Rodrigue to lead Torys’ new Montreal office

Torys LLP is opening a Montreal office to be led by former Norton Rose partner Sylvie Rodrigue.

Rodrigue has moved to Torys LLP as a partner and will continue to practise litigation in Toronto, with Torys, while heading up the new Montreal office.

The office is due to officially open by April 2 and will focus on litigation.

It will be known as Société d’avocats Torys S.E.N.C.R.L./Torys Law Firm LLP.

Torys managing partner Les Viner tells Legal Feeds: “Opening an office in Montreal is a client-centric decision. We deal a lot in national litigation, particularly in class action. We think a lot of our clients would benefit from having us providing an integral, strategic and tactical approach from other parts of the country.”

Viner says the main motivation for the move is to help existing clients but “we also hope it will attract new business.”

The firm currently has offices in Toronto, New York and Calgary. Viner says “the big lesson” from opening the Calgary office in March 2011 was the importance of “being local and not just exporting traditions from one region to another.”

He says there are no plans for further expansions.

Rodrigue has been at Norton Rose (and its predecessor Ogilvy Renault) for 22 years and is one of the most respected class action lawyers in the country. She is the founder and past chairwoman of the Ontario Bar Association’s class action section, chairwoman of the Canadian Bar Association’s national task force on class actions, co-chairwoman of the American Bar Association’s international class action subcommittee, and the International Bar Association’s class action working group co-chair.

“We’re always looking to build our bench strength with top people in the field and she’s highly regarded and has the unique difference of having practised for many years in both provinces [Ontario and Quebec],” says Viner.

In a statement, Viner noted, “Sylvie will add further bench strength to our existing group, which includes Sheila Block, Patricia Jackson, John Laskin, Wendy Matheson and other leading lawyers.”

Update 2:25 pm: A Torys spokesman said  the new office would start small, supported by the other offices "as necessary." The firm plans to "immediately" start recruiting associates for the Montreal office. The spokesman declined to provide projections for the number of staff or lawyers who would be based there, or the number of associates being recruited.

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