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Monday, February 28, 2011

NEW HEAD OF POLICE WATCHDOG

The province has appointed David Gavsie as chairman of the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

Gavsie, a retired senior partner from Ogilvy Renault LLP, has held a number of positions in the legal and business communities in both Toronto and Ottawa and was most recently chairman of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

The civilian police commission is the independent oversight agency responsible for ensuring that adequate and effective policing services are provided throughout Ontario.

Gavsie is a member of the bar in Ontario and Quebec, having graduated from Concordia and McGill universities.

He has also served as chairman of a number of economic and public institutions, including the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ottawa Civic Hospital Foundation, and the Ottawa Airport Authority.

CHANGES AT OSLERS

Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has appointed Deborah Glendinning as chairwoman of the firm’s national litigation department.

She’ll now head up Oslers’ group of 122 litigation lawyers based in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Ottawa.

Glendinning joined Oslers in 1988 and has served on the firm’s executive committee for several terms.

She’s also a founding co-chairwoman of its national class actions practice group. Her practice focuses on the defence side of class actions and other major commercial litigation, particularly in the areas of product liability and banking, financial, and professional services.

Glendinning succeeds Larry Lowenstein in the new role. He was national litigation chairman for the last five years.

BLG BOOSTS IP GROUP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has bolstered its intellectual property team by poaching three people from Bereskin & Parr LLP.

Justine Wiebe, Christine Pallotta, and Scott Pundsack have all joined as partners at the firm’s Toronto office.

“When the three of us assessed client needs, we realized that BLG’s platform would allow us to provide the optimum level of service to our existing and future clients,” said Wiebe. “Now, at BLG, we can offer all the benefits of an IP boutique firm within a full-service law firm.”

Wiebe has experience with international trademark portfolios and pharmaceutical marks by providing clients with strategic guidance from a global perspective.

Pallotta’s litigation practice encompasses all fields of IP law, including pharmaceutical patent litigation and notice-of-compliance proceedings. Pundsack is a registered patent agent who focuses on patent prosecution and licensing, including developing and managing worldwide protection and enforcement strategies for clients.

“BLG is continually expanding its IP capabilities and depth across the country,” said Joachim Fritz, national leader of BLG’s intellectual property group. “We wanted to take an aggressive growth strategy for the Ontario market and this team fits the bill by adding significant strength in trademarks, patents, and IP litigation.”

FMC, BLAKES TOPS FOR DIVERSITY

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP and Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP have been named among Canada’s best diversity employers for 2011.   

It’s the fourth consecutive year that Blakes has made the list compiled by Mediacorp Canada Inc., a Toronto-based publisher of employment-related periodicals. It selects employers based on the implementation of exceptional workplace diversity and inclusion programs.

“Demographic shifts, globalization, and the rise of technology have made it easier than ever to do business in all parts of the world, and our clients are better served when we, as a firm, understand and embrace cultural differences,” said Blakes’ chairman Brock Gibson.

Blakes has held internal programs on diversity for many years. This year, it plans to launch an enhanced series of learning sessions for clients, lawyers, and staff. Since 2008, the firm has run a mentoring program for high school students who face barriers to success because of their socio-economic status, racial background or family and personal circumstances.

In 2006, FMC adopted a formal strategy to create and maintain a firm-wide culture of inclusion. “Being honoured as one of Canada’s best diversity employers demonstrates that we are on the right track,” said Kate Broer, co-chairwoman of FMC’s national diversity and inclusion initiative.

Since then, it became the first law firm corporate partner of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council’s mentoring partnership program. FMC has also established a scholarship for black law students and acts as pro bono legal counsel to Pride at Work Canada, a professional organization that supports the lesbian and gay community at work.

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