Law Times

April 27, 2015

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 19

LSUC AGM motion seeks to force articling jobs on firms By Glenn Kauth Law Times ith the debate over the Law Practice Program in the news again, a group of lawyers are putting forward a mo- tion at the Law Society of Upper Canada's upcoming annual general meeting to force law firms with eight or more lawyers to take an articling student chosen at random. The motion, put forward by 15 lawyers, will be on the agenda at the May 13 meeting. Citing attempts to address the shortcomings of the ar- ticling system that "have created new problems" and noting the stress and rivalries of the current arrangement that they say interferes with the law school experience, the lawyers are proposing an alternative where the law society "places each qualified law student into an articling posi- tion by random selection." A firm of eight or more lawyers would have to "accept and provide articles of clerkship to those law students it is assigned," according to the motion. While she has doubts about the feasibility of the proposal, Toronto lawyer Monica Goyal says it has some merit in light of the concerns about the Law Practice Program. "There may be ways to work with it," she says, citing someone who men- tioned the idea of allowing larger firms that take more than one stu- dent to accept both a randomized person as well as one they choose. "But it's an interesting proposal anyway," she adds. "The other thing it does is it opens up the issue again," she says, citing the reemergence of discus- sions about the Law Practice Pro- gram, particularly around paid placements and equity concerns. Ryan Robski, president of the Law Students' Society of Ontario, says while his organization shares "a lot of similar concerns" about barriers in the licensing process, it also would have liked the lawyers proposing the motion to have con- sulted it on the matter. And on the merits of the idea itself, it has con- cerns about students' choice and f lexibility in where they article giv- en that they may have a particular geographical preference or want to work in a certain field. "I don't think that their approach now . . . that that would be something that we would support at the AGM," he says. But is it fair to force law firms to take students? Goyal, for one, has her doubts. "It goes against how cur- rently things operate," she says. "It goes against some economic prin- ciples about people choosing who they work with and who they hire." The lawyers proposing the mo- tion include Peter Waldmann as well as Mason Caplan Dizgun LLP managing partner Leslie Dizgun. If carried by a majority vote at the meeting, the non-binding motion must go to Convocation for consid- eration within six months. LT CANADIAN LAWYERS AND JUDGES MOST INFLUENTIAL TOP THE Who do you think deserves to be included in Canadian Lawyer's 25 MOST INFLUENTIAL LAWYERS IN CANADA in the justice and the legal profession? NOMINATIONS OPEN APRIL 20TH – MAY 5TH Visit WWW.CANADIANLAWYERMAG.COM/SURVEYS for the details Top25_LT_Apr20_15.indd 1 2015-04-14 8:19 AM Lots of work for Bay Street from hydro sale Lawyers predict several firms will have roles in major sell-off By yamri taddese Law Times he sheer size of the Hydro One sell-off means many law firms stand to reap lots of work from the deal, lawyers say. "I think there will be a fair number of law firms involved because of the size of the deal," says Mi- chael Barrett, partner and co-head of power and renewable energy at Bennett Jones LLP. Ed Clark, the former head of TD Bank who recommended the sale of 60 per cent of Hydro One, has denied Bay Street will draw big profit from the transaction, but lawyers say law firms will likely gain a good amount of work from one of the largest public offerings in Canadian history. Given the size of the Hydro One sale, the bank that will act as the lead underwriter will struggle to singlehandedly find buyers for all 60 per cent of the company, says Barrett. "It's likely that whoever is picked as the lead underwriter will syndicate the underwriting task, so there will be a num- ber of investment banks involved in the transaction, each of which will require their own lawyers," he says. Barrett says he expects about eight to 12 banks to be in- volved in the deal. "So I do think there's an opportunity for work for a number of firms in the area." The lawyers who act for Hydro One and the lead under- writer will likely be those who are familiar with the company and its regulatory environment, according to Barrett. LegaL theSpianS Lawyers discover link between theatre, law P3 Life MeAnS Life Federal bill will have little impact P7 FOCUS On IT/Telecommunications Law P8 'Any time there's a consolidation activity, that's really a mergers and acquisition transaction and that requires legal advice,' says Michael Barrett. See Hydro, page 2 While it's an interesting idea, Monica Goyal has her doubts about a proposal to force law firms to take articling students chosen at random. & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 14 April 27, 2015 Follow LAW TIMES on L AW TIMES T Photo: Robin Kuniski W PM #40762529

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - April 27, 2015