May 19, 2020

Canada's Top Lawyers

Attorney
lawyer
Representative
advocate
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Canada's Top Lawyers

 

Whether protecting people or corporations, these lawyers are widely known to be at the top of their industry. Business Review Canada will take an up close and personal look at the top four most prestigious lawyers across Canada. See what ranks them at the top of their game whether it is their education, record or belief in whom they represent.  

James Lockyer

Partner, Lockyer Campbell Posner

Toronto

A lawyer and prominent social justice activist in Canada, James Lockyer is well-known in the industry. Involved in exposing more than ten wrongful convictions in Canada, Lockyer is the founding director of the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted. Lockyer specifically helped Guy Paul Morin, a man wrongly convicted of murder and rape in 1992. The case is potentially Lockyer’s largest impact on the justice system as Morin’s exoneration led to a public inquiry on how to avoid future wrongful convictions. Earning his law degree at McGill University, Lockyer also taught law at his alma matter and at the University of Windsor until 1977 when he went into private practice as a criminal lawyer.

Brian Greenspan

Partner, Greenspan Humphrey Lavine

Toronto

Brian Greenspan is one of the most famous and well-regarded defense lawyers in Canada. His record in trial and appellate law as well as his representation of several high-profile clients, such as Naomi Campbell, ranks him at the top of the industry. For Greenspan, law runs in the family. His brother Eddie Greenspan is also a well-known criminal lawyer. Fortunately, Greenspan also has the knowledge to back his experience. A graduate of the University of Toronto, the Osgood Hall Law School at York University and the London School of Economics, Greenspan is currently the Senior partner at Greenspan, Humphrey, Lavin and has established himself as a successful criminal lawyer that will take on high-profile cases that may seem daunting to other attorneys.

Joseph Arvay

Partner, Arvay Finlay

Vancouver

Known as one of Canada’s leading litigators, Joseph Arvay specializes in civil litigation with an emphasis on constitutional and administrative law matters. Arvay’s wealth of knowledge about law comes from his law degrees earned at the University of Western Ontario Law School and Harvard Law School. Arvay has been involved on a number of aboriginal rights litigation cases as well as medical malpractice, class action, commercial litigation and defamation cases. Additionally, Arvay has served as the general counsel for the British Columbia Ministry of the Attorney General. Arguing at every level of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, Arvay’s representation has brought him into several high-profile cases.

 

David Allgood

Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Royal Bank of Canada

Toronto

Joining Royal Bank of Canada in August of 1998, David Allgood was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Counsel in 2000. Working with the largest financial institution in the country, Allgood has become a leader in the value-billing initiative in Canada and has enhanced in-house counsel expectations across the nation. Known for his taxation and income tax aspects of corporate finance expertise, Allgood previously was a partner at the Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt firm. Director of the Association of Corporate Counsel, chair of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for Queen’s Law School and Vice-Chair and Treasurer of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Allgood uses his knowledge to the benefit of many.

As you can see, these lawyers are known for their expertise in matters of justice. No matter their representation of corporations, celebrities or the wrongfully convicted, these attorneys’ presence in court brings them to the forefront of law in Canada.

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Jun 8, 2021

Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda

Tax
Compliance
financeleaders
Deloitte
Kate Birch
4 min
As businesses accelerate their transformation journeys, tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value. Deloitte reveals six tax trends

New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.

According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.

And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.

Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.

Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax

Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.

According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”

Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models

Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.

Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected

in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.

"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."

Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities

Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.

At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”

Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting

Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.

Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact 

Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements

Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.

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