Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2021

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

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www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse 23 their expertise in jurisdictional issues. "Over and above that, I wanted to use them for their pragmatic, practical approach on how to handle things, and knowing the ins and outs of file relationships — really prodding us quite a bit on ultimate outcomes we're looking to achieve and then developing a very tactical, practical gameplan to address that in a way that was refreshing to us," he says. Creating a multidimensional plan instead of following a standard playbook sets Paliare apart from its competitors, in Nikopoulos' opinion. Although he has not worked with the firm in his current role at MJ Capital, he will not hesitate to call them if any commercial litigation matters crop up in the future. Calgary-based AltaGas Ltd is a client of another of our top 10 firms — Jensen Shawa Solomon Duguid Hawkes LLP, a litigation and dispute resolution firm located in Calgary known for advocacy and trial representation across multiple industries and practice areas. AltaGas has worked with JSS for three years, calling on them for help with litigation arbitration matters. "I genuinely like them as people because they are very pleasant to deal with and easygoing," says Chris Prokop, general counsel, midstream at AltaGas. "They are always very responsive, and they have good answers for us. In Calgary, it seems that it's hard to find lawyers who want to work for you, so it's nice to have lawyers that want to work for us and are service-oriented." MasTec Inc. has been a client of JSS since 2015, working on litigation and transactional issues. "They are highly intelligent. They are strategic and cost-effective," says Michele Laine, associate general counsel at MasTec. Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gotlieb LLP is among the top 10 firms. The firm, which focuses on complex commercial litigation in a range of industries, favours first-call one-off mandates in preference to embedded client relationships as a means of maintaining independence. "They give very strategic advice, and they are very quick and responsive," says Kathryn Borgatti, general counsel at Mattamy Homes, who has worked with Lax for five years. She calls the firm to help with litigation and potential class action matters. "They understand our business, and they know reasons to litigate or not to litigate, and why we would choose a certain path forward," she says. Borgatti also finds the lawyers at Lax to be very personable. Dan Kuzmyk, regional solicitor at the Regional Municipality of York, has been a Lax client since 2015. He calls the firm to assist with inter-government dispute resolution and litigation involving other levels of government. "They are extremely responsive, and their customer service is among the very best," says Kuzmyk. "We deal with some matters that are potentially sensitive and need instant support, quick turnaround and discretion, so those are qualities I get from Lax." "They understand our business, and they know reasons to litigate or not to litigate, and why we would choose a certain path forward." Kathryn Borgatti, Mattamy Homes (a client of Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gotlieb LLP)

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