The top firms in the Prairies are evolving to keep up with a shifting economic and social landscape
For the top firms in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 2019 is a time of modernization as their leaders say they are adapting to changing client needs and adjusting their operations to attract young talent. With the increasing encroachment of national and international firms, they are confident their deep roots will hold their place.
Canadian Lawyer’s top Prairie regional firms were chosen by hundreds of voters across Canada. Listed alphabetically, the top Manitoba firms are Fillmore Riley LLP, MLT Aikins LLP, Pitblado LLP, Taylor McCaffrey LLP and Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP. The top Saskatchewan firms, listed alphabetically, are McDougall Gauley LLP, McKercher LLP, Miller Thomson LLP, MLT Aikins LLP and Robertson Stromberg LLP.
Last year, Thompson Dorfman Sweatman packed up its operations at the traditional, downtown-Winnipeg law firm hub at Portage and Main and moved to True North Square, a new development owned by the owner of the Winnipeg Jets, not far from Bell MTS Place, where the Jets play.
“I’m looking out my window now, and for the first time in my lifetime, as a Winnipegger, there are cranes in all directions, highrises are going up and the city is shifting, and it’s consistent with what I’ve seen in our firm,” says Keith LaBossiere, CEO and managing partner of Thompson Dorfman Sweatman.
The firm’s younger generation is driving a revision of the firm’s culture and the firm has put a “heavy premium” on new technology to ensure that working from home — or wherever else — is an available arrangement, LaBossiere says. The demand for workplace flexibility is concurrent with growing competition for the talent coming out of law schools, pulling young lawyers in countless directions and putting pressure on law firms to build an enticing environment, he says.
“Now, a law degree is a ticket to many opportunities. And so, we’ve got to make sure that we continue to be an attractive place to work or these younger law students are going to find other businesses or other endeavours to do with their law degrees,” LaBossiere says.
While Thompson Dorfman Sweatman is modernizing its workplace, in Saskatchewan, McKercher LLP partner David Stack says his firm is modernizing its approach to clients. Fixed-fee arrangements and other alternative billing methods are more prevalent and clients want “proactive advisors,” enmeshed in the businesses and able to spot trends, value and opportunities with a genuine interest in their industries, he says.
“Clients are asking for more project management and less traditional lawyering,” Stack says.
As for the Saskatchewan economy, Stack says he’s seeing a lot of work in renewable energy, Indigenous law and economic development and more estate litigation because the aging population involves a massive transfer of wealth, land and farms. He’s also seeing out-of-province interests investing in value-added agriculture.
As opposed to its more commodity-reliant neighbours to the west, Manitoba abstains from the boom-bust cycles with a diversified economy, says LaBossiere. Thompson Dorfman Sweatman does work in natural resources, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and the largest employer in the province is the public sector and “the government is always going,” he says.
“Now happens to be as good a time as I recall in Manitoba,” says LaBossier.
Apart from the big public sector and health-care organizations that the firm counts as clients, it is reaping the windfall of relationships it built years ago with startups.
“We’ve got a bunch of young, energetic companies that are setting the world on fire that we started with when they were one or two or three people who are now doing quite well, which is really exciting,” he says.
There is also competition creeping into the province from national and international firms, as well as from accounting firms and consultants, all looking to take advantage of a steady and dynamic Manitoba economy, but given the nature of business relationships in the province, it may be difficult for them, says LaBossier.
“Manitobans like to support other Manitobans and I’m sure it’s the same in Saskatchewan. And so, it is hard sometimes for people from other jurisdictions to take hold with clients,” he says. “And that’s probably why you haven’t seen much of an incursion from lawyers from other provinces into the province of Manitoba itself.”
MLT Aikins LLP won in both categories of the survey. The firm has offices in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. Don Wilson, the firm’s managing partner, says the firm has focused on being a Western Canadian firm, which prides itself on an ability to match the capacity of national firms, even without a presence east of Winnipeg.
“So, who gives a shit if somebody is coming from Bay Street or is in Saskatoon? Well, they do,” Wilson says. “We know the cabinet ministers. We know the mayors. We know the local people that matter. These are people we grew up with. . . . So being here on the ground in all of these cities in the West we believe does set us apart and clients tell us.”
