Law Times

August 10, 2015

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 15

Anti-spam act opposition gathers steam By Tali Folkins Law Times year after coming into force, Canada's anti- spam legislation con- tinues to attract contro- versy with opponents working on a constitutional challenge of the law. While he can't provide details on the court challenge, Barry Sookman, a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP who practises infor- mation technology law, says the legislation "absolutely" violates the Charter of Rights and Free- doms. According to one of the tests customarily used in Charter challenges, any law that impairs someone's rights should do so as little as possible. But because the anti-spam law essentially bans all electronic commercial com- munications unless there's prior consent from the receiver or they fall into certain exempt categories, it fails the test, according to Sook- man. "If there's going to be impair- ment, it should have been to target the most malicious and harmful form of spam, not to target every single commercial electronic mes- sage. . . . It targets everybody and makes it illegal for everybody to do certain things regardless of the context." Despite the opposition, the law has drawn a lot of praise as well. "The Canadian law is proving ef- fective in reducing inbox clutter and could act as a model for stron- ger anti-spam laws in the U.S., U.K., and other countries," states a quarterly global threat report released this spring by Cloudmark Inc., a California-based company that provides spam protection. According to the report, which refers to the Canadian legislation as "one of the strongest anti-spam laws in the world," the law appears to have taken a sizable bite out of unwanted e-mail in Canada. Be- sides a 37-per-cent decrease in spam originating in Canada after the law took effect, Canadians re- ceived 29 per cent less e-mail, ac- cording to the report. Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa law professor and long- time champion of the legislation, agrees with Cloudmark's assess- ment of it. Emond_LT_Aug10_15.indd 1 2015-08-06 9:48 AM Employment law giant enters Canadian market Littler Mendelson snaps up Toronto boutique firm's lawyers By Tali Folkins Law Times Chicago-based labour and employment giant is expand- ing into Canada after snap- ping up almost all of the law- yers from a well-established Toronto boutique practice. Last week, Littler Mendelson PC, which claims to be the world's largest labour and employment firm representing manage- ment, announced it had opened an office in Toronto with seven lawyers. All but one of the seven, office managing shareholder Sari Springer, are from Kuretzky Vassos Henderson LLP. It's the latest move in a series of expan- sions Littler Mendelson has been under- taking recently, especially in North, Cen- tral, and South America, the firm says. It now has more than 1,000 lawyers in 67 offices. "Littler has been searching the Canadi- an marketplace for some time to establish this office," says Springer, who joins the firm from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. "It was a natural foray for them to head north into a very robust Canadian econ- omy, and after due diligence on all of our sides and speaking with various people at Littler and then as well speaking with the Kuretzky Vassos people, we all decided together to join our forces and become the new Littler Canadian office." The new office allows Littler Mendelson to better serve U.S.-based companies operating in Canada, according to Springer. "It's just a natural expansion for them to have their own team members up here servicing their own clients in a differ- ent jurisdiction so that there is cohesion amongst the lawyers, there's institutional knowledge that is shared amongst us, and it makes sense for the firm and the clients to have one firm servicing their needs worldwide." But the move will also mean more work for the Canadian lawyers, she says. "Quite a number of our clients have operations in the U.S., and we now will have connections with our U.S. partners to work together or make cross-referrals to one another, so it's certainly a win-win on both sides of the border." Littler Mendelson declined to term the move a merger, although Kuretzky Vassos Henderson, according to Springer, will no longer operate. Most of the lawyers formerly at Kuretz- ky Vassos Henderson have joined Littler Mendelson, Springer confirms. The firm lists 10 lawyers on its web site, although Howard Levitt, senior partner with Levitt & Grosman LLP, says Kuretzky Vassos Henderson actually had fewer law- yers before the move. Those who joined Littler Mendelson represent "pretty much what's left of the firm" other than its 20-year labour rela- tions veteran, James Henderson. mEdia imPERSONaTORS Court rejects challenge of police practice P3 originAlist creed Controversial approach to law dissected P7 'We up here in Canada will now have a client base from the U.S. which is incredibly substantive and formidable and serves as a wonderful springboard for us to attend to the clients' needs in their Canadian premises,' says Sari Springer. See Opinions, page 2 See U.S., page 2 Companies are watching enforcement mea- sures taken under the act and reassessing their compliance programs accordingly, says Tricia Kuhl. PM #40762529 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 25 August 10, 2015 Follow LAW TIMES on L AW TIMES A A FOCUS ON Corporate/ Commercial Law P8

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - August 10, 2015