Law Times

July 21, 2014

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Are banks eating estates lawyers' lunch? By JULiUs meLniTZer For Law Times utdated law school cur- riculums are contrib- uting to a bleak future for the trusts and es- tates bar, a Canadian legal futurist predicts. It's a dire prediction some prom- inent members of Ontario's estates bar don't totally disagree with. "While law schools stick to their knitting in teaching the tried and true trusts/estates course with an elder course option for the more ad- venturous, and lawyers make polite suggestions to clients about prepar- ing a will, a vibrant wealth manage- ment industry is marginalizing the legal profession's role in what is an emerging upscale buyers' market for an application of 'boomer law,'" says John Kelly, who spent 26 years as an Ontario-based lawyer and law professor and now works in Britain as president of Canada Law From Abroad, an organization whose mission is to "provide students with innovative, international, legal edu- cational opportunities" that open the doors to "the new global legal services market." Kelly suggests lawyers counsel- ling on so-called baby boomer law tend to limit their advice to sug- gestions that their clients make a will and appoint an executor for their estate. "That's the extent of the knowl- edge management capability they acquired in law school and co mmensurate with the tradition- al practice of law," says Kelly. "It's all pretty boring stuff that more often than not is paid lip service by the client who moves on, and for good reason." As Kelly sees it, where the clients move to are the major banks and their trust subsidiaries whom Kelly calls "the principal depositories" of boomer wealth. "They undertook what in man- agement jargon is known as a ma- jor 're-engineering' of their boomer services," he says. "In plain English, this translates into breaking down a product such as preparation of a will or probating an estate into all of its component parts and then develop- ing a value-added service package THE MOST COMPLETE DIRECTORY OF ONTARIO LAWYERS, LAW FIRMS, JUDGES AND COURTS More detail and a wider scope of legal contact information for Ontario than any other source: ȕ0WFS27,000 lawyers listed ȕ0WFS9,000 law firms and corporate offices listed ȕ'BYBOEUFMFQIPOFOVNCFSTFNBJMBEESFTTFTPGȮDFMPDBUJPOTBOEQPTUBMDPEFT Visit or call 1.800.387.5164 for a 30-day no-risk evaluation 1FSGFDUCPVOEȕ1VCMJTIFE%FDFNCFSFBDIZFBSPOTVCTDSJQUJPOȕ0OFUJNFQVSDIBTF- .VMUJQMFDPQZEJTDPVOUTBWBJMBCMF1SJDFTTVCKFDUUPDIBOHFXJUIPVUOPUJDFUPBQQMJDBCMFUBYFTBOETIJQQJOHIBOEMJOH O N TA R I O L AW Y E R' S P H O N E B O O K Untitled-3 1 14-05-20 3:25 PM Posthumous call for students killed at war Ceremony will honour those who died before becoming lawyers By yamri Taddese Law Times e only had one killed and one wound- ed in our company, not including two men who went nuts from being close to exploding minenwerfers, which are more dangerous to one's nerves than to one's body." Those are words from the diary of George L.B. MacK- enzie, a law student who died in the First World War. Many decades after MacKenzie penned those words, a Toronto lawyer sat through a Remembrance Day cer- emony at Osgoode Hall and heard MacKenzie's name listed with 60 Ontario law students never called to the bar because they had perished in the war. "For some of the names they read off, instead of giving the year of call, what the person reading the names said was, 'Never called,'" says Patrick Shea, a partner at Gowling Laf leur Henderson LLP in Toronto. "They didn't say student-at-law. They just said, 'Never called.'" Something about hearing the students' names followed by the words "never called" didn't sit well with Shea. He wrote a letter to former Law Society of Upper Can- ada treasurer Tom Conway proposing that as 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the war, the regulator should posthumously call the students who never became lawyers to the bar of Ontario. Conway liked the idea. "The treasurer gets lots of sug- gestions to do lots of projects and most of them for some reason or another are not realistic," says Conway. "But this one just immediately had an appeal to me and it had an appeal for virtually everyone I talked to about it." He adds: "The two wars, particularly the First World War, had a very deep and lasting impact on the many generations of the legal profession. It still has effects. So I thought: What a great way to commemorate the young men who gave up their legal studies — they thought they were going for a few weeks or a few months — and never came back." The law society will honour the students on the eve of Remembrance Day this year at a special ceremony that will draw some of their family members. They'll travel from as far away as California to attend the event. Sitting outside Osgoode Hall on a warm summer morning, Shea f lips though a book of biographies he drafted for each of the students who died in the war. The bankruptcy and insolvency lawyer spent a year digging up their stories, trying to locate any family members who could receive certificates on their behalf. He says finding out about the students well beyond their year of birth and death was important to him. "Once you go down the path of looking at their stories, you have to keep going," says Shea. "There's something compelling about telling the story of someone who is not able to tell his own story. For some of these people, there is no one else to tell their story be- cause their families have long since died out." Shea took to the Internet and various archives to find the descendants of the students and reached out to family members he found. He travelled as far as Alberta to scour archives containing information about the students and their backgrounds and spent his vacation days at another archive in Ottawa. He decided early on that reconstruct- ing the students' stories would be a priority for him this REMAND RATES Ontario's approach criticized P3 MARRIAGE LAWS Rules evolved to respect personal choice P7 FOCUS ON Forensics/Private Investigators P8 Patrick Shea travelled as far as Alberta to find out about the students and their back- grounds. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Estates, page 4 See Law, page 4 Despite the concerns, lawyers remain at the forefront of estate planning, says Susannah Roth. PM #40762529 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM $4.00 • Vol. 25, No. 24 July 21, 2014 TORONTO | BARRIE | HAMILTON | KITCHENER 1-866-685-3311 | cLeish Orlando_LT_Jan_20_14.indd 1 14-01-15 3:15 PM l aw TIMes l aw TIMes O " W Photo: Gunnar Pippel/Shutterstock

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