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January 2013 Newsletter

January 1, 2013



Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Happy New Year to you all! On behalf of everyone at Pekarsky Stein we wish you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013. I was going to make a series of bold predictions for the coming year but beyond the Edmonton Oilers winning the Stanley Cup after a 48 game regular season, I couldn’t come up with much. Other than, of course, continued volatility in the Canadian legal community. I don’t expect lawyers will suddenly find unbridled happiness nor do I expect firms to stop merging, hiring and evolving.

Permitting ourselves a small measure of reflection, we at the firm are pleased to have again assisted dozens of clients attract numerous qualified candidates to their ranks. We continued to broaden our offering finding ourselves on preferred vendor lists for some of Canada’s largest companies along-side other, often larger, global search firms. In addition to completing several challenging and high profile legal searches in 2012, most notably the General Counsel at the University of Calgary, we also took great strides in broadening our offering in finance, accounting, HR, and other corporate services. Our industry specialization and geographic reach also expanded. From health care roles in Saskatchewan to senior positions in the power industry in Edmonton; from environmental companies to commercial real estate; accounting firms to home builders. Sincere thanks for continuing to have trust in us.

Most importantly, on matters community related, we once again proudly supported the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation through our gold level sponsorship of the Candy Cane Gala, and we played a key role in two Women of Influence lunches, once again stepped up for the Gordie Howe Stick It To Alzheimer’s hockey tournament and continued our community involvement on numerous not-for-profit boards including Calgary Legal Guidance, Tourism Calgary and Hospice Calgary.

Finally, we are close to an agreement with our landlord to extend our lease several more years guaranteeing continued rooftop Stampede parties for many, many years to come.

Thanks again for your support, your business, your friendship and your trust. We appreciate it.



Happy New Year


Legal Recruiter Parody Video Goes Viral
By:  Mitch Kowalski
Article Link:

Here is a great way to wind down the final few work days of 2012 – a parody video on legal recruiters.

It’s a shout-out to all those recruiters who didn’t get me a job – oops did I say that out loud?

Turn up the volume and enjoy.  Click here!


Moonlighting:  December Drama
By:  Susan Moon
Article Link:

Ahh, on the cusp of December. A month that brings another full year to a close with annoyingly cheery carols overtaking radio stations, multi-colored lights and decorations dredged up from years past, and an excuse to fill up on a week’s worth of heavy food in one sitting because, after all… it’s family time.

As December settles into the workplace, law firm associates and their non-equity partner peers are scrambling to confirm that they’ll meet their billable hour targets for the year. And partners are scrambling to get all of their outstanding receivables paid up by the end of the month.  [Read more]


Growing Pains

By:  Kevin Marron

Article Link:


Securities class actions are growing quickly, but there have also been recent setbacks for shareholders who sue.

Secondary market shareholders claiming to have suffered from misrepresentation by Canadian-listed companies now have a better chance than ever of advancing a class-action suit, but they have to move quickly to beat a tight deadline set by a recent court decision.  [Read more]



The Billable Hour: Dead, on Life Support or in Hibernation?

By:  Ed Poll

Article LInk:


There’s an important truth underlying every discussion about methods of billing: Value is ultimately determined by the client, not the lawyer, and lawyers must educate clients about value.


One legal services question raised, but hardly answered, by the Great Recession is whether the billable hour as it has long been known is dead. Certainly the much-maligned concept of billing for legal services by time increments has negatives that the recession’s cost pressures have emphasized. [Read more]


A Call to Arms on Professional Regulation

By:  Cheryl Foy

Article Link:


The in-house practice of law differs dramatically from the practice of the traditional private practice lawyer. I agree with those of you who say internal and external lawyers have more in common than we don’t, but I don’t agree with those who use that as a reason to subsume the in-house lawyers within the larger group for all purposes. This is not a column about “piling on” to criticize outside counsel. I believe we should all work to ensure the relationship between in-house lawyers and private practice lawyers (between all lawyers for that matter) is collegial and respectful. [Read more]


Big Idea 2013: Get Back on the Fast Track

By:  Lou Adler

Article Link:


I’ve been tracking people’s career growth semi-formally for the past 30+ years. The best seem to progress along a pretty predictable path as they move upwards. This is the basis for the Career Success Ladder℠ graphic shown here. You might find this model useful as a guide for developing your team, evaluating candidates, and for your own personal career planning. [Read more]