Canadian Lawyer InHouse

Feb/Mar 2010

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

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CLOSING • A roundup of legal department news and trends 42-year-old wins age discrimination suit Be careful what you ask for when looking to fill vacant positions. That is the lesson the CIBC learned fol- lowing an age-discrimination suit brought by a former 42-year-old employee. According to the Times, Achim Beck, a German national, headed CIBC's London, England com- modity structured products divi- sion in 2007 earning roughly $1.5 million a year. The bank closed its structured credit derivatives division and Beck lost his job in 2008. Beck took legal action against CIBC under the British Race Relations Act, claiming the bank took care of its Canadian employees whose positions were eliminated. He also launched the age discrimination lawsuit under Employment Equity Regulations. The racial discrimina- tion suit was dismissed, however, he won the age discrimination. The tipping point was the way the bank tried to recruit someone to head of European derivatives marketing in mid-2008. The job description it sent to an executive search company included the line "seeking younger, entrepreneurial profile." According to the Times, the bank was unable to prove to the tribunal that younger simply meant less experienced. 2010: The year of the regulator Everyone likes doing predictions at year-end and in-house lawyers are no dif- ferent. According to end-of-the-year postings on Association of Corporate Counsel president Fred Krebs' blog, senior Canadian in-house lawyers expect 2010 to be the year of regulations. Martine Turcotte, executive vice president and chief legal and regulatory officer for Bell Canada, says regulations around executive compensation will be hot issues this year. "One of the major regulatory and investor areas of focus will be on execu- tive compensation where more disclosure — similar to a management and discussion analysis focused on compensation — that is now required," she wrote on the blog. "While we had to go through this as one of the first Canadian issuers last year, regulators have kept a close eye on this, and now with 'say on pay' resolutions having been adopted by a few issuers like ourselves, it will be an interesting discussion with governance organizations and major investors. On the administration side, top focus will remain on outside counsel costs and the value proposal." Meanwhile, David Allgood, executive vice president and general counsel for the Royal Bank of Canada wrote, "[W]e will have to respond to the impact of the global financial crisis on financial regulations and I see a significant regulatory onslaught occurring, particularly for financial institutions. "I am expecting — looking for, actually — more use of project manage- ment principles by the outside law firms I work with to ensure greater effi- ciency and cost containment." E-mail ideas and questions to: kharris@clbmedia.ca For weekly INHOUSE news and updates go to: www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse New leadership for ACC Ontario Sanjeev Dhawan, senior legal counsel for Hydro One Networks Inc., has been named president of the Association of Corporate Counsel's Ontario chapter. Dhawan takes over from Carla Swansburg, senior counsel for the Royal Bank of Canada. He was the group's secretary in 2009 and has been a director since 2007. At Hydro One Dhawan advises 38 • FEBRUARY 2010 on all areas of commercial law, with a particular emphasis on procure- ment contracts in the acquisition of equipment and services, and in the areas of construction, information INHOUSE technology, and mergers and acquisitions. Other members of the ACC On- tario leadership team will be the new treasurer Andrea Nalyzyty, who is vice president and as- sociate general counsel at Cana- dian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and the new secretary R. Paul Krpan, who is assistant general counsel for Lom- bard Canada Ltd.

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