Macleod Dixon LLP has opened an office in Bogota, Colombia as part of the firm’s strategic development plan put into motion 20 years ago.
“We want to remain a market leader in the energy industry here in Calgary, but the firm also sees an opportunity to provide its expertise and knowledge to other geographical locations in the world," says managing partner Bill Tuer.
The office in Bogota came about in response to Macleod Dixon''s clients'' current and future demand for legal services in Colombia. Since 2008, the firm has represented dozens of clients on Colombian matters, most recently the US$1.9-billion Ecopetrol-Talisman deal and the US$200-million Frontino-Gran Colombia and Medoro Resources deal.
Tuer says there are many mid-size oil-and-gas prospects in Colombia. “Colombia attracts small- to mid-size Canadian energy companies, more than the majors.
Colombia was also ranked by International Finance Corp. as No. 1 for ease of doing business in South America, which makes it a relatively friendly country in which to do business.”
Tuer also says there’s strong indication from Macleod Dixon''s clients that there will be more legal work to come. As well, there’s strong interest from a significant number of companies in Calgary’s energy sector in doing business in Colombia.
“Not only is Colombia next door to Venezuela, which is ranked as one of the world’s leaders with respect to oil reserves, but Canada and Colombia recently signed the Canada-Colombia free-trade agreement.
Although subject to proclamation, the [agreement] is expected toenhance trade relations between the two countries and provideinvestment-protection mechanisms, which will encourage and facilitatefuture investment in both directions.”
The Bogota location, Macleod Dixon’s fifth international office, currently employs six lawyers and the firm is in the process of hiring more. The firm will ensure there’s a core team of lawyers to handle basic client needs.
LAWYER, 100, PASSES AWAY
Hamilton, Ont., lawyer Mary Constance McLean died on Sept. 7 at the age of 100.
McLean kept up her Law Society of Upper Canada membership after she stopped practising 15 years ago. She was one of just two women called to the bar in 1934.
McLean celebrated her 100th birthday this spring. To read more about her life, click here.
MCCARTHYS BOOSTS PENSION PRACTICE
Randy Bauslaugh has joined McCarthy Tétrault LLP as a partner heading up the firm’s national pensions, benefits, and executive compensation practice.
The former Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP partner has advised corporations and governments on pension structure for decades and is chairman of the International Pension & Employee Benefits Lawyers Association.
“With Randy at the helm, our expanded pensions and benefits practice will be better positioned to guide our clients through an area of law that is becoming more complex and challenging,” said McCarthys chairman and CEO Marc-André Blanchard.
STUDENTS TO GET TASTE OF LEGAL PROFESSION
The Ontario Justice Education Network has teamed up with the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund to give 80 female high school students a taste of the legal profession.
Trailblazers: Meeting Women in Law takes place on Oct. 29 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto as part of LEAF’s annual Persons Day breakfast. Keynote speaker Deena Ladd will explore the issue of equality for women and girls in Canada and around the world.
Afterwards, girls will meet female law professionals at a mentor reception. For more information, visit ojen.ca.
FOUR LAW PROFS NAMED RSC FELLOWS
Four law professors are among the new fellows of the Royal Society of Canada announced last week.
Arthur Ripstein, an international leader in the fields of legal and political philosophy at the University of Toronto, was one of those named.
Dalhousie University’s Jocelyn Downie was honoured for her work on health law, policy, and ethics, while York University professor Kent McNeil’s work on indigenous peoples was recognized.
The University of Ottawa’s Katherine Lippel, an expert in occupational health and safety law, was also named a fellow.
NEW LAWYERS AT GOWLINGS IN MOSCOW
Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP has added five lawyers to its office in Moscow 20 years after the firm began its Russian operations.
Alexander Christophoroff and Julianna Tabastajewa have joined as partners, while Yulia Yarnykh and Larissa Osharina come on as associates at Gowlings. All four have expertise in the area of intellectual property law. Tatiana Lyu also comes to the firm to work in patent law.
“We are very proud of our 20 years in Russia and this recruiting move reaffirms our commitment here,” said David Aylen, managing partner of Gowlings’ Moscow office. “Our newest members are global thinkers and very tied into European and U.S. business cultures.
They give us a further edge in assisting clients to establish themselves in Russia and further strengthen Gowlings’ IP presence and top-tier status in Russia and the [Commonwealth of Independent States].”