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Monday, January 20, 2014

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT BOOSTS FINANCE TEAM

Former bank executive John Jason has joined Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP’s Toronto office as counsel.

Jason, former senior vice president at BMO Financial Group, also served as deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer at the bank.

“John has tremendous understanding of our clients’ needs through his experience with financial institutions, as a lawyer, and in business,” said Andrew Fleming, managing partner of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Toronto office.

“He’s recognized as a Canadian leader in regulatory financial services law, one of the top concerns for our clients in the sector. He’s an outstanding addition to our team.”

Jason said the firm has a lot to offer to financial service companies.

“The only thing certain about financial services regulation today is that it will continue to grow and become more complex. Canada is no longer an island and much of our regulation is being driven by developments internationally,” he said.

“New Canadian and international competitors are also driving a need for new regulations. Financial services companies need to stay ahead of new and evolving regulatory expectations. With our depth and global platform, Norton Rose Fulbright is ideally positioned to advise clients about these expectations.”

Jason isn’t the only financial sector lawyer to join Norton Rose Fulbright recently. John Teolis, formerly of Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, has left that firm to join Norton Rose Fulbright. Although recent news reports suggested he left because of a mandatory retirement requirement at Blakes, Norton Rose Fulbright says that’s not the case. He made the move despite an offer by Blakes to extend his retirement to age 68 with the possibility of a further extension, according to Norton Rose Fulbright.

“Joining Norton Rose Fulbright is a superb fit with the work I’ve been privileged to have done for financial institutions,” said Teolis.

“There’s a lot of activity in the Canadian financial sector with domestic and international companies. Norton Rose Fulbright’s truly global reach makes its financial institutions practice one of a kind and I’m looking forward to making the most of this with clients.” 

SYDNEY ROBINS REMEMBERED

Former judge and Law Society of Upper Canada treasurer Sydney Robins has died at the age of 90.

Robins was the youngest bencher — and the first Jewish person on the law society’s governing council — when he won election to the position in 1961, according to LSUC Treasurer Thomas Conway. Robins later became treasurer of the law society. He joined the bench of the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1981.

“The loss fills me with a great sadness — he was a well-respected bencher and treasurer, as well as an incredible human being,” wrote Conway last week in a post on his blog.

He added: “For me, Syd Robins is the model of what a treasurer should be and he has been an inspiration for me since I took office in June 2012. His many friends and colleagues at the law society will miss him greatly.”

POLL RESULTS

The results of the latest Law Times online poll are in.

According to the poll, 89 per cent of participants feel the federal government’s looming victims rights bill will disrupt the criminal justice process.

The federal government is about to introduce a victims bill of rights that will ensure victims of crime are more “informed and involved” at every stage of the criminal justice system.

According to a Law Times report earlier this month, some defence lawyers fear such a move will complicate an already complex criminal justice system and pressure prosecutors to “serve two masters.” 

NEW MANAGING PARTNER AT BERESKIN & PARR

Micheline Gravelle is the new managing partner at Bereskin & Parr LLP.

Gravelle, head of the firm’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical practice group, replaces Philip Mendes Da Costa in the role.

“I am very excited to be taking on this new role, and a new strategic plan,” said Gravelle.

“It’s our firm’s culture, teamwork, and core values that set us apart, and over the coming months, I’ll be working to build on those strengths.”

Gravelle joined Bereskin & Parr in 1996. The firm says she has been a successful leader in the chemistry, microbiology, immunology, and molecular biology fields and has held senior positions at multinational companies and government agencies and in the health services industry.

DEADLINE FOR LSUC AWARD NOMINATIONS

If you know an accomplished lawyer who deserves recognition, it’s time to let the Law Society of Upper Canada know.

The law society is now accepting nominations for its upcoming awards, including the law society medal, the Lincoln Alexander award, and the Laura Legge award. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31.

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