Martine Boucher

Martine Boucher

Job Position

Martine Boucher is one of the principals of Simplex and is originally from a small town not far from Montreal. She received her bachelor degree in 1995 from the Faculty of Law of the University of Montréal and passed the bar in 1997. She subsequently obtained her Common Law equivalency and passed the Alberta bar in 2012. She has extensive experience both with a national law firm and in-house with the likes of General Electric and CBC. She is fully bilingual and has concentrations in Natural Resources, Financing, Aircraft, Construction and Transportation.

Pierre Nicol

Pierre Nicol

Job Position

Pierre is co-managing partner with Simplex and is bilingual in English and French. He is a well-rounded lawyer with close to 20 years of experience mainly in business law including mergers and acquisitions (M&A), corporate finance, governance, outsourcing, various business partnerships and a wide range of complex commercial transactions. He received his Bachelor of Laws Degree (Common Law) from Queen’s University and his Bachelor of Laws Degree (Civil Law) from University of Sherbrooke.

Geoff Best

Geoff Best

Job Position

Geoff is the other founder of Simplex and is the only non-lawyer in the group. His background is in commercial finance where he obtained ample experience as a customer of the legal industry. The view of the industry through the client’s eyes is something unique Geoff brings to Simplex. He works closely with our principals to challenge the conventions of the industry and to ensure there is always a client’s voice at the table.

Erika Holt

Erika Holt

Job Position

Erika is a true Albertan who was born in Calgary, where she has lived most of her life. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, from the University of Calgary in 1996 and then went on to complete her Bachelor of Laws in 2000 at the University of Victoria.
Erika returned to Calgary in 2000 and joined Bennett Jones LLP. Here she spent the majority of her time in the Civil Litigation arena, negotiating settlement agreements, analyzing case law and preparing case files.

Patricia Steele

Patricia Steele

Job Position

Patricia (Trish) Steele has over 20 years experience in the practice of law in the areas of oil and gas, general corporate commercial, real estate and construction law. She has done a significant amount of transactional work in acquisitions and divestitures from $2 million to $500 million. She has also documented tax-driven reorganizations. Finally, she has managed employment and occupational health and safety matters and has delivered training to field personnel cross country in risk management as related to contract law.

Lynsey Connors

Lynsey Connors

Job Position

Lynsey was called to the bar 13 years ago, and has extensive experience in Commercial, Regulatory and Employment law. She cut her professional teeth at a large law firm but has the bulk of her experience supporting a business as in-house counsel. Lynsey was called to the Law Society of Manitoba in 2002, the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2003 and the Law Society of Alberta in 2007.

Frédéric Breton

Frédéric Breton

Job Position

Frédéric received his Bachelor of Common Law degree (cum laude) in 1994 and his Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1992 from the University of Ottawa. He is fully bilingual in French and English. He has extensive in-house counsel experience culminating as Head of Legal Services of a large food manufacturing company. Here he had a team of eight lawyers in three locations. He provided advisory services to the company principals, supported M&A activities and established credit facilities.

Rachel Colabella

Rachel Colabella

Job Position

Rachel has over 20 years’ experience in general counsel, driving strategic growth initiatives, financing and acquisition transactions, risk management, corporate governance, and executive compensation design. Recognized as an effective leader adept in assessing strategic and operational capabilities, structuring and implementing national and cross-border transactions, and streamlining overall operations for optimal business efficiency.

Andrea Sepinwall

Andrea Sepinwall

Job Position

Andrea has over 10 years’ experience in the practice of law and is fluent in French, English and Hebrew. She is an active member of the New York State Bar. Andrea has a Diploma in International Studies from Université Montpellier III, a Bachelor of Arts in Middle East Studies and Political Science from McGill University and a Diploma in Political Science from the Institut D’Études Politiques. She continued her education at McGill Law School where she completing her Civil Law and Common Law Degree with Great Distinction.

Sabine Altier

Sabine Altier

Job Position

Sabine has practiced for most of her career as inside counsel for a major Canadian financial institution. She is fluent in French and English. Her practice focusses on commercial law, banking security, litigation management and risk prevention. She also has a rich experience in corporate and real estate gained at a major law firm prior to moving in-house.
Sabine’s strengths include well-honed analytical skills and a strategic vision as well as litigation prevention, crisis management and conflict resolution.

Joanne Kohen

Joanne Kohen

Job Position

Joanne has been practicing law for over 15 years, with extensive in-house experience in the Technology and Aerospace industries. She has provided legal guidance on global supply chain, logistics, risk prevention, intellectual property, employment law as well as trade and environmental compliance. Joanne’s strengths include risk management, conflict resolution, conflict management and commercial strategies. She has provided support virtually to geographically separated teams, in both French and English.