Glen Peters, managing partner of Winnipeg’s Fillmore Riley LLP, says he’s seen a growing influence from east and west but also that smaller and nimbler prairie regional firms have an advantage to the national and international firms because their overhead is cheaper comparatively.
“We have a very broad practice that connects to all of the sectors that are prevalent in the Manitoba economy — very large, private company base and expertise in a lot of the areas that our locals are looking for, such as, for example, agribusiness,” he says.
In Saskatchewan, Stack says McKercher follows a “relationship-based approach” as opposed to “transactional experts or hired guns.” Since the last top prairie regional firm list in 2017, the firm has continued to grow, says Stack. McKercher has made strategic investments in innovation, management and increased skill capacity, as well as succession and sustainability with the addition of new partners, he says. The firm created an innovation team to adapt to new technology and it has improved governance structures, added non-lawyer management directors and has been hiring new lawyers, he says.
“And we’ve enhanced our bench strength in the areas of immigration, Indigenous law, insurance law, labour law, startups and renewable energy,” he says.
Though expanding its reach, McKercher is not “immune to the storm cloud on the world economic horizon” either, Stack says. Saskatchewan has borne the brunt of tensions between Canada and China, the latter having halted imports of canola, a major Saskatchewan crop.
“But the Saskatchewan economy has been managed very well during the uncertain times we’ve had over the last decade, and that’s positioned the province very nicely. And our clients, as a result, are in a good place,” he says.
How we did it
Canadian Lawyer asked lawyers, in-house counsel and clients from across Canada to vote on the top full-service regional firms in the Prairies. They were asked to rank the top five firms in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan from a long list and were given the option of adding a firm not included on that list. The survey respondents’ rankings were based on the regional service coverage, client base, notable mandates, service excellence and legal expertise of the firms. To be included, firms had to have at least one office in the Prairies and offer a wide range of legal services. Voters ranked their top five and a points system was used to determine the winners, which are listed here alphabetically.
1. Fillmore Riley LLP
Total lawyers: 70 lawyers
Offices (with # of lawyers): Winnipeg (70) Core practice areas: Banking and finance, business law, insurance, litigation, real estate and commercial development and tax and wealth management
Key clients: Royal Bank of Canada, Public Utilities Board of Manitoba, Richardson International Limited, Dufresne Spencer Group, Canada Life and lead Manitoba counsel for multiple major insurance companies
Notable mandates: Acted as counsel for MacDon Group of Companies in its sale to Linamar Corporation for a total purchase price of $1.2 billion; acted for Cabot Corporation on the sale by Cabot Corporation of its Specialty Fluids Business to Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources Co. Limited for $135 million; acted as counsel for Dufresne Spencer Group Holdings, LLC on five acquisitions in 2018-2019, resulting in 50 new stores; acted as co-counsel for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in the MMIWG inquiry, including development of submission for standing, planning and preparation for hearing process and acting as hearing counsel
Star alumni: Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick, Supreme Court of British Columbia; Justice David Kroft, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench; Master Shayne Berthaudin, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench; retired justice Susan Devine, Provincial Court of Manitoba; retired Manitoba Court of Appeal justice Alan Philp; Steven Kroft, CEO, Conviron; Jean-Marc Ruest, vice president, corporate affairs and general counsel, Richardson International
Affiliations: TAGLaw and the Risk Management Counsel of Canada
The firm: Established in 1883 as Richards & Coutlee, the firm is now named after two long-time members of the Manitoba bar, W.P. Fillmore and H.J. Riley. Originally founded on the core practice areas of banking, financial and insurance law, the firm has grown to full-service status, with expertise in areas of law relevant to its local and international client base.
“Excellent work product and a practical approach,” said one survey respondent of the firm. Another said, “Exemplary local counsel services. A top-notch team.”
