Law Times

November 11, 2013

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ETHICAL APPROACH OTLA drafting guidelines for personal injury field Litigation Support Scan. Code. Load e: ssoil@docudavit.com www.docudavit.com $4.00 • Vol. 24, No. 36 ntitled-2 1 P3 Advice for young criminal lawyers P9 FOCUS ON L aw TIMEs Labour & Employment Law CO V E R I N G O N TA R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W. L AW T I M E S N E W S . CO M ntitled-4 1 13-11-04 4:13 PM P10 November 11, 2013 12-03-20 10:44 A New model touts affiliated boutique firms Javad Heydary seeks expansion through specialized separate entities BY YAMRI TADDESE Law Times J avad Heydary has a theory: the future of law belongs to large international and small boutique firms. So when he sought to expand his law firm a couple of years ago, he decided he didn't want to go with something between those two extremes. That's when he came up with a model called "affiliated boutique firms." Today, the Heydary law firms, besides Heydary Hamilton Professional Corp., include intellectual property practitioners at Heydary Hayes Professional Corp., family lawyers at Heydary Green Professional Corp., a litigation practice at Heydary Elliott Professional Corp., and real estate lawyers at Heydary Samuel Professional Corp. Each firm is legally a separate entity as a professional corporation. Heydary is a shareholder in each of them. To his knowledge, no one else in the legal industry is using this business formula. "The future of law, in my humble opinion, will be those large international law firms and boutique firms," says Heydary. "I don't see a future for smaller full-service firms. The market is shrinking. There's too much competition." To add to the efficiency boutique firms already enjoy, Heydary brought another unique aspect to the model. At each of the Heydary boutique firms, business functions are "fully and completely" outsourced, leaving lawyers to do what he says they do best: practising law. "We have followed closely what has happened in the U.K. and Australia," says Heydary about his research into doing law differently. 'The final model we came up with two years ago is the model of affiliated boutique law firms which source out their business functions,' says Javad Heydary. Photo: Robin Kuniski "The final model we came up with two years ago is the model of affiliated boutique law firms which source out their business functions." The Octagon Law Group Inc., which provides back-office services, takes care of the firms' business functions. Its services include accounting, information technology solutions, marketing, and management consulting. "The single most important business principle that law firms have historically neglected is that specialization leads to efficiency," Octagon declares in its executive summary. The concept is consistent with a new trend in legal innovation that includes bringing the skills of nonlawyers to the table. "The point is there are many functions in a law firm that are better performed by non-lawyers," says Heydary. Michael Cochrane, who joined the Heydary law firms to form Heydary Green in January 2012, says being able to focus on the practice of law instead of worrying about things like printing equipment or marketing has been a great relief. "It certainly does make life easier," he says. "It's just a more efficient way of doing this." Cochrane says he has been following the discussions around Richard Susskind's book, The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services. Like Heydary, he believes boutique firms are more attractive for clients than mid-size or even large law firms. This is especially true in family law, he says, where services have to come with "a personal touch." Mark Hayes, co-director of Heydary Hayes, worked See Business, page 2 Canada ratifies international arbitration treaty Law Times T hanks to an investment dispute resolution treaty ratified by Canada this month, Canadian investors can do business overseas with less risk, according to a leading international arbitration lawyer. After considerable foot-dragging, Canada ratified the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Convention on Nov. 1 as it joined the ranks of other G8 nations with full membership. Canada had signed the convention in 2006. In total, the dispute resolution convention has 150 member states. The convention provides a medium for conciliation of international investment disputes. Instead of going through host countries' local courts, the convention allows for dispute resolution through internationally accepted arbitration provisions. The findings are considered final and enforceable as if the local courts had made them. "The convention provides important means for Canadian investors to reduce their risk of investing abroad because the ICSID system enables Canadian companies to access the binding arbitration that ICSID provides for," says Barry Leon, head of the international arbitration group at Ottawa's Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP. For Canadian companies, it means reassurance they have protection against the sometimescorrupt legal systems in the countries they invest in, says Leon. "If you think of Canadian companies — the mining companies, the forestry companies, the oil and gas companies, the technology companies, and engineering companies — they're doing work in Latin America, African countries, eastern European countries, some of which have judicial systems that aren't independent of the government," he says. "So being in the local courts system can be a disaster for a foreign company, particularly when your claim is against that country. You won't really get a fair and independent hearing." See Cost, page 2 'Even if the court system is a reliable court system, there's always a bit of a nagging concern about being in somebody else's court,' says Barry Leon. PM #40762529 BY YAMRI TADDESE A DAILY BLOG OF CANADIAN LEGAL NEWS [ WWW.CANADIANLAWYERMAG.COM/LEGALFEEDS ] LegalFeeds-BB-LT-Apr23-12.indd 1 POWERED BY CANADIAN LAWYER & LAW TIMES 12-04-16 11:56 AM

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