Thursday, February 28, 2019|8:30AM-5:00PM

Sun Life Financial Tower (Vantage Venues)
16th Floor
150 King Street West, Toronto

This program contains 5 hours of Professionalism Content from LSO
This program contains 1 hour of EDI Professionalism Content from LSO


Founding Partners:


Networking Lunch Partner:


Media Partners:



To innovate, lawyers need to embrace risk.

They must adopt new approaches, some of which are beyond the traditional domain of the law.

They need to be responsive to a fast evolving business landscape.

And they need to know how to work with clients to tailor strategic solutions.

The purpose of the Canadian Legal Innovation Forum - part of a wider series of forums being held across Canada - is to build a leadership network who can show you how to stay competitive in the business of law.

Law Departments/Companies attending
BMO, TD Bank, Magna International, Sun Life, Rogers, Manulife, TMX Group, Rio Tinto, Air Canada, Canadian Western Bank, Bloomberg, RBC, Coinsquare, Resolver, Epiq, Axiom, DealMaker, Blue J Legal, Clio, FTI Consulting, Radio Canada, Chartwell, Export Development Canada, National Bank of Canada, Bruce Power, Bentham IMF, Thomson Reuters, PWC, Deloitte, RSM Canada, WSIB Ontario, Ford Canada, Capital One

Law Firms attending: 
McCarthy Tetrault, Blakes, Osler, Stikeman Elliott, Dentons, Gowling WLG, Borden Ladner Gervais, Baker McKenzie, Fasken Martineau, Torys, Norton Rose Canada, Aird Berlis, Miller Thomson, Bennett Jones, Fogler Rubinoff , Davies, Minden Gross




Agenda - February 28th

8.30 - 9.00 am - Registration and Breakfast
9.00 - 9.10 - Welcome by Forum MC: David Scanlan,
Managing Editor for Bloomberg News, Canada & Andrew Bowyer, Founder, The Canadian Legal Innovation Forum
9:10 - 9.50am - Setting the Scene: Canada’s Trade Future
Norms governing global trade have changed, which directly impacts Canada’s current and future prosperity. NAFTA has been redrafted. CETA, enabling free-trade between Canada and the EU, presents opportunities and uncertainty; Canada’s largest trading partner in the EU – the UK – is formally leaving in 2019. A new free-trade agreement is mooted with China - yet the complexity of transpacific trade is increasing. Finally, foreign investment in Canada is dwindling for a number of reasons. This session will focus on Canada’s trading future and the opportunities and challenges for Canadian lawyers.

Monique Smith
, Former Ontario Representative in Washington D.C.
Milos Barutciski,
Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais
Jason Langrish,
Executive Director, Canada Europe Roundtable for Business
James Small, President, Willingdon Advisors

Chair: Josh Wingrove, Reporter, Bloomberg News

9:55 - 10.35am - How is the structure of the legal sector changing?
For law firms and law departments, innovation goes beyond simply adopting new technology. To be innovative, lawyers must embrace risk taking approaches that are not always natural to them. They must retain talent in a market undergoing generational change. And they continuously need to justify their value to clients (both internal and external) not only as lawyers but strategic advisors. Competition remains fierce, with advisory firms and new law companies emerging as potent, disruptive competitors.This panel will discuss shifts in the legal ecosystem and how lawyers can recalibrate their approaches accordingly.

Jolie Lin, Deputy General Counsel, BMO Financial Group
Fred Headon, Assistant General Counsel, Air Canada
Anne Ristic, Co-Managing Partner, Stikeman Elliott
Carla Swansburg, Vice President & General Manager Canada, Epiq

Chair: Bryan Friedman, Director & General Manager Canada, Axiom


10.35 - 11.00am - Morning Break

11.05 - 11.45am - Talent, education and purpose
The legal profession is one that is people driven. For law firms having a diverse, differentiated and purpose driven culture is critical to attracting the best talent and achieving success; for law departments, the same applies. Underpinning the success of both is education with law schools training the lawyers of the future. At the same time, the profession is encountering generational and economic shifts. How can law firms and law departments attract and retain talent? How are millennial lawyers viewing the potential paths of their careers differently particularly when it comes to purpose? What can law schools do to better train future lawyers; and what are the ethical implications of law schools training lawyers for skills beyond purely legal ones?

Randy Bauslaugh, Partner, Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice, McCarthy Tetrault
Lesley Croll Henry,
Director, Attorney Talent, Axiom
Victoria Watkins,
Assistant Dean & Executive Director, Osgoode Hall Law School
Margaret Kim,
Associate Lawyer, Bennett Jones

Sean Conway, Honorary Fellow, Ryerson University (former Ontario Minister of Education)

11.50am - 12.30pm - The future of law firms

For law firms, how they create value for their clients, structure their businesses and deliver services are key ways to differentiate themselves. Law firms must now deliver solutions for multiple client stakeholders in multiple situations and organise and manage themselves in more innovative ways. To do this, they are experimenting with building scalable technology based solutions to solve client problems, alternative fee arrangements and fostering deeper internal and external collaboration. Yet there are many hurdles for law firms to overcome in order to make these changes achievable, sustainable and, in the long term, profitable. This session will focus on how law firms are working toward these innovative ends while maintaining market share now and in the future.

