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Monday, December 10, 2012

FMC LAUDED FOR STAFF-FRIENDLY POLICIES

Fitness subsidies and extra maternity leave benefits are among the factors that earned Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP a spot on Mediacorp Canada Inc.’s list of the Greater Toronto Area’s top employers for 2013.

“FMC is honoured to be named one of the GTA’s top employers for 2013 alongside these other prestigious organizations,” said Chris Pinnington, chief executive officer at FMC.

“At FMC, our people are our greatest strength and we are committed to the professional and personal development of our team to ensure each member achieves his or her career aspirations.”

Mediacorp highlighted FMC policies such as providing extra maternity leave benefits for 17 weeks, allowing for flexible work arrangements, and granting subsidies of up to $500 for fitness club memberships.

“We are committed to designing and executing programs that engage and inspire firm members, such as leave for change and our diversity and inclusion programs,” said Mike Kaplan, managing partner at FMC in Toronto.

PARALEGALS CAN TAKE AFFIDAVITS NEXT YEAR

Paralegals will be able to take affidavits under a new regulation enacted by the Ontario government.

As of July 1, 2013, the commissioners and other persons who may take affidavits regulation will designate licensed paralegals as commissioners who can take affidavits without having to apply for a commissioner appointment and pay a fee. The new status will continue unless the Law Society of Upper Canada revokes or suspends their licence or they surrender it. Paralegals who already have an appointment won’t have to renew it.

GOWLINGS BOOSTS INSOLVENCY PRACTICE

Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP is boosting its restructuring and insolvency practice with the hiring of two lawyers at its office in London, England.

David Wright and Andrew Mace have acted for clients in both Europe and the United States and bring significant experience in restructuring and insolvency matters, the firm said last week.

“We are excited to have David and Andrew join Gowlings’ international team,” said firm chairman and chief executive officer Scott Jolliffe.

“It’s been a tremendous year of growth and momentum for the firm’s restructuring and insolvency group and for our London office.”

The firm says it has been making efforts to boost its restructuring and insolvency practice at the London office in recent months with the hiring of people like Derrick Tay and Jennifer Stam as well as its addition of six international mining lawyers in March.

“We are delighted to be part of the growth story at Gowlings,” said Wright, who has been an insolvency lawyer for almost two decades.

Previously head of the insolvency and restructuring group at a British law firm, Wright’s experience includes acting as British agent for the U.S. government on the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Mace, meanwhile, has practised in the area for 15 years. He acts for a number of high-profile investors, banks, and insolvency practitioners.

POLL RESULTS

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

According to the poll, 67 per cent of respondents disagree with the Law Society of Upper Canada’s bid to have Toronto lawyer Joe Groia pay $250,000 in costs for his disciplinary hearing. Groia’s lawyer is resisting the law society’s position on that issue, arguing he has already paid a significant price for the civility-related proceedings against him. Earlier this year, a panel found him guilty of misconduct for his actions in court on behalf of client John Felderhof. The law society justifies the cost submission based on the time spent on the case. It’s also seeking a suspension. The hearing panel has reserved its decision.

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