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Heenan Blaikie : A Greddy Crew Scuttles the Ship

Heenan Blaikie : A Greddy Crew Scuttles the Ship

On February 5, 2014, Heenan Blaikie, a law firm founded in 1973 by Roy Heenan and Peter Blaikie, was dissolved by its partners despite profits in excess of $75 million. The firm counted more than 500 lawyers in its eight offices nationwide, at one point including former prime ministers Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Jean Chrétien.

The Failure :

The beginning of the end came when Roy Heenan stepped down as president in 2012, because he was the only person who was able to hold all the offices together, in particular the Montreal and Toronto offices. His vision was that of a firm that was good to work for, but once he was gone, infighting and greed got the upper hand.

In the resulting panic when two of the top Montreal lawyers switched to other firms, more and more lawyers jumped ship. And the fact that the Toronto and Québec offices were unable to see eye to eye didn’t help matters.

The Moral  :

Without a captain like the charismatic Roy Heenan at the helm, the ship started to founder, then sink. For a brand to stay afloat, you need to chart a clear course, and it takes someone who can hold the company together to pursue it. It was infighting and greed that brought down one of Canada’s biggest law firms.

Image Source : La Presse.ca



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