The 2016 Who’s Who in Canadian Law Firms:
Serving Clients in Canada, the US, and Globally

By Jean Cumming, Editor-in-Chief

CANADIAN LEGAL TALENT

Firm Rankings

  • 1.5 points for each lawyer in the “Most Frequently Recommended” tier in any of the relevant practice areas in the 2016 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory OR The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading Lawyers 500 in Canada;
  • 0.75 points for each lawyer in the “Consistently Recommended” tier in any of the relevant practice areas in the 2016 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory;
  • 0.5 points for each lawyer in the “Repeatedly Recommended” tier in any of the relevant practice areas in the 2016 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory;
  • If one lawyer appears in multiple practice areas, the calculation is treated as if it were for more than one lawyer.

THE METHOD BEHIND THE RANKINGS

The identification of leading practitioners and firms is based upon comprehensive survey work across the country, which has been ongoing since 1994. The process targets lawyers acknowledged as leaders in their respective fields, lawyers prominent in professional organizations, and lawyers otherwise enjoying significant recognition from their colleagues.

Certain surveys also canvass in-house counsel. Again this year, in-house counsel were formally surveyed in the following practice areas: Banking; Computer & IT Law; Corporate Commercial Law; Corporate Finance & Securities; Litigation – Corporate Commercial; Litigation – Intellectual Property; Mergers & Acquisitions; and Property Development.

On our surveys, Lexpert® sets out a list of the lawyers represented in the previous year’s directories, with room for write-in votes. Lawyers on the list who garner insufficient votes are not named in the surveys in the following year, while write-ins who receive sufficient support do appear as named nominees on the following year’s surveys.

The surveying does not proceed by way of random, unsolicited mailings. Lexpert® follows up on unanswered surveys and also conducts personal interviews with senior members of the profession.

These methods have produced an unusually high response rate. In 2015, Lexpert® made 12,969 requests for completed surveys from lawyers at law firms, and 6,561 additional requests were sent to corporate counsel. We received 10,587 completed surveys from law firm practitioners representing a response rate of 81.63 per cent. Our response rate from corporate counsel was 1.95 per cent.

AN EVOLVING APPROACH

In keeping with extensive consultations conducted with stakeholders in 2015, Lexpert® has revised the practice groups embraced by its various rankings to accord with the realities of an evolving legal market. Accordingly, the text that goes with each chart has at its outset a listing of the practice groups included in the surveys for the particular ranking.

It is important to remember that these changes reflect the market as it is today. Our rankings do change and evolve, year after year.

Lexpert® will continue with its consultations on an ongoing basis in 2016, and beyond, to ensure that the bull’s-eye charts continue to reflect an accurate picture of the legal marketplace.

There are also elements of editorial discretion applied to the rankings and the bull’s-eye charts. This is applied in a principled approach. So, for example, if there have been several lawyers who have made lateral moves from a firm, notwithstanding that they were individually ranked at the time of the Surveys, we have updated the overall firm results in the bull’s-eye charts to reflect the current situation. Discretion exists also when it comes to determining the levels of ranking, among Most Frequently, Consistently and Repeatedly Recommended — we attempt to draw the lines between identifiable clusters within the vote numbers.


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Where:
Source: 2017 Lexpert™/ALM 500 Directory.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWYERS WHO’S WHO
Lexpert practice groups included in this category are:

  • Biotechnology
  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation – Intellectual Property

The intellectual property (IP) market focuses on Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal, again reflecting the economic strength of the triangle and the significance of the location of the federal patent and trade-mark offices in the nation’s capital.

Intellectual Property Lawyers Who’s Who: Toronto

In Toronto, IP boutique Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh leads; followed by Bereskin & Parr LLP; Goodmans; Torys; Norton Rose; and Gowlings. Next comes DLA Piper LLP; McCarthy Tétrault; Belmore Neidrauer LLP; Blakes; and Deeth Williams Wall LLP. Next come Lenczner Slaght.

Intellectual Property Lawyers Who’s Who: Ottawa

Gowlings leads with Smart & Biggar second; Aitken Klee LLP is third; Osler fourth; and Ridout & Maybee LLP completes the chart.

Intellectual Property Lawyers Who’s Who: Montréal

Robic, LLP has the leading IP practice in Montréal. Next come Smart & Biggar; Norton Rose; Fasken Martineau; McCarthy Tétrault; Blakes; DrapeauLex Inc and Gowlings completing the group.