One less lawyer on the Lax O’Sullivan couch

There will be one less partner on the virtual couch at Lax O’Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP and in the firm’s legendary holiday card as Charles Scott departs for a new solo career.

Scott announced Tuesday he has left the firm after 13 years to establish his own solo practice to do more arbitration work and counsel work in “selected fields.” His name will no longer be part of the old firm’s although it was still on the web site today.

“It seemed like it was time for a new adventure,” he told Legal Feeds. “I needed a change — change is good.”

Charles F. Scott, Barrister Arbitrator will be heading north away from King and Bay Street to his new office in mid-town Toronto on Yonge Street near Summerhill.

It is not the first time Scott has made a big change in his career. He moved from Torys LLP after 26 years to Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP) and from there to Lax O’Sullivan.

“Each change was a lift to my spirits and it re-energized my practice. I want that feeling again,” he said in a letter to peers.

Scott’s practice has been largely consumed by corporate commercial litigation work involving financial institutions and large corporations. He’s acted for the Ontario Securities Commission, the LCBO, and the Law Society of Upper Canada, as well as handling departures from law firms.

“I think people will probably come to me for the areas I have some knowledge and expertise in — corporate commercial work, the executive employment issues, that sort of thing,” he says. “The door is open to other suggestions.”

He says he has many interests outside the law he now hopes to have more time to pursue. But don’t think he’s heading into retirement.  Scott admits he wants to travel more to Italy and further explore his interest in cooking, spend more time with his grandchildren, and read.

“This new venture will allow me to do those things without the pressure of having to contribute to a larger organization and I can schedule my time. All this assumes anybody is going to hire me — that remains to be seen. I could have a lot of free time on my hands,” he says. “Or, I could become quite busy.”

When he announced to the firm he was leaving, Scott says he doesn’t think it came as a surprise to his fellow partners.

“We’re all of us at that stage of life — Cliff [Lax], Terry [O’Sullivan], and I — where we are approaching that stage when it’s a natural progression so the fact one of us took the leap didn’t come as a huge surprise,” he says.

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