Ashley McInnis

Ashley McInnis

Job Position

Ashley is the Vice President of Business Development at Simplex Legal and is one of the non-lawyers at Simplex. She has a 15 year background in marketing, business development and sales with ten of them being in the legal industry. Having spent six years at one of Canada’s largest law firms, reporting to the executive committee and board she has a unique understanding of the ever-changing ecosystem of legal services and what clients are in search of.

Canada Wide Network of Lawyers

Canada Wide Network of Lawyers

Job Position

There are times when demand for our services outstrips our available talent. In these cases we have augmented our team with our extended family – lawyers of the same quality you have seen here who accept mandates as needed.

Martine Boucher, Lawyer, Founder, Co-Managing Partner

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Degree: Civil and Common Law

Languages: English and French

Who she is

Martine Boucher is one of the principals of Simplex and is originally from a small town not far from Montreal. She received her bachelor degree in 1995 from the Faculty of Law of the University of Montréal and passed the bar in 1997. She subsequently obtained her Common Law equivalency and passed the Alberta bar in 2012. She has extensive experience both with a national law firm and in-house with the likes of General Electric and CBC. She is fully bilingual and has concentrations in Natural Resources, Financing, Aircraft, Construction and Transportation.

How she got here

Martine went into practice after graduation with McCarthy Tétrault, a major Canadian law firm. Here she specialized in finance, project finance and banking. She represented different clients in the negotiation and implementation of various types of credit facilities and the taking of security both nationally and internationally. Martine was seconded during this time to companies such as Société Générale and General Electric.
After seven successful years there, Martine decided to explore an opportunity away from a large law firm and take a position as inside counsel.
After a year in this role, Martine wanted to move closer to the field and took a move to Calgary to directly support the Western Canadian region for GE. She fell in love with the west and especially enjoyed the direct involvement with the opportunities and challenges business owners face.
She left GE in 2009 and has since completed her common law equivalency and has been accepted to the Alberta Bar. She is fully bilingual in French and English is able to practice in Civil as well as Common law. Her experience has touched on most industry groups in Canada but she has concentration on Natural Resources, Financing, Aircraft, Construction and Transportation.
Martine performs legal services directly for clients of Simplex as well as taking on a quality control and mentoring role for the other associates.

Calgary

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Martine - Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law
Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law

Interview with Martine Boucher

What's in it for clients to work with a boutique firm like Simplex?

At the risk of stating the obvious, being a boutique, we’re obviously not a “full service” firm”. But the services we do provide – quality in-house counsel support – we take pride in doing it well and at a great price. Our clients end up getting great value for their money, working with talented and happy lawyers. And because that’s all we do, our clients can really feel that they are truly our lawyers’ only priority.

How is your life different now that you are practicing with Simplex?

What a great question. I’m one of the founders of the firm. And as such, it was built as the foundation for my own vision on how I wanted life to be: challenging (always be learning and discovering), focussed (the only way to be really good at something) and flexible (to allow me to nurture different interests). And we did it! It’s sometimes more challenging than I dreamed of, but I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Pierre Nicol, Lawyer, Co-Managing Partner

Degree: Civil and Common Law

Languages: English and French

Who he is

Pierre is co-managing partner with Simplex and is bilingual in English and French. He is a well-rounded lawyer close to 20 years years of experience mainly in business law including mergers and acquisitions (M&A), corporate finance, governance, outsourcing, various business partnerships and a wide range of complex commercial transactions. He received his Bachelor of Laws Degree (Common Law) from Queen’s University and his Bachelor of Laws Degree (Civil Law) from the University of Sherbrooke.

