Randy is an extraordinary person, and we’re delighted to add even more strength to our antitrust and competition group,” said Hugh MacKinnon, Bennett Jones’ chairman and CEO.

Hughes also acts for clients in domestic and international conspiracy investigations and prosecutions involving the Competition Bureau in Canada.

In addition, he has acted as counsel for the commissioner of competition and for private-sector clients in leading merger and abuse-of-dominance cases before the Competition Tribunal.

SELECTION PANEL ANNOUNCED

Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has announced the members of the Supreme Court selection panel working to fill the vacancies left by the upcoming retirements of justices Ian Binnie and Louise Charron.

The five-person panel contains three Conservative MPs: Bob Dechert, Candice Hoeppner, and Brent Rathgeber. Joining them are opposition MPs Joe Comartin of the NDP and Liberal Irwin Cotler.

“The Supreme Court of Canada is the pinnacle of our justice system, and our government is committed to continuing the tradition of legal excellence and undisputable merit that Canadians deserve and expect from our country’s highest court,” Nicholson said.

“The selection panel plays an important role in ensuring transparency and balance in the appointment process.”

The panel will review and assess a list of qualified candidates drawn up by Nicholson in consultation with the prime minister, the chief justice of Canada, the chief justice of Ontario, the attorney general of Ontario, and other prominent legal organizations such as the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association.

TORONTO FIRM TO HELP NIGERIAN POLITICIAN

Amsterdam & Peroff LLP has added another high-profile figure to its roster of clients.

The international law firm, which has offices in Toronto as well as London and Washington, D.C., has announced it will assist the legal team of Nigerian politician Mallam Yusuf Maitama Tuggar in an alleged case of massive electoral fraud in the gubernatorial elections in the state of Bauchi in April.

Observers for Tuggar’s opposition party, the Congress for Progressive Change, accused the incumbent governor of winning re-election with the help of a forced military curfew and ballot fraud.

Amsterdam & Peroff says it intends to explore international legal options to obtain redress while raising global awareness of cases of electoral fraud in Nigeria.

“The irregular conditions under which this vote took place, from the delayed election date to the extraordinary military measures, raise many doubts that Bauchi’s 2011 gubernatorial elections could be considered free or fair,” said Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of the firm.

“We intend to shed light on the facts and evidence of what happened during this election, when the citizens of Bauchi were allegedly deprived of their right to suffrage in violation of international law.”

Official results gave Tuggar 19 per cent of the vote, well behind Bauchi Gov. Isa Yuguda, who won 61 per cent. Supporters of Tuggar say most polls taken in the days before the election showed he was set to win about 45 per cent.

BENNETT JONES LAWYER JOINS HEENAN BLAIKIE

Scott Martyn has joined Heenan Blaikie LLP as a partner in its business law group after making the move from Bennett Jones LLP.

Martyn’s practice focuses on commercial real estate law, including condominium development and operational matters.

He works with clients on the development, acquisition, and disposition of retail, office, multi-residential, and industrial properties. He also represents developers of commercial and residential properties, homebuilders, and national and international financial institutions.

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