Canadian Lawyer InHouse

June/July 2021

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

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Page 2 of 35 1 EDITOR'S DESK "Personal meetings build a sense of trust and connection, so without that, the deals did drag on a little bit longer." Relationship building will take work post-pandemic W hen the sky felt like it was falling in early 2020, no one knew what the long-term impact of the pandemic was going to be. Would the economy grind to a halt? Would our health-care system collapse? Luckily, many of the doomsday scenarios didn't play out, and the impact, while dramatic for some, was more muted for many. White-collar workers, in particular, carried on as usual once they settled into their new home offices, and the overall economy survived despite dramatic effects in some sectors. M&A didn't slow down at all in 2020 for David Felicissimo, general counsel at Valsoft Corp. and Valnet Inc. (p. 22). Despite the buoyant market, though, a lack of face-to-face meetings did present certain obstacles and slowed down transactions. "Personal meetings build a sense of trust and connection, so without that, the deals did drag on a little bit longer," says Felicissimo. "We've even walked away from deals where we can feel it falling apart because of the lack of face to face." Felicissimo's experience points to a real challenge that the pandemic will pose long after we are all vaccinated: fraying personal relationships. In our Ethics column (p. 32), long-time GC Ken Fredeen stresses the importance of personal relationships to a reader who wonders how to help colleagues who ask for individual legal advice. "We have limited time. We are careful not to step over the line as [colleagues] are not our clients, but I think it is a mistake for in-house lawyers to simply say: 'Sorry, I can't help you,'" writes Fredeen. "For me, [my job] was about building relationships, showing value and providing access to justice for people who needed help." In other words, relationships take work, but it is worth it. While following Fredeen's advice was not impossible during the pandemic, there have been significant obstacles. While most in-house counsel were lucky enough to work remotely, they did lose something by working alone. But Fredeen's advice, and Felicissimo's challenges, mean we should not downplay what we have lost. The human connection will return as the pandemic wanes, but it will take work to get back to normal. Tim Wilbur, Editor-in-Chief EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilbur Lead Writer Lucy Saddleton Production Editor Patricia Cancilla Writer Elizabeth Raymer Writer Zena Olijnyk Writer Aidan Macnab Writer Bernise Carolino CONTRIBUTOR Ken Fredeen ART & PRODUCTION Art Director Marla Morelos Customer Success Managers Reena Quimosing, Michelle San Juan Global Production Manager Alicia Chin (on leave) Production Co-ordinators Kat Guzman, Loiza Razon SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT VP, Media & Client Strategy Dane Taylor Senior Business Development Manager Steffanie Munroe Business Development Manager Lynda Fenton National Account Executive Abhiram Prabhu CORPORATE President Tim Duce Events and Conference Manager Chris Davis Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Global CEO Mike Shipley Global COO George Walmsley EDITORIAL INQUIRIES SUBSCRIPTIONS CO-ORDINATOR Donnabel Reyes tel: 647 374 4536 ext. 243 ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Canadian Lawyer InHouse is published 6 times a year by Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. KEY MEDIA and the KEY MEDIA logo are trademarks of Key Media IP Limited, and used under licence by Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. CANADIAN LAWYER INHOUSE is a trademark of Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. The opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher. Information presented is compiled from sources believed to be accurate, however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Canadian Lawyer InHouse disclaims any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the contents of this publication and disclaims all liability in respect of the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon information in this publication. Publications Mail Agreement #41261516 ISSN 0703-2129 ©2021 GST/HST Registration #799898465 RC-0001 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESS TO: CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, M5H 3G8 Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor Toronto, Ontario M5H 3G8 tel: +1 416 644 8740 ISSUE 16.03 | JUNE/JULY 2021

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