Senior securities lawyer Linda Fuerst has jumped to Norton Rose Fulbright after over 20 years at law firm Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffen LLP, saying she was drawn by the firm's international scope.
Ms. Fuerst joined Lenczner Slaght in 1994, just 18 months after the new firm was founded, and has been a pillar of its securities law group ever since, representing numerous clients before the Ontario Securities Commission and other venues.
But she said she decided to join Norton Rose because of its broader focus as a global firm able to help clients across national borders. The firm has more than 3,800 lawyers in 50 offices around the globe, including Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
"I think quite frankly that's probably the way of the future," Ms. Fuerst said in an interview. "It's somewhat unique in that regard, at least in Canada, and I think Norton Rose is ahead of the curve."
Before working in private practice, Ms. Fuerst spent six years as a lawyer at the OSC, which included a rotation at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington. She still serves on the OSC's Securities Proceedings Advisory Committee.
She said she will focus on regulatory and litigation issues in her new position, but also hopes to build on her experience doing internal corporate investigations on a more international scale.
"It's a fabulous opportunity for me to leverage my experience in the securities and regulatory spheres on an international platform," she said.
Norton Rose launched its new global regulation and investigations practice last year with 600 lawyers worldwide, saying its clients are increasingly worried about regulatory issues, especially in the United States.
Roger Smith, head of Norton Rose's Canadian litigation practice, said the firm's 2015 annual litigation trends survey found 39 per cent of respondents cited regulatory and investigations matters as their top concerns, a two-thirds increase since 2012.
"Regulation is a complex and growing area and a top concern for our clients, and Linda will serve them extremely well," Mr. Smith said in a statement.
Ms. Fuerst has represented clients in many of Canada's biggest securities matters over the years, including acting for accounting firm Ernst & Young when it agreed to pay an $8-million penalty last year to settle allegations of negligent work in its audit of Sino-Forest Corp.
She also represented a major pension fund in Ontario court as it sought to oppose Magna International's $863-million buyout of Frank Stronach's multiple voting shares, and worked for a lawyer accused of wrongdoing in the YBM Magnex case.