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3 min read

Lessons Earned: We Take Our Clients' Businesses Seriously

For the past 100 years, McLennan Ross LLP has helped clients navigate legal matters, every step of the way.

Money crises are every entrepreneur’s worst fear. And sometimes, no matter how carefully laid out the plans, these nightmares can become a reality where economic factors beyond a business owner’s control can create hardships seemingly from nowhere.

But what if it were your job to make pivotal decisions every day, for different businesses and clients all on the edge of losing what matters most to them? What if you were constantly tasked with guiding people out of dangerous waters and back to safer harbours?

Although this sounds like a Herculean challenge, this is just another day at the office for lawyers like Steve Livingstone, Managing Partner at McLennan Ross LLP. And if you’re in the midst of a stressful and trying time, you would want his team by your side.

“We tailor our legal services to each client and take time to understand their business and their unique requirements,” Steve explains. “We visit them on a regular basis.”

McLennan Ross LLP is there for their clients every step of the way, and they appreciate how intimidating the legal system can seem. “It helps to navigate the legal processes in the most practical and pragmatic manner,” Steve continues. “You need to understand the people behind a name, too. We want to be very responsive and get back to people within a day.”

A legacy of helping

McLennan Ross LLP has a history that spans over 100 years, and has been proud to provide legal services to some of the most successful companies in Alberta for decades. This service is also largely hands-on as well. “At least 75 per cent of our lawyers are engaged in advocacy litigation or arbitration,” Steve says. This means that instead of feeling like you’re in the trenches alone, you can look to your legal team and see that they’re right there beside you, helping to fight the battles and get you intact to the other side.

And they’ve been there, too.

“We face the same challenges that most businesses in Alberta are facing, with the economic ups and downs,” Steve says.

“The current situation has created opportunities for us with insolvency and our commercial and tax lawyers.”

“For us,” he continues, “a conservative growth strategy has made sense for the long-term future of the firm.” And this has meant taking a hard look at some seemingly inalterable aspects of the day-to-day business as well.

“CWB financed a renovation to the head office to make offices smaller so we could fit more people into the space. We also created a beautiful space on another floor that we could bring clients to. Our space wasn’t utilized effectively and it couldn’t be sustained, so McLennan Ross fixed it,” notes Steve.

Planning for a sustainable future

Building sustainable futures both internally and for the community is crucially important for the law firm. “Our senior lawyers have made significant contributions to the firm, and are still practicing into their late 60s and 70s. We work with them to develop a succession plan so clients can get to know their new lawyers as they’re introduced to the account,” says Steve. 

Outside the office, philanthropic giving has created a better future for many other organizations and individuals as well. McLennan Ross has a history of contributing to several causes, and firm members sit on not-for-profit boards like the Alzheimer Society of Alberta & NWT, Art Gallery of Alberta, Salvation Army and the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

Similar values create strong bonds

In working with CWB, McLennan Ross has found a bank that matches their emphasis on customer service and community-mindedness. 

“We see them as having comparable values to ours, similar clients, and they conduct themselves in the same way with very hands-on personal relationships with their clients like we do,” Steve explains. “Some of the bigger banks are not quite like that. And CWB is based in the West, which is where most of our clients are. In fact, a lot of our clients cross over and also bank with CWB. It’s been a nice fit for us.”

Beyond shared values, CWB also provides McLennan Ross with exceptional customer service. “They’re phenomenal in that regard,” Steve says. “You can speak to them and they know what you’re talking about. They understand their clients’ businesses and they’re always proactive in offering new services and very competitive rates.”

CWB is here to support companies throughout every stage of their business. Speak to a CWB advisor today to see how they can help your business grow.