Recent Publications
Publication Excerpts
Succession Planning: A Review of the...
Book review: The Highest Goal
Book Review
Law Firm Culture: What Doesn't Kill...
Six Degrees of Separation
Top 40 Corporate Counsel: Under 40
Lexpert 1999-2000
Lexpert 2001
Lexpert 2002-2003
Lexpert 2004
Lexpert 2005
A Quiet Charismatic (Managing Partner Profile) - Jan 2001

Dale Lastman is the kind of guy that defies the expression “nice guys finish last”, says Michael Hollend of Toronto’s Goodmans LLP. Hollend is a young articling student who Lastman mentors. While his experience of Dale Lastman cannot begin to compare with that of such people as Robin Lastman, Paul Godfrey, Allan Leibel, Michael Bregman, Larry Tanenbaum, or others who have known Lastman for many years, it turns out to be an insightful observation.

Dale Lastman and Allan Leibel (to be profiled next month) are Co-Chairs of Goodmans. They are also somewhat reluctant participants in this “profile” process. “We are not,” they both say, “managing partners in a traditional sense, and it would be grossly unfair of us to take advantage of these positions to look good.” “Besides,” deadpans Lastman, with what readily becomes apparent as his characteristic dry humour, “people will be amazed at how little I do around here.”
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How Smart Are You-Really? (Feature) - Feb 2001

"You can never be too skinny or too rich” is an expression usually attributed to either Gloria Vanderbilt or the late Duchess of Windsor. While it may be an appropriate maxim for success in the general population, it doesn’t cut ice for lawyers. “You can never be too smart” is more likely on the minds of those who work and compete in a profession where solutions, advice, and sound judgement are the commodity base.

But what are the “smarts” that distinguish star performers in this profession? How do you recognize them in the all too brief recruitment process and how do you grow and develop them to the greatest extent possible? We all know that the form of intelligence that gets people into law schools is academic (often called IQ) and that law schools chiefly select students with the best relative grades and LSAT scores. From law school to law firm, the initial and frequently most heavily relied upon selection criteria is again grades. Top law firms select top students from top schools. However, from point of entry to top revenue generator and/or star performing lawyer, the correlation between grades and success breaks down, as it does in all other professions.
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A Lawyer Who Loves to Sail or a Sailor Who Practises Law? (Managing Partner Profile) - Feb 2001

In Leadership Is An Art, one of the most insightful and succinct books ever written about leaders and companies that achieve greatness, Max DePree tells the story of a millright’s death at Herman Miller, Inc. in the 1920s. At the millright’s funeral, his colleagues and bosses discover that the millright was the author of extraordinarily beautiful poetry written throughout his life. “Was he a millright who wrote poetry or a poet who did millright’s work?” asks DePree.

DePree’s story about the millright is used to illustrate his first and most fundamental insight about great companies and leaders. They understand, endorse, and embrace the diversity of talent that people bring to the work they do, accepting that no one person can know or do everything. The art of leadership, according to DePree, is the act of liberating, enabling, and polishing the different talents that individuals bring that provide meaning, purpose, and fulfillment to the work they do. It is people and their diverse talents that hold the real promise of vision and success for organizations
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Cliff's Excellent Adventure (Managing Partner Profile) – Mar 2001

Who would have guessed that those two scrappy, scrawny and “bodacious” guys from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure would have grown up, changed their names to Clifford Lax, Q.C., and Terrence O’Sullivan, morphed into top-flight litigation lawyers, and, along the way, convinced (or conned) a top-ranked mega-firm female litigator (Eleanore Cronk) to join them. The adventures of Lax, O’Sullivan and Cronk, establishment firm litigators turned boutique practice entrepreneurs, advocates and community volunteers, might be the subject of next fall’s winning TV legal series, if only we could get the three to talk. For now, a very brief profile of one of these adventurous lawyers will have to suffice. Cliff Lax is the Managing Partner of Lax O’Sullivan Cronk LLP, a four-year old and ten lawyer super boutique that is clearly making its mark. According to Cliff’s partners, he is also the instigator of this latest adventure.
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Global Skill Sets (Senior Partner Profile) - Jun 2001

Global leaders are the professional pioneers who are breaking ground in today’s increasingly borderless marketplace. As boundaries blur and global information infrastructures level playing fields, success goes to those who have the ability to transcend traditional barriers of custom, language and practice. Such leaders have a unique ability to engender trust and bridge disparate groups and interests. Such leaders have been the subject of Dr. Morgan McCall’s (the best-selling author of High Flyers and a UCLA business professor) most recent research. His soon-to-be-released book on developing global leadership provides considerable insight respecting this new type of star performer.
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Crossing Over: Lawyers as Corporate Executives (Cover Story) - Sep 2001

"In the twenty-first century, change is discontinuous, abrupt, seditious. In a single generation, the cost of decoding a human gene has dropped from millions of dollars to around a hundred bucks. The cost of storing a megabyte of data has dropped from hundreds of dollars to essentially nothing. Global capital flows have become a raging torrent, eroding national economic sovereignty. The ubiquity of the Internet has rendered geography meaningless. Bare-knuckled capitalism has vanquished all competing ideologies and a tsunami of deregulation and privatization has swept the globe.”
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