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Bennett Jones LLP has beefed up its Calgary stronghold with a raid on rival McCarthy Tétrault LLP that has snagged two veteran lawers: corporate and securities specialist David Phillips and tax litigator Bob McCue.

The moves, announced late on Friday, are just the latest shuffles in Calgary, called Canada's most competitive legal market by some. National firms have been eager to boost their presence in the city as international interest in the oil-patch continues to heat up.

McCarthys itself just announced five new hires in Calgary, after it absorbed the remains of Venn Law, a Calgary tax boutique that lasted only a year and was started by four former Calgary Blakes partners.

Torys LLP recently announced it was opening a Calgary office to boost its business in energy deals. Ogilvy Renault LLP, which will officially merge with London-based Norton Rose next month, opened a new office in Calgary last year.

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