Labour & employment law tops list of areas in which execs want advice

Labour and employment law is the top area business leaders will look to lawyers for their advice over the next year, according to a survey released yesterday by law firm Miller Thomson LLP.

The survey, conducted in the second half of August, polled 200 senior business executives from a broad spectrum of the Canadian economy, including manufacturing, financial services, retail, forestry, agriculture, and mining.

The poll asked what issues were most likely to keep those business leaders up at night. Profitability, a high Canadian dollar, and attracting talent topped their list of worries.

“What we are hearing from Canadian business leaders is that external economic forces are clearly taking a toll on corporate bottom lines,” says Gerald Courage, chairman of Miller Thomson. “There is no doubt that a high Canadian dollar has been a major factor, so it is reassuring to see some recent relief in this area.”

But as it was conducted by a law firm, the survey also asked what type of legal advice those business leaders would most likely seek out. Over the next 12 months, 73 per cent of those polled will be looking for labour and employment advice: 57 per cent will need assistance with mergers and acquisitions; followed by 56 per cent looking for tax law help, 55 per cent probably requiring assistance with litigation, 33 per cent with intellectual property protection, 31 per cent with succession planning, and 28 per cent with environmental law.

For 79 per cent of execs in the areas of mining, oil and gas, and exploration industries, as well as the finance, insurance and real estate industries, M&A advice is likely what they’ll be seeking out the most over the next 12 months.

Click here for Miller Thomson’s regional breakdown of the results in the areas of business issues, issues of national importance, and legal advice sought.

Miller Thomson’s survey was conducted by Research House. A sample of 200 senior and C-level executives were surveyed (157 males and 43 females). With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 6.9 per centage points, 19 times out of 20.

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