How he got here

Pierre is bilingual and holds both a Common law and a civil law degree. He cumulates close to 20 years of experience mainly in business law, including 7 years as General Counsel.
Pierre is known to combine both excellent legal skills and business acumen. He is focused on problem solving and teamwork with all functions of the enterprise to achieve business goals and create value. He thrives on contributing to the success of the people and organizations he works with.
Pierre started his business law career with McCarthy Tétrault, a top-tier national law firm where he honed his legal skills working in M&A, licensing, business partnerships, corporate finance (debt and equity), project finance and a wide range of commercial agreements.
After McCarthy Tétrault Pierre joined CGI Group Inc. (CGI), a company listed on the NYSE and the TSX. CGI is the world’s 5th largest independent IT and business process services (BPS) company. CGI employs approximately 65,000 professionals in 40 countries and has annual revenue of more than C$10 billion. At CGI, Pierre provided legal support regarding various transactions (M&A, IT and BPS outsourcing, licensing, corporate finance and business partnerships).
In August 2008, Pierre took on the role of Director, Legal and eventually become SVP Corporate Development with Plasco Energy Group Inc. (Plasco), a $400M start-up that has developed a technology converting solid waste into renewable power and other valuable products. Major shareholders of Plasco included Soros Fund Management, Ares Management, West Face Capital and Black River (Cargill).
As SVP Corporate Development, Pierre’s scope of responsibilities included both the Legal team and the Business Development team for corporate and worldwide commercial activities. As such he lead various key initiatives regarding a wide range of complex commercial transactions and business partnerships involving the private sector as well as governments and other public organizations in North America, the Caribbean, Europe and China.
In his last year at Plasco, Pierre played a key role in a major corporate and business restructuring of the company.
In the fall of 2015, Pierre joined Simplex Legal as Co-Managing Partner. He is delighted to contribute to the success of Simplex’s team and – as important – Simplex’s clients.

Montréal

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Pierre - Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law
Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law

Interview with Pierre Nicol

Why is working with Simplex easier for clients?

Simplex is very much customer centric. We are responsive and flexible. Our fees are very competitive and predictable. Even more important, all Simplex lawyers have in-house counsel experience. Having lived and breathed the reality and challenges of in-house counsel, we know what it takes to deliver results which really matters to our clients. We know how to build value for them.

What made you choose to leave Big Law?

I actually very much enjoyed my years in a national law firm and being a trusted advisor for my clients. That said, what drove me most was the business and human aspects of my work as well as the constant search for innovation. This is a passion of mine.
I love problem solving. I love teamwork with other functions of the company to achieve business goals and create value. My role as General Counsel for more than 10 years and now as a Principal at Simplex is how I have chosen to pursue that passion.

Geoff Best, Founder and Client in Residence

Experience: Commercial Finance and Business Management

Language: English

Who he is

Geoff is a graduate of the University of British Columbia. He began his career in commercial lending in Nanaimo, B.C. in 1990 with the Business Development Bank of Canada. He was promoted quickly and moved first to Prince George and then to Fort St. John. In 1995, Geoff joined GE Capital in Prince George and was transferred to Alberta in 1998, where he quickly rose to Senior Vice President responsible for the Western Canada Region.

How he got here

Geoff has spent the majority of his career in Commercial Finance. Over a 20-year span, he progressed from Account Manager to Senior Vice President of GE Capital, a multinational corporate and commercial lending enterprise. At the peak of this phase of his career, Geoff ran a seven figure division for this company providing senior debt to all major industries in Western Canada.
The training and experience gleaned during this phase was treasured, but even more invaluable was the unique insight into the brilliance and failing of thousands of companies in all stages of their development.
In 2009, Geoff left the corporate world behind to bring the proven management lessons learned over years into the growth and development of his own companies.
The primary business in this family is Simplex Legal Services.
At Simplex Legal, Geoff and his business partners have designed a legal services business uniquely – with every facet of the business built with the client in mind. Geoff acts as the ‘client in residence’ to bring the spirit of constant improvement, differentiation by conduct and rigorous fiscal controls to a business that is lauded by its clients for those very qualities.

Calgary

1-888-568-4119

Geoff - Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law
Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law

Interview with Geoff Best

Why is working with Simplex easier for clients?

When we were developing the concept, we listed as many things about the existing legal service model that irritated us as clients, then systematically eliminated them from our offering. So no nuisance billing, no charge for copies, no buying assistant’s lunches, to name a few.

What do you see as the problem with Big Law?

The billable hour. When you tie a lawyer’s advancement and compensation to billing as many hours as possible, you (surprise!?) get lawyers billing lots of hours. It always seemed at some level contrary to the client’s wish to have a matter addressed quickly and efficiently.

Erika Holt, Lawyer

Degree: Common Law

Languages: English

Who she is

Erika is a true Albertan who was born in Calgary, where she has lived most of her life. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, from the University of Calgary in 1996 and then went on to complete her Bachelor of Laws in 2000 at the University of Victoria.

How she got here

Erika returned to Calgary in 2000 and joined Bennett Jones LLP. Here she spent the majority of her time in the Civil Litigation arena, negotiating settlement agreements, analyzing case law and preparing case files. While she acted in matters concerning Wills and Estates, Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury, she enjoyed most her time dealing with Shareholders Disputes and other Corporate and Commercial contract issues.
In addition to Law, Erika has a passion for writing. After six successful years at Bennett Jones, she moved into freelance writing and editing full time.
Now on the other side of the legal fence, Erika uses the experience she gained managing disputed contracts at Bennett Jones to craft commercial agreements in clean and simple language to avert those very issues for her clients. She has been acting as in-house counsel for Simplex clients (largely in the oil and gas and natural resources industries) since joining us in early 2013.
Erika is a member of the Law Society of Alberta.

