Canadian Lawyer

June 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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30 FEATURE PANDEMIC ECONOMICS Cabel's practice typically involves litigation, appearing at tribunals, collective bargaining, arbitration and solicitor work. She has been advising clients on how to implement work- from-home policies, options for reduced work hours and salary cuts, as well as on the ever- changing government assistance programs. A large portion of Cabel's practice is litigation. When the courts closed, several matters were up in the air. Law, like every knowledge-based industry, has moved to remote work. Video-conferencing app Zoom had 10 million daily users in December and 300 million daily users by late April — a rise of 2,900 per cent. The company's stock is up 400 per cent since its IPO one year ago. Since social distancing came into effect, Cabel has been conducting mediations virtually. "From my own experience, and I've heard this from colleagues, virtual mediations are actually not a bad way of conducting mediations. And, so, I think we may actually all of a sudden, we get into a very different conversation." In employment law, COVID-related business closures, layoffs, furloughs and salary cuts have meant most employers have legal questions, as they adjust and adapt and implement temporary measures while trying to avoid litigation down the road. "One thing that most businesses have in common is a question mark about what is happening with their employees right now," says Lisa Cabel, national leader for employment and labour law at KPMG Law LLP. mortgage payments, taxes, redirecting mail — are less on their radar. Planning for possible loss of capacity seemed overcautious to some of her clients before, but it no longer does. She is having less resistance and seeing more interest in powers of attorney and personal directives. "A lot of people come in really thinking they're just worried about what happens when they die. And when I suddenly say, 'Yeah, but what happens to you and your affairs while you're living, but just can't tell people what to do if you want to have some control over who it is stepping into your legal shoes?' Then, "From my own experience, and I've heard this from colleagues, virtual mediations are actually not a bad way of conducting mediations." Lisa Cabel, KPMG Law LLP

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