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Succession Planning: A Review of the...
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Book review: The Highest Goal
Book Review
Law Firm Culture: What Doesn't Kill...
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Six Degrees of Separation
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Top 40 Corporate Counsel: Under 40
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Lexpert 1999-2000
Lexpert 2001
Lexpert 2002-2003
Lexpert 2004
Lexpert 2005
Canada's Top 25 Corporate Litigators (Cover Story) - Jul 2002

Insensitive, harsh, greedy, self-centred, egotistical, emotionally deficient, loud-mouthed extroverts—so you think you know litigators? Think again! Twenty-five litigators, identified by Lexpert as the top corporate litigators in Canada (see chart on page 66), were the subject of an innovative research project to discover “what makes them tick.” They were tested, interviewed and scrutinized in more than 60 hours of face-to-face meetings using two of the best psychological profiling tools, EQi (Emotional Intelligence) and 16 PF (Personality Factor) assessments. Our findings smashed the stereotypes and redefined why and how top litigators do what they do.

10 Key Findings
1. Group profile: fiercely independent self-starters, sensitive, private introverts. Highly creative/abstract thinkers. Moderately trusting optimists. So much for stereotypes!
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The Top 40 Under 40 (Cover Story) – Sep 2002

Go figure! If the formula for success were as simple as the many gurus such as Stephen Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) or Tony Robbins (Unleash The Power Within) would have us believe, we could all click our heels three times, follow a seven- or twelve-step plan and—poof—be rich successful winners—if we truly wanted to be. Such formula books about success sell like cornflakes. Unfortunately, the phenomenon of exceptional or top talent is not like cornflakes. It is considerably more complex and is finite. There is only so much to go around.

If you have ever wondered how much is really known about top talent, the answer is not enough for today’s talent-hungry marketplace. Success actually has much less to do with “what” people do than “why and how” people do what they do. The fact is that we still don’t clearly understand how the complex mix of genetics, motivation, disposition and environmental influences converge to produce a star performer. One thing we can count on is that those who do figure out the talent puzzle sooner will be in the best position to identify and retain more of this increasingly valuable resource.

So what do we know about star talent? We know that exceptional talent represents only about 3 to 5 per cent of any population and that we generally recognize top talent not before but after they start to produce exceptional results. We know that a top performer adds 127 per cent or more value than an average performer and that he or she can be a magnet for other top talent. Now that’s not cornflakes!
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Canada's Top 30 Corporate Dealmakers (Cover Story) - Nov 2002

"Anybody can say that something can’t be done. What we look for and value the most, are counsel who start with a position of ‘there has to be a way to do this, let’s find it.’ These people are savvy. They have street smarts. They peel away the layers of the law and situate their legal advice in the context of the business objectives. That’s judgment.” As usual, Gerald Schwartz at Onex does not mince words. The question, of course, is where does this “judgment” come from?

It has been said that there are four kinds of people in business: those who watch things happen, those to whom things happen, those who don’t know what’s happening and those who make things happen. Meet Canada’s top 30 dealmakers. They are “make it happen” corporate lawyers. They enjoy national and international recognition. J-P. Bisnaire (Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Toronto), for example, was ranked Canadian Business Lawyer Of The Year by the prestigious Chambers Global, The World’s Leading Lawyers 2001-2002.
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Lateral Recruitment, Flame Throwers and Monsters Under the Bed (Feature)- Jan 2003 by Irene E. Taylor & Marzena Czarnecka

Pinch me. Can you visualize a bunch of over-achieving, fiercely independent, intelligent, competitive and somewhat introverted lawyers hunched over their computers tapping in ratings about one another—and we’re not talking about evaluating substantive legal skills. No, these evaluations from all directions—upwards, downwards and sideways (called 360° assessments)—are gathering feedback about the extent they and their colleagues demonstrate behaviours, such as listening respectfully and empathetically to others, mentoring and coaching young associates, demonstrating integrity, trustworthiness, and placing the goals of the firm above their personal agendas. Really?
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Leveraging Talent Through 360º Assessment and Coaching (Feature) - Feb 2003

Pinch me. Can you visualize a bunch of over-achieving, fiercely independent, intelligent, competitive and somewhat introverted lawyers hunched over their computers tapping in ratings about one another—and we’re not talking about evaluating substantive legal skills. No, these evaluations from all directions—upwards, downwards and sideways (called 360° assessments)—are gathering feedback about the extent they and their colleagues demonstrate behaviours, such as listening respectfully and empathetically to others, mentoring and coaching young associates, demonstrating integrity, trustworthiness, and placing the goals of the firm above their personal agendas. Really?
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CARPE DIEM! Canada's Top 25 Women Lawyers (Cover Story) - Sep 2003

Looks really can be deceiving. The slender young woman standing in the reception area of one of Canada’s most prestigious and profitable law firms is wearing a long brown dress with tiny patterns covered by a chocolate coloured cardigan. Her long dark hair is casually swept up into a thick clip at the base of her neck. She looks like the girl next door in Edmonton (which she was) but her office in the busy hub of downtown Toronto along with the computer screen and BlackBerry are dead giveaways. They plug her into a world of high-stakes, fast-moving international deals where she often leads deal teams and acts as the primary point of contact for clients and counsel on the other side. She spent half of last year immersed in a reverse takeover between Canada-based Co-Steel and Brazil-based Gerdau as the two combined their North American operations in a deal valued in excess of $1 billion. Her name is Karrin Powys-Lybbe (Torys) and she’s not in Edmonton anymore.
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