2. MLT Aikins LLP
Total lawyers (in Manitoba office): 100
Offices (with # of lawyers): Winnipeg (100), Regina (42), Saskatoon (39), Calgary (24), Edmonton (24), Vancouver (17)
Core practice areas: Corporate and commercial, M&A, litigation, labour and employment, business immigration, securities, administrative and regulatory, intellectual property and taxation. Key sectors include science and technology, agribusiness, energy and mining, commercial real estate, infrastructure, Aboriginal and banking.
Key clients: Artis REIT, Aviso Wealth, Canadian Medical Protective Association, Delta 9 Cannabis Inc., Exchange Income Corporation, Greystone Managed Investments Inc., Harvard Developments Inc., Manitoba Hydro, People Corporation, Rubicon Pharmacies, Saskatchewan Power Corporation, the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, WGI Westman Group Inc.
Notable mandates: Counsel to the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company on its $875 million acquisition of Western Financial Group Inc. and Western Life Assurance Company from Desjardins Financial Corporation Inc.; advised Canada’s Credit Union Centrals and the CUMIS Group in the merger and consolidation of the businesses of Credential Financial Inc., Qtrade Canada Inc. and NEI Investments, as well as the creation of Aviso Wealth; counsel to Rubicon Pharmacies on merger with Amenity Holdings Inc.; counsel to Greystone Capital Management Inc. in its $792-million sale to the TD Bank; counsel to Exchange Income Corporation in connection with nearly $800 million of acquisitions. Successfully obtained judgment in Good Spirit School Division No. 204 v. Christ the Teacher Roman Catholic Separate School Division No. 212 and the Government of Saskatchewan (2017 SKQB 109), a case concerning the constitutionality of government funding for non-minority faith students who attend minority separate schools in the province
Star alumni: Sir James Aikins, founder and first president of the Canadian Bar Association, lieutenant governor of Manitoba; Murdoch A. MacPherson, attorney general of Saskatchewan, member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan; G.S. Thorvaldson, senator, member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba; Brian Dickson, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada; Marshall Rothstein, justice of the SCC
The firm: MLT Aikins LLP is a full-service law firm. One of the 15 largest law firms in Canada, it is the result of the 2017 merger of MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP and Aikins MacAulay & Thorvaldson LLP, whose histories date back to 1920 and 1879, respectively.
One survey respondent said the firm was exemplary because of its “client base, service excellence [and] legal expertise.” Another voter said, “Superior service. Business- minded lawyers that care about our business . . . almost as much as we do!”
3. Pitblado LLP
Total lawyers: 65
Offices (with # of lawyers): Winnipeg (64), Arborg, Man. (1)
Core practice areas: Corporate and commercial, litigation, labour and employment, taxation, banking, Indigenous law, commercial real estate and leasing/commercial leasing, bankruptcy and insolvency
Key clients: Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada, Steinbach Credit Union, Assiniboine Credit Union, IG Wealth Management (Investors Group), Business Development Bank of Canada, Public Utilities Board of Manitoba, Artis REIT, Canadian Premium Sand, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Canada Post Corporation, Manitoba Blue Cross, Canada Cartage and various health authorities
Star alumni: Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Candace Grammond; Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Dewar; Federal Court of Appeal Chief Justice Marianne Rivoalen; Former Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench justice Ted Glowacki; former Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench justice R.D. Guy; former Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench justice John Scollin; former Manitoba Court of Appeal justice and premier of Manitoba Sterling Lyon; former Manitoba Court of Appeal justice A. Kerr Twaddle; former senator Duncan Jessiman; and Mayor Brian Bowman, City of Winnipeg
Notable mandates: Played an integral role in bringing the Churchill rail line back to working order. Churchill had been isolated since spring flooding damaged the rail line and forced fuel and food to be flown in. Arctic Gateway Group Limited Partnership purchased the Hudson Bay Railway, Port of Churchill and Churchill Marine Tank Farm from OmniTRAX. Pitblado represented OneNorth, comprised of the 17 communities and First Nations on the rail line from The Pas/Opaskwayak Cree Nation to Churchill. One North successfully negotiated control of MRLP, good terms for its alliance with Fairfax/AGT and was part of the buyer group that negotiated the deal with OmniTRAX.
