Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2021

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

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22 www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse FEATURE MAJOR WORLD EVENTS often lead to a rise in litigation cases, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. A shift to virtual procedures over the past 18 months has allowed cases to continue and kept Canadian Lawyer's top 10 civil litigation boutiques busy throughout the crisis as clients seek creative and responsive representation for various litigation matters. Readers voted Hunter Litigation Chambers among our top 10 civil litigation boutiques last year. Among its clients was Vancou- ver-based PI Financial Corp., which retained the firm in March 2020 to work on a sensitive fraud matter. "We were in negotiations with parties who eventually became our new owners, so we were trying to avoid litigation," says Richard Thomas, senior vice president, compliance, general counsel at PI Financial. Hunter's Randy Kaardal was recommended to PI Financial by a mutual contact. "Randy is a strategic thinker who has the ability to think outside the box in terms of the strategies we needed to use for discus- sions," says Thomas. "He was just excellent and very thoughtful." Also making the top 10 list, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP handles a broad range of cases from complex commercial litigation and class actions to professional discipline and labour relations. Among its many clients, Paliare Roland helped SS&C Technologies Canada Corp. succeed in an application in Toronto against BNY Mellon and CIBC Mellon Global Securities Services. "They are professional in the way they do business, they are responsive to our requests or any needs we have, and they are thoughtful in the work they do," says Anthony Marinello, corporate legal — VP and senior counsel, litigation, at SS&C Technologies. The organiza- tion has been working with Paliare Roland for 13 years. Top 10 Civil Litigation Boutiques Strategic and creative thinking valued by in-house counsel clients HOW WE DID IT Canadian Lawyer asked lawyers, in-house counsel and clients from across Canada to vote on the top civil litigation and criminal boutiques. They were asked to rank their top firms from a preliminary list, with a chance to nominate a firm that was not included on the list. To be considered in the vote, firms were required to have at least 80 per cent of their business come from civil litigation and criminal law. The final rankings were determined through a points system, in which firms were rewarded on a sliding scale for the number of first to 10th-place votes received. The quantitative results are combined with feedback from respected senior members of the bar and in-house counsel when applicable. Please find a full description of our methodology at canadianlawyermag.com/survey/method. Another client of Paliare Roland, Jim Nikopoulos is the founder and CEO at Toronto-based MJ Capital. He started working with the boutique firm around 10 years ago in his previous role as president at ECN Capital. The firm helped with litigation matters, including commercial disputes, such as the dispute that ECN had with helicopter manufacturer Airbus. "That case was extremely complex because it touched on jurisdictional issues. When you buy a helicopter from a French-based company, and we're trying to sue them in a local jurisdic- tion of Ontario, it's not as simple as it may seem," says Nikopoulos. He turned to Paliare for Re-writing the playbook:

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