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Monday, April 8, 2013


Despite the departure recently of 13 lawyers from its mining group in Toronto, Dentons’ head in Canada says he doesn’t expect to see more people looking to leave.

“We don’t anticipate further departures but we developed as part of our strategic review and analysis of the opportunity the possibility of these kinds of changes,” says Chris Pinnington, chief executive officer of Dentons in Canada.

“Notwithstanding the departure of our colleagues in Toronto, we continue to have a very robust mining practice across our offices in Canada and marrying it with the depth of expertise in other regions, we do continue to offer our clients a compelling proposition and afford potential recruits an interesting opportunity in building the new Dentons.”

Formed by the combination of international law firm Salans LLP, Canada’s Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, and SNR Denton, Dentons officially launched on April 2. The firm now consists of 2,500 lawyers and professionals at 79 locations in 52 countries.


The Durham Regional Police Service has charged a disbarred lawyer with fraud over allegations he continued to practise law and represent clients.

Police say they arrested Howard William Cohen after a “thorough investigation” that began in November 2012. According to Durham police, Cohen presented himself as counsel in criminal courts in Durham region and around the Greater Toronto Area.

The Law Society of Upper Canada had disbarred Cohen in 1996, police noted. “The investigation revealed the accused represented himself as counsel, in good standing, during two separate criminal court proceedings in November 2011 and November 2012.”

The 65-year-old Toronto man is facing charges of attempt to obstruct justice and fraud over $5,000.

“Investigators wish to ensure there are no other victims who may have previously retained the accused as counsel or may be involved in current judicial proceedings with the accused,” police said in a press release last week.


Legal Aid Ontario has increased the hourly rate it pays lawyers who represent clients.

The pay hike, which also applies to block fees, follows a January 2010 memorandum of understanding signed by LAO, the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, and the Ministry of the Attorney General.

The fee hike will see lawyers handling complex criminal cases everywhere except northern Ontario receive $141.75 an hour. The amount represents an increase of $6.75 per hour. Northern Ontario lawyers working on complex criminal cases will receive $155.93 an hour, up from $148.50.

The new tariffs are effective as of April 1.


Kevin Dunsmuir, one of the victims of a deadly East Gwillimbury, Ont., fire, was a brave and professional lawyer, according to a Toronto litigator who knew him.

Dunsmuir, his wife, and two sons died in the blaze waiting for help that never came on the morning of March 29.

Dunsmuir practised law in Newmarket, Ont., at Dunsmuir Advocates. His practice included significant work in family mediation. “He was a decent, straightforward and competent professional,” Toronto lawyer James Morton wrote in a blog entry about Dunsmuir.

“Someone you could talk to by phone and who always focused on substance, not the nonsense litigation tends to attract.” Dunsmuir was “brave as well as professional,” added Morton, who called his death a tragic loss.

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