Monday, November 21, 2011

Toronto lawyer David Robert Conway has successfully appealed his disbarment by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Conway, representing himself in the appeal, lost his licence in May following findings that he had practised law while suspended between 2007 and 2009. The findings involved three separate cases of continuing to practise law while suspended.

But on Nov. 9, a panel allowed Conway’s appeal and set aside and dismissed the findings of misconduct. It also set aside a $5,000 costs award against him.

Bennett Jones LLP has been named one of Canada’s top 50 employers for the 10th year in a row.

The firm received the honour after scoring high marks from employees and leaders in the best employers in Canada survey issued by Aon Hewitt.

Bennett Jones ranked fifth on the best employer list for 2012. It’s the sixth consecutive year the firm has been in the top 10.

“This year marks a real milestone for Bennett Jones as it is our 10th consecutive year as a top 50 employer,” said Hugh MacKinnon, chairman and CEO of Bennett Jones. “Our ranking is a testament to the exceptional commitment of our people to both our clients and to each other.”

The list ranked organizations based on confidential surveys of more than 134,000 employees.
“Those organizations ranked highest on the list have employee engagement of close to 90 per cent,” said Neil Crawford, Aon Hewitt’s leader of the study.

“That’s an impressive accomplishment, particularly now when many parts of the Canadian economy are showing signs of recovery and employee attraction and retention is becoming more challenging.”

Former Jean Coutu Group Inc. vice president for legal affairs Jean Gagnon has moved to Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP to join the firm’s franchise and distribution team in Montreal.

In his new position, Gagnon will serve as counsel and strategic adviser to the firm’s commercial law group.

“We are thrilled to have a lawyer of Jean’s calibre join the firm,” said Claude Morency, managing partner of FMC’s Montreal office.

“The firm’s franchise and distribution law group is an industry leader in Quebec, and Jean’s arrival will strengthen our team’s dominant position while enhancing our excellent reputation.”

Gagnon has worked as a lawyer for more than 35 years in both private practice and the corporate sector. He has also worked as a negotiator, mediator, and commercial arbitrator.

“His broad experience and highly specialized abilities have led him to touch on every aspect of the management and development of franchise systems and to play a key role in numerous complex transactions,” said Stéphane Teasdale, head of FMC’s national franchise and distribution law section.

“With Jean aboard, FMC will maintain its leadership position in franchise law in Quebec and will strengthen its presence in the franchise market in Quebec and other parts of Canada.”

Gagnon is also one of the founders of the Quebec Franchise Council, where he has served as a director, chairman, and governor.

Byron Loeppky has joined Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s mergers-and-acquisitions practice group in Toronto.

In his new position, Loeppky will work as a partner focusing primarily on private company financing and mergers and acquisitions.

“We are pleased to welcome Byron to Fasken Martineau,” said Martin Denyes, the firm’s managing partner for the Ontario region.

“Our M&A practice group is composed of outstanding lawyers and Byron adds value to the practice. We know that our valued clients will benefit from Byron’s insights and expertise.”

Loeppky previously served as a policy adviser to the minister of finance and completed private equity and mergers-and-acquisitions transactions totalling more than $1.5 billion during the last 15 years.

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