The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Ann Macaulay

Competition law

Firming up Canada’s stance on immunity and leniency

By Ann Macaulay September 10, 2018 10 September 2018

Firming up Canada’s stance on immunity and leniency


Many Canadians were outraged after Loblaw Companies Ltd. and its parent company George Weston Ltd. secured immunity from prosecution last year by coming forward and cooperating in an alleged bread price-fixing scheme. The fact that immunity was granted reinforced a widely held opinion that the federal government is soft on white-collar crime and corruption.

In fact, the feds have in fact been taking a closer look at white-collar crime in general, both domestically and internationally. The government introduced Bill C-74 in March, which would create deferred prosecution agreements in Canada, following a trend similar to legislation in other global jurisdictions.

Although formal immunity or leniency programs exist within the competition law area to promote the detection, self-reporting and prosecution of non-cooperating offenders, “in areas such as anti-corruption, the government is grappling with issues in terms of detection and enforcement,” says Huy Do of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP in Toronto.

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Profile

Vivene Salmon: Leading into the future

By Ann Macaulay August 14, 2018 14 August 2018

Vivene Salmon: Leading into the future

 

As winds of change blow across the legal landscape, wide-ranging issues continue to make a major impact on the practice of law, including technology, mental health, diversity and access to justice, says Vivene Salmon, incoming Vice-President of the Canadian Bar Association for 2018‒2019. “I think the legal profession has changed drastically over the past couple of years,” she says, and in response, the CBA must change as well.

Salmon hopes to inspire other lawyers to become involved with the CBA and have their voices heard. “I would like Canadian lawyers to renew their relationship with the CBA - to see the CBA as their legal home base, where they can connect with other lawyers across the country and engage in cutting edge professional development for the 21st century.” 

Access to justice is one big issue facing the legal profession, Salmon says. “I think the CBA has and can do a lot of work in that regard.” As well, she believes it’s important for legal practitioners to prepare for the changes technology continues to bring to the profession and says it will be increasingly important for lawyers to innovate in their practices and use technology more efficiently.

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Practice hub

How government works

By Ann Macaulay June 18, 2018 18 June 2018

How government works

 

The Diners

The former government lawyer: Before joining Miller Thomson as a partner, John Grant was Crown counsel for 15 years. He has also been a tax litigation expert with Canada’s Department of Justice.

The in-house counsel: Eryn Fanjoy is an associate practising in Stikeman Elliott’s Tax Group.

Tax litigators in private practice often assume the government is all-knowing and all-powerful, with “a massive amount of resources and manpower to throw at litigation,” says John Grant, a former Department of Justice (DOJ) litigator. But that’s simply not true. “Often, the government is the litigation side that’s outmanned.”

Now in private practice at Miller Thomson in Toronto, Grant is sharing his insights with second-year Stikeman Elliott tax associate Eryn Fanjoy, passing along what he learned over the course of more than 15 years at the DOJ.

Over a lunch of black cod at the very busy Drake One Fifty in Toronto’s business core, Grant recalls that courtroom experience plus the opportunity to represent Canada on matters of national scope greatly appealed to him after he graduated from law school. “You’re immediately on your feet” at the DOJ, he says, unlike private practice. “There’s no better training ground than the government.” During his time in government, John worked on hundreds of files, including about 100 reported decisions.

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Environment

Climate change compliance in a time of uncertainty

By Ann Macaulay May 30, 2018 30 May 2018

Climate change compliance in a time of uncertainty

 

This is a time of uncertainty in the Canadian climate-change compliance area, say lawyers who practise in Alberta’s energy sector.

The federal government adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in December 2017 in order to meet its commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement to set national targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It then released the draft Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act for public comment in January this year. The Act will help to clarify what’s expected of businesses. It proposes a federal carbon-pricing system, including a levy on fossil fuels and an output-based pricing system for industrial facilities.

“The uncertainty of which provinces and territories will be subject to the new Act will last until this fall,” says Cairns Price, Senior Legal Counsel at MEG Energy Corp. in Calgary. The proposed federal legislation, expected to become law this fall, will be implemented in whole or in part next January in any province that does not have a carbon pricing system that meets the federal standard. 

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The practice

Firm foundations: A look at best hiring practices

By Ann Macaulay April 27, 2018 27 April 2018

Firm foundations: A look at best hiring practices

 

Building a strong law firm is an ongoing challenge—not only when it comes to hiring the best people but, more importantly, keeping them. Fortunately, hiring experts say there’s plenty that can be done to cultivate a winning team.

The legal market “is showing confidence by hiring new lawyers,” says Christopher Sweeney, CEO of ZSA in Toronto, though he adds that firms are still being cautious in their hiring of both lawyers and support staff. Hiring activity this year should remain steady, according to The Robert Half 2018 Salary Guide for Legal Professionals, as “attrition rates at law firms and corporate legal departments continue to rise.”

There is a strong demand for professionals with backgrounds in high-growth specialty areas and more than three years of experience. There is also rising demand for tech-savvy support staff, as law firms hire paralegals to help meet the need to provide quality services at lower billing rates.

Behavioural interviewing is a growing trend that is useful for law firms that want to ensure they’re attracting and hiring the right people, says Warren Smith, Managing Partner at The Counsel Network in Vancouver.

Building a strong law firm is an ongoing challenge—not only when it comes to hiring the best people but, more importantly, keeping them. Fortunately, hiring experts say there’s plenty that can be done to cultivate a winning team.

The legal market “is showing confidence by hiring new lawyers,” says Christopher Sweeney, CEO of ZSA in Toronto, though he adds that firms are still being cautious in their hiring of both lawyers and support staff. Hiring activity this year should remain steady, according to The Robert Half 2018 Salary Guide for Legal Professionals, as “attrition rates at law firms and corporate legal departments continue to rise.”

There is a strong demand for professionals with backgrounds in high-growth specialty areas and more than three years of experience. There is also rising demand for tech-savvy support staff, as law firms hire paralegals to help meet the need to provide quality services at lower billing rates.

Behavioural interviewing is a growing trend that is useful for law firms that want to ensure they’re attracting and hiring the right people, says Warren Smith, Managing Partner at The Counsel Network in Vancouver.

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