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Monday, June 28, 2010

BLAKES BOOSTS TAX GROUP

Edwin Kroft and Deborah Toaze are the newest partners with Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP’s tax controversy and litigation group, the firm said last week.

Kroft, a prominent tax lawyer who has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, is also a member of the rules committee of the Tax Court of Canada. He has also written extensively in the area and taught at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Toaze is a lawyer and chartered accountant who works with clients in the audit and appeals stages of tax disputes.

“Having Ed and Deborah join our tax controversy and litigation group is a welcome addition for Blakes,” said firm chairman Brock Gibson. “They will complement and enhance our renowned transfer pricing practice.”

FEDS ANNOUNCE NEW APPOINTMENTS

The federal Courts Administration Service has a new interim chief administrator.

Suzanne Labbé has a licence in civil law and has served as deputy chief administrator for judicial services for the past five years.

In other federal appointments, Susheel Gupta becomes vice chairman of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Gupta has worked as a prosecutor and computer crime adviser as well as a special adviser to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. He was also counsel with the crimes against humanity and war crimes section at the Department of Justice.

In addition, Canada has a new ombudsman for victims of crime in Sue O’Sullivan. For the past four years, O’Sullivan has served as deputy chief of police in Ottawa.

Her appointment is effective as of Aug. 16.

NEW PARTNER AT OGILVYS

Ogilvy Renault LLP has announced that Evan Howard has joined the firm as a partner in the employment and labour group in Toronto.

With 15 years of experience in pension and benefits law behind him, Howard regularly advises on domestic and international corporate transactions, mergers, financings, insolvencies, and restructurings.

He also spent two years in Britain practising pension law with a major London-based firm.

SOLURSH RECEIVES OBA PENSION HONOUR

The Ontario Bar Association has named John Solursh of Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP the recipient of its Award of Excellence in Pensions and Benefits Law.

The award is in recognition of Solursh’s career and his contributions to the development of pension law in Canada. Solursh, a partner emeritus in the pension and employee benefits group, has also served as Blakes’ managing partner in the past.

COMMISSION ON LEGAL AID LAUNCHED

A coalition of legal bodies has launched its own public commission on legal aid in British Columbia.

Groups including the Law Society of British Columbia, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Law Foundation of British Columbia have pooled funds to launch the project that aims to address the erosion of access to legal services in the province after funding cuts in recent years.

Proceedings will begin in September to hear the problems people face and gather ideas for solutions. The commission will deliver its findings to the B.C government.

“Unless government hears that the people of British Columbia consider legal aid a priority, it is unlikely that the difficulties which legal aid programs have faced over the last two decades are going to change,” said James Bond, president of the CBA’s B.C. branch. 

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