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Monday, August 1, 2011

[strong]ABA, CBA

SIGN DEAL[/strong]

As the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in Toronto gets underway, the organization has announced a co-operation agreement with its Canadian counterpart.

“We have enjoyed a long and warm relationship with the Canadian Bar Association,” said ABA president Stephen Zack. “The signing of the agreement, on the occasion of the ABA’s annual meeting in Toronto, will formalize our mutually beneficial co-operation that has been in place for the past 80 years.”

The new protocol involves dialogue and information exchanges on programs to advance human rights and the rule of law through groups such as the CBA’s international development committee and the ABA Center for Human Rights.

It also calls for co-operation related to legal ethics, pro bono legal services, legal aid, diversity, conflicts, solicitor-client privilege, access to justice, and other issues. In addition, the two organizations will look at opportunities for joint professional development programming and credits.

The two associations will sign the agreement on Aug. 6 at 273 Bloor St. W. in Toronto.

[strong]OTTAWA FIRM

JOINS USLAW[/strong]

Ottawa-based Kelly Santini LLP has become the first Canadian member of the USLAW Network.

As well as the new Canadian addition, the invitation-only network of 64 independent firms boasts members in 47 American states and Latin America providing services to major corporations, insurance companies, and large and small businesses.

Kelly Santini founding partner Larry Kelly said he was excited by the move. “USLAW Network member firms are of the highest calibre and we are extremely impressed with the scope and depth of its legal talent. Our affiliation will allow us to further support our clients’ cross-border needs and to provide similar assistance to U.S. member firms when their clients are establishing or growing their Canadian operations and relationships.”

“Kelly Santini is an excellent addition to USLAW’s portfolio of member firms,” said Roger Yaffe, USLAW’s executive director. “With the firm’s assistance, USLAW plans to expand its growth throughout the provinces of Canada.”

[strong]OBA ELECTS

NEW BOARD[/strong]

Paul Sweeny has ascended to the presidency of the Ontario Bar Association after elections to its board of directors for the 2011-12 term.

Sarnia, Ont., lawyer Pascale Daigneault joins him on the board after she was elected as second vice president, a role that puts her in line to take over the presidency in two years.

Most recently, she was chairwoman of the OBA’s public affairs committee and director-at-large for the southwest region. She has also been an active member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and the Lambton Law Association.

Morris Chochla is the first vice president, while Sean Kennedy was re-elected as secretary and David Sterns becomes director-at-large for Toronto.

“On behalf of the OBA, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Pascale, Sean, and David on their successful election to the OBA board of directors,” said outgoing president Lee Akazaki.

[strong]DRUG GIANT

SIGNS DIVERSITY PLEDGE

[/strong]A Call to Action Canada has announced that GlaxoSmithKline Inc. is the newest signatory to its mission statement.

Signatories to the organization’s statement encourage diversity and inclusion in the legal profession by insisting that their outside law firms demonstrate a true commitment to the advancement of women and minority lawyers. They also promise to look for opportunities to direct work to firms whose partners are significantly populated by women or minorities and limit contact with those that lack an interest in diversity.

[strong]QUEBEC COURT ORDERS

RELEASE OF PLANES[/strong]

A Quebec court has ordered the release of two aircraft to Iraqi Airways Co. in its long-running legal battle with Kuwait Airways Corp.

The dispute traces back to 1990 following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait when the Iraqi government ordered Iraqi Airways to seize Kuwait Airways’ aircraft. The Kuwait airline is pursuing compensation over the seizure.

The aircraft, built by Montreal-based Bombardier Aerospace for Iraqi Airways, have been released to the Iraqi company against security provided to Kuwait Airways, which won judgments for $1.2 billion from the Iraqi airline and $80 million from the state of Iraq.

A Supreme Court of Canada ruling in October last year allowed Kuwait Airways to seize the aircraft as it sought enforcement of the $1.2-billion judgment.

It’s the longest-running commercial case in the United Kingdom. Numerous findings of perjury against Iraqi Airways have contributed to the lengthy case, which then led to 12 years of prior rulings being overthrown.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP partner Christopher Gooding, who is also a member of the firm’s aviation practice group, has represented Kuwait Airways since 1990.

“Our clients’ position is secured fully — effectively Iraq has paid for these aircraft twice, once to Bombardier and again in security for [Kuwait Airways],” Gooding said in a press release. “As we have always said that there is no intention, subject to enforcement of judgment rights, to limit the growth of Iraqi Airways or in any way limit the ability of the Iraqi people to travel freely. [Kuwait Airways] will continue to pursue compensation whenever opportunities arise.”

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