Pro bono: Pitblado Law is involved with the United Way Winnipeg, Legal Help Centre, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and several other outstanding not-for-profit organizations.
The firm: Pitblado Law is a full-service business law firm serving local, national and international clients and has been operating for more than 137 years. Pitblado is the result of the amalgamation of several firms, and it dates back as far as 1882.
“Outstanding service,” said one survey respondent of the firm. Another said the firm was exemplary because of the “diversity of service, quality of service, breadth or knowledge.”
4. Taylor Mccaffrey LLP
Total lawyers: 60
Office (with # of lawyers): Winnipeg (60) Core practice areas: Business law, advocacy, litigation and dispute resolution, labour and employment, taxation, family law, real estate and property development, technology and intellectual property and wills, estates and trusts
Key clients: The City of Winnipeg, the City of Brandon, Business Development Bank of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint, Royal Bank of Canada, the University of Manitoba, Maple Leaf Foods, CAA Manitoba, Forks North Portage Partnership, Brandon University, Loblaws, Caisse Financial Group, the Northwest Company, University of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Airport Authority and Palliser Furniture Ltd.
Notable mandates: Negotiated and completed the merger of CAA Manitoba and CAA South Central Ontario to form CAA Club Group; acted for BCE Inc. in the acquisition of MTS pursuant to Manitoba’s largest plan of arrangement; represented the City of Winnipeg in interest arbitration with paramedics, fire and police, and hearings before the land value appraisal commission, lead negotiator for the University of Brandon in talks with its faculty association; negotiated first labour agreement for the Canadian Human Rights Museum; represented same-sex couple in contested adoption trial, and obtained order of adoption for two-year-old boy; successfully argued at the Supreme Court in Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd. v. Structural Heavy Steel
Star alumni: Manitoba Court of Appeal Justice Jennifer Pfuetzner; Manitoba Court of Appeal Justice Charles Huband; Federal Tax Court Justice Joe Hershfield; B.C. Court of Appeal Justice Nicole Garson; former mayor of Winnipeg William Norrie; president and CEO of the Richardson Financial Group Sanford Riley; chief legal officer and executive vice president of Ceridian Inc. Scott Kitching
Global Affiliations: SCG Legal, Employment Law Alliance, International Academy of Family Lawyers
The firm: This summer 2019, the firm opened its new offices in the heart of the City at Portage and Main. The firm was founded as a result of the merger of the firms of Reeh Taylor and D’Arcy McCaffrey. A full-service firm with service available in French and Italian, the firm maintains rural offices in Gimli, Steinbach, Riverton and Winnipeg Beach.
“Client-centric focus, practical and constructive solutions, excellent lawyers with solid reputations for delivering good service and results,” said one survey respondent of the firm.
5. Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP
Total lawyers: 110
Offices (with # of lawyers): Winnipeg (88), Brandon (6), Portage la Prairie (5), Boissevain (1), Gladstone (1), MacGregor (1), Morden (3), Saskatoon (1), Steinbach (1), Winkler (3)
Core practice areas: Corporate commercial, litigation and dispute resolution, government and regulatory, construction law, financial services, Indigenous law, environmental law, natural resources and energy, property and development, taxation and labour and employment
Key clients: Farmers Edge Inc., PCL Constructors Inc., True North Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (Winnipeg Jets), Manitoba Hydro, Hudbay Minerals Inc., Boyd Group Income Fund, the Toronto-Dominion Bank, Province of Manitoba, Shared Health Inc., Winnipeg Police Association, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corp.
Notable mandates: Represented the Boyd Group in 2018 when Boyd Group Income Fund acquired approximately 42 non-franchise collision repair locations; acted in connection with the $54,370,000 property sale to Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc; helped TD Bank finance a management group acquisition of the casino operations and management services, and refinanced the operations of a First Nationowned casino and resort; TDS provided advice on cross-border structure, immigration and employment matters, as well as intellectual property matters and comprehensive advice on federal and provincial compliance in respect of marketing promotion, education, advertising and branding in connection with the retail sale of cannabis; acted for Brandon-based Manitoba NetSet Ltd. and I-Netlink Incorporated (NetSet) on the sale of the internet access business to New Brunswick-based Xplornet Communications.