Michael Fekete, National Innovation Leader, Osler
Mark Tamminga, Partner, Gowling WLG
Sanjay Khanna, Futurist, Baker McKenzie
Sukesh Kamra, National Director, Knowledge Management, Norton Rose Canada
Pascale Barabe, Senior Legal Counsel, SAP Canada

Chair: Jason Moyse, Principal, Law Made
12.30 - 1.30pm - Lunch - Supported by Osler
Presentation: Lynne Charbonneau, Founder Lexterna (former Deputy General Counsel, HSBC)
1.35 - 1.55pm -
Presentation - Jon Lavinder, Senior Director TAR, Epiq
2.00 - 2.40 pm - Blockchain

Hailed by many commentators and industry players as a global game-changer in the manner of the advent of the internet in the 1990s, blockchain is a disruptive mode of technology with significant implications for companies in Canada and around the world. Blockchain addresses and helps solve a variety of problems that businesses face around in areas such as supply chain and logistics, regulatory compliance in the financial sector and records of ownership. The advance of blockchain in myriad applications for business will, by definition, create a great deal of complexity for lawyers to solve. Blockchain technology also has the potential to disrupt the traditional practice of law with agreements circumventing traditional intermediators.  Here we discuss what the implications of blockchain are for corporates, the lawyers working for them and its broader application to the practice of law.

Eric Richmond,
Vice President, Legal, Coinsquare
Zach Justein, Head of Business Development and Legal Affairs, Paycase
Daniel Fuke,
Partner, Fasken Martineau
Usman Sheikh, Partner, National Head - Blockchain & Smart Contract Group, Gowling WLG

Chair: Martine Boucher, Founder and CEO, Simplex Legal
2.45 - 3.05pm - Presentation - Sara Morgan, VP, Axiom US
3.05 - 3.25pm - Afternoon Break
3.30 - 4.10pm - The future of law departments

For in-house legal teams, their role, scale and influence within their organizations is increasing. Lawyers working in innovative companies are under pressure to be as innovative (and cost efficient) in their delivery of services. The legal work they are undertaking -- particularly in technology companies in nascent parts of the sector -- can have critical consequences for the future success of their companies. Operationally, law departments are also changing. Organizations like CLOC (The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) are gaining increasing prominence and clout in the sector -- changing the way  that legal services are purchased, who they are purchased from and how legal departments are structured. In the panel, we’ll look at how these changes underway for law departments are impacting the sector and the implications for the future of innovation in it.

Bindu Cudjoe,
General Counsel, Canadian Western Bank
Nikki Latta, Assistant General Counsel, Deloitte
Peter Nguyen, General Counsel, Resolver
Lynne Charbonneau,
Founder, Lexterna (former Deputy GC, HSBC)

Chair: Jennifer Brown, Managing Editor, Canadian Lawyer InHouse

4.15 - 4.55pm - Technology

Technology is disrupting every sector and law is no exception. A greater percentage of purely legal tasks like document review, e-discovery and expertise automation are being solved for by AI powered applications. Administrative tasks such as matter management, billing and CRM tools custom built for the legal sector are positively impacting firm and legal department bottom lines. And for consumers, technology is enabling increased, more efficient and inexpensive access to justice in areas such as family law. Yet, the long term impact of technology on the legal sector remains in question. Will it free up lawyers’ time to focus on more strategic work? Or, will it eliminate much of the work currently done by lawyers? What are the ethical implications of delegating more legal work to technology in favour of human lawyers and what are the risks involved when human judgement is eliminated from the equation? This session will discuss how technology is impacting the sector currently and the future implications of technology and the law.

Benjamin Alarie, Co-Founder and CEO, Blue J Legal
Rebecca Kacaba, CEO, DealMaker
Mark Bowman, Founder at Meese AI, Counsel at Fasken
Richard Thomas, Head, Business Ventures, RBC Ventures

Chair: Joshua Lenon, Lawyer in Residence, Clio

4.55-5.00pm - Closing Remarks from Conference MC - David Scanlan, Managing Editor for Bloomberg News, Canada


About Our Partners


Epiq, a global leader in the legal services industry, takes on large-scale, increasingly complex tasks for corporate counsel, law firms, and business professionals with efficiency, clarity, and confidence. Clients rely on Epiq to streamline the administration of business operations, class action and mass tort, court reporting, eDiscovery, regulatory, compliance, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. Epiq subject-matter experts and technologies create efficiency through expertise and deliver confidence to high-performing clients around the world. Learn more at


Axiom is a recognized leader in the business of law. With a vision of transforming the legal industry through talent and technology, Axiom leverages proprietary software, data, and processes to provide global companies with access to a flexible network of world-class lawyers, combining the breadth of expertise found at law firms with the cost-efficiency and integration of in-house hires. The firm comprises 2,000-plus lawyers, professionals, process engineers and technologists in 17 offices globally. 


Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler is a leading law firm with a singular focus — your business. From Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver and New York, we advise our Canadian, U.S. and international clients on an array of domestic and cross-border legal issues. Our collaborative “one firm” approach draws on the expertise of more than 400 lawyers to provide responsive, proactive and practical legal solutions driven by your business needs.

 As your needs evolve, so do we. Through our Osler Works platform we are advancing legal service delivery to provide practical, cost-effective legal solutions that better serve your business — and your bottom line. We do this by combining market-leading technology (including artificial intelligence), our alternative delivery centre and suite of innovative tools and products, together with our leading business and legal expertise.