McMillan Montréal's 60th: rich history, bright future
Take a look back at Montréal in 1951 and it's clear that much has changed over the past 60 years.
Jean Beliveau was still in junior hockey – and was called up to play his first two games as a Montreal Canadien. Jean Drapeau was still three years away from his first stint as Mayor. And with only 1.5 million people, Montréal was just half of its current size, although it would remain Canada's largest city for many years to come.
Against this backdrop, 1951 saw three ambitious and dynamic Montréal lawyers – S. Leon (Bosty) Mendelsohn, Leo Rosentzveig, and Manuel Shacter – put their vision for a new type of law firm in place. And the McMillan Montréal office was born.
focus on specialization
The Montréal office founders took a new approach to the practice of law in several ways. In an era when almost all lawyers were generalists, the founders believed that specialization was critical to a higher level of practice. And they set about creating this in the firm – with lawyers developing expertise in specific areas of law.
Firm management also had an eye on the future – and saw the importance of recognizing the valuable current and future contributions of the firm's younger lawyers. So the success of the firm was shared with these lawyers through admission to partnership at an early career stage – a model not generally used by law firms at the time.
Finally, the founders instilled a set of values that remain part of the office's DNA, and emphasized the need to deal with everyone – clients, adversaries, opposing clients, staff – in a respectful manner. In particular, a key principle was that the lower somebody was on any hierarchy, the more they were worthy of respectful treatment. These are values that current partners Max Mendelsohn and David Rosentzveig – sons of founders Bosty and Leo – continue to pass down to this day.
Over the years, the firm grew with its entrepreneurial clients, offering a full range of legal services while also developing an institutional practice specializing in financial transactions, insolvency and restructuring – areas in which the firm remains at the forefront of the industry in both Montréal and Toronto. Indeed, the firm has been involved in most of the important restructurings over the years and has been responsible for many important advances in the practice.
a bright future
"We're extremely proud and excited about the future of McMillan – and our goal is to build on the last 60 years of success," says Charles Chevrette, Office Management Partner, McMillan Montréal.
"We're part of a booming economy in Montréal with lots of momentum in the hi-tech, intellectual property and natural resource industries," says Chevrette. "And we're proud to be part of a growing firm, with offices across Canada and in Hong Kong. After 60 years of success and with the national firm breadth and expertise of McMillan, the future is indeed bright in Montréal."
We are very grateful to all of our clients for their contribution to our success over the past 60 years. And, we want to extend a special thank you to Herbert Black, President and CEO of AIM and Bruno-Étienne Duguay, Vice-President, Legal Affairs, Novacap for sharing their stories with us below.
American Iron & Metal Company Inc.
When Peter Black founded American Iron & Metal (AIM) in 1936, not even he likely dreamed that his two sons would take his successful business and turn it into one of North America's largest metal processors and wholesalers. But 75 years later, that's exactly what has happened.
AIM specializes in the recovery and recycling of scrap metal, both ferrous and non-ferrous, into valuable, reusable raw materials. It then supplies the recycled metals to customers worldwide, including electronic arc furnace mills, intergrated steel mills, foundries, secondary smelters and metal brokers.
It's a simple business idea with complex operations – and its growth has come through both organic expansion and takeovers of other business operations. AIM has also grown vertically, and now comprises a significant solder manufacturing and distribution business, as well as a very active demolition and remediation operation. Through it all, the legal help the company needed to grow has never been far away.
"My father Peter began working with Mendelsohn Rosentzveig Shacter, now McMillan, back in the 1950's – and he and Manny Shacter quickly built up a relationship of trust and confidence," says Herbert Black, AIM's President and CEO. "And for almost 60 years, we've been building on that strong foundation as both of our organizations have grown and prospered."
While Black took over the business from his father at a very early age – he was still in his 20s – he inherited established relationships with experienced professionals who helped him with both legal issues and business decisions.
"As our business grew, diversified and became more complicated, the legal expertise at the law firm was growing as well, and we were able to count on Manny and his team, and now his successors, to handle all of our needs," stated Black. "We've worked together on numerous deals over the years, and we always get top notch advice and great support – they're simply the best."
And with a history that spans almost the entire 60 year history of McMillan in Montréal, it's clearly a relationship that both firms will continue to value for many years to come.
Novacap Investments Inc.
As one of Canada's leading private equity firms – and the only firm to have won the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association's "Deal of the Year Award" twice, in 2000 and in 2005 – Montréal-based Novacap knows a thing or two about corporate transactions. And McMillan has been a valued partner every step of the way.
"What we get with McMillan is wide, first-rate professional expertise combined with the in-depth team support that we need to undertake some very complex business transactions," says Bruno-Étienne Duguay, Vice-President, Legal Affairs for Novacap. "And we really value the fact that this expertise is all coupled with the effectiveness, cost awareness and tight coordination normally associated with smaller firms."
As counsel to Novacap, McMillan has been involved in a number of Novacap's investments and buy-out transactions, including:
- an investment in Stingray, a digital entertainment company
- the sale of LiquidxStream Systems, a company developing and commercializing leading-edge access technology for broadband providers
- the acquisition of Creaform, a 3-D technology company
- the buy-out of a software company developing solutions for the life science industry
Of course, this type of corporate dynamism requires a certain agility in terms of timing – for both the company and its counsel.
"I seem to have built a tradition of interrupting Charles Chevrette's vacations year after year – I think I owe an apology to his wife and family," exclaims Duguay. "But in all seriousness, we rely very heavily on the practical, no nonsense, solution-driven approach of the firm's professionals. They're dedicated, hard-working, and fun people to work with – they are just great partners to have all around."
McMillan Celebrates 60 Years in Montréal
McMillan LLP, one of Canada's pre-eminent business law firms, is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its Montréal office.
"We're delighted to mark this important milestone in the firm's history," says Charles Chevrette, McMillan Montréal's Office Management Partner. "We cherish our deep roots in Montréal and in the province of Québec, and look forward to serving this diverse and dynamic market for years to come."
McMillan Montréal traces its roots back to 1951, when the firm was founded by S. Leon (Bosty) Mendelsohn, Leo Rosentzveig and Manuel Shacter. Today, Max Mendelsohn and David Rosentzveig, sons of the firm's founders, are current partners.
In an era when most lawyers were generalists, the Montréal founders believed that specialization was critical to success. Accordingly, lawyers at the firm focused on developing expertise in specific areas of law.
McMillan has grown through a series of strategic combinations through the years. The firm's expansion continued in 2011 when it combined with Lang Michener LLP as the new McMillan. Today, McMillan has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Hong Kong.
"As we look ahead to at least 60 more great years in Montréal, we are reaffirming our firm's well-defined values: respect, teamwork, commitment, client service and professional excellence," adds Chevrette. "We're confident these values will continue to steer the firm toward quality and excellence while fostering a positive work environment."
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McMillan is a leading international business law firm committed to client service and professional excellence for over 100 years. With recognized expertise in major business sectors, McMillan provides definitive Canadian legal advice to businesses, financial institutions, governments and private individuals in Canada, the United States and internationally. On January 1, 2011, McMillan and Lang Michener combined to create the new McMillan with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Hong Kong. The new McMillan stands as a truly modern and ambitious law firm with enhanced scope and deeper bench strength offering effective, innovative solutions to Canadian and international clients. For more information please visit www.mcmillan.ca
To learn more about McMillan Montréal, please contact:Charles Chevrette
Office Management Partner
email: firstname.lastname@example.orgJulie Goldsman
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