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Bringing people together in a more personal, authentic way
than an ‘and’ could ever do.

March Newsletter

March 1, 2013


Dear Friends and Colleagues,


There was a time in August 2009, a few weeks after I started this little enterprise, when I was sitting alone in the free office a friend had provided me, equipped with the only two tools required by my trade: a phone and the World Wide Web.  I had just landed my first fairly large mandate and thought momentarily about capping the firm’s growth at one.  No need for costly space, pesky employees, pricey benefits, branding or much else, other than the occasional sustaining piece of work.


The thought didn’t last very long.  I wanted to build something bigger than just me, do quality work and hopefully give a little something back to the community.  Within a few weeks, I’d hired Ranju, who is still with us today, signed a five year lease, given a personal guarantee to my landlord, developed a website, bought art and, here’s the point, even gave a little money to charity.   As we sit here today, 6 people strong, a tenured team, a sound reputation, providing a broad range of sophisticated search services to the entire corporate services community, I still harbour no grand ambitions of growth.  In fact, we have just extended the lease at our current humble 2,500 square foot location above the wine store to the year 2020.  But the giving thing is a bit contagious and perhaps the single greatest benefit of deciding to grow beyond just me.  Conservatively, I would estimate that our little firm has directly donated or indirectly raised over $250,000 for the Alberta Children’s Hospital, the Alzheimer’s Society of Alberta, the Women’s Shelter, Movember, the Enbridge Ride for the Cure in support of cancer research and many more worthy causes.  This is in addition to our donation of time to Tourism Calgary, Hospice Calgary, and Calgary Legal Guidance to name a few.


Not trying to take a bow here.  We give because it’s the right thing to do. That we punch well above our weight is a point of pride for each member of the firm and a differentiator between us and our competition.  As Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give.”  And this is where you come in.


You may recall that this time last year I asked for your help in raising funds for a great cause: The Gordie Howe Pro Am “Face Off for Alzheimer’s”.   Your generousity allowed our team to raise over $95,000, placing us third overall and enabling us to enjoy a memorable weekend playing hockey alongside NHL Hall of Famer, Bryan Trottier, while making a significant donation to Alzheimer’s research.



Though my pride and groin aren’t too thrilled, I am excited to once again participate in the upcoming Pro-Am Face Off for Alzheimer’s hockey tournament.  In two years our rag-tag band of fools, otherwise known as the Pekarsky Stein Pro Bonos, has raised over $135,000 for the cause. Your support of the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories will help advance innovative and meaningful research in Alzheimer’s disease and enhance the quality of care for people living with dementia.

It would be fantastic if you could sponsor me in this very worthwhile cause.  No amount is too small and any amount will help.  To make your sponsorship, please click here to be directed to my personal donation page.

Enjoy March.

With appreciation,



Getting To The Altar is About More Than Just The Numbers
By:  Michael Benedict
Article Link:

In the fall of 2009, amid substantial layoffs by leading British and American law firms in response to the global recession, Ogilvy Renault managing partner John Coleman had a chance meeting in London. While attending a conference, Norton Rose global chief executive Peter Martyr described to Coleman how his firm was dealing with the recession’s financial fallout. Instead of layoffs, Norton Rose introduced a “Flex” program that allowed lawyers to take leaves of absence, or to work reduced hours. No one lost their job.  [Read more]



Law Firm Succession Planning: Do One Simple Thing
By:  Alan R. Olson
Article Link:

Law firms must not only recognize the need for succession planning, but also plan, act, manage, and compensate for upcoming transitions.  The best solution is to factually determine if the firm has significant succession issues, and whether their breadth, depth and substance merit development of a succession plan of some kind.

There is one simple thing you can do immediately to objectively assess (and demonstrate to your partners) the need for succession planning in your law firm.  [Read more]


View 2013: Preparing For The Regulatory Road Ahead
By:  Jennifer Brown
Article Link:

In the fast-paced world of Canadian business, trying to predict what will dominate the agendas of corporate law departments in 2013 can be tough, but it’s fair to say the job of in-house counsel is becoming more complex as regulatory and compliance matters dominate the headlines. [Read more]


One Issue Fits All
By:  Stephen Mabey
Article Link:

For the past four years, with a steady ramping up to the “sky is falling” theme of articles and blogs of late, parties inside and outside the legal profession have been actively diagnosing its woes. The remedies offered have ranged from self-serving to a genuine interest in being part of the solution. [Read more]


In-House Counsel Wanted: Lawyers Without Courage Need Not Apply

By:  Cheryl Foy

Article Link:

Each time a corporate scandal hits an organization like a tsunami, think about what the in-house lawyers were doing before, when it hit, and after.


As our obligations of confidentiality prevent us from telling our side, it will be difficult to build an archive of experience and advice from which to draw. [Read more]


Why Law Firm Lawyers Care About Commas And In-House Lawyers Don’t

By:  Susan Moon

Article LInk:

Before law school, I considered myself a pretty detailed person, especially when it came to writing. After entering law school, I was dismayed to find myself to be unimpressively average in a group where just about everyone was anal about typos, grammar, spelling, etc. Then I spent a summer at a large law firm and was appalled to discover that in this environment, my technical abilities were best described as a meager “below average.” [Read more]


Making The Most Of The Year Of The Snake
By:  Margaret L. Waddell
Article Link:

This month I would like to put into practice two of my favourite aphorisms:

• Forewarned is forearmed; and
• All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  [Read more]


The Boomer Challenge:  Are Lawyers Ready?

By: Tim Lemieux

Article Link:


Last year – 2006 – was a milestone year for more than 10 million Canadians. It was the year in which the leading edge of the baby boom generation hit 60 years of age.


Following close on the heels of those early boomers is a tidal wave that has re-invented every stage of life from birth on – and now is about to redefine what it means to live “the golden years.” [Read more]