Star alumni: Former Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench associate chief and current member of the Manitoba Court of Appeal Justice William Burnett, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Associate Justice Shane Perlmutter, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Colleen Suche, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice James Edmond, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Karen Simonsen, Chief Judge of the Manitoba Provincial Court Margaret Wiebe. Affiliations: Lex Mundi, Acumen Corporate Development Inc.
The firm: TDS is a full-service firm of 100 lawyers providing services in more than 25 areas and has language capabilities in English, French, Russian, Hebrew, Italian and Portuguese. TDS is the exclusive member firm in Manitoba for Lex Mundi — a leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 100-plus countries worldwide. Strategic partner Acumen provides corporate development services out of Winnipeg and Atlanta to help fuel business growth.
"Broadest coverage in MB, superb service levels, very strong litigators and advocacygroup,” said one survey respondent of the firm.
6. McDougall Gauley LLP
Total lawyers: 82
Offices (# of lawyers): Regina (41), Saskatoon (41)
Core practice areas: Litigation, including complex commercial, class actions and insurance defence; criminal; corporate-commercial; insolvency and restructuring; banking and financial services; labour and employment; wills and estates
Key clients: North Ridge Development Corp., SaskPower, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, University of Regina, Business Development Bank of Canada
Notable mandates: Representing corporate defendants in class actions; applications under the Charter including a successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada to establish internet identity can only be disclosed with judicial authorization; representing professionals in various regulatory and criminal matters
Star alumni: Saskatchewan lieutenant governors George Brown and Frank Bastedo; Saskatchewan Court of Appeal justices Thomas Wakeling, Hector MacDonald and Neal Caldwell; Federal Court Justice James Russell; Tax Court of Canada Justice Georgette Sheridan; Queen’s Bench justices Shawn Smith, Merri-Ellen Wright, Richard Danyliuk and Daryl Labach; Provincial Court Justice Kevin Lang; former chancellor of the University of Regina William Ready; James Rybchuk, Provincial Court judge
Affiliations: Canadian Litigation Counsel
The firm: McDougall Gauley LLP is a Saskatchewan firm with a diversified local, provincial, national and international practice. Since 1891, it has served domestic and international organizations, insurance companies, individuals in business, government, law and finance, as well as local, national and multinational corporations.
The firm is exemplary because of its “timely service,” said one survey respondent.
“They cover the province well, don’t have conflicts and are a full-service firm in terms of practices,” said another.
7. McKercher LLP
Total lawyers: 77
Offices (with # of lawyers): Saskatoon (51), Regina (26)
Core practice areas: Personal injury and insurance litigation, corporate commercial litigation, estate litigation, class actions, administrative litigation including professional regulation for professional organizations as well as professional defence, labour and employment, agriculture and agribusiness, corporate/commercial, mining, natural resources and environmental, Indigenous law
Key clients: Canadian Medical Protective Association, University of Saskatchewan, Verdient Foods, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Baydo Development Corporation, Wal-Mart Canada Corp., Overwaitea Food Group (Save- On-Foods), Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, Input Capital Corp., 49 North Resources, Redhead Equipment Group
Notable mandates: Acted for Input Capital in a one-of-a-kind private placement of shares offering used to fund canola streaming contracts for farmers seeking capital; acted for Wright Construction Western Inc. and its parent in financial close of the Saskatchewan Joint-Use Schools Project, which included 18 elementary schools and nine joint-use facilities in the province; is current exclusive legal services sponsor and partner to Co.Labs, Saskatchewan’s first technology incubator for startups; acted for Fortis Properties Corporation in the disposition of 22 hotels; acted for Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan in the privatization of Information Services Corporation; one of two negotiators for 50 Catholic entities parties to the Indian Residential School Settlement Class Action
Star alumni: Former Supreme Court of Canada justice Emmett Hall; Federal Court of Appeal Justice Denis Pelletier; Federal Court of Canada Justice Paul Favel; Former Saskatchewan Court of Appeal Justice Percy Maguire; Saskatchewan Court of Appeal Justice Peter Whitmore; Former Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench chief justice R. D. Laing; Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench justices Neil G. Gabrielson, Daniel B. Konkin and Richard W. Elson; Saskatchewan Deputy Premier and former attorney general Gordon Wyant
Affiliations: Lawyers Associated Worldwide, Risk Management Counsel of Canada, Employment Law Alliance
The firm: Since 1926, played an integral role in Saskatchewan’s most significant commercial projects, leading litigation cases that have shaped Canadian law. As one of Saskatchewan’s largest and most established law firms, McKercher LLP and its lawyers are well versed in the economic, social and regulatory environment of Saskatchewan.
