This post was written prior to our January 2017 merger, under our previous firm name, MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP.
On February 17, 2016, the Benchmark Canada Awards were presented to recognize the top lawyers and firms in the country for exceptional litigation work in 2016. Benchmark Canada focuses exclusively on the Canadian litigation market. Its assessments are based on interviews by researchers with lawyers and their clients.
Below is the article as it appears on Benchmark Canada.
MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman is a full-service law firm of over 145 lawyers serving clients across western Canada from offices in Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton. It is Saskatchewan’s largest legal workshop and, in the opinion of peers, “the dominant player” in the province’s marketplace. The firm attends to all manner of litigation including commercial contract disputes, mass tort actions, intellectual property claims, tax litigation, banking, construction and property claims, and insurance-related litigation including personal injury, professional liability, property, casualty and subrogated claims. The firm is also noted for its status as a go-to for appeals. In this capacity, Regina star litigator and arguably the firm’s most visible partner Robert Leurer recently handled an appeal on behalf of Zurich Insurance in what is, according to peers, “the largest bad faith claim in Canadian history for a private disability claim involving a miner who was injured on the job site. The judge felt the miner was wronged by the insurance company.” Leurer was retained on appeal, with the court’s decision being rendered in June 2015. According to a peer, “MLT did not run the trial – that was run by an out-of-province counsel, who got whacked.” Leurer is also noted for a robust class actions capacity that has earned the acknowledgment and acclaim of fellow class-action practitioners nationwide. “Robert is great, if I had to pick a class-action figurehead in Saskatchewan, he’s the guy,” says a Toronto partner, while a Vancouver peer calls him “a go-to, high-quality lawyer.” Leurer’s practice is largely composed of class actions in the consumer products arena, and he recently triumphed for Saskatchewan Power Corporation when he obtained summary judgment striking the plaintiff’s claim and application to certify a class action claiming that the defendant overcharged bulk-metered service locations. Peer recognition is also strong for fellow Regina partner Maurice Laprairie, who has extensive trial and appellate litigation experience. His practice includes defence litigation, class actions, insurance subrogation claims, construction litigation, labor and civil arbitrations, injunction applications, personal injury claims, and professional negligence actions. “I regard Maurice as preeminent,” offers a peer. “He spent the last couple of years on a very confidential bet-the-company dispute in Alberta, and was incredibly successful.” In the firm’s Saskatoon outpost, Douglas Hodson is identified as “their main litigator, who does a lot of inquiry work.” Peers note, “A good chunk of his work is done outside of Saskatchewan.” To this end, Hodson took a case to the Supreme Court of Canada in December 2015 regarding the validity of regulations of rail. Hodson acted for national railway CNR in a matter in which grain farmers sued for $1 billion, claiming that railways had overcharged farmers, initially going back to 1983. Shaunt Parthev has kept especially busy, representing Saskatchewan Medical Association on a proposed class action seeking additional compensation for certain physicians under the Medicare regime established by The Saskatchewan Medical Care Insurance Act, as well as representing the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission on an application to strike the plaintiffs’ statement of claim and dismiss the action in which the plaintiffs were seeking nearly $15 million as a result of the alleged negligence, abuse of office, and intimidation of the Commission said to arise out of the Commission’s receipt of a sexual harassment complaint filed against the plaintiffs. Recognition is also strong for Saskatoon partner Kurt Wintermute, who is “very busy with these quirky tax litigation cases that very few others in this region have an appetite for.”
For the fourth consecutive year, MLT was recognized as Saskatchewan Litigation Firm of the Year by Benchmark. In addition fourteen MLT litigators have received individual recognition including:
- Len Andrychuk, Q.C. – Aboriginal | Environmental
- Ariel Breitman – Commercial | Oil and Gas
- Doug Hodson, Q.C. – Class Actions | General Commercial
- Maurice Laprairie, Q.C. – Class Actions | General Commercial | Insurance
- Larry LeBlanc, Q.C. – Labour and Employment
- Jeff Lee, Q.C. – General Commercial | Insolvency
- Robert Leurer, Q.C. – Class Actions | General Commercial
- Eileen Libby, Q.C. – Insurance | Labour and Employment
- Harold MacKay, O.C., S.O.M., Q.C. – Arbitration | General Commercial
- Shaunt Parthev, Q.C. – Class Actions | Insurance
- Leah Schatz – Labour and Employment
- Kevin Wilson, Q.C. – Labour and Employment
- Kurt Wintermute – Tax Litigation
Deron Kuski, Q.C. was also recognized by Benchmark as a Future Star.
MLT Managing Partner noted that this recognition of the firm’s litigation strength is particularly gratifying given the input of client assessments in the selection process.