The Great Debate: Are Alternative Business Structures (ABS) a Genuine Threat to the Future Practice of Law?

The Great Debate: Are Alternative Business Structures (ABS) a Genuine Threat to the Future Practice of Law?

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CPD Accredited Credits
Professionalism: 1.0
Gavin Birer
Malcolm Mercer
Dan Pinnington
Tannis Waugh
Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA)
1 hour
$99.00 plus tax
4th Annual Current Topics in Ethics & Professionalism

This debate style presentation promises to be energetic and informative. The Law Society of Upper Canada has formed a Working Group to explore various options for the delivery of legal services.  Should this include Alternative Business Structures? The debate will address practice management and client service issues, including:

  • What is the effect of limiting practice to currently permitted business structures? Rr. 4.1, 4.2, 7.8.1
  • What are the realistic risks of liberalization? Can these risks be managed? R. 3.2, 3.3, 6.1
  • What can we learn from the Australian and British experience?
  • What are the public interest considerations? R. 3.4, 7.1, 7.3


Gavin Birer

Malcolm Mercer

Malcolm was called to the Bar 1984. He is a Partner and General Counsel of McCarthy Tétrault LLP. Malcolm is a Bencher and the Chair of the Professional Regulation Committee at the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is the Chair of CBA Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee. Malcolm is the recipient of 2013 Louis St Laurent Award for distinguished or exceptional service to the objectives and goals of the Canadian Bar Association.

Dan Pinnington

Dan Pinnington is a legal technology evangelist and is well known for his tech tips. As the Vice President, Claims Prevention and Stakeholder Relations at LAWPRO, Dan helps lawyers avoid malpractice claims and helps LAWPRO reach out to its stakeholders. His vision, energy and ideas have made the practicePRO program an internationally recognized claims prevention initiative.

Dan is a prolific writer, speaker and blogger on legal malpractice, risk management, legal technology, and law practice management issues. The American Bar Association published The Busy Lawyer’s Guide to Success: Tips to Power Your Practice, a book he co-authored with Reid Trautz. He a past Editor-in-Chief of the ABA’s Law Practice magazine, was Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2007 and helped launch the ABA's Law Practice Today Webzine.

Tannis Waugh

Tannis WaughTannis was called to the bar in 2003 and practices in the areas of real estate, corporate/commercial, and estate planning. She practiced in a boutique firm in Toronto for three years before becoming a sole practitioner.

As a former Trustee for the Toronto Lawyers Association, Tannis has been involved in advocacy and education initiatives, most notably the moderator and presenter of continuing education programmes and writer of articles for the TLA journal.

She is also a member of the Condominium Sub-documents Committee of the Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate which is responsible for producing province-wide precedent materials for condominium transactions.

Tannis is a frequent presenter for continuing legal education programmes and, in the past, has spoken on the issue of real estate, estates and ethics for the Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Toronto Lawyers Association.

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