The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association
Litigation

Settlement Counsel: an innovative strategy for managing commercial litigation files

By Mariane Gravelle January 3, 2018 3 January 2018

Settlement Counsel: an innovative strategy for managing commercial litigation files

 

In her recent Canadian Bar Review article, Michaela Keet discusses the use of Settlement Counsel (SC) in commercial litigation. While this method has known a measure of success, it is still quite unknown in Canada and the U.S. There is also very little academic literature about it.

Keet defines Settlement Counsel as “a negotiation structure that separates litigation and settlement roles – allowing for the simultaneous advancement of litigation and negotiation on parallel tracks, by different lawyers”:

Since most cases settle before trial, how they settle must be examined closely to explain the pockets of sudden and passionate interest in SC. Proponents of the model point out that litigation settlements typically occur after the investment of significant resources in the management of pre-trial litigation, without full and thoughtful exploration of client needs. They argue that SC files settle sooner with lower legal and internal business costs, even in consideration of SC fees. Proponents of the model also claim that the quality of SC outcomes are superior to litigation outcomes. Practitioners employ techniques to get earlier, relationship-oriented settlements in a commercial world where relationships are increasingly valued.

Read More
CBA influence

CBA submission: Lawyers, not immigration consultants, should represent newcomers

By Kim Covert January 3, 2018 3 January 2018

 

The CBA’s Immigration Law Section has said it quite a few times over the past several years, and said it again in a December letter to the Immigration Minister: lawyers are best placed to offer professional representation for newcomers to Canada.

The Section’s latest letter is a response to the government’s response to the Citizenship and Immigration Committee Report Starting Again: Improving Government Oversight of Immigration Consultants.

The Section applauds the government’s commitment to addressing the need to protect the public from unprofessional or unethical immigration consultants.

Read More
CBA influence

How tricky is consent? Let us count the ways

By Kim Covert January 2, 2018 2 January 2018

 

Consent is a weighted word these days, and people in many sectors are trying to decide when it’s necessary, how it must be given and how it can be recognized.

Sometimes the question of whether consent was granted can be explained using the simple metaphor of a cup of tea: does the other person want tea? Yes or no?

When it comes to the gathering and sharing of personal information for business purposes, however, the question of consent becomes a lot more complex.

Read More
Justice

Ottawa's justice agenda in 2018

By Justin Ling January 2, 2018 2 January 2018

Ottawa's justice agenda in 2018

 

Well into the second half of its mandate, the Trudeau government has a lot of work left to do.

Ottawa’s mandate letter tracker, an attempt by the government to grade its own success on the commitments it made after coming into office, reports that it has followed through on just three justice-related files: Adding gender identity as a protected grounds under the federal Human Rights Act and Criminal Code, coming up with a  legislative response to the Carter v. Canada ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding physician-assisted dying, and ensuring an appointment process for Supreme Court Justices that is “transparent, inclusive and accountable to Canadians.” (Some lawyers would question whether that third point is really a victory for the government.)

As for the rest of the justice file, the government has its work cut out for it when Parliament returns in late January, and will need to put a rush on if it wants to finish up its priorities before the next election.

Here’s a quick rundown of some items to watch for in 2018.

Read More
The Supreme Court

Gowling WLG's Lynne Watt on what to expect from the SCC in 2018

By Yves Faguy December 22, 2017 22 December 2017

 

Next year the Supreme Court of Canada will hand down its rulings in a number of closely watched cases, namely Williams Lake Indian Band, Deloitte & Touche v.Livent Inc., TWU  and the Comeau ”free the beer” case. We recently sat down with Lynne Watt, a partner in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office and leader of the firm’s Supreme Court of Canada Services Group. In the above video, Watt gives us a preview of what to look out for in the coming year at the SCC.  She also shares her insight on the new composition of the court.

 

Read More
Legal marketplace

Looking to 2018: Jordan Furlong gives us his predictions on the legal market

By Yves Faguy December 21, 2017 21 December 2017

 

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to take a peak at what 2018 might have in store for the legal market in Canada. In our annual year-end interview, legal market analyst (and former editor-in-chief of this magazine) Jordan Furlong shares his insight on changes to the regulatory landscape in this country, the challenges law firms face in modernizing their business, and why it’s important to keep an eye on the Big Four accounting firms moving into the legal space in North America.  He also offers up one big prediction, so tune in until the end.

Read More
CBA Futures

Legal futures round-up

By Yves Faguy December 21, 2017 21 December 2017

Legal futures round-up

 

Time for a last round-up in 2017 of trends and developments that highlight innovation in the legal industry.

Let’s start with a shout out to Aird & Berlis who is partnering with legal tech company Diligen to develop AI-based products in its M&A and real estate practices.

Another Toronto legal tech outfit, Loom Analytics, is offering a legal analytics tool for settled matters that don’t have public court record.

Dentons Canada has announced that it is joining the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC), whose mandate is to adopt policies that promote a universal, blockchain-based technology infrastructure for law.

