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Monday, June 27, 2011

YOUNG LAWYER LAUDED

Lerners LLP associate Lucas Lung has won The Advocates’ Society’s 2011 Arleen Goss Young Advocates’ Award for his outstanding record of advocacy and advancement of social justice.

Lung has experience in cases involving immigrants and working with the disadvantaged, including one matter that went to the Supreme Court of Canada this year.

In Canada (Attorney General) v. Mavi, he represented five of eight sponsors who defaulted on undertakings given to the federal and Ontario governments to repay any social assistance benefits given to their family members.

The decision, rendered on June 10, declared that family members who sponsor relatives can’t renege on their legal undertakings to support them, regardless of changes in circumstances.

During his time as a law student, he submitted a report on the insecurities of Burundian refugees in Egypt to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and was also involved with the University of Toronto’s international human rights clinic.

“Lucas is one of the most talented and accomplished young lawyers with whom I have had the opportunity to work,” said Mark Freiman, a commercial litigation partner with Lerners and a former deputy attorney general for Ontario.

“He combines an acute legal mind and a passion for social justice, human rights, and civil liberties with a laudable work ethic based on a commitment to technical excellence and professional integrity.”

OTTAWA LITIGATOR JOINS FASKENS

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP has poached seasoned litigator Peter Mantas from Heenan Blaikie LLP to lead its Ottawa litigation practice.

Mantas has acted as counsel at all levels of the Ontario and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and before various domestic and international tribunals.

“We are delighted to welcome Peter to the Fasken Martineau family. He has the profound respect of the legal community in the Ottawa region and beyond.

This addition will add greatly to the services that we are able to offer clients both in the Ottawa region and beyond,” said Stephen Whitehead, Faskens’ senior partner for the Ottawa region.

HAVE YOUR SAY ON CLASS ACTIONS

The Canadian Bar Association’s national task force on class actions wants input on a draft judicial protocol designed to reduce procedural confusion.

The task force began in February 2010 with a mandate to examine the problems that arise when counsel in two or more provinces commence overlapping class actions.

The proposed protocol relies on existing provisions in various provincial statutes to establish a system that would allow class actions to proceed in an orderly manner.

According to the CBA, courts could work together to make case management orders and appoint a single judge to co-ordinate scheduling and settlement administration across jurisdictions.

“The purpose of the consultation is to ensure that the protocol will meet the needs of counsel, the judiciary, and parties affected by class action litigation,” said task force chairwoman Sylvie Rodrigue.

“We also want to be sure the protocol will be effective in solving the problems that have and may arise in multi-jurisdictional class actions.”

The judicial protocol and consultation paper are available on the CBA’s web site at cba.org/CBA/ClassActionsTaskForce/Main. The deadline for responses is July 8.

GOWLINGS SET FOR BEIJING EXPANSION

Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP is making its first foray into the Asian market with a Beijing office planned to open in September.

According to Legal Week, the firm has applied for a licence to set up a representative office in the Chinese capital where the focus will be on the energy, infrastructure, and mining sectors.

“We’ve been working with Chinese companies for a number of years in these sectors. For the most part, we’ve been making do with flying people in and out, but the level of activity has increased to the point that we need people on the ground in Beijing,” Gowlings’ chairman and CEO Scott Jolliffe told Legal Week.

“Right now, with all the growth in Asia, there are a lot of exciting opportunities in energy and mining, so we might look much closer at forming alliances with firms in the region.”

STROSBERG RECEIVES OBA HONOUR

Former Law Society of Upper Canada treasurer Harvey Strosberg has won the Ontario Bar Association’s Award of Excellence in Civil Litigation.

Strosberg, a senior partner at Sutts Strosberg LLP in Windsor, Ont., practises almost exclusively in the areas of class action and commercial litigation. The OBA singled Strosberg out for his vast trial and appellate experience in the areas of negligence, personal injury, commercial law, product liability, insurance, and class actions.

“He is a pioneer in the development of class action law in Ontario and is dedicated to the service of his profession and the community. He epitomizes the highest ideals of civility, professionalism, and achievement in our profession,” said Audrey Ramsay, chairwoman of the nomination and selection committee.

Strosberg will receive his award at a gala dinner on Oct. 25 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

UWO NAMES NEW LAW DEAN

Former McCarthy Tétrault LLP chairman and CEO Iain Scott is making the jump from business law to academia as the new dean of the law faculty at the University of Western Ontario.

Scott replaces Ian Holloway, who is leaving to become dean of the University of Calgary’s law school.

“Iain’s unique experience at the helm of one of Canada’s leading national law firms will bring a fresh perspective to the legal teaching, research, community service, and external outreach we undertake in our faculty of law,” said Western’s provost and vice president academic Janice Deakin.

“The leadership Iain has demonstrated throughout his professional career in areas such as talent recruitment and development, diversity, quality improvement, communications and branding will serve the university well and support our ambitious aspirations.”

Scott takes the job on Sept. 1. Following Holloway’s departure next month, professor Richard McLaren will fill the dean’s role on an interim basis.

NEW OTLA PRESIDENT

Markham, Ont., trial lawyer Paul Harte is the new president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association.

Harte’s practice is dedicated to medical negligence in acting on behalf of people harmed by the medical system. Over the years, he has assisted hundreds of people in getting compensation as a result of medical error.

Harte has served on the OTLA’s board of directors for several years. “It is a tremendous privilege to be handed over the stewardship of one of the finest trial lawyer organizations in North America, particularly during its 20th year celebrations,” he said.

“There are many challenges facing our organization in the coming year. However, with an upcoming provincial election, our priority will be to ensure that Ontario motorists get the protection that they have paid for and that our system of insurance is not further eroded to enhance insurance company profits.”

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