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Monday, January 25, 2016

Blanchard appointed UN ambassador

McCarthy Tetrault LLP’s loss will be the United Nations’ gain as the firm’s chairman and chief executive officer, Marc-André Blanchard, has been appointed ambassador to the UN by Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion.

“The United Nations is where the world comes together. Being asked to lead Canada’s mission to the United Nations is an immense honour, particularly at a time when Canada has re-committed itself to multilateral diplomacy and to engage more widely on the international scene,” said Blanchard in a press release from the firm announcing the appointment. “It’s been my privilege to work at McCarthy Tétrault since 1997 and lead the firm for the last six years.

“I now look forward to directing my energies towards my new role at the United Nations, an institution our government recognizes as having a vitally important role to play on the global stage,” he said.

Hélène Sansoucy, specialist, clients and marketing for McCarthy Tétrault, says Blanchard will remain in his CEO post until April 1 and that the firm’s board of partners has initiated the process for selecting the next CEO.

“As CEO, Marc-André has been the leading champion of our firm’s innovative approach to the market in terms of client service delivery and other initiatives. For the foreseeable future, we will continue with our current strategic direction and our commitment to innovation, diversity, efficiency, and excellence,” Sansoucy says.

New firm in the Canadian fold

International law firm Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak and Stewart PC has made its first foray into Canada.

One of the U.S.’s largest labour and employment law firms with offices already in Europe and Mexico, it has expanded to Toronto with its 49th office.

“Canada is an important market for our firm, as many of our clients have operations there and need representation and counsel on Canadian and cross-border labour and employment law matters,” said Kim Ebert, managing shareholder of Ogletree Deakins, in a press release announcing the expansion. “We know that we’ve chosen the right team of lawyers who share the firm’s culture and values to establish our presence in the country.”

Access to Justice Fund application call opens

The Law Foundation of Ontario has announced its 2016 call for applications has opened for the Access to Justice Fund. Created in 2009 after receiving almost $15 million in cy-près awards, the fund is now a permanent fixture in the organization to improve access to justice. The LFO will be accepting letters of intent until April 1. To be considered, applications must be from Canadian non-profit organizations and must be for projects that address the legal needs of: children and youth; consumers; public legal education intake and referral; racialized groups, or refugees. Full details are at the LFO web site at www.lawfoundation.on.ca.

Law Times Poll

Leave pension planning to the feds, the bulk of our readers have said. Last week’s poll asked if people think the Ontario government should continue with its plan to go it alone in a provincial pension plan.

About 33 per cent of our readers said, sure, we need a separate plan apart from the CPP to ensure seniors can retire in comfort, or at least more comfortably. The naysayers represented just less than 68 per cent, saying no way to a provincial pension plan as Ontario is broke and businesses can’t afford another tax at this point in the economic cycle.

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A Law Times column argues it’s time for provincial laws dedicated to stopping defamatory publications on the Internet. Do you think that new legislation will help counter defamatory statements online?
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