Law Times

March14, 2016

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Page 2 March 14, 2016 • Law TiMes In the news release announc- ing the merger, EY explained that its business law services group will offer support to clients with corporate reorganizations, merg- ers and acquisitions, as well as corporate secretarial services. George Reis, the managing partner of EY's business im- migration services, said in an e-mail to Law Times that he expected the new business law offering to draw on "EY's vast global legal network to support its global inbound clients in navigating the complexities of today's business environment." Janice Wright, the co-found- er of Toronto litigation boutique Wright Temelini LLP, says larger law firms in particular should take notice of EY's branching out, since they are likely to be swimming in the same pool of potential clients. She says multinationals could find EY's new offering especially attrac- tive thanks to the prospect of a global "one-stop shop" for pro- fessional services. "I think larger law firms are already responding in kind, and looking to maintain market share, so maybe they shouldn't lose sleep, but they should cer- tainly pay attention," Wright says. "This trend has been com- ing for a long time, so it ought not have come as a surprise to any of them." According to Cameron, firms like Wright's are among the few likely to remain unaffected by EY's Canadian power play. "They don't really mention lit- igation, but that probably makes sense because it doesn't integrate as well with their core advisory, assurance, tax and transaction work as the more general busi- ness law services do," he says. For lawyers without an exclu- sive focus on litigation, he has this advice: "Get close to EY." LT colour/race/ethnicity/nationality (13.6 per cent), equality of those with disabilities (9.2 per cent), sexual equality (8.4 per cent), and linguistic minority education rights (12.6 per cent). "Over the years, the Court Challenges Program has pro- vided funding for cases related to important legislative and policy areas, including age, race, dis- ability, family status, poverty, religion, and sexual orientation," Wernick told MPs. When former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper's government came to power in 2006, one of the first things it did was shut down the $2.8-million- a-year Court Challenges Pro- gram. However, the government agreed to honour previously ap- proved litigation cases up to the final stage of appeal. Currently, 28 equality and language rights cases are still making their way through the system and $1.4 mil- lion a year has been set aside to fund them. After its decision to shut down the program was challenged by a francophone group, the govern- ment created a new Language Rights Support Program in 2009 as part of an out-of-court settle- ment. The new program provides $1.5 million a year for court chal- lenges and alternative dispute resolution in cases involving of- ficial linguistic minority rights. In the last federal election, one of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's promises was to restore the Court Challenges Program, a promise that found its way into the man- date letters of both Justice Min- ister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly. Wernick says the work to bring back and update the program has already begun. "We are leading work right now for our minister and the minister of justice to modernize the court challenges program as was a commitment in both man- date letters and of course we're starting that work by launching a fairly extensive consultation with experts and organizations and Canadians." One of the options the gov- ernment is examining is expand- ing the scope of a new Court Challenges Program, she says. "I think it is really important to say that this is in the develop- ment phase, but we do good pol- icy work, we look at all of the op- tions, and we test the viability and the strength of the evidence base to go there and we consult and that work is underway already." Rob Nicholson, a former jus- tice minister who now serves as the Conservative justice critic, suggested the program wasn't needed because the Charter's impact on Canadian laws had al- ready been established. However, Erin Brady, gen- eral counsel, Human Rights Law Section, Public Law and Legislative Services Sector for the Justice Department, said that while there are 30 years of jurisprudence that has built up, cases continue to make their way through the courts and major decisions on charter cases in- volving equality rights are being rendered about once every two years. The briefing by government officials kicked off a study by the justice committee of the Court Challenges Program and access to justice. Anthony Housefather, Liber- al MP and chairman of the com- mittee, said MPs wanted to look at the program and make recom- mendations to the government such as whether it should be ex- panded to other provisions of the charter or to provincial laws. Housefather would like to hear from a wide range of wit- nesses, including linguistic mi- nority groups, groups that used the equality provisions of the program before it was cut, law- yers, and civil liberties groups. Housefather, who gradu- ated with two law degrees from McGill University, said lawyers could be more willing to take on charter challenges if the Court Challenges Program funding was restored. "Other than minority lan- guage rights, there is no pro- gram, so what it would mean is if we just brought back the old Court Challenges Program that allowed equality rights then peo- ple who have cases in those areas could apply for funding." Housefather said the com- mittee is also planning to exam- ine access to legal aid. "Right now, with the decline in the amounts that are pro- vided for legal aid, there's more and more stalling in the system. Cases take longer where people don't have attorneys that repre- sent them." LT Update of CCP already underway EY a 'one-stop shop' NEWS MATTER CREDENTIALS TORONTO I BARRIE I HAMILTON I KITCHENER 1-866-685-3311 I A Noticeable Difference ™ Choosing a personal injury lawyer is one of the most important decisions an injured person will make. Help your client ask the right questions: Is the lawyer? Untitled-4 1 2015-02-17 10:59 AM Continued from page 1 Continued from page 1

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