Canadian Lawyer

March 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 25 of 43

BUSINESS STRATEGY TOP BOUTIQUES SPECIAL REPORT 24 CHOSEN AGAIN HONOURED TO BE ONE OF CANADA'S TOP 10 INSURANCE DEFENCE LITIGATION BOUTIQUE FIRMS As Voted By Canadian Lawyer Magazine Forward Thinking Strategic Litigators STRONG TOGETHER T O R O N T O | W H I T B Y | O T T A W A | F M L A W . C A virtual hearings. He was recently involved in a nine-day virtual hearing and the experience was "incredibly efficient," especially since the lack of travel obligations made things easier. In insurance-related litigation coming out of COVID-19, lawyers at the winning firms say claims are expected to rise in areas such as business interruption, wrongful death in residential care facilities and claims against companies for not providing paid goods or services such as the airline industry. Rhodes says his firm "worked closely with domestic and international insurers to address unique and novel insurance issues affecting the retail, hospitality and recrea- tional business sectors." He adds that the firm recently has been handling class action claims involving long-term care homes, phar- maceutical products and allegedly defective pretrials and settlement meetings have pretty much all moved to a virtual format. Likewise, the courts have innovated at a rate that has not been seen before because of the pandemic and are poised to embrace many of these new tools permanently. Brian Rhodes of Dolden Wallace Folick LLP says that, in December 2020, some of the firm's lawyers conducted a two-day appeal hearing by Zoom. It was the first case heard in the B.C. Court of Appeal using the Caselines application for electronic manage- ment of evidence at trial, a technology many court jurisdictions are now using. Eric Grossman of Zarek Taylor Grossman Hanrahan LLP says it is likely that litigation practice in the insurance defence world has changed for good because of the tremendous cost savings and efficiencies associated with In late 2020, Canadian Lawyer asked lawyers, in-house counsel and clients from across Canada to vote on the top insurance defence boutiques. They were asked to rank their top firms from a preliminary list, with a chance to nominate a firm that was not included. To qualify for our list and be voted for in our survey, firms were required to derive a minimum of 80 per cent of their work from insurance defence. HOW WE DID IT construction materials. Richard Hepner, a partner at Dutton Brock LLP, says the "new normal has its pros and cons. . . . The second wave has not been easy, and we are finding ways to deal with COVID fatigue and break up the monotony of 'just work,'" he says.

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