Global law firm Clyde & Co has launched an in house data analytics lab that will be composed of legal, data science and strategy staff, and students from University College London’s computer science department. The initiative was launched with a view to accelerating the firm’s development of new products and services.

London-based multinational firm Clifford Chance is launching a new technology group – “not a designated practice area” – emulating the Big Four accounting firms aimed at addressing issues raised by new technology in IP, fintech and antitrust.

LegalWorks Nordic and Axiom have entered into a strategic collaboration to service customers in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

Read More
Year in review

Our top 10 articles in 2017

By CBA/ABC National December 20, 2017 20 December 2017

Our top 10 articles in 2017

 

2017 was a year of (albeit slow) advances.  The Transgender Rights bill is finally law.  There are skeptics, no doubt, but hopefully Canada will make further progress in upholding Indigenous rights not that it has decided to implement UNDRIP. And the #MeToo Movement gave women worldwide a voice. Meanwhile, the judicial system in this country felt the true weight of the SCC’s Jordan ruling. Canada said goodbye to its longest serving Chief Justice, and welcomed a new one. As the Trump administration tried to tighten legal immigration, Canada sought to make its policies less restrictive. Canada’s free-trade deal with Europe is now provisionally in force, while efforts to save NAFTA are still under way. On the business front, everyone talking about AI suddenly got distracted by blockchain. And on the regulatory side, the Law Society of Upper Canada finally decided to change its name, and then created controversy over diversity in the profession. 

Here are the articles in 2017 that caught our readers’ attention.

Read More
Competition law

Competition Bureau takes baby steps on its Big Data learning curve

By Doug Beazley December 20, 2017 20 December 2017

Competition Bureau takes baby steps on its Big Data learning curve

 

Every conversation about competition law and big data seems to start with Google.

The internet behemoth’s parent company took in $78.65 billion over the past three quarters as its stock hit all-time highs. So it probably didn’t break a sweat when the European Union slapped it with a record US$2.7 billion antitrust fine in June — punishment for abusing its dominance of the search engine market by placing its own shopping services above those of competitors on its web search queues.

In the U.S., Missouri recently signalled what could be the start of an antitrust push against Google with an investigation into whether the company has manipulated search results to frustrate competition. And Canada? In April 2016, the Competition Bureau wrapped up an abuse-of-dominance investigation of Google with a report that largely absolved the company of misdeeds (although it did get Google to suspend the use of anti-competitive clauses in its advertising terms and conditions for five years).

Read More
Corporate criminal liability

Addressing corporate wrongdoing

By Ann Macaulay December 19, 2017 19 December 2017

Addressing corporate wrongdoing

 

The federal government’s plan to enhance the Integrity Regime for corporations, including the possible introduction of deferred prosecution agreements, is being welcomed by lawyers in the field.

The existing rules were designed to help the government conduct business with ethical companies and give suppliers an incentive to maintain strong ethical standards and effective compliance frameworks. A conviction can have disastrous results for a company that wants to do business with government.

Competition lawyer John Bodrug of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto says the proposed changes appear to be “a response to business and industry concerns about the very severe consequences for companies that rely heavily on government contracts, who are subjected to debarment under the Integrity Regime.” 

Read More
CBA influence

Competition Bureau initiates discussion on Big Data

By Kim Covert December 18, 2017 18 December 2017

 

Google. Facebook. Twitter. The Internet itself. Twenty years ago most of these things were barely more than glints in their creators’ eyes (the internet was still the information superhighway 20 years ago), now they’re ubiquitous resources that most people can’t live without.

And while access to basic services is nominally free, they all come with a price – users are both clients and product. For every online action someone, somewhere, has made a record, and more often than not sold at least part of that information on as part of a comprehensive business model. Bring together information of high volume, velocity and variety, use technology and analysis to transform its value, and you’ve got Big Data.

Read More
Beverley McLachlin

Reflecting on the legacy of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin

By CBA Presidents/Présidents et Présidentes de l'ABC December 15, 2017 15 December 2017

Reflecting on the legacy of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin

 

On December 15, after 28 years on our highest court and some 37 years as a judge, Beverley McLachlin will retire as the first woman Chief Justice of Canada and the longest-serving Chief Justice in Canada's history.

She is a magnificent contributor, with an undeniably broad influence on all of our lives, indeed on aspects of living that we now take as essential hallmarks of a just and fair society.

No area of the law is untouched. Our Chief Justice has delivered scores of judgments touching on everything from the finer points of contract law, to criminal law, to constitutional issues, including the interwoven roles of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, and the proper duties of each. Through these decisions, we have come to grips with things as fundamental as the relationship between Canadians, as individuals or as groups, and the State.

Read More

Current Issue

Editor's Picks

Decolonizing the Indian Act

Editor's Picks

Law firm partnership: in name only?

Editor's Picks

Recovery from addiction and reckoning with our common humanity

National TV

  • Thumb

    CBA's intervention in Lloyd v. R

  • Thumb

    Margaret Hagan on the role law schools can play in fostering innovation

  • Thumb

    Melina Buckley on the importance of legal aid benchmarks in Canada

View All Videos

Partners In Your Success