Monday, February 13, 2012

The Toronto Lawyers Association is awarding retired Supreme Court justice Ian Binnie its 2012 Award of Distinction.

Binnie will receive the award during a reception on March 1 at One King West in Toronto. The association is honouring him for his contribution to the law and the legal profession.

Binnie joined the Supreme Court bench in 1998 and retired in October 2011.
Past recipients of the award include Superior Court Justice Colin Campbell and former Ontario chief justice Roy McMurtry.

For information about the reception and the award, visit

Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP promoted six lawyers to partner at its Toronto office this month.

Tim Andison, who joined Blakes in November 2010, practises in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and other financing transactions.

Andrew Pollock, a member of Blakes’ business group and its China practice, will also join Andison in the firm’s Toronto office as a partner.

practice involves mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance and governance with specialties in mining operations and railway transportation law.

Cynthia Sargeant, who practises corporate and securities law, advises clients on financing, corporate governance compliance obligations, and commercial transactions.

Kurt Sarno, who previously practised at a large law firm in New York before joining Blakes, focuses on mergers and acquisitions and private equity.

Antonio Turco handles litigation related to intellectual property rights, including disputes over patents, copyright, trademarks, industrial design, and trade secrets.

In addition, Laura Weinrib handles matters related to the pharmaceutical, medical devices, natural health products, food, and consumer products industries.

“I am pleased to announce our latest group of partners,” said Rob Granatstein, managing partner at Blakes.

“Each of these individuals has worked very hard for this next achievement in their legal careers. It is this dedication to our clients on the part of all of our professionals that makes Blakes the success that it is.”

The Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia started its second wave of service withdrawals this month in an effort to convince the provincial government to invest $100 million in additional legal aid funding.

The second wave, which will end on Feb. 14, leaves 53 provincial courthouses without duty counsel. That represents nearly two-thirds of all courthouses in the province.

The association hopes the service withdrawals will force the government to help more individuals qualify for legal aid and increase the number of services offered by the province.

A tax on legal fees currently generates $140 million annually but less than half of that goes to the province’s $68-million legal aid budget.

“The first phase of service withdrawals went very well in terms of support,” said Marc Kazimirski, president of the association.

“The lawyers involved are headed into Phase 2 with greater awareness already achieved for this important issue, and a strong sense of purpose remains.”

The association plans to withdraw services again during the first three weeks of March as well as during the entire month of April.

For related content, see "LAO not living up to boycott bargain, lawyers say."

An equity capital markets team is leaving Cobbetts LLP to join Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP’s London, England, office.

Included in the team are Cobbetts’ partners Andrew Wright, Charles Bond, Sefton Collett, and Dominic Prentis, as well as directors Susan Johnston and David Brennan.

They’ll make the switch to Gowlings at the end of this month and will join the firm’s energy, infrastructure, and mining industry group.

“We are sorry that Andrew and our colleagues are leaving and wish them the best of luck with their new global venture,” said Daniel O’Gorman, head of Cobbetts’ equity capital markets group.

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