This past weekend was a troublesome one for the Canadian law firm of Heenan Blaikie. A meeting was held on Saturday in which partners announced that the firm would take on a ‘major restructuring,’ according to the Ottawa Citizen.
With the announcement came the exit of one-third of the attorneys at the firm’s office in Ottawa. There are more than 500 lawyers employed with the firm in eight offices across Canada.
“While discussions continue, the top priority remains Heenan Blaikie’s clients and serving them with the same dedication and attention to detail as ever. There will be no interruptions in service during this period,” said former co-managing partner Norman Bacal in a statement.
The law firm would not provide the media with details as to what their restructuring plans might be, but some speculation surrounds the dissolving of the network of its offices in Canada.
On Sunday, the entire labor and employment department in the Ottawa office of the firm quit. Dan Palayew is leaving the firm to join Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Ottawa. He worked as the co-managing partner at the Ottawa office and the head of the labor and employment practice. At his new firm, Palayew will serve as the regional leader of the labor and employment practice.
Norman Bacal, the former co-managing partner of the firm, said on Saturday that Heenan Blaikie is not looking to merge with other firms despite many showing interest.
“I have no specifics on what other partners may or may not be doing,” Bacal said.