Canadian Lawyer InHouse

April/May 2020

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

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Page 6 of 43 5 How did you start out in the legal profession? I got my law degree in South Africa, where I'm from, and started my legal career in private practice. After qualifying in Canada, I was lucky enough to get to work in-house at some of the most interesting and groundbreaking companies in the world, from a fintech startup to Google and Interac. It was this continued interest in technology, product counselling and commercial law that brought me to Shopify. What are your main responsibilities? I am primarily responsible for providing support to our online platform team. This involves product due diligence and negoti- ating strategic partnerships. If we are offering a new feature or product, I help the team decide what is the biggest benefit to our merchants because we are a merchant-first company. We look at what disclosures we need and what risks we need to balance with the new enhancements or capabilities and how it will impact our entire business. Some of the other teams I support include our marketing team as well as Shopify Studios, our in-house team that produces original digital video, film and TV content. Q&A Climate change law guide created for in-house counsel The past decade has been marked with an increasing sense of urgency over environmental issues and the climate crisis. In response to this growing concern, Lex Mundi has created a free interactive guide comparing climate change laws all over the globe. The resource aims to assist in- house lawyers in making sense of the different laws relating to climate change applicable to more than 30 jurisdictions. Users can access information about individual jurisdictions across key areas, including applicable treaties and conventions, greenhouse gas emissions trading schemes and measures involving renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. Angela Nikolakakos receives WGCC President's Award Women General Counsel Canada has presented its 2020 President's Award to Angela Nikolakakos, chief compliance officer, general counsel and corporate secretary at Toronto-based Fiera Investments. Having served as director of communications and website at the WGCC throughout 2019, Nikolakakos has been recognized for her efforts to enhance engagement with members and a broader audience across Canada. Together with help from WGCC administrative assistant Rebecca Summers, Nikolakakos spearheaded an initiative to update the organization's LinkedIn profile from a community to a corporate profile, which allowed more flexibility in its use. How important is technology within your legal department? Technology is extremely important within our legal team as tech solutions form the means by which we respond to urgent requests from team members across the world. Email is no longer enough. We need instant messaging apps like Google Hangouts or Slack that allow a team member to communicate a host of information in as simple a form as possible. For instance; where they are, what time zone they are in, whether they are online or not and whether they are available to talk. This allows us to exchange ideas in a way that is aligned with the incredible pace at which people in this company are moving. Please describe some of the ways in which you use technology at Shopify through partnerships with external counsel. Understandably, external counsel partners do not need to leverage the same kinds of internal tools and resources that tech companies do. However, we do value law firm partners that are nimble and able to adapt to our methods on short notice, such as collaborative and smart editing document management. Has your personal interest in coding and machine learning helped you in your career? When you, as a lawyer, understand the infrastructure of the world that some of your internal clients operate in, it shapes the kinds of questions that you ask. I like to know more about the operational side, so my knowledge has certainly been handy. software vendors and solutions on offer — CLOC developed the directory for members and the wider legal ops community. The directory aims to help bring suppliers and buyers together in North America and around the world. Technology enhances communications at Shopify Years in the industry: 13 Fast fact: Joined Shopify in August, 2019 - Sits on the Standards Council of Ad Standards Canada - Is a steering committee member of the National Ballet School of Canada Goal for 2020: Sharing her experience with the next generation Qoratia Parmanand Legal counsel Shopify Inc. *Hear more from Parmanand, who is a speaker at the upcoming LegalTech Summit in Toronto. Visit for more information.

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