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Monday, April 19, 2010


The Ontario Court of Appeal has reserved judgment in an appeal of last year’s Superior Court ruling on the partnership dispute between Aird & Berlis LLP and former partner Harold Springer.

The court heard the case on Wednesday. The appeal comes after Springer lost his battle for a bigger bonus following his departure from the firm.

The dispute centred on allegations that he deserved a larger share of partnership units for 2001 and 2002 and that he should have received more money from a withdrawal payment.

Superior Court Justice Frank Newbould dismissed the case last April. In turn, he awarded Aird & Berlis almost $500,000 in costs.

For more on this story, see "Firm wins bonus battle."


Daniel Desjardins has won the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association’s top award.

Desjardins picked up the 2010 Robert V.A. Jones Award for his work at Bombardier Inc., where he heads up a team of 135 lawyers spread across 17 countries around the world.

He was presented with the honour last week in front of delegates at the CCCA’s national spring conference in Montreal. Judges praised his international renown and constant promotion of the profession.

Since joining the Montreal-based transportation giant 12 years ago, Desjardins has taken over responsibility for environmental matters, health and safety, and insurance and risk management in addition to his extensive legal duties.


A ceremony in Ottawa last week marked the appointment of Canada’s newest judge advocate general.

Last Tuesday, dignitaries welcomed Brig.-Gen. Blaise Cathcart to the Canadian Forces posting. He replaces Brig.-Gen. Ken Watkin.

Since his call to the bar in 1989, Cathcart worked briefly in private practice before joining the Forces as a member of the Office of the Judge Advocate General in 1990.

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Gardiner Roberts LLP has been named one of the best workplaces in Canada for the second year in a row.

The Toronto firm was the only law firm to make the list of the 75 best workplaces compiled by the Great Place to Work Institute.

“This acknowledgment confirms our ongoing commitment to our employees and recognizes their dedication and efforts, which have been vital over the course of the last year,” said David Fine, managing partner at Gardiner Roberts.

Contributing to the firm’s success were the Tiffany gift the firm presents to workers on key anniversary dates, an annual company party, generous professional development funding, and a relaxed and professional culture.


The Ontario Bar Association has announced that Thomas McGrenere and Kristopher Knutsen will receive its 2010 Award for Excellence in Insurance Law.

For the first time, the awards, now in their fifth year, will be presented at separate dinners in the hometowns of each lawyer.

McGrenere, a mediator and arbitrator with ADR Chambers, will get his award on April 27 in Toronto. He spent more than 30 years acting as counsel for major investment brokerage firms.

Knutsen will be honoured on May 19 in Thunder Bay, Ont. He has extensive experience in the personal injury field and represented victims of the 1989 Dryden, Ont., air crash, a case that resulted in major aviation-safety changes in Canada.

“Thomas McGrenere and Kristopher Knutsen practise at different ends of the province but both have reached the top of our profession. We are looking forward to paying tribute to their careers at our upcoming award dinners in Toronto and Thunder Bay,” said John Aikins, chairman of the OBA’s insurance law section.


The Ontario Justice Education Network has awarded its inaugural Lennox Award for Innovation in Justice Education to Susheel Gupta, a lawyer from Ottawa.

Brian Lennox, the former chief justice of the Ontario Court of Justice for whom the award is named, was on hand to present the honour last week as part of the OJEN’s Law Day celebrations at the Ottawa courthouse.

Gupta was singled out for his enthusiastic commitment to promoting justice education to young children.

He played an active role in organizing Law Day events and helped with the OJEN’s summer law institutes.

“He has dedicated a lot of his personal time to educating the public on various areas of our justice system and takes pride in encouraging people to get involved and be proud of the Canadian legal system,” said Kevin Phillips, who nominated Gupta for the award.

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