Canadian Lawyer InHouse

April/May 2021

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

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20 FEATURE Also recognized among our top 10, Sherrard Kuzz LLP is a Toronto-based firm of 30 lawyers that serves a wide range of clients across the country, including adidas Canada Limited, which just joined the client roster in March 2020. adidas regularly retains law firms to assist with labour and employment claims, and the pandemic crisis has resulted in an uptick in such matters. "I can tell that employment and labour lawyers have been busier than usual since the onset of the pandemic, due to the plethora of occupational health and safety and other issues that COVID-19 presents to employers and employees alike," says Matt Rossetti, senior manager, legal counsel at adidas Canada. "I like the practical approach from Sherrard Kuzz," says Rossetti. "I don't always need a 10-page memo on every legal issue, and they do understand that, so for small questions, they will respond with short, actionable, practical responses, which is exactly what I need." Rossetti also appreci- ates the briefing summaries on major legislative updates that the firm has provided throughout the pandemic. Another client of Sherrard Kuzz, The Brick, has seen an increase in disputes and litigation relating to changes within the labour force due to retail shutdowns during the pandemic. As vice president, legal and corporate secretary at The Brick, Greg Nakonechny has worked with the boutique firm for 15 years, and he values the prompt and timely service provided by the partners and associates. "They are very good at understanding our culture and providing practical solutions to many of our problems," he says. Roper Greyell LLP also made the top 10 list. Located in Vancouver, the firm is one of the largest employment and labour law firms in western Canada, with 43 lawyers serving clients in almost every sector. Indigo has seen an increase in labour and employment matters due to the pandemic crisis and subsequent retail lockdowns and layoffs, so the legal department decided to expand its roster of providers to meet the demand for work. "Roper came to us on a referral about a year ago, and we've been really impressed by the expanding work they do for us," says Damien Liddle, general counsel at Indigo. "The folks we deal with have been really excellent and really sharp." BC Hydro has been working with Roper Greyell since its inception. "They provide excellent service and value for money in terms of the service we receive for what we pay," says Nicole Prior, senior solicitor and counsel at BC Hydro. "They respect our budgets by staffing files appropriately, and they don't overcharge." Also recognized among our top 10, Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP represents employers across Canada with lawyers and consultants in six offices from coast to coast. "We're pretty frequent fliers with the Mathews Dinsdale folks," says Michael Bigioni, general counsel at The Miller Group. "I tend not to make many moves that could affect labour relations without consulting with them in some way or other. The main thing you want in a law firm is effective representation, and we get it in spades from them." The firm's full knowledge of The Miller Group's labour relations history means that strategizing can begin as soon as a file comes in the door, Bigioni adds.

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