Month: April 2012

Lawyers retain each other for quick advice

Lawyers at large firms often talk about how nice it is to walk down the hall and have a quick chat with one of their colleagues about a case. If you are a corporate lawyer, you can get a snapshot from one your firm’s employment lawyers about an employment law question, or ask someone in

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Big Suits: SCC Refuses Leave to Appeal in Smith v. Inco

Some are surprised at the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to dismiss leave to appeal in Ellen Smith v. Inco Limited on Thursday morning. Others not so much. The case involved a plaintiff class of homeowners in Port Colborne who alleged that Inco’s refinery contaminated the soil with high levels of nickel and that it devalued their property. The

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UK Lawyer Loses Case on Forced Retirement

The Independent is reporting on a landmark UK Supreme Court ruling that has dismissed the appeal of Leslie Seldon, a partner who challenged London law firm Clarkson Wright & Jakes’ policy of mandatory retirement at age 65. While the court denied Seldon’s appeal, it remitted his case back to the Employment Tribunal “to consider whether

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Olympian and lawyer

Olympian and lawyer Andrea St. Bernard who lives in Canada and practises law at McMillan LLP in Toronto, will compete in Taekwando for Grenada at the 2012 Olympics in London, England.

A touch of Downton

There is a gentler, more verdant place it would seem, where citizens “protect, increase, enhance and champion the common land, village greens, open spaces and public rights of way in England and Wales, and the public’s right to enjoy them.” The Open Spaces Society, headquartered in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, champions this gentler place. It recently

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Wal-Mart’s Mexican Troubles

Different countries seem to bring different legal problems unto mega-retailer, Wal-Mart. In Canada, these included unionization challenges. In the U.S., Wal-Mart fended of class action allegations of gender discrimination that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. And now, it faces allegations of bribery in Mexico. Thomson Reuters reported that Wal-Mart Stores Inc lost $10 billion

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Will Ottawa really be able to speed up the environmental review process?

There was a flurry of discussion this week in the resource and environmental communities after the federal government announced that it would streamline the environmental assessment process with a goal to help improve timelines for the approval of resource projects. Reaction to the government’s announcement from the energy and mining industries was fairly positive, while environmental

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Big Suits: SCC Releases Private International Law Decisions

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Canada released its long-awaited decision in Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda, and the companion decisions Éditions Écosociété Inc. v. Banro Corp. and Breeden v. Black. The Van Breda decision reformulates the “real and substantial connection” test, establishing a framework for the analysis of jurisdiction issues in civil cases, explains Ira Nishisato, who leads the national commercial

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Pay Day: In-house up, associates way up, Citigroup CEO way down

By total coincidence today I stumbled upon three legal stories pertaining to compensation: for executives, in-house counsel and associates. The first is arguably more of a corporate governance story, but still highly significant to the legal community. In what is perhaps the highest-profile example to date of “say on pay” revolt, Reuters is reporting that shareholders

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Tax lawyers, take note: the income trust is back

There was a fascinating article last weekend by The Globe and Mail‘s David Parkinson about foreign asset income trusts (FAITs). If you haven’t heard of these yet, don’t feel bad; they haven’t gotten much coverage in Canada, despite their potential to fill the enormous void created when, in October 2006, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty put

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