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Former Ontario Securities Commission chair Howard Wetston speaks to the Toronto Region Board of Trade on topics related to investor protection and efficient capital formation in today'ss global capital markets at a luncheon in Toronto on Thursday March 27, 2014.Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Howard Wetston has joined Toronto-based law firm Goodmans LLP, adding another new role to his busy schedule after stepping down as head of the Ontario Securities Commission in November.

The business law firm said Mr. Wetston has joined as "counsel," which is a role typically awarded to senior lawyers who are not partners of a firm, but act as advisers to other lawyers, work on client matters and help attract new business through their contacts.

Mr. Wetston, 68, said the part-time role appeals to him because he wants to tackle new things. For example, he said he would like to work on arbitration and dispute resolution, while also contributing his expertise in areas of public law such as competition and securities law.

"I wanted to try and do a number of different things without necessarily feeling like I have a full-time job," he said in an interview Monday during his first day at the firm. "It will very much depend on what develops. … I'll have to see how it unfolds because this is very new to me."

He said he also hopes to get involved in public-policy work in the energy and securities sectors, and could work with clients who want to provide input into federal and provincial policy development in those areas.

Mr. Wetston served for five years as head of the OSC, and before that was chair and chief executive officer of the Ontario Energy Board, which regulates the province's electricity and natural gas sectors. He was also a trial judge at the Federal Court of Canada and headed Canada's Competition Bureau in the early 1990s.

When he left the OSC in November, Mr. Wetston, 68, said he did not intend to retire, but wasn't sure he wanted to seek another full-time job either. Since then, he has filled his agenda with a wide variety of new roles.

He has joined the board of Toronto Hydro, and has become a member of the advisory board of Oakville, Ont.-based solar panel company Spark Power Corp., which he said gives him a chance to get private-sector experience.

He has also agreed to join the C.D. Howe Institute as a senior fellow, and is a member of several advisory boards, including the program on ethics in law and business at the University of Toronto and the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University. He was recently appointed a trustee of the International Valuations Standards Council, an international organization that produces standards for valuations of assets.

The Ontario Bar Association also announced Monday that Mr. Wetston will receive its 2016 Tom Marshall award in May, which is given annually to a public-sector lawyer practising in the public interest.

Mr. Wetston said he has no imminent appointments of other new positions, but said more may develop. "There's a time in your life where you really want to do things that stimulate you, that you're interested in, that you feel you can contribute to, and maybe some new things that you haven't done before," he said. "Coming to Goodmans is very new to me. I haven't been in private practice since 1985-86, so it's very new to me to be in a private law firm."

Mr. Wetston last worked in private practice 30 years ago at a joint venture law office in Ottawa, which was co-run at the time by Calgary law firm Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP and then-Montreal firm Phillips & Vineberg.

He had a connection to Goodmans, however, previously working with Goodmans partner Calvin Goldman when both men were in senior roles at the Competition Bureau in the 1990s.

Goodmans chair Dale Lastman said in a statement that Mr. Wetston has "vast" experience in competition law, securities regulation, dispute resolution and corporate governance, which "will add a unique perspective to the services and counsel we offer to our clients."

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