REGIONAL LAW FIRM RANKINGS

  • Sep 5, 2017
    Evolving with the times: Top 10 Ontario regional firms

    Evolving with the times: Top 10 Ontario regional firms

    Globalization is no longer a theoretical trend for Ontario’s regional firms, but they are uniquely placed to provide value for clients.

    Though the landscape in the province looks much the same for Ontario regional firms as it did last time Canadian Lawyer ranked the top 10 in 2015, there are some emerging areas having an impact.

  • Mar 13, 2017
    A time of transition - Part 2

    A time of transition - Part 2

    This article is a continuation of ''A Time of Transition'' from the March issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine. Click here to read Part 1.

    Top Saskatchewan Law Firms

    McDougall Gauley LLP (Saskatoon, Regina)

  • Mar 6, 2017
    A time of transition - Part 1

    A time of transition - Part 1

    Significant changes have hit the legal economy in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and out-of-province interest is not abating.

    A lot has changed since Canadian Lawyer last surveyed top Prairie firms in 2013. This time around, the historical definition of what constitutes a regional firm in the Prairies was updated to allow the inclusion of MLT Aikins LLP and Miller Thomson LLP, both of which have offices in more than one province in Canada. Much as the survey has been updated to keep up with the times, so has the region on which it’s reporting. The Prairies have seen: a significant merger, with MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP and Aikins MacAulay & Thorvaldson LLP joining forces at the beginning of the year; a pick-up in infrastructure spend; rising competition from alternative service providers; and — especially in Saskatchewan — strong population growth.

  • Mar 7, 2016
    Laser focus

    Laser focus

    “What we’re seeing, in Quebec anyway, is an overall increase in the volume of legal work that needs to be done. I think the issue is how much is being done in-house and how much is being done outside,” says Don McCarty, the managing partner of Lavery de Billy LLP, the top vote-getter in this year’s Canadian Lawyer top Quebec regional law firms survey. “When work is referred to private practice, it is often work that’s complicated, more specialized, or more bet-the-bank. Law firms are being used for more complex issues, more complex transactions, and more complex litigation.”

    To respond to clients’ complex needs, the Quebec regional law firms on this year’s top 10 list say their lawyers have had to become more specialized in their areas of practice. Many have also boosted their teams with the addition of lawyers from the now-defunct Heenan Blaikie LLP’s Quebec offices.

  • Sep 7, 2015
    Efficiency, Flexibility, and Focus

    Efficiency, Flexibility, and Focus

    Despite muted activity in pockets of the legal market and the Canadian economy facing tough headwinds, Ontario’s top regional law firms say they’ve had a solid couple of years thanks to emerging opportunities and their unrelenting focus on efficiency.

    With Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP announcing in July its merger with U.K.-based Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, the bigger shops continue the trend of going global for want of larger markets. Meanwhile, Ontario’s regional firms are expanding their own reach at home by picking up new clients who are choosing leaner structures over “too big” firms.

  • Sep 1, 2014
    Stronger than ever

    Stronger than ever

    Canadian Lawyer returns to our survey of western and northern-based firms to find a region filled with excitement and not afraid to flex its muscles. Merger-mania is over and the regional firms left standing are stronger than ever. “I think there’s been a seismic shift,” says Richard Bereti, managing partner of Harper Grey LLP.

    Even two years ago, Toronto-based firms were poaching from Western outfits. Today, the regional firms have become the hunters. “We’ve actually had people from national firms come our way and certainly have not lost anyone,” says Steve Livingstone, managing partner of McLennan Ross LLP.

  • Mar 3, 2014
    Distinct advantages

    Distinct advantages

    Last year’s ratification of a deal allowing lawyers to practise across common and civil law jurisdictions is seen as a boon for Quebec’s regional law firms. The national mobility agreement, expected to be fully implemented this year, will make it easier for the province’s lawyers to work wherever their clients need to be.

    The law firms in Canadian Lawyer’s 2014 Top 10 Quebec regional firms say they already serve clients across the country, but the agreement will undoubtedly help to further smooth the path.

  • Oct 7, 2013
    A surge in the east

    A surge in the east

    A surge of infrastructure projects related to energy, mining, and shipbuilding is encouraging a positive outlook by Atlantic Canada’s top 10 law firms, alongside an awareness of provincial deficits and demographic challenges.

    Since Canadian Lawyer’s last survey in the region, Cox & Palmer has welcomed 14 lawyers from dissolved New Brunswick firm Barry Spalding. Together with McInnes Cooper and Stewart McKelvey, the expanded Cox & Palmer is part of a trio of large firms that dominate the region’s legal landscape and have thus been ranked jointly in the top spot. The list is rounded out by seven top firms with offices in one province only.

  • Sep 2, 2013
    Opportunities and risk

    Opportunities and risk

    Ontario law firms see opportunities and risks in an era of consolidation and slow economic growth. Clients who are released by merged firms due to conflicts, or are unwilling to pay the fees demanded by international behemoths, may well look to smaller firms located in and around Canada’s financial and administrative centres.

    Managing partners around the province watched with interest as Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP merged with American and U.K. firms in the spring creating Dentons, with nearly 2,600 lawyers. But there is also the fear, as legal budgets shrink or remain static, larger firms could use their marketing might to swallow up the space occupied by regional mid-sized players.

  • Feb 4, 2013
    Prairie heat

    Prairie heat

    Canadian Lawyer returns to the Prairies for our latest regional firm ranking, and it seems we aren’t the only ones eyeing the area. “We’re continuing to see a flood of resumes from younger lawyers who either trained here, or have past history in the province,” says Glen Peters, managing partner of Winnipeg-based Fillmore Riley LLP. “They’re people who are well trained, and have worked in big shops in the east or west, but who have made a decision that they want to return. It’s a unique opportunity for firms here, and we’ve certainly taken advantage of it in the last few years.”

    The chief driver of the Prairie homecoming is a booming economy, according to Gary Young, a senior partner at Saskatoon’s Robertson Stromberg LLP, which moved up our list this year. Historically, he says young lawyers viewed Saskatchewan firms as a stepping-stone to higher-profile work in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, or Edmonton. Now that trend is reversing: one of his most recent hires was a returnee from Alberta. “That was primarily a function of what’s available here at the moment. Things are so hot in Saskatchewan that this is where some of the best deals are right now. It’s a good time to be here,” says Young. “As long as that kind of transactional work is available, we’re going to have no trouble recruiting.”

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