Is the grass greener?

Why do people change jobs, or want to change jobs? Working in the recruitment industry, we hear these questions on a daily (sometimes hourly!) basis. After all of our years of experience, we know that no one-size-fits-all answer exists. Making the decision to embark on a career change journey is not something that should be taken lightly. At Impact Recruitment, we have found it beneficial to encourage our candidates to first deeply consider why they have decided to make a change before taking any next steps… or leaps.

Exciting news! Our very own Mark Fenwick, Team Lead of Impact Recruitment’s Legal Division, is a contributing author in the Fall 2017 edition of the BCPA’s Paralegal Press.

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126 year-old Vancouver law firm takes the global stage

Bull Housser, one of B.C.’s most well respected law firms, has joined forces with a global law firm in a combination that will give the Vancouver-based firm and its clients worldwide reach.

In September, Bull Housser and Norton Rose Fulbright announced that the two firms would combine in an initiative that will propel the British Columbia firm into the global legal market.

Bull Housser, with its 126 years of history, has 92 lawyers at its Vancouver office. Norton Rose Fulbright is a fast-growing global firm that has established out its Canadian presence in recent years with offices in Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.

The result is a partnership that will allow Bull Housser to expand its service offerings for its B.C. clients and provide Norton Rose Fulbright and its global clientele with a trusted advisor in the province.

“Our respective clients want simplified access to our firm across Canada, the U.S. western seaboard and the Pacific Rim. This combination addresses their need for that and provides a Vancouver presence,” says Charles Hurdon, Managing Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright in law

The two firms have complementary strengths, offering market leading capability in energy, mining, infrastructure, financial services, real estate, shipping, ports, life sciences, healthcare and technology.

Moreover, the combination will provide three key advantages for clients: innovative service offerings, improved efficiencies through advanced technology as well as access to leading legal advisors around the globe.

The combination follows a trend of consolidation in the industry in Canada, whereby global firms have formed partnerships with established Canadian firms.

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B.C. expected to lead country in economic growth in 2017: BMO

British Columbia is set to take top spot among the Canadian provinces for economic growth both this year and next, according to a BMO Financial Group report released October 6.

The province’s economy will grow by 3.0% this year, which is more than double the 1.2% growth expected nationally, BMO forecasts. In 2017, B.C.’s economy is forecast to grow a further 2.5%, compared with 2.0% nationally.

“This would continue a run of stable and solid growth averaging 2.8% over the past seven years,” BMO said in the report. “The province’s resource base is much more diverse (natural gas, base metals, forestry and little direct exposure to oil), housing has been roaring, while the combination of sturdy U.S. demand and a weaker Canadian dollar are a net positive for exports and tourism.”

The report points out that because B.C. is Canada’s biggest trading partner with Asia, slowing growth in China would hit this province the hardest.

The recently introduced foreign buyers tax is working to soften home sales, especially in the high-end sector, said Robert Kavcic, BMO senior economist.

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Law firm Bull Housser Tupper merges with Norton Rose Fulbright

One of the world’s fastest-growing law firms will merge with Vancouver’s Bull Housser Tupper (BHT) in a move that will see BHT operate as Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF).

BHT is Vancouver’s sixth-largest law firm with 95 local lawyers, according to Business in Vancouver’s 2016 list of largest law firms.

The firm specializes in legal niches such as real estate, wealth preservation, general business, dispute resolution, litigation and infrastructure projects.

In April, it celebrated its 125th anniversary by moving into 67,000 square feet on three floors of the Telus Garden office tower.

NRF has rapidly grown into a global legal powerhouse.

It was created in 2013 when London’s Norton Rose merged with U.S.-based Fulbright & Jaworski and, with the stroke of a pen, NRF became one of the largest law firms on the planet.

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Add lawyers to loan forgiveness program: bar association

Michael Welsh, who was appointed bar president on August 15, said rural citizens, including small-business owners in remote communities, are suffering due to increasing attrition within the legal profession. Welsh noted that many rural lawyers are baby boomers and have reached the age of retirement.

“A lot of the lawyers who are in the smaller communities have been there a long time,” said Welsh, a litigation lawyer with Penticton’s Mott, Welsh & Associates. “And they’re getting to the age where they’re retiring or winding down their practices and you’re not finding younger lawyers coming into those communities to replace them.”

The CBABC estimates that approximately 75% of B.C.’s lawyers practise within Vancouver, Victoria and Surrey. Welsh said most law school graduates are forced to work for a major firm when they leave school because large companies are the only ones that can afford to pay the size of salaries that can reduce student debts.

A CBABC letter to Premier Christy Clark lobbying to add lawyers to the loan forgiveness program noted that, because the average starting salary for a lawyer usually ranges between $25,000 and $45,000, working in a rural setting or trying to set up a practice is not cost-effective.

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B.C. continues to have lowest unemployment rate in Canada

British Columbia continued to have the lowest unemployment rate in the country with the jobless rate falling 0.3 percentage points to 5.6%, according to Statistics Canada data released August 5.

Employment rose in the province by 12,000 in July, extending an upward trend that began in the spring of 2015.

Estimated B.C. employment climbed to a seasonally adjusted 2.39 million people in July. That is up 0.5%, or 12,100 people, from June and 3.7% from a year ago.

Canadawide, it was not as rosy a picture.

After three months of little change, employment declined by 31,000 people, or by 0.2%, in July. The unemployment rate nationwide increased 0.1 percentage point to 6.9%.

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Industry critical of new B.C. tax on foreigners buying homes

Industry reaction to the B.C. government’s plan to tax foreign investors an extra 15% when buying residential real estate in Metro Vancouver has been swift and critical.

The government announced July 25 that foreigners who buy B.C. homes will have to pay the new tax, starting August 2.

“Housing affordability concerns all of us who live in the region,” said Real Estate of Board of Greater Vancouver President Dan Morrison.

“Implementing a new real estate tax, however, with just eight days’ notice and no consultation with the professionals who serve home buyers and sellers every day needlessly injects uncertainty into the market.

The measure comes after speculation that foreign money is to blame for surging Metro Vancouver home prices.

The tax is set to apply to the sale of all homes in Metro Vancouver except those on treaty lands of the Tsawwassen First Nation.

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5 things to know about the new Canada Child Benefit

The Liberals promised during last fall’s federal election that nine in 10 Canadian families would be better off once their new child benefit package rolls out.

Significantly better — to the tune of $2,300 annually, on average, according to the finance department’s calculations for the 2016-17 benefit year.

Is that really true?

On July 20, Canadian families will find out exactly how much their new monthly payments will be.

But assessing the full impact of the new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) may take longer.

Here are some things to know about the new monthly child benefit:

How much will families receive?

When the federal budget came out in March, the finance department put out a simple calculator.

Since then, the Canada Revenue Agency has added a more complex calculator for all government benefits. It requires inputting more information, but calculates a more exact figure.

For lower-income households, the CCB is billed as a game-changer. Finance Canada says the CCB will lift 300,000 children out of poverty, compared with 2014-15 figures.

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Supreme Court sets new deadlines for completing trials

The Supreme Court of Canada has set new rules for an accused’s right to be tried within a reasonable time frame, in a decision that criticizes the country’s legal system for a “culture of complacency” when it comes to delays in criminal trials.

Superior Court cases will now have up to 30 months to be completed, from the time the charge is laid to the conclusion of a trial. Provincial court trials should be completed within 18 months of charges being laid, but can be extended to 30 months if there is a preliminary inquiry.

Any delays beyond these time frames are “presumptively unreasonable” and violate the accused’s charter right to be tried within a reasonable time, the decision said.

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