In with the new

As you may have already noticed when you picked up this issue of Canadian Lawyer, we’ve refreshed our look. It had been quite a few years since we updated the design of the magazine, so have given ourselves a makeover for the new year.

Art director Bill Hunter, who is responsible for the look and feel of the publication had this to say about what he wanted to achieve: “I wanted to give the magazine a fresh, modern business look. I wanted to engage readers with punchy graphics and a clean, easy-to-read design.” With new headline fonts, more white space, and a modernized feel to our columns and departments, I think you’ll agree the new design is a great way to usher in the new year.

But we are not only looking smarter in 2015, we’re also welcoming on board a slew of new columnists – both online and in print. Every year, writers come and go and this year is no exception. In the print issue starting next month, we’ll be welcoming Kate Simpson to the Tech Support column. As the national director of knowledge management at Bennett Jones LLP and a previous life as a consultant to Canadian, U.K., and global law firms, she’ll bring readers her thoughts on practice tools and resources that can enahce firms’ intellectual capital for the benefit of practitioners and clients. She’ll kick of her column by tackling this small topic: the competing pressures that constantly threaten to throw legal IT professionals off-track.

Online at, we welcome four new columnists this year. Well-known criminal defence counsel Bill Trudell already launched his new column, Sidebars, in December with a pointed commentary entitled “The dangerous right to remain silent.” In it, he talks about “this wonderful profession . . . becoming ‘uncoupled’ from our proper voice.” Look for his next provocative piece online in February.

Jane Arbour, who retired this past fall after 24 years at the Department of Justice advising federal government departments on domestic and international human rights law, will be taking over the Human Rights . . . Here & There column, which was on hiatus last year. Her learned insights will undboutedly provide food for thought on human and civil rights issues around the globe.

As well, Kristal Bayes, a new associate at Fillmore Riley LLP in Winnipeg, takes over the Trial by Fire column. She’ll share the ups and downs of life as a new lawyer. And last but not least, while we already have a business immigration column, there was a bit of a gap where other immigration matters such as family reunification, refugee, and other types of immigration law were concerned. As such, we’ve recruited Ron Poulton, a Toronto immigration lawyer who has extensive experience in those areas including appearances on matters before the Supreme Court of Canada.

In addition, each month I’ll be calling on a law firm leader to have their say on matters of the business of law in the Managing Partner Forum, so keep your eye out for the first one at the end of this month.

Of course, we have had to bid farewell to some columnists as well. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for the time and effort they put in and to playing an important role in the discussion of legal practice in Canada. They include: Danielle Olofsson, who wrote the knowledge management component of Tech Support for the last few years; and online, columnist Lindsay Scott, who launched the Trial by Fire column in her first  year of practice, has passed the torch; and class actions columnist Kirk Baert wrote his last piece at the end of December.

As always, I look forward to hearing feedback from readers on all the things you like and any that you feel we might do better on. Here’s to a great new year.

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