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The Canadian Bar Association

Yves Faguy

Le Pitch 2018

Les finalistes du concours Le Pitch : Digitory Legal

Par Yves Faguy avril 24, 2018 24 avril 2018

 

Dans le cadre d’une série hebdomadaire qui se poursuivra jusqu’au concours Le Pitch 2018, organisé par l’Association du Barreau canadien et Law Made avec la participation de LexisNexis et mettant en lice de jeunes entreprises innovantes dans le domaine du droit, nous avons interviewé nos cinq finalistes, histoire de mieux les connaître. Cette semaine, nous rencontrons Catherine Krow (présentée dans la vidéo ci-dessus), chef de la direction et fondatrice de Digitory Legal, une plateforme d’analyse de coûts et de gestion pour les cabinets juridiques et les services du contentieux d’entreprises.

ABC National : Quelles sont les origines de Digitory Legal?

Catherine Krow : Quand j’étais avocate en litige, je me suis aperçue que cette profession, ce secteur, est en pleine évolution, et que pour connaître du succès, les cabinets juridiques et les services du contentieux doivent changer. J’ai commencé à constater un certain degré de changement avec l’emphase grandissante sur les opérations juridiques et les services d’approvisionnements juridiques, qui sont deux catégories d’emplois qui existaient à peine il y a cinq ans. J’étais convaincue que les cabinets juridiques devaient commencer à examiner les modalités de leur fonctionnement, à adopter de nouvelles technologies et à mettre en œuvre des changements significatifs pour mieux répondre aux besoins d’affaires de leurs clients. J’ai trouvé cela fascinant et j’ai vu une occasion de faire quelque chose de nouveau et de différent, et de mettre moins l’accent sur l’exercice du droit que sur le côté « affaires » du cabinet juridique.

N : Pouvez-vous expliquer ce que fait Digitory Legal.

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Legal marketplace

Another English firm goes public

Par Yves Faguy avril 23, 2018 23 avril 2018

Another English firm goes public

Rosenblatt Solicitors has just announced its intentions to go public. It would be the fourth English law firm to do so since the liberalization of the market for legal services in England and Wales five years ago. The other three are Gately, Keystone and Gordon Dadds.  

According to Rosenblatt chief executive Nicola Foulston, the principal reason is to grow its dispute resolution practice in London and  “to take advantage of the disruption in the UK legal marketplace.”

Matt Byrne at The Lawyer notes that the reasons for going public can vary from one firm to the next, whether it is to attract a different kind of talent or fund growth through acquisitions. And though firms have been shy about making jumping in the fray, we can expect to see more law firm IPOs in the coming months:

Inevitably, there will be speculation about which firm will next go public. Personal injury giant Irwin Mitchell has long been seen as a candidate, while brand-savvy Mishcon de Reya is said in some circles to have at least considered an IPO last year. Highly profitable litigation boutique Stewarts could also make sense.

What is notable with the trio of deals so far in the UK is that the firms have different reasons for going public, highlighting the fact that each is a different type of firm. And while Gateley, which floated in 2015, is at the more traditional end of the market (IPO notwithstanding), the latter two deals underline the extent to which the market is reshaping. Indeed, it is the shape of the new breed of firms that might offer clues as to where the next IPO will come from.

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Trade

Ratifying new NAFTA may not be be so easy

Par Yves Faguy avril 20, 2018 20 avril 2018

Ratifying new NAFTA may not be be so easy

Progress is being made, reportedly, on the renegotiation of NAFTA, as trade representatives appear to be closing in on a deal on new auto rules of origin.

But here's something to worry about. Anna Palmer at Politico reports on growing doubts in Washington about Congress’ ability to ratify a new NAFTA deal in an midterm election year:

The Trump administration has done absolutely nothing to prepare the Hill for a bruising trade vote in the middle of an election year, according to key aides involved. GOP leadership is well aware of the void. When the Trans-Pacific Partnership cleared the Capitol, it benefited from a multi-year, multi-million dollar lobbying campaign.

One possible tactic apparently under consideration is to apply pressure by withdrawing from the current  agreement before a new deal is finalized:

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is said to have advocated for such an approach, according to current and former administration officials.

The strategy, which has been under consideration for months, figures that Congress may not act on the new agreement, preferring the status quo instead.

[…]

“As someone who counts votes that would not be a totally shocking scenario,” said one source who has advised Lighthizer on NAFTA. “If you actually want to get the vote done and you want to pass the damn agreement then you need to create the scenario of either nothing or something different.”

What could possibly go wrong?

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Interprovincial trade

Supreme Court upholds provincial liquor law

Par Yves Faguy avril 19, 2018 19 avril 2018

Supreme Court upholds provincial liquor law

Canada’s Constitution does not guarantee interprovincial free trade, at least not how the term is broadly understood. That’s the key takeaway from the Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision today in R. v. Comeau – commonly referred to as the free-the-beer case.

The case involved a constitutional challenge brought by Gerard Comeau, who had been arrested and fined for bringing beer he purchased in Quebec into New Brunswick, in violation of limits imposed under section 134 of that province’s Liquor Control Act. The trial judge declared the contested provision unconstitutional. In his view that amounted to a trade barrier in violation of section 121 of the Constitution Act, 1867, which stipulates that goods must “be admitted free into each of the other provinces”. The Court of Appeal of New Brunswick dismissed the application for leave to appeal, before the Supreme Court granted leave last year.

How the court decided

“Reading s. 121 to require full economic integration would significantly undermine the shape of Canadian federalism, which is built upon regional diversity within a single nation,” the Court wrote.

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Division of powers

Quebec's stake in Kinder Morgan

Par Yves Faguy avril 18, 2018 18 avril 2018

Quebec's stake in Kinder Morgan

 

Politicians in Quebec have mostly condemned Ottawa's stated intention to assert its constitutional authority to ensure completion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project to carry Alberta oil to the west coast. But reality has a way of catching up, as it has now been disclosed that La Caisse de dépôt et de placement, the province’s pension fun manager, has shares worth $174 million in Kinder Morgan Canada. Bloomberg:

The disclosure is another twist in a saga that has Alberta’s .provincial government threatening to impose an oil embargo on neighboring British Columbia, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attempting to mediate by launching talks to potentially support the company financially. A halt to energy shipments would have ripple effects across North America’s west coast.

Leery of federal overreach, Quebec’s government had essentially sided with British Columbia -- the birthplace of Greenpeace -- in its fight against Trudeau’s attempt to flex jurisdictional muscle and ensure the pipeline’s construction. Now the pension fund manager’s disclosure reveals Quebeckers have a direct stake in its completion.

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