02.06.2014 09:09 AM

Fare thee well, Heenan Blaikie

Story here.

The winding down of this fabled firm – where I was for a fun get-together just a couple weeks ago – is sad, but not unprecedented.  Goodman and Carr went the same way, a few years ago, for a lot of the same reasons.  Nothing lasts forever, including law firms.

The reasons, as I’ve posted in the past, are not unique to Heenan or Goodman.  Big law firms are dying, much in the way that big media firms are – because of bad management decisions, because of resistance to change, and because of a total underestimation of the impact that the Internet would have on what they do.  I left the day-to-day practice of law, in a law firm, a decade ago, and I haven’t regretted my decision once.  Meanwhile, most lawyers I know, like most politicians I know, are totally miserable.

Oh, and my friend who had an office at Heenan’s in Ottawa? Don’t worry about him for one solitary minute.  He has a name that is much, much bigger than any single law firm.



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    harvey bushell says:

    So, what does someone like Chretien actually do at a law firm after being PM? Is he just listed there for a firms cache or would they actually take on a case or two?

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    Derek Pearce says:

    I’ve never understood how law firms could get away with such outrageous billings to clients for years. I can’t believe it’s taken this long (I read the article you linked to) for clients to finally tell firms to get real.

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    Paul Brennan says:

    law firms billings are nuts really…what I have been billed for in the detailed billings is ridiculous sometimes … you get a huge bill and they nickle and dime you on expenses to boot .. not all but many ..much better luck with regional firms for day to day stuff or even sole practictioner….if you need a big firm always negotiate first and get things in wrinting ..beware of the research by colleagues of front line lawyers .. I ask to meet all the group and say..watch your hours

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    Chris says:

    I think Chretien should go to Davies. It would be fun seeing him and Lucien Bouchard work on projects together!

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    pc says:

    Weren’t PET and Lucien Bouchard at the same firm, after the latter left politics?

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    James Hanna says:

    PET and Audrey Best, Bouchard’s wife, were at Heenen; which was also in the same building I worked in. I used to see PET in the food court getting General Tao chicken. Bouchard himself is at Davies, I think.

    I was fact checking myself, and I was a bit shocked to learn Best had passed away. Very sad and quite young.

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