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?

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

To purchase this video please click “Add to Cart”.

Login to watch this video if you have a subscription. Learn more about subscriptions.
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 is the Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario. He has chaired many Law Society committees and working groups. He is a past chair of the Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee of the Canadian Bar Association, was a member of the CBA Task Force on Conflicts of Interest and Legal Futures Initiative and is a member of the National Committee on Accreditation of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Malcolm is a litigation partner of McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto and was firm General Counsel from 2007 to 2018. Malcolm is an adjunct professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School where he teaches legal ethics. He is a legal ethics columnist for and is a member of the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics.

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 Waugh

Tannis was called to the bar in 2003 and practices in the areas of real estate, corporate/commercial, and estate planning. In 2018, she was certified as a specialist in real estate by the Law Society of Ontario.

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 currently sits on the education committee which is responsible for producing CPD programmes for Toronto lawyers.

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, The Commons Institute and the Toronto Lawyers Association.

Share this Page