BOUTIQUE FIRM RANKINGS

  • Jan 13, 2014
    Shifting sands - Part 2

    Shifting sands - Part 2

    This article is a continuation of ''Shifting Sands'' from the January 2014 issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine.

    Click here to read part 1.

  • Apr 8, 2013
    Hot competition - Part 2

    Hot competition - Part 2

    This article is a continuation of ''Hot competition'' from the April 2013 issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine.

    Click here to read part 1.

  • Apr 1, 2013
    Hot competition - Part 1

    Hot competition - Part 1

    Long before they get to court, personal injury boutiques face a foe every bit as tough as the stingiest of insurers: each other. “It’s very competitive, and it’s going to become even more so,” says Alan Farrer, managing partner of Thomson Rogers in Toronto. His firm recently teamed up with fellow boutiques Oatley Vigmond Personal Injury Lawyers LLP and McLeish Orlando LLP to form the Personal Injury Alliance.

    The group’s series of slick television and radio ads bucked the industry trend, and have helped all three firms — each of which make our list — stand out from an increasing crowd ready to represent Canadians injured in accidents. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing for consumers, especially in a climate like today, where insurers are lobbying well-financed campaigns with regulators to cut back on what people can get,” adds Farrer. “We use our resources, our size, and our experience to fight those efforts and get the type of recovery they need.”

  • Jan 14, 2013
    Drilling down - Part 2

    Drilling down - Part 2

    This article is a continuation of "Drilling down" from the January 2013 issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine. Click here to read part 1.

    The following are the Canadian Lawyers's top 5 trusts & estates boutiques and top five environmental law boutiques, in alphabetical order.

  • Jan 7, 2013
    Drilling down - Part 1

    Drilling down - Part 1

    In days gone by, an insurance defence firm may have sounded like a pretty niche outfit. But as boutiques in the area enter a second generation, they’re drilling down to even more precise specializations in order to stand out from the crowd. Most of the firms that made our list this year now have at least two decades of experience behind them, many after breaking away from larger, full-service firms. “It’s a mature market, and it’s not a new area of law, so the gross revenue is not increasing dramatically,” says Eric Dolden, co-founder of Vancouver firm Dolden Wallace Folick LLP. “You’re always going to have your auto cases and house fires, but that’s kind of static. The growth is in new areas where you couldn’t get insurance 10 years ago.”

    He says firms are increasingly looking to market themselves as experts in sub-specialties, such as professional liability, subrogated claims, and policy wording. At Dolden Wallace Folick, particular emphasis is placed on cyber-liability — a growing concern for companies dealing with potential privacy and personal information breaches — and directors’ and officers’ liability.

  • Apr 2, 2012
    Looking to the future — Part 1

    Looking to the future — Part 1

    Canada’s litigation boutiques are looking to the future. Finding a firm with the right mix of experienced and emerging talent was a recurring theme in this year’s top boutiques search, and some of our winners have been the most successful at striking that balance, proving that succession planning works at firms of all sizes.

    “A number of boutiques in Canadian legal history have started with great strength, but have been unable, or simply unwilling, to carry it on. Sometimes people don’t want to and it lasts as long as the careers of founders,” says Tom Curry, a partner at Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP — a firm he says has shown a commitment to outlasting the five name partners who departed McCarthy Tétrault LLP in 1992 to go it alone and start the firm. “From the beginning, people have been attracted here by the reputations of the lawyers, and it remains true, because we’ve been able to duplicate that strength in the younger generations. I’m fascinated by the challenge of maintaining the strength over the long term, and I find one of the things that really adds to my law practice is the opportunity to develop other people and pass along things,” says Curry.

  • Apr 2, 2012
    Looking to the future — Part 2

    Looking to the future — Part 2

    This article is a continuation of "Looking to the future" from the April 2012 issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine. Click here to read part one.

    The following are Canadian Lawyer's top five immigration boutiques and top five tax boutiques, in alphabetical order.

  • Jan 3, 2012
    IP boutiques holding their own

    IP boutiques holding their own

    When Philip Mendes da Costa started out at Bereskin & Parr LLP in the mid-1980s, intellectual property boutiques were small affairs. Twenty-five years later, “we’re now larger than some of the mid- to large-size firms,” says the firm’s managing partner. He says the 59-lawyer shop has grown in tandem with the increasing emphasis corporations are putting on their IP portfolios. “Back then, patents and trademarks were considered important, but not really central to the business of the company,” he says. “More recently, you’ve got companies who can receive more revenue from patent royalties than manufacturing products, and companies where the value of the IP portfolio or goodwill represented by the trademark portfolio is very significant, and stands out on the balance sheet. It’s of critical importance to make sure the IP strategy aligned with the business strategy.” For that reason, he says it’s natural that larger corporate firms are looking to get in on the action. “It’s not just a peripheral issue at the moment."

    “[Boutiques] don’t dominate the field anymore like they might have done 10 years ago. Big firms have formed their own departments and the market has certainly become more competitive,” says one Bay Street practitioner, who says full-service firms are strong on the litigation and transactional side of IP law.

  • Jan 3, 2012
    Labour & employment boutiques holding their own

    Labour & employment boutiques holding their own

    This article is a continuation of "IP boutiques holding their own" from the January 2012 issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine. Click here to read Part One.

    The following is an alphabetical list of Canadian Lawyer's top 10 labour and employment boutique firms.

  • Apr 11, 2011

    A cut above, pt. II

    TOP 5 INSURANCE DEFENCE BOUTIQUES

    Dolden Wallace Folick LLP (Vancouver)