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Monday, February 25, 2013

11 FMC MINING LAWYERS JOIN BENNETT JONES

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP has lost 11 corporate mining and securities lawyers to Bennett Jones LLP.

The departing lawyers include senior counsel John Sabine; partners Michael Melanson, Sander Grieve, Linda Misetich Dann, Abbas Ali Khan, James Clare, and Ali Naushahi; and associates Elianeth Alicea, Jamie Au, Tiffany Canzano, and Justin Park.

“This is a remarkable team of lawyers, and we are delighted to have them join Bennett Jones,” said Bennett Jones chairman and chief executive officer Hugh MacKinnon. “With our 90-year history in the energy and natural resources sectors, the addition of this team builds on our commitment to provide our clients with world-class expertise and service.”

The loss of the mining lawyers at FMC follows the announcement last year of its merger with Salans and SNR Denton to form Dentons.

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CLYDE WELLS RETURNS TO COX & PALMER[/span]

Former Newfoundland premier Clyde Wells has joined Cox & Palmer as counsel.

Wells, who was also formerly chief justice of the province, will work at the firm’s St John’s office. He’ll cover practice areas including construction, corporate governance, energy, financial services, and corporate law.

“This is a very natural fit for me,” said Wells. “Cox & Palmer is a top-tier firm with a reputation for providing outstanding legal service.”

Wells graduated from Dalhousie Law School and served as Newfoundland premier from 1989-96. After leaving politics, he joined one of Cox & Palmer’s predecessor firms where he practised for more than two years before becoming a judge of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

He became chief justice of the province in 1999 and held the position for 10 years until choosing to step down. Wells remained as a supernumerary judge of the appellate court until his full retirement from the bench in November 2012.

“Rejoining the firm I was earlier connected with gives me an opportunity to continue my long-term involvement with the legal profession,” said Wells.

“I am looking forward to that involvement and hope to make a positive advisory contribution in the process.”

Alexander MacDonald, managing partner of Cox & Palmer’s St. John’s office, said: “We are delighted to welcome Clyde to our firm. As one of Canada’s highly respected legal minds, he is a valuable addition to our office.

“In his new role as counsel, Clyde’s availability and advice will be a tremendous asset and will further enhance our accomplished team, practice, and client service.”

CONVICTED LAWYER SUSPENDED

A Law Society of Upper Canada hearing panel has suspended lawyer Terence John Robinson for two years over an aggravated assault conviction in 2009.

As part of the proceedings, Robinson admitted to conduct unbecoming a licensee.

“Prior to resuming practice, the lawyer shall undergo, at his own expense, an independent medical examination and deliver a medical report establishing that he is mentally fit to resume practising,” the hearing panel ordered.

During his two-year suspension, the law society also said Robinson “shall complete 50 hours of continuing professional development.”

During the proceedings, the panel considered holding a sentencing circle for Robinson, a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation. It rejected that option in part because the suggestion didn’t come from Robinson himself. There was also no evidence he lived on the reserve.

As well, the panel doubted whether the Wikwemikong First Nation community would participate in the process.

NORTON ROSE MERGES WITH CALGARY FIRM

Norton Rose Canada LLP has announced its merger with Calgary labour and employment firm Armstrong Mitchell Lawyers.

Armstrong Mitchell partners William Armstrong and Timothy Mitchell, as well as associates Erin Ludwig and Kristopher Israel, will be joining the Norton Rose team.

The Calgary firm’s lawyers bring experience in labour relations, employment law, human rights,occupational health and safety, and workers’ compensation, Norton Rose said last week.

The addition represents an expansion of Norton Rose’s labour and employment capabilities in the Canadian market, said Richard Charney, the firm’s global practice leader of employment and labour.

“The team joining from AML brings experience and a depth of expertise that will allow us to even better serve our clients,” said Charney.

“These hires demonstrate how being a part of Norton Rose and its international platform enhances our ability to attract and retain top legal talent.”

For his part, Armstrong said it’s a “very exciting time” to be joining Norton Rose.

“Norton Rose has an excellent reputation within the employment and labour sector. Armstrong Mitchell Lawyers and Norton Rose are a tremendous fit with highly complementary strengths, and we are very excited and we are proud to join forces with Norton Rose.”

POLL RESULTS

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

According to the results, the majority of respondents don’t believe the Ontario Bar Association’s public relations campaign to improve the image of lawyers will make a difference. In fact, 82 per cent of participants felt the “Why I went to law school” campaign wouldn’t do much to rehabilitate lawyers’ standing with the public.

The OBA has began asking lawyers why they went to law school in hopes of gathering powerful responses that could change the profession’s esteem.  The campaign has its own web site, whyiwenttolawschool.ca.

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The Law Society of Upper Canada’s governing body has approved a proposal to create a new licence for paralegals that would train them in some aspects of family law such as form completion, uncontested divorces and motions to change. Do you agree with this move?
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