Change Ahead at Heenan Blaikie


Wrapping up a week of Guest Blogging from Heenan Blaikie lawyers across the country, we’re going to end by focusing on big changes at Heenan Blaikie’s Toronto offices.

After nineteen years at Royal Bank Plaza, the firm is moving 400 metres up Bay Street to the new Bay Adelaide Centre.

The move presents all sorts of practical and logistical challenges. Soon to join us at Bay Adelaide will be Goodmans and Faskens. They’ll be watching carefully to see how we move the Library. Physically packing and transporting an entire law library is not a trivial undertaking. Here is a picture from midweek when Laurel Murdoch and her colleagues were hard at work helping to pack the whole thing up, and wondering whether it would all work out.


Not content with the physical challenges of the move, we’ve also taken this opportunity to adopt a new cataloguing system. We’ve had for some time a home-grown system that can best be described as interestingly different. For lawyers and law students used to the Library of Congress system, it’s taken some adapting. The old system is idiosyncratic and tracks the logic of the civil law. However, come Monday week we’ll be on the modified KF system used by the vast bulk of Canadian law libraries

I’ll post a picture of the new library after we move in. Here is the Bay Adelaide Centre:


We’ll have new VOIP phones to cope with too, as staff unpacking will face the challenge of phones from this century. Our new offices open on the Tenth of August. Our technology support staff have to move all of the hardware and we have a staggering number of crates and boxes which are being taken down, along and up, to the new offices. But that’s ten days away. Until then, Heenan Blaikie Toronto (all 150 lawyers and an equal number of support staff) is operating as a virtual law firm. We’re open for business. We just don’t have any physical offices. With BlackBerrys and web-based support systems, one can do an amazing amount without actually being there. I’m working out of the Great Library today.

I’ve always liked the architecture of the Royal Bank Plaza – and have indeed practiced there for 23 years, on and off. Here it is shimmering in the sun.


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