Canadian Lawyer

February 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Legal spending was up during the pandemic, but so were expectations about the quality of legal services. 1 EDITOR'S DESK UPFRONT EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilbur Senior Editor Elizabeth Raymer Editor Zena Olijnyk Canada News Editor Aidan Macnab Production Editor Patricia Cancilla Writer Bernise Carolino CONTRIBUTORS Heather Suttie, Michael Spratt ART & PRODUCTION Art Director Marla Morelos Customer Success Manager Amie Suttie Production Co-ordinator Kim Kandravy Global Production Manager Alicia Chin (on leave) SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT VP, Media and Client Strategy Dane Taylor Sr. Business Development Manager Steffanie Munroe Business Development Manager Lynda Fenton National Account Executive Abhiram Prabhu CORPORATE President Tim Duce Events and Conference Manager Chris Davis Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Global CEO Mike Shipley Global COO George Walmsley EDITORIAL INQUIRIES NAUK SUBSCRIPTIONS CO-ORDINATOR Donnabel Reyes tel: 647 374 4536 ext. 243 ADVERTISING INQUIRIES T wenty-twenty was a vital year for law firms to cement their client rela- tionships. For firms with large institutional clients, our sixth annual corporate counsel survey (p. 16) indicates just why this is. For our article, we spoke with law firm leaders to make sense of their clients' responses. Our sister publication, Canadian Lawyer InHouse, will also analyze the results in early March but will hear from in-house lawyers instead. What both kinds of lawyers have told us, though, is that legal spending was up during the pandemic, but so were expectations about the quality of legal services. Clients did not want legal information thrown at them with no context or cura- tion. As James Buchan at Gowling WLG says, there has been "almost too much" information on COVID-19 bombarding businesses daily as the government grap- ples with the crisis. "We had to organize it in a way that could be easily accessible to corporate clients," he says. One message that is not new but that in-house clients reiterated in the survey is that personal relationships were key. Most in-house lawyers say they hire the lawyer, not the firm. As the relationship partner for corporate clients at Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, Cheryl Satin echoed that. She says that, often, GCs would "just come to me and say, 'I need to know this — who is the person who can get me the answer and put me in touch with that person?'" Yet, in that scenario, the importance of the firm should not be discounted. Whereas Satin may be the lawyer answering the call, her team is working just as hard to get an answer after she hangs up the phone. At Fasken, managing partner Peter Feldberg says his firm put additional emphasis on its Fasken Edge client collaboration platform in 2020. While Fasken lawyers no doubt fielded similar calls to Satin, their follow-up would have been much simpler for everyone with an effective collaboration platform. Like it was for the entire world, 2020 was a difficult year for Canadian lawyers. But looking forward, it just may have cemented a relationship that could pay dividends for years to come. Tim Wilbur, Editor-in-Chief A relationship forged through adversity ISSUE 45.01 | FEBRUARY 2021 Canadian Lawyer is published 10 times a year by Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. KEY MEDIA and the KEY MEDIA logo are trademarks of Key Media IP Limited, and used under license by Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. CANADIAN LAWYER is a trademark of Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. The opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher. Information presented is compiled from sources believed to be accurate, however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Canadian Lawyer disclaims any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the contents of this publication and disclaims all liability in respect of the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon information in this publication. Publications Mail Agreement #41261516 ISSN 0703-2129 ©2021 GST/HST Registration #799898465RC-0001 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESS TO: CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, M5H 3G8 RETOURNER TOUTE CORRESPONDANCE NE POUVANT ÉTRE LIVREÉ AU CANADA AU SERVICE DES PUBLICATIONS 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, M5H 3G8 Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor Toronto, Ontario M5H 3G8 tel: +1 416 644 8740

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