Monday, June 1, 2009


McCarthy Tétrault LLP has beefed up its litigation group with the addition of Neil Finkelstein, formerly of Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP.

“We are pleased and proud to have such a prominent litigation join our team,” said the firm’s national litigation practice group leader Darryl Cruz. “As litigation becomes more multi-faceted, clients value litigators who can anticipate their needs in every area of law and jurisdiction.”

Finkelstein is a life bBbencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and an advocacy adviseor to the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute.

Finkelstein has been on the winning side of five of the six contested merger cases decided under the Competition Act. He has also has worked on high-profile matters such as the Meech Lake Accord and Charlottetown Accord, for the government of Newfoundland, and co-counsel to the Gomery Commission.

Cruz added that Finkelstein “is a pre-eminent litigator with a broad practice, from takeover bids to regulatory litigation. His specialized expertise in public law and competition law complements our team’s strength and enhances our already great depth.”

Remarked the firm’s chairman and CEO Iain Scott: “Neil’s expertise fits well with this approach, particularly his experience with competition litigation related to complex mergers involving both business law and litigation issues.”

LawPRO has identified an apparent fraud scheme targeting lawyers valued at over $5 million.
PracticePRO director Dan Pinnington reported on legal blog Slaw last week that calls started coming in from lawyers last month saying they had been targeted by a “bad cheque scam.”

Pinnington said the lawyers “had been retained on a business loan matter in which it appeared the intent was to have them deposit a forged loan proceeds cheque into their trust accounts and then disburse good funds from them.”

An e-blast led to calls from a number of additional lawyers reporting similar concerns. Further e-blasts brought up even more reports of the fraud scheme, which Pinnington said could have led to up to $5.2 million in trust account shortfalls.

He said it’s still unclear if any lawyers were successfully targeted by the scheme.

“We are waiting for the second bank-to-bank verifications to happen, at which point we think at least some lawyers might be getting a call from their bank about shortfalls in their trust accounts,” said Pinnington.
Ottawa personal injury lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth has written a new book that aims to help women guard their legal rights after being injured in car crashes.

“When a woman is injured, very often her rehabilitation and compensation are sidelined by the demands on her time that don’t stop because she is hurting,” said Hollingsworth.

“I see injured women every day in my practice who are struggling to meet their family’s needs in the face of pain and disability. Add the impact of the legal process and insurance claims and it quickly becomes a recipe for disaster.”

The book, Crash Course: A Savvy Woman’s Guide to Ontario Accident Claims, aims to offer important advice to women in plain, engaging language.

Hollingsworth is a founding partner in the law firm of Auger Hollingsworth, and received the Ottawa Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award in 2008.
The book is available at and
Innisfil lawyer Myles Frederick McLellan has been disbarred by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
He was found to have engaged in professional misconduct for “misappropriating a total of approximately $423,500 of trust funds belonging to four sets of clients,” according to the LSUC.

The law society found that “two individuals invested $20,000 in a company in which he had a substantial interest; without him ensuring that their interests were fully protected or ensuring that they obtained independent legal representation.”

It also was determined that he mislead the law society “when he stated that a specified individual was an associate of his firm.”
The Ontario legislature has kept information and privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian on for a third term, and she plans to move forward on her “privacy by design” initiative, a concept that aims to put privacy interests before policy or regulatory measures.

“We need to build in the solutions up front, not after the fact, when privacy breaches occur,” said Cavoukian, in a release.
Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP national tax group partner Chia-yi Chua has been named one of Canada’s top 25 immigrants by Canadian Immigrant Magazine.

Chua came to Canada from Singapore in 1988, days after wrapping up his mandatory military service. After only two years of undergraduate studies at York University, Chua was accepted at Osgoode Hall Law School and admitted to the Ontario bar in 1995.

Chua currently acts as co-chairman of his firm’s diversity committee.
Ogilvy Renault LLP has announced the addition of James Rumball to its business law group, saying his track record of structuring complex and innovative securitized transactions will be a boon for clients.

Rumball has acted for investment banks, asset originators, lenders, borrowers, and credit-rating agencies in the Canadian structure finance market.

“Jim will be a superb addition to the firm,” said Mark Convery, Toronto chairman of Ogilvy’`s business law group.

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