Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2020

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

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FACT FILE 16 keeping track of landlord and tenant obligations in a rapidly evolving legal environment has been critical. Henn and his team have collaborated with competitors during the crisis, in accordance with competition law, to share ideas and best practices. As part of the Weston Group, the legal team at Loblaw also benefits from the expertise of the broader group and shares best practices with other group members. Securities law also continues to be monitored. "Disclosure obligations don't go away just because of COVID. We have to think about what our obligations are to update the market and how we report on a quarterly basis when the world is moving so quickly," says Henn. Prior to the pandemic crisis, Henn's leadership strategy involved hiring talented people and then stepping back to let them be successful. "I see my job as to make sure my team members have the tools and opportunities they need to flourish," he says. "We have quietly built a very strong legal team over the last two-and-a-half years and it's showing through the COVID situation. When you see people going above and beyond and they have real talent and passion, it's amazing what they can achieve." With the shift to remote work, communica- tion is now a key focus for Henn to ensure the physical and mental health of his team. They regularly communicate through Microsoft Teams, Webex and Skype — both for meetings and for staying in touch through lunches, coffee events and happy hours. "Everybody in my team had to start working from home on zero notice, which was tricky in the first few weeks, but we were fortunate to have good technology and people to make it work successfully," he says. Henn participated in Loblaw Companies' virtual annual general meeting, which involved sitting in a room with just two other board members — spaced far apart to adhere to social distancing rules. Questions from shareholders appeared on screen for Henn and his colleagues to answer. "In our company, we value shareholders and customers coming to the AGM normally, so, if I'm honest, this was a bit sterile, so I hope to get back to normality soon," says Henn. "It went as well as it could in the circumstances." Preparing to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis is an important goal for Henn. He also plans to simplify processes and procedures by offering training and providing tools to empower people throughout the organization. "If we can give people the tools they need so they can operate with less interaction with legal, that will free us up to focus on important matters. It is a process of continuous improvement, so we can take on more and move the business forward," says Henn. "In an environment where rules and regulations and laws are changing rapidly, we have teams of people keeping an eye on daily announcements about regulations that are coming out so we can understand and interpret them and think about the impact to our business." Has lived and worked in Europe, Asia and North America Attended Harvard Business School Has held in-house counsel roles at Reuters Group plc, Centrica plc and Direct Energy Is a member of the Loblaw COVID-19 response committee Reports to Gordon Currie, chief legal officer of George Weston Ltd. — Loblaw's principal shareholder GC PROFILE

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