Law Times

March14, 2016

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Launch of EY Law LLP with former Norton Rose partner a 'big move' Accounting firm enters business law market BY MICHAEL MCKIERNAN For Law Times L aw firms should be looking nervously over their shoulders af- ter EY Canada restructured its affiliated law firms and signaled global accountancy firms are ready to go mainstream with their legal offering in Canada, according to an industry analyst. Earlier this month, business immigration law firm Egan LLP and tax law firm Couzin Taylor LLP, both already EY affiliates, announced they had merged under the EY Law LLP banner. But it was the addition of a business law services group, led by former Norton Rose Fulbright Cana- da LLP partner Tony Kramreither, that caught the eye of Colin Cameron, a management consultant based in Vancouver whose focus is on Cana- dian law firms. "That's a big move, because none of the other big accountancy firms are doing business law in Canada. They have all spent the last 15 to 20 years out on the periphery doing tax and immigration law, and maybe a bit of trade law. Now EY is moving to the centre, which sets the stage for a big change in this country," Cameron says. "Law firms should be afraid, very afraid. We've all been waiting for it, and now it seems like the accountants finally actually are making their move." Although EY's Big Four accountancy rivals KPMG LLP, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, all have affiliated law firms in Canada, most specialize entirely in tax and immigration law. Deloitte made waves with its purchase of document review outsourcing business ATD Legal Services in 2014, but Cameron says EY's move marks a switch in focus away from legal support services that is ref lected in the actions of the Big Four globally. "Canada and the U.S. are lagging for various reasons, but legal work is very lucrative, and the accountancy firms are always looking for ways to add to the billions in revenue they already have globally," Cameron says. "I expect if this works for EY, then it's going to work for all the big accountancy firms in Canada." Comeback for the Court Challenges Program? BY ELIZABETH THOMPSON For Law Times T he federal government is studying the possibility of bringing back the Court Challenges Program and expanding it to include areas never covered under the old program, say top government officials. Rachel Wernick, assistant dep- uty minister, strategic policy, plan- ning, and corporate affairs for the department of Canadian Heritage, says officials in the Justice and Heritage departments are already hard at work. "It is fair to say that as part of the development of proposed op- tions for a modernized program, we will explore — in the spirit of evolving with the times — if the scope of the program should be expanded," Wernick told members of the House of Commons justice committee. "I would say the areas that come back often from expert views on where it potentially could grow would be to look at some of the fundamental freedoms — freedom of association, freedom of religion, religious expression, which is an area of evolving context and ap- plying to provincial and territorial cases, which is the case with lan- guage but not with equality." The Court Challenges Pro- gram, originally created in 1978, provided funding for individuals or groups to mount court chal- lenges of laws they believed vio- lated equality or official language minority rights guaranteed under the constitution and the Charter of Rights. Over the years, it provided funding for 1,226 cases, some of which resulted in major Supreme Court of Canada rulings in areas ranging from access to social and economic benefits for disadvan- taged groups, voting rights for prisoners, the prohibition on the deportation to torture, and access to information in minority official languages. The most frequent grounds for test cases funded under the program were aboriginal equality rights (15.3 per cent), equality of CONTRACT LAW Development stunted by ruling? P3 LSUC DISCIPLINE Real estate lawyer loses licence P4 FOCUS ON Litigation P9 See Update, page 2 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 27, No.9 March 14, 2016 L AW TIMES C O V E R I N G O N T A R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W . L A W T I M E S N E W S . C O M See EY, page 2 Anthony Housefather would like to hear from a wide range of witnesses about the Court Challenges Program. CHOOSE FROM CANADA'S TOP MEDIATORS AND ARBITRATORS 416.362.8555 | W.A. Derry Millar Derry has over 40 years of legal and neutral experience. His expertise includes commercial, aviation, estates, environmental, insurance, product liability, intellectual property and real estate matters. ADR_LT_Mar14_16.indd 1 2016-03-09 8:24 AM & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM Follow LAW TIMES on Janice Wright says larger law firms should take notice of E Y's branching out, since they likely share the same potential clients. Photo : Robin Kuniski

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