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Monday, August 27, 2012

LABARGE WEINSTEIN EXPANDS TO B.C.

LaBarge Weinstein LLP will open an office in Vancouver, British Columbia on Sept. 4.

The technology law boutique is currently headquartered in Ottawa and has satellite offices in Toronto and Waterloo.

“We’re very excited to build on our growing practice in western Canada,” said LaBarge Weinstein LLP co-founding partner, Debbie Weinstein. “The B.C. technology market is strong and is gaining momentum. Although we’ve been serving clients in the region for years, we thought our 15th anniversary marked the perfect time to make our presence permanent.”

Mark Longo, who will join the firm as a partner next month, will lead the new office. Longo has worked in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and technology law in the Vancouver region for 20 years.

“The excitement in the Vancouver tech sector is palpable and we believe that LW’s style of practice is well suited to meet the needs of these young and growing companies,” said LaBarge Weinstein LLP co-founding partner Paul LaBarge.

NEW LAWYERS JOIN DICKINSON WRIGHT

Dickinson Wright LLP has added four new lawyers to its Toronto office.

Toronto corporate lawyer Douglas Benson will become a member of the firm. His practice will focus on public-private partnerships and other types of infrastructure transactions.

Joining him is Mark Redinger, a corporate lawyer formerly at Fogler Rubinoff LLP. His practice will focus on mergers, acquisitions, and corporate and financial solutions.

Henry Chong, a former senior rulings officer with the Canada Revenue Agency, will join the firm as counsel and with a focus on taxation.

Lastly, Toronto-area lawyer Robert Farmer will join the firm as an associate and will focus on business, corporate, and banking and financial services.

CONVOCATION UPDATE

The Law Society of Upper Canada has submitted a series of changes during special Convocation Aug. 21 that would change the make up of its compensation committee.

Under the proposed changes, the size of the committee would be increased from four to five people by adding an elected bencher or elected benchers.

“It is also proposed that the committee be increased in size to five people with addition of an elected bencher where the co-chairs are members or two elected benchers where the chair is a member. This will complement the current membership and provide additional assurance for quorum,” the law society motion reads.

Convocation approved the changes on Aug. 21. The changes will take place immediately.

Several appointments were also made at the meeting.

Alan Silverstein received a recommendation for nomination to the LawPRO board of directors. Silverstein is currently vice chairman of the law society’s finance committee and practises as a real estate lawyer in Toronto.

James Scarfone, founding partner of Scarfone Hawkins LLP, also received a recommendation to be appointed to the law society’s committee of benchers. Scarfone became a law society bencher in May 2011.

Law society Treasurer Tom Conway was named chairman of the articling task force, the compensation fund, the law society awards, the law society LLD advisory board, the priority planning committee, and the working group on the retention of women.

For a complete list of appointments, see www.lsuc.on.ca

POLL RESULTS

The results of the latest online Law Times poll are in.

Sixty per cent of respondents said the courts got it right in recent labour decisions that held there’s no Charter protection for traditional collective bargaining.

The results follow a recent Law Times article about the decision in Association of Justice Counsel v. Canada (Attorney General).

The Court of Appeal upheld the validity of the Expenditure Restraint Act in the case. The act limits wage increases for federal employees between 2006 and 2011.

The decision reflected recent developments in the courts that reinforce the government’s ability to take an aggressive bargaining stance in the face of employee demands for higher wages as long as it’s acting in good faith in negotiations.

LSUC SECURITY GUARDS SHOW UNION SUPPORT

The majority of Law Society of Upper Canada security guards have voted in favour of representation by the Service Employees International Union Local 2 in their future “employment relations” with the law society.

The vote follows a successful application for certification filed on Aug. 7 that covered the law society’s 13 security guards.

The Ontario Labour Relations Board ordered and supervised a corresponding representation vote on Aug. 9, where the majority voted in favour of representation by the union.

“The matter is presently before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and, as this is an ongoing legal process, we will not make any further comment on that process,” said law society spokesperson Susan Tonkin.

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