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Monday, November 24, 2008

DEMAND CONSISTENT FOR LEGAL PROFESSIONALS

Robert Half Legal last week released its “2009 Salary Guide,” and the news is good for lawyers in this country.

“Demand is steady for legal professionals in Canada,” the report states. “Law firms and corporate legal departments seek specific practice area expertise, and they are willing to compensate practitioners with the right skills when they can find them.”

On top of hiring remaining steady, the guide forecasts that salaries will increase “slightly” or remain the same in the year ahead. While growth has lagged at some law firms, corporate legal departments are still hiring in order to meet heavy workloads, according to the study.

In terms of regional trends affecting Ontario markets, the study states that salaries in Toronto are higher than the national average. Securities, IP, insolvency, and litigation are the hottest specialties, according to the study.

Ottawa lawyers looking for work should direct their searches at mid-size firms, the study suggests, as they are doing the bulk of the hiring. Overall, salaries in Ottawa have risen slightly throughout 2008, according to the study.

LAWYERS RAISE FUNDS FOR AIDS CAUSES

A pair of fundraisers on Thursday have lawyers raising funds for HIV/AIDS.

Givea Night 2008, organized by articling students at several Toronto lawfirms, is a cocktail party and auction that will contribute torecipients of the Give a Day Campaign.

The Canadian initiative by the medical and legal communities encourages people to donate a day’s pay on Dec. 1 - World AIDS Day - to either the Stephen Lewis Foundation or Dignitas International.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 27 at C Lounge in Toronto. Call Jennifer Kelley at 416-646-3462 for more information on the event or how to offer support.

Also on Nov. 27 starting at 6 p.m. lawyers are presenting a musical offering, The Law Revue, to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

The event, to be held at Hugh’s Room in Toronto, will include world-class musicians such as the legendary Ron Davis and Reide Kaiser from Jeff Healey’s Jazz Wizards, and lawyers from all areas of the justice community.

Tickets for The Law Revue cost $30 in advance, and are purchased through Hugh’s Room. Reservations are highly recommended. Call 416-531-6604.

FLSC NAMES NEW LEADERSHIP

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has named Stéphane Rivard of Montreal its new president, taking on the one-year term following a stint as vice president and president-elect.

Toronto’s John Campion has been named the federation’s vice president and president-elect, while Ronald MacDonald of Antigonish, N.S., will serve as vice president. The federation’s former leader Michael Milani will now take on the role of past-president.

The terms of office expire on Nov. 15, 2009.

SOUTH ASIAN BAR HONOURS LAWYER

The South Asian Bar Association of Toronto has named Lang Michener LLP lawyer Pradeep Chand its Young Practitioner of the Year.

This is the first year the association has held an awards ceremony, and aims to showcase the best and brightest South Asians in the legal community.

Chand joined Lang Michener’s commercial litigation group as an associate in Oct. 2006.

EMERSON JOINS FARRIS AS ADVISER

David Emerson, Canada’s former minister of foreign affairs, has been hired by Farris Vaughan Wills & Murphy LLP as a senior adviser.

“Mr. Emerson, having served in leadership roles with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and prime minister Paul Martin, and provincially with premiers . . . brings exceptional expertise and insight to our firm and its clients,” said the firms managing partner Alan Hamilton in a release.

“I am looking forward to working with Farris, a British Columbia-based firm with a national perspective,” said Emerson.

“I am pleased to join this team and share in their focus on assisting their clients in meeting the practical demands and opportunities of today, provincially, nationally, and internationally.”

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