Canadian Lawyer

July 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 10 of 51 9 Communication and compassion critical for effective leadership amid COVID's uncertainty Jennie Chan is a partner and national leader in forensic services at PwC. At the second annual Canadian Law Awards, Chan moderated the panel: "Leadership in a Time of Uncertainty – Lessons Learned from Success." She spoke with Canadian Lawyer about how COVID has tested and created new necessities for leadership. What kind of leadership has emerged as the most effective in the circumstances brought by the pandemic? I think that showing care and compassion, obviously, that has always been an important aspect of leadership. But I think it is even more so now. Understanding that ev- erybody is likely dealing with some kind of consequence of the pandemic. The consequences or the challenges that people are dealing with are all different, but it's there for everyone — recognizing that in the conversations we're having with people is really important. There is maybe just a little more conscious thought, as far as care goes, than perhaps it has been in the past. I also think that communication has really become more important. Again, it's not that communication wasn't important before the pandemic. But given how we're working now. We're largely not in the office and certainly not had as many people that we're physically interacting with on a day-to-day basis. What have been some of the challenges or struggles that leaders and team members have had, including yourself? It's that lack of, I think, day-to-day contact or regular contact with coworkers. The culture that you build as an office or as a team can be a little bit harder to keep that going when everybody is remote. You're not necessarily having those chats in the kitchen or going downstairs to have a coffee or meeting with some of your clients or some of your contacts on a more regu- lar basis over lunch. It's not that it's completely gone. It's just different. It takes a little bit more thought to organize that as a virtual discussion. People are uneasy and feeling precarious in their positions. Is transparent communication important? If I think back to, particularly the early days of the pan- demic, and people truly not knowing, really anything about COVID, let alone the challenges and the conse- quences that were potentially going to happen. I think that transparent communication was important to building or maintaining trust. It's relationships, whether it's staff or peers or clients or contacts. Just having a little bit of vulnerability in communications helped create a little bit of a bond. Platform for electronic filing of criminal charges to expand to six courthouses The provincial government has announced plans to expand its "eIntake" platform for filing criminal charges in six courthouses across Central Eastern Ontario, including Peterborough, Newmarket and Oshawa, this May and implementing the initiative provincewide 2022. The system aims to benefit the police, the courts' justices of the peace and the broader community by expediting the criminal charge filing process and reducing the time spent on paperwork. Ruling affirms racial profiling can be result of a police officer's unconscious bias A majority of the Ontario Court of Appeal has found that it is unnecessary to prove the police lied about their reasons for a stop and arrest or have the police admit to racist motivations, for a court to make a finding of racial profiling. The appellant was convicted after being pulled over due to the police's alleged suspicion that he was impaired. On appeal, he argued that racial profiling had led to his stop and arrest. The court's majority agreed and ordered a new trial. Legal-tech platform promotes access to justice for marginalized communities A student team from Queen's University has pitched "Mouthpiece Law" at the Collision 2021 conference. Mouthpiece Law seeks to offer the public cost-effective access legal services through reduced overhead, promote access to justice for traditionally marginalized communities, help legal practitioners earn more revenue via digitization and assist the legal community in adapting to the shift in legal delivery models to more data-driven methods. Q&A Jennie Chan Partner NATIONAL FORENSIC SERVICES LEADER AT PWC CANADA School: University of British Columbia B.Comm., Accounting Qualification: Certified in Financial Forensics, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants Career: » Partner, Forensic Services – PwC Canada (2016-present) » Managing Director – Kroll (2011-2016) » Associate Director/ Director – Navigant Consulting (2005-2011) » Associate – Kroll (1998-2005) Source: LinkedIn *answers have been shortened

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