Uniting in-house counsel from across Canada is priority for Canadian Corporate Counsel Association

Virtual conference will bring people together in challenging times, says CCCA chair, Margot Spence

Uniting in-house counsel from across Canada is priority for Canadian Corporate Counsel Association

After a year of remote work for many people, staying connected with colleagues is crucial, and building new relationships with peers in other jurisdictions can offer valuable learning opportunities.

As chairperson and a member of the executive committee of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, Margot Spence is focused on strengthening the in-house community by trying to attract a wider range of in-house counsel to the CCCA from across Canada.

“Whether you are in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Vancouver or Toronto, we can all benefit from sharing, and the common exchange of information and ideas,” says Spence, who has been chairperson of the CCCA since September 2020. “The in-house bar is growing exponentially, as more companies are bringing lawyers in-house and using external resources less so. The larger community is still Toronto-centric so my focus has been to try and broaden that focus to bring everybody together.”

With this goal in mind, the CCCA is hosting its first virtual conference on April 22. Following the theme, Silver Linings: Turning Adversity into Advantage, the event aims to offer a positive spin to the challenges of the past year. Around 200 participants are expected to join from across the country.

“We’re encouraging people to look at our circumstances today, due to the pandemic, and trying to turn a bad news story into a good news story,” says Spence, who is co-chairing the event. “Our lives and our businesses have been constrained in so many ways, so the focus of the conference is to look at things positively.” The event will include 12 professional development workshops and chatrooms for networking. Speakers include Stephen Poloz, special advisor at Osler, and former governor of the Bank of Canada.

“What’s nice about the CCCA is it brings people together from different provinces who may have cultural differences, but we all have common obstacles and opportunities so it’s great to be able to touch base with others and see how they are doing,” says Spence.

Based in North Vancouver, Spence is manager, corporate law at ICBC.

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