News & Publications Results

Title Date
Speculation is Evil - and Costly 04.1.16
Opinion: Workplaces need clear harassment policies and procedures for addressing problems

In a professional work environment, there is only one thing that is worse than losing one’s job — losing one’s reputation. You can always find another job, but once your name is tarnished, the damage may be permanent.

Following the suspension of a University of B.C. creative writing professor for “serious (undisclosed) allegations,” accusations against a UBC grad student for offensive acts and sexual assault and claims that the university failed to adequately respond to these allegations, the B.C. government is looking into developing a set of sexual harassment policies that post-secondary institutions would use to cope with sexual harassment and assault.

Read full article here.

New Rules for Tax Treatment of Employee Stock Options

The new Liberal government’s tax policy focusses on relieving the tax burden on the middle-class and increasing taxation generally for those earning more than $200,000. As part of that plan, the Liberal government plans to eliminate the tax deduction on employee stock option benefits over $100,000 and increase federal marginal tax rates on individuals with an annual income above $200,000 to 33%.

Mapping the Territory: Aboriginal Title and the decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia


Record Retention Policy for E-Discovery

Increasingly, the rationale for implementing a records management and retention policy is not simply to manage space, data storage, and their associated costs, but also to limit legal fees, and increase certainty, in e-discovery. Limiting the number of records to be searched at the outset of e-discovery is the first and most important step in managing the process.

In many instances, the length of time a record must be kept is governed by statute or regulation. However, once that time requirement has passed, or in the absence of a specific retention requirement, the focus must shift to providing a rationale for keeping the record, as opposed to keeping all records by default. Although it may initially seem counterintuitive, an effective retention policy does not so much mandate record retention as plan their orderly destruction.

Dreaming on a Cloud?

It was so simple in the old days. The filing system was secured by lock and key. The communication “platforms” were writing a letter, setting up a meeting or speaking on the telephone. Any risk of interception by unauthorized third parties was negligible.

Then technology came along and ruined everything. Technology changed the way lawyers store and access their client data. It’s only really now, in the age of high profile hacks, that lawyers are starting to question where their data goes when it is in transit and where it lives when it is at rest on a server.

The decision for law firms on where to store data is not an easy one, for there are many benefits and risks to take into account. The choices come down to storing data on local hard drives or USB sticks (not recommended), on a shared drive on a network, or somewhere on the cloud.

Getting the Deal Through

 Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through: e-Commerce 2016, (published in July 2015; contributing editor: Robert Bond, Charles Russell Speechlys). For further information please visit

Congratulations to Jagdeep Shergill who was recognized as one of the 2015 Lexpert Rising Stars: Canada’s Leading Lawyers Under 40 23.11.15
Contract Law Update - Developments of Note 2015

This paper by Lisa Peters discusses contract law issues including decisions of relevance to commercial practice.

Access Granted: How Organizations Can Improve Response to Access Requests

In late October, the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC (the “Privacy Commissioner”) released a scathing report on the BC Government’s response to an access request filed with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure regarding meetings about missing women and the Highway of Tears. The report (Investigation Report F15-03 – Access Denied: Records Retention and Disposal Practices of the Government of British Columbia) was issued following the Privacy Commissioner being alerted to the BC Government’s failure to properly respond to requests for access to information pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FOIPPA”), which requires a public body to provide access to “all records in the custody or under the control of a public body”. This article will focus on guidelines, stemming from this report, which organizations should consider to encourage adequate responses to requests for information.

The Franchises Act, Shifting the Balance of Power to Protect British Columbia's Franchisees

On Tuesday October 20, 2015, Bill 38, the Franchises Act, successfully passed third reading. The Government of British Columbia first introduced the bill on October 6, 2015, and it is now in its final stage of enactment. The Franchises Act will come into force upon Royal Assent which is expected to be granted towards the end of 2016 or early in 2017.

Read more here.

Applying Knowledge Management for Lawyers: Precedents 29.10.15
Towards a Paperless Future 24.10.15
Lawson Lundell Named Regional Law Firm of the Year at Chambers Canada Awards

On October 1, 2015, Lawson Lundell LLP was recognized as theRegional Law Firm of the Year at the inaugural Chambers Canada Awards which took place in Toronto, Ontario.  

Lexpert Special Edition on Leading Canadian Lawyers in Global Mining publishes Lawson Lundell's article on "Moving Towards Sustainable Development: How Canadian Mining Companies Are Leading By Example"

Karen MacMillan and Khaled Abdel-Barr's article on "Moving Towards Sustainable Development: How Canadian Mining Companies Are Leading By Example" was published in the Lexpert Special Edition on Leading Canadian Lawyers in Global Mining in the Fall of 2015. The article discusses how many Canadian mining companies are fulfilling their corporate social responsibility and in doing so are providing lasting and meaningful economic and social growth to affected stakeholders.

Fall 2015
Lexpert: Aligning Resource Development with the Interests of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada 28.9.15
Aligning Resource Development with the Interests of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

 Canada’s economic future is dependent upon energy and natural resource development and therefore inextricably linked to the rights, interests and influence of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. Despite considerable advancement in the domestic law of consultation and accommodation, there is growing unrest and dissatisfaction among Aboriginal communities with the current approach to development on their traditional lands. The impact of this unrest and dissatisfaction on resource developers is readily apparent and evidenced by the increased legal, regulatory, financial and reputational risks associated with permitting delays, operational disruptions, protests and negative media attention.

Lawson Lundell’s Knowledge Management Group Profiled in Knowledge Management for Lawyers

Lawson Lundell was recently featured in Patrick DiDomenico’s Knowledge Management for Lawyers. In this book, published by the American Bar Association, DiDomenico surveys knowledge management best practices using case studies to illustrate strategies and approaches. Commenting on Lawson Lundell, he notes that the firm has “embraced the principles and ideas of knowledge management and benefited greatly from them.” In particular, DiDomenico calls attention to the fact that the Knowledge Management group, under Euan Sinclair’s direction, “smartly leverages employees in other groups to participate in knowledge management projects and activities.”  This collaboration between groups ranging from Information Resources, to Information Technology to Business Development and Marketing, maximizes resources and efficiencies while also serving as a way to break down silos between departments and to enhance the sharing of knowledge. In the book, Sinclair describes his role as follows: “working proactively with practice groups to identify the areas where the scarce KM resources can be applied to best effect.” 

BP Canada: Uncertain Tax Positions and the Importance of Maintaining Privilege

In its recent decision in Minister of National Revenue v. BP Canada Energy Company, the Federal Court of Canada considered the Minister’s ability to compel BP to provide its tax accrual working papers pursuant to the Minister’s inspection powers in subsection 231.1(1) of the Income Tax Act. The decision in favour of the Minister signals a substantial change to the audit process and may require modifications to the way in which corporate taxpayers analyse their uncertain tax positions.

Jason Paton of Lawson Lundell is CAPLA's New General Counsel

Jason Paton, an oil and gas partner with the law firm Lawson Lundell LLP in Calgary, has agreed to act as general counsel to CAPLA (Canadian Association of Petroleum Land Administration) on a volunteer basis. This news appeared in the September 2015 edition of NEXUS Magazine.