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Canadian law firm Heenan Blaikie closing down

Heenan Blaikie is closing down, following an exodus of partners to other law firms.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Canadian law firm confirmed its partners had agreed to “an orderly wind up of the firm’s operations”, which will take a few months.

“An orderly wind-up will make it possible to continue serving the firm’s clients without interrupting or disrupting service and to ensure a harmonious transfer of their files to other law firms,” said the statement. “It should be noted that several practice groups and even entire offices will continue to operate under new names.”

The closure has inspired 16 lawyers from the firm’s Vancouver group to form a new spinoff firm, Gall Legge Grant Munroe, which will focus on litigation, human rights law and labour law.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that US mega-firm DLA Piper is in talks with former Heenan Blaikie partners in Calgary and Toronto and is considering setting up a Canadian office focusing on corporate law.

A few weeks ago, Heenan Blaikie’s management waned that restructuring was inevitable. Income per partner had dropped by between 10 to 15 per cent. A decrease in M&A activity is believed to be partially responsible for the firm’s financial woes.

The firm's website lists 23 partners with IP experience.

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