Canadian Lawyer InHouse

June/July 2020

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

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www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse 31 As the producer of more than 30 per cent of Ontario's energy, Bruce Power is working hard to meet the increased demand for electricity while many people are working from home. "There was never a better time than there is right now for people to recognize the importance of the nuclear world in generating electricity to keep lights on in hospitals and homes," says Lynn Mahoney, general counsel at Bruce Power. The private sector nuclear generating company is undergoing a 13-year major refurbishment project that started in 2016. The latest phase, which began in January, involves replacing components in six reactors. "We are keeping our eyes on the ball to ensure the refurbishment proceeds as closely to schedule as possible, given the current circumstances," says Mahoney. "The law division's role in that is huge as we've supported agreements with all major suppliers. Our number one priority is to continue supporting the business by supporting the refurbishment project that's underway and securing the future of Bruce Power to 2064." Last year, Mahoney's 11-person legal team introduced a contract automation initiative to enhance efficiencies for the entire organiza- tion. In addition, her team is considering implementing a system that allows the team to track requests from the organization's 4,300 employees and produce metrics to help monitor trends. In another efficiency-boosting strategy, several members of the law department have gone on secondments in non-legal roles within the company, in order to improve their knowledge of the business. "As lawyers we bring a certain mindset and certain ideas to other parts of the business and we also bring a deeper understanding of the business back to the law division, which translates directly into how we are able to work with our internal client," says Mahoney. Although Bruce Power's legal team is currently separated geographically to adhere to social distancing requirements, daily conference calls enable all members to stay connected. Members of the law division are embedded in the organization's emergency response team to ensure that legal is involved in all decisions related to the COVID-19 crisis. As legal teams adjust to working remotely, Maguire suggests taking advantage of the opportunity to consider how they serve their internal client and how that can be done more efficiently. "It's a good time, notwithstanding the remote working arrangement, to be a part of some very good webinars and training sessions that will continue to add value to your company," says Ross. Looking ahead, Maguire anticipates that several consolidations will take place in the energy industry and things will start looking up later in the year. "The current price of oil is not sustainable and, as life returns to some version of normal, demand will increase, so I am more optimistic about the back half of the year than some might be," he says. "The COVID-19 crisis has posed challenges to producers because it takes a large number of bodies to keep oil and gas operations going and that work can't be done remotely." Pat Maguire, Bennett Jones LLP

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