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Monday, October 29, 2018

Monday, October 29, 2018
Dave Leonard says a $5-million donation to United Way Centraide is to try ‘to make a difference in Canadian society.’


McCarthy Tétrault LLP said it will donate $5 million over five years to United Way Centraide, with “additional investment of firm time” through volunteer and pro bono projects.

The funding aims to support women, members of the LGBTQ community, Indigenous peoples, newcomers and people living with disabilities, the firm said in an announcement.

Chief executive officer and partner Dave Leonard says McCarthy Tétrault is working with United Way on how its donation will make the most impact and will receive reports on how the program is progressing in measurable ways in locations across the country. Leonard also says he expects to be held accountable after all of the publicity on the event.

“The gift is really an external thing — trying to make a difference in Canadian society. We are very privileged. Me, my partners — we have all benefited greatly from this country, from the profession, so this is our way of giving back,” Leonard says.

He says the initiative came out of a strategic planning process with two goals: investing in people and reducing barriers for inclusion. When people look at opportunities within the firm, he says, those aforementioned five groups can encounter barriers.

“Bay Street looks very male, Bay Street looks very white and probably will for a long time. But what we are trying to focus on internally at the firm is breaking that down,” he says.


The proposed law school at Ryerson University is not among the funding cuts announced last week by the Ontario government. Tanya Blazina, spokeswoman for the provincial Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, says in a statement to Law Times that the government has not made any decisions related to Ryerson’s proposed law school at this point.

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Merrilee Fullerton announced that the province would no longer fund several university programs, including York University’s Markham campus, Wilfred Laurier University’s Milton campus and Ryerson University’s Brampton campus.


Miller Thomson LLP partner James Klotz will serve as vice president of the International Bar Association for two years beginning in January 2019. He will be the first Canadian to hold this position in more than 25 years, the firm said in an announcement. The London, England-based organization counts about 200 bar associations and law societies from more than 170 countries as members.


With the legalization of recreational cannabis, lawyers could see more human rights complaints, such as complaints that an employer failed to accommodate cannabis addiction issues. Law Times asked readers if their firm or workplace has a cannabis policy in place. Most answered that they do not.

About 83 per cent said their workplace does not have a clearly stated policy in place, while 17 per cent responded that their workplace has a clearly stated policy regarding cannabis that was circulated before legalization occurred.

Law Times Poll

Experts at a recent Legal Marketing Association panel said with clients expecting more price transparency, law firms need to get better at using data. Is your firm currently collecting consistent data from all its members to measure output?