Canadian Lawyer

October 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 26 of 59 25 day the decision was made for all staff to work from home. "It was Monday, March 16, and there was so much concern about COVID-19 and how it was ramping up," Hansell says. "We had lunch and then at 2 p.m. we all got together and agreed we probably shouldn't come back to the office for a while," Hansell says. "So, we opened a couple of bottles of champagne and said we'll meet again — but we haven't yet." While a couple of people are now working from the office because they prefer it that way, Hansell says the experience of transitioning to working remotely "has been a fabulous one." Hansell founded the firm in 2013 after spending more than 25 years in private prac- tice, including almost 20 years at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. The firm acts for boards, investors, shareholders and management teams on a range of matters, and its clients include public, private and Crown corporations. It provides expert evidence in litigation, counsels on strategy, designs governance structures and processes and advises clients on board effectiveness. Sister firm Hansell McLaughlin Advisory provides government relationships and communications advice and, together with Hansell LLP, belongs to the Hansell McLaughlin Advisory Group. The two firms are comprised of five lawyers, three senior consultants, two senior advisors, a data scientist, a governance analyst and three administrative staff members. Hansell says that, in general, the course of work at the firm hasn't changed much. "COVID has made some issues come alive and put other issues to sleep," she says. "The governance reviews, the board evaluations, they are just continuing on their own path." However, some clients are putting aside some projects, "not so much for cost reasons, but because management wants to focus on how to manoeuvre through what is happening — if it's not mission-critical, it might be set aside." The firm also works on "crisis manage- ment" files, such as when a board member leaves a company and that person needs to be replaced or if there is some problem with

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