Monday, November 9, 2009

The Law Society of Upper Canada has approved its 2010 budget providing for a $33 increase to the annual fee for both lawyers and paralegals.

Next year, lawyers will pay an annual fee of $1,736, while paralegals will pay $933. The proposed fee increase, as well as growth in the number of lawyers and paralegals, will increase total fee revenue by $2.5 million, according to the law society.

The LSUC has also allocated an additional $1.3 million to support expanded spot-audit and practice-review programs next year as well as an added $623,000 for the professional regulation lawyer budget due to increases in the volume and complexity of complaints.

The secretariat of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Academy of Environmental Law has received an anonymous donation of $1 million to be matched by the University of Ottawa.

The $2 million in funding will support the operating expenses of the secretariat along with the advancement of capacity building in environmental law teaching and research at the IUCN Academy’s member institutions in developing countries.

It will also fund an annual $15,000 scholarship available to graduate students doing work in the field of environmental law or policy.
Siskinds LLP reports that the parties to the CP Ships securities class action have entered into an agreement to settle the claims of class members.

The agreement, subject to court approval in Ontario and Quebec, provides for a gross settlement fund of $12.8 million for Canadian citizens and residents who purchased securities of CP Ships Ltd. between Jan. 29, 2003, and Aug. 9, 2004.

The plaintiffs in the class actions alleged that CP Ships and certain officers and directors misrepresented the financial results of the company over a period of nine consecutive quarters and thereby caused market prices for the company’s securities to inflate.

Claims in a parallel class action in the United States were settled for US$1.3 million following a dismissal of the action by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

American firm Legal Advantage LLC is adding a Toronto office to its Canadian operations.

“Canadian demand for Legal Advantage’s intellectual property services continues to increase,” said Mirza Baig, CEO of Legal Advantage.

“A presence in Toronto will allow Legal Advantage to provide a higher and more personalized level of service for clients in the Toronto metropolitan region and Canada as a whole.”

The firm, which is focused on intellectual property law, has operated in Ottawa for five years. It’s headquartered in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Md., and has offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Hyderabad, India.

The Association of Corporate Counsel recently presented its 2009 Excellence in Corporate Practice award to David Allgood, executive vice president and general counsel for the Royal Bank of Canada, during its annual meeting in Boston. 

Established in 1996, the award recognizes an outstanding in-house lawyer who has made significant business and legal contributions in areas such as legal advocacy and counselling, service to the legal profession, law department management, and cost-control processes.

Allgood joined the Royal Bank in August 1998. He became executive vice president and general counsel in June 2000.

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