Monday, November 26, 2012

The partners at Heenan Blaikie LLP have elected Kip Daechsel as national co-managing partner of the firm.

Daechsel has been practising corporate and commercial law at the firm for the past 22 years with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, financial services, and the regulation of financial institutions. He takes the position on Jan. 1, 2013, as he succeeds Norman Bacal in the role. Bacal has held the position for more than 15 years.

“I am very pleased with this appointment,” said firm chairman and founding partner Roy Heenan. “Kip has gained the confidence of his colleagues through not only his contribution to the firm during his career but in the way he is valued by his clients as trusted counsel for their business and legal initiatives.”

The other national co-managing partner at Heenan Blaikie is Robert Bonhomme, who has been in the position since January.


Loopstra Nixon LLP has announced its affiliation with LawExchange International, a global network of international law firms.

The move completes LawExchange International’s goal of expanding into the Toronto market. Also joining is Phillips Lytle LLP of Buffalo, another area where the network was looking to grow its presence. With the two new firms joining, the network will include more than 1,500 lawyers practising at 26 affiliated law firms in 23 countries around the world.

“The ability to call upon the U.S. legal expertise and reputation of Phillips Lytle continues to be a great resource for our clients and, with the joint move to LEI, is an important part of our near-term growth strategy,” said Loopstra Nixon senior partner Sandy Nixon.

“Clients are realizing that global expansion does not necessarily mean moving their legal work to a giant global firm,” said Allan Ritchie, also a partner at Loopstra Nixon. “Networks such as LEI enable clients to control costs and enjoy concierge service, both of which are hallmarks of successful mid-sized firms.”

Both firms become affiliates of the network on Jan. 1, 2013. They’ll also leave the Cicero League of International Law Firms they had already been part of.

The final component of Bill C-10 has come into force.

Last week, the government noted the provisions eliminating house arrest for certain offences was now in force.

They involve amendments to the Criminal Code under the Safe Streets and Communities Act that expand the list of circumstances in which a conditional sentence isn’t available. For example, a conditional sentence will no longer be an option for any offence for which the law prescribes a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.

A number of changes have taken effect at Legal Aid Ontario.

According to LAO, new discretion guidelines will be effective on accounts submitted after Nov. 26. At the same time, the case management program for costly family and criminal law proceedings will be effective on eligible certificates issued on or after that same day. In addition, tariff pre-authorizations will be effective on certificates issued on or after Nov. 26 for summary conviction trials and child protection status reviews.

LAO is holding training sessions on the changes from Nov. 21 to Jan. 31.

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

As the articling issue heated up last week, many respondents made it clear they disagreed with a recommendation by the minority on the Law Society of Upper Canada’s articling task force to abolish articling altogether. Sixty-five per cent of respondents said the minority hadn’t gotten it right. In previous polls, respondents also expressed their displeasure with the task force majority’s call for a law practice program as an alternative to articling.

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