“I genuinely believe that their service is second to none on the Prairies,” said one survey respondent of the firm.
8. Miller Thompson
Total lawyers (in Saskatchewan offices): 39
Offices (with # of lawyers): Regina (25), Saskatoon (14)
Core practice areas: Agribusiness and food production, capital markets and securities, construction/infrastructure, municipal, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, corporate tax/ private client services/social impact, energy/ environmental/renewable energy/natural resources, aboriginal, financial services and insolvency, blockchain, IP/IT, labour and employment, litigation (commercial/construction/ insurance, real estate), emerging business (startups to scaling to commercialization), data privacy and cyber-security
The firm: Miller Thomson helps businesses of every size, entrepreneurs and individuals. It works with not-for-profit organizations as well as financial institutions and governments. The national firm has more than 550 lawyers, with 12 offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Vaughn, Toronto, Markham and Montréal.
Star Alumni: William Thomas Molloy (lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan); R. James Balfour (member of Parliament for Regina East, Saskatchewan and senator); Kenneth Roy MacLeod (Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench); Stuart John Cameron (Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal); William Vancise (Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, Northwest Territories Supreme Court); Brian J. Scherman (Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench); Heather MacMillan- Brown (Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench)
The firm is exemplary because of its “great bench strength, strong service levels. Very competent firm,” said one survey respondent.
9. MLT Aikins LLP
Total lawyers (in Saskatchewan offices): 81
Offices (with # of lawyers): Winnipeg (100), Regina (42), Saskatoon (39), Calgary (24), Edmonton (24), Vancouver (17)
A full description of the firm can be found under MLT Aikins LLP in the Manitoba section.
10. Robertson Stromberg LLP
Total lawyers: 30
Office (with # of lawyers): Saskatoon (30)
Core practice areas: Mining and energy, business law, insolvency and restructuring, corporate finance, commercial and civil litigation, urban development and construction, professional regulation, insurance, family law
Key clients: AIG Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan, Liberty International Mutual Insurance Co., LutherCare Communities, Meadow Lake Tribal Council, Nutrien, Postmedia Network Inc., P.R. Hotels Ltd., Saputo Dairy Products Canada GP, Saskatchewan Medical Association, Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance, Siemens Transportation Group
Affiliations: Meritas, The ARC Group Canada
Notable mandates: Was retained by the Saskatchewan Construction Association for work related to the design and development of the Adjudication Authority under Saskatchewan’s newly introduced Builders’ Lien (Prompt Payment) Amendment Act
Star alumni: Justice Gwendolyn Goebel and Justice Grant Currie (Saskatchewan, Court of Queen’s Bench); Justice Ralph Ottenbreit (Saskatchewan, Court of Appeal); Frank Quennell (minister of justice, Saskatchewan), James Wilfred Estey (attorney general for Saskatchewan and later a justice on the Supreme Court of Canada); Arthur Moxon (first dean of the University of Saskatchewan College of Law); and Peter Makaroff (distinguished civil libertarian best known for his representation of labour and minorities during the Great Depression).
The firm: For nearly a century, Robertson Stromberg LLP has offered its clients service in every major area of the law. It has 30 lawyers, two articling students, six paralegals and 29 administrative staff with a portfolio of individual, corporate and institutional clients across the province and country.
Its “overall quality” and “experience” is what makes the firm exemplary, said two survey respondents.