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Monday, October 5, 2015


Legal Aid Ontario’s Nye Thomas is the next executive director of the Law Commission of Ontario.

Thomas, whose most recent role at LAO was as director general of policy and strategic research, will join the commission on Oct. 19 as current executive director Patricia Hughes prepares to leave the role on Dec. 14. “I am confident that under Nye’s leadership, the commission will continue to maintain the highest standards in legal research and law reform initiatives,” said commission chairman Bruce Elman in announcing Thomas’ new role.


Allen & Overy LLP is closing its Canadian representative office in Toronto.

The move comes as François Duquette, the firm’s partner in Canada, is leaving for a position at the Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec.

“I can also confirm that we will be closing our representative office in Canada as a result and will revert to how we used to manage our Canadian client relationships on a fly-in-fly-out basis,” said Campbell McIlroy, the firm’s head of public relations.


Lawyers’ base insurance premium will remain at $3,350 for the sixth consecutive year, LawPRO has announced.

Last month, Convocation approved LawPRO’s 2016 insurance program for the Ontario bar. Besides the premium freeze, other changes include reducing the real estate practice coverage option by $150. As a result, the premium will fall to $100 from $250.


The Ontario government has appointed Nathalie Champagne to serve as a Superior Court case-management master in Ottawa.

A lawyer called to the bar in 1992, Champagne most recently worked as Legal Aid Ontario’s director general for the eastern district. Her work included managing criminal and family law cases and conducting mediations and settlement conferences in family and child protection matters.

Champagne’s appointment is effective Oct. 7.


The results of the latest Law Times poll are in.

The federal election campaign is in full swing, but it seems lawyers don’t think the federal parties are offering much when it comes to addressing important legal issues. According to the poll, 98 per cent of respondents believe the parties aren’t talking about justice issues or are engaging in platitudes. In fact, just one participant felt there had been a lot of discussion so far.

The poll comes as Canadians prepare to vote in the Oct. 19 election. For more on what the parties have and haven’t been saying about legal issues, see “Justice policy flying under the radar in election campaign” on page 7 of this week’s Law Times.


Statistics Canada has released new figures on cases completed in Canadian adult and youth courts in 2013-14.

According to the figures, the roughly 360,000 cases completed in adult criminal courts represented a seven-per-cent decline from the previous year. “This was the lowest number of completed cases in adult criminal court in a decade,” Statistics Canada said in releasing the numbers.

The story was similar in youth court. The roughly 40,000 completed cases represented a 12-per-cent decrease. “This was the lowest number of completed cases in youth courts since these data were first collected more than two decades ago,” the federal agency said.

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Law Times Poll

The Law Society of Ontario is in the midst of a major overhaul of the role of paralegals in family law — and a proposal on the issue could become an imminent issue for the regulator’s newly elected benchers. Do you agree with widening the scope of family law matters that paralegals can address?