Canadian Lawyer InHouse

April/May 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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18 what Blaney delivers at that price." Also a client of Blaney McMurtry, Geotab Inc. works with a large roster of external counsel for matters including data privacy, compliance advice and advice relating to the company's international expansion. "I like that they are responsive, the fees are reasonable as compared to some of the larger national law firms and yet they still have very high-quality practitioners. You're not sacrific- ing quality for lower fees," says Laurence Prys- tawski, general counsel at Geotab. Prystawski works with Blaney's David Ma on wireless carrier agreements in Canada and around the world and he greatly values Ma's expertise in this area. "David has this amazing manner of never losing his cool and, at the same time, not giving up on a point until either I say 'OK, I can live with this result' or he gets what he con- siders to be a just and reasonable outcome on a point," says Prystawski. "For a company this size, we have really good agreements with Canadian and U.S. wireless carriers and that's largely thanks to working with David on these and letting him run the negotiations." As Geotab is in rapid growth mode, Prys- tawski is working hard to keep up with the demand for the company's products and ser- vices and to establish the necessary relation- ships in different geographical regions. Coming in at number nine on the list, Loops- tra Nixon LLP is an Ontario law firm with a strong reputation for representing municipal- ities including the City of Toronto and the City of Kawartha Lakes. "Because of their history of working with municipal clients and their long history with us, I don't need to introduce them to different staff," says Robyn Carlson, city solicitor at the City of Kawartha Lakes. "I know that they understand what documents they are looking for in terms of reports, counsel resolution and who to talk to in the public works to get re- cords, so it's a lot less administration for me." According to Carlson, firm co-founder Charles Loopstra has a calm demeanour and the ability to reassure clients with the emo- tional aspect of a litigation. "I appreciate that I can leave things with Chuck if I'm engaged somewhere else, and I know that he will take care of the client very well," says Carlson. Loopstra is currently working with the City of Kawartha Lakes on a matter involving a competing interest around the right to use water access. Loopstra Nixon also works with several cor- porate clients including Index Exchange. The global advertising marketplace favours mid- size local law firms over global firms and often outsources for matters such as commercial support, reviewing and negotiating contracts, litigation, IP and bankruptcy insolvency. "I like working with Loopstra Nixon because they are highly attuned to the industry and the specific challenges that we face," says Jason Cicchetti, general counsel at Index Exchange. "They are highly service-oriented and provide the best-in-class service." Cicchetti's goals for 2020 include building up his legal department with new hires and navigating a variety of privacy issues. With many businesses preparing for growth and diversification, Ontario law firms can expect to have plenty on their plates in the year ahead. 1. Torkin Manes LLP TOTAL LAWYERS: 101 OFFICE: Toronto Core practice areas: corporate, including tax, technology, banking and insolvency; litigation, including construction, health, estate and TOP 10 ONTARIO REGIONAL FIRMS HOW WE DID IT To come up with our top 10 Ontario regional firm list last year, Canadian Lawyer asked lawyers, in-house counsel and clients from across Canada to nominate firms worthy of being ranked. We took that list, created a survey and pushed that survey through all our channels to summon the widest participation possible. Respondents' rankings were based on firms' regional service coverage, client base, notable man- dates, service excellence and legal expertise, and we included an oppor- tunity for respondents to suggest a firm not already on the list. To be included, firms had to have offices providing local legal advice in Ontario exclusively and offer a wide range of legal services. Voters ranked firms from one to 10, with first-place votes earning 10 points and points decreasing by one up to one point for a 10th-place vote. Points were added up and firms ranked accordingly.

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