Founded in 1992, Harris & Company LLP (“Harris”) is Western Canada’s largest management-side employment and labour law firm. Their clients are employers in every industry and are located across Western Canada, Yukon, and Northwest Territories. Harris continues to enrich their firm with new practice areas to stay ahead of the emerging needs of their clients and the ongoing changes in business and workplace culture.
The labour bar is a small community; finding qualified lateral candidates at the associate level can be particularly challenging, especially since few firms operate at the same level as Harris.
“It is difficult to find junior lawyers from other firms who have the same level of experience as our own, mainly because they do not receive concentrated labour and employment training when they go through a full articling rotation. We typically do best when we develop our home-grown lawyers. However, as we go along, we often need to hire due to succession, attrition, or growth,” said Managing Partner, Colin Gibson. When this happens, Harris will look at hiring laterally and will contact The Counsel Network.
“The Counsel Network helped to tell our story locally, as well as outside of the province. Harris has a strong platform and our lawyers are given the opportunity to grown independent practices and advance their careers. The Counsel Network confidently articulated our firm’s advantages to potential applicants and explained the difference between us and our competitors. The Counsel Network is effective at explaining why we don’t have the conflict issues other firms have, the benefits of our referral system, our economics, and the types of work and clients our lawyers are exposed to,” said Gibson.
Over the years, The Counsel Network has gained a solid understanding of the firm’s culture. Gibson noted, “The Counsel Network knows what we do to develop our lawyers and how to pitch us as a destination law firm, to candidates in markets both in and outside of Vancouver. They assess the candidate’s experience as well as their future potential by evaluating their critical skills, experience, and personality- this is crucial.”
By collaborating with Harris, The Counsel Network has successfully established employment needs for the firm, set realistic expectations, and defined the process for finding and hiring qualified candidates.
“The Counsel Network has enabled us to hire top talent. By communicating our story across multiple markets, they have recruited candidates that we previously may not have been exposed to,” Gibson said. “The Counsel Network has a great understanding of how boutiques work, they understand how our platform is different from other types of firms, and they have a good working knowledge of what other lawyers do in our area. They understand our business and recruitment needs, clearly articulate the attributes of our firm to potential candidates, and know what types of candidates will be successful at Harris.”