The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Lynne Yryku

Corporate counsel

Why we do what we do (and how to change It)

By Lynne Yryku October 2, 2018 2 October 2018

Why we do what we do (and how to change It)

 

“My legal mind made me think, ‘Did we do everything we could have?’”, says Catherine Chow, VP Legal and General Counsel of Keg Restaurants Ltd., when her company experienced two accidental deaths in a short time frame last year. “I was just so profoundly moved … and as a company we were so profoundly moved.”

Her value system, based on law and order, led her to take on the issue herself. Her initial approach was to make existing rules stronger and create new ones to make staff events even safer (though the accidents were unrelated to the actual events). “Clearly, we need rules to enforce!” she had thought.

“I got the President’s buy-in but I neglected to get HR’s because I thought it was my issue,” she explains. “I didn’t get enough stakeholders in the process, and to be honest, I think I stepped on HR’s toes because what we did was crack down on everything. I have failed initially to see the synergies … and so I had a lot of resistance, not against the policies but against the approach. There was no uptake.”

“At that point, I thought I was going to leave the company. I thought it was a values misalignment,” she adds.

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Corporate counsel

A changemaker to watch

By Lynne Yryku September 27, 2018 27 September 2018

A changemaker to watch

 

“It is one of the best areas for lawyers to work in,” says Addison Cameron-Huff in his clear, measured tone when asked about working in an environment where the rules are still being formed. “There's an interesting moment and challenge every single day.”

As President of Decentral Inc., Cameron-Huff is the epitome of agile and adaptable. In this new and emerging world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, he is one of the select people helping to shape the legal landscape—without textbooks or case law to rely on.

A large part of his role involves “judging where things are headed and preparing the company to deal with them, which in this space is a bigger issue than in most.” He explains, “[The people in government] want to do a good job and they look to industry to know what ‘doing a good job’ means. So my role gets to impact the legislation and regulations in Canada primarily but in the United States a little bit, which is very unique for such a small company.”

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Corporate counsel

Protecting your digital assets

By Lynne Yryku June 20, 2018 20 June 2018

Protecting your digital assets

 

“The number of people who are trying to infiltrate networks today greatly exceeds those who are trying to prevent intrusion. So the external hacker world is always half a step ahead of the people who are trying to maintain the integrity of the system,” says Stephen Spracklin, Legal Counsel, Information Technology and Intellectual Property with the City of Mississauga. “It is not a matter of if; it’s when—and then how prepared are you to deal with that eventuality.”

“We handle an average of about 40 to 50 incidents per month [across Canada],” adds Daniel Tobok, CEO of Cytelligence Inc. “Ransomware has been a very big problem in the industry over the past 24 months. People are getting hit left, right and centre, especially the small- to medium-sized organizations, which are getting hit every single day. And now the problem with ransomware is that the bad guys are getting very sophisticated. The average bad guy spends about 28 to 64 days on a network before actually hitting them with the infection. […] We just dealt with a municipality that had literally just under 1,000 servers taken down and to repair all the servers you’re looking at millions of dollars.” 

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Profile

Julia Shin Doi: Building success one community at a time

By Lynne Yryku April 6, 2018 6 April 2018

Julia Shin Doi: Building success one community at a time

Julia Shin Doi developed a strong sense of community from a young age. Her parents immigrated to Canada from South Korea when she was only 2 years old. “We lived in one of the poorer areas of Toronto,” she explains. “The Korean community nurtured me and became my extended family. I felt a great sense of belonging.” She adds, “When I was called to the bar, the whole Korean community was excited!”

This immigrant experience shaped her outlook early on, helping her define her purpose: “to be a community builder, a real connector.” “As an immigrant, you lack social capital,” she explains. “I have founded organizations to create and be a part of those communities. I always say, ‘If there isn’t one, let’s build it!’”

From grassroots to national

Over the years, Julia has founded (and co-founded) numerous legal organizations, such as the Diverse Champions for Diversity, Women General Counsel Canada, the Korean Canadian Lawyers Association, the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, the Roundtable of Diversity Associations and the Council of Ontario Universities Legal Counsel Group.

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Corporate counsel / Profile

Finding her place to thrive

By Lynne Yryku October 11, 2017 11 October 2017

Finding her place to thrive

 

Patricia Towler is happy. She is President & CEO of CPA Nova Scotia, a position she took on in September 2015, at the time when the three accounting designations were merging into one: Certified Professional Accountant.

“It is still the early days,” she says, creating structures, hiring employees (they are now at 14) and recruiting over 100 volunteers. And it is a lot of fun. “Every day is different, not yet routine. I like change and challenges!”

Because it is a merger, Patti is placing special emphasis on building a new CPA culture. For instance, she held 32 town halls throughout the province this past spring. “The events let people get to know each other,” she says. “I could convey information just as easily in a newsletter but there is something special about getting people in the same room. And with a merger that was at times challenging, it’s important for CPAs to realize they are part of something bigger now and have more in common with professional accountants from other backgrounds than they may have thought. We’re trying to create a ‘tribe’ mentality in a good way—a sense of shared knowledge and competencies, and a shared place in the community.” 

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