Calgary

1-888-568-4119

Erika - Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law

Interview with Erika Holt

What do clients tell you about working with Simplex?

Clients I’ve worked with seem to be very happy with our services and have enthusiastically recommended Simplex to their colleagues. When telling our story, the responses I most often receive are: “There are definitely times we could use something like that!” and “What a great idea!”.

Have you always followed a different path?

I would say I’ve chosen a different path than most lawyers. After practicing as a litigator for close to six years at a large, Calgary firm, I left law to pursue my passion for writing and editing. But when the opportunity arose to practice law in a new way with Simplex Legal Services, I jumped at the chance. Not only did it allow me to change my focus from litigation to corporate/commercial work, I now have the time and energy to pursue both of my passions–writing and law. Couple that with the fact that I get to work with great people and fantastic clients, and I couldn’t be happier—I even get outside from time to time.

Patricia Steele, Lawyer

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Degree: Common Law

Languages: English

Who she is

Patricia (Trish) Steele has over 20 years experience in the practice of law in the areas of oil and gas, general corporate commercial, real estate and construction law. She has done a significant amount of transactional work in acquisitions and divestitures from $2 million to $500 million. She has also documented tax-driven reorganizations. Finally, she has managed employment and occupational health and safety matters and has delivered training to field personnel cross country in risk management as related to contract law.

How she got here

Trish obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree (with distinction) from McGill in 1983. She continued her education at the University of Victoria thereafter, completing her Bachelor of Laws in 1987. She then articled at Bennett Jones.
Beginning in early 1990, she took on two successive positions with Goepel Shields & Partners and Canadian Hunter Exploration.
In late 1990 she joined Chevron Canada Resources and spent four years there in the Marketing, Environmental, Safety and Regulatory Affairs and Land Departments.
In 1994 Trish joined Hoar, Lee & Boers in a contract capacity for a two-year stint doing Securities, Oil and Gas and General Corporate Law.
At the completion of this contract, Trish joined the Energy Group at Burnet, Duckworth and Palmer where she practiced for four years.
In 2000, she started working with the legal department of ExxonMobil Canada/ Imperial Oil Limited as a consulting lawyer. When her mandate there was completed, she joined Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP in the Oil and Gas/Corporate/Commercial/Real Estate arenas where she practiced for seven years.
Trish went back to being a consultant lawyer for two years before joining Flynn Canada as Senior Legal Counsel in 2009. In 2014 she joined our team here at Simplex.

Calgary

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Trish - Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law
Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law

Interview with Patricia Steele

What is it about this type of practice that attracts you?

By practicing as in-house legal counsel you aren’t left with a feeling that you are “on the outside looking in”. You are working with your clients to advance the interests of the corporation on terms that reflect their culture and values. You feel their day-to-day operational pressures and have an opportunity to make their lives simpler and more secure by supporting them. There is no shortage of variety of work, learning opportunities and people to work with.

How do you think you make a difference for clients with Simplex's offering?

The Simplex model allows clients to access legal support on whatever terms make sense for their business. We can assist them onsite, on a 9-5 schedule or remotely, on an as-needed basis, subject to whatever their budgetary requirements may be. Our lawyers are senior practitioners, with experience in a variety of disciplines acquired at top-tier law firms, who are able to hit the ground running and provide meaningful support with no oversight.

Lynsey Connors, Lawyer

Degree: Common Law

Languages: English

Who she is

Lynsey was called to the bar 13 years ago, and has extensive experience in Commercial, Regulatory and Employment law. She cut her professional teeth at a large law firm but has the bulk of her experience supporting a business as in-house counsel. Lynsey was called to the Law Society of Manitoba in 2002, the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2003 and the Law Society of Alberta in 2007.

How she got here

Lynsey obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba in 2001 after which she articled at Taylor McCaffrey. She remained there until she met her better half and followed him to Toronto.
Her career continued in earnest at Aylesworth LLP in Toronto (now Dickinson-Wright) in 2005 where she worked primarily in Commercial Litigation and Employment Law. In 2007 she left private practice to experience the in-house bar, working as Corporate Counsel with Canada Safeway in Calgary.
On the Employment Law front, Lynsey provided legal advice concerning employment standards, human rights legislation, contracts, terminations and employment law matters. Here, she also drafted employment, consulting and contractor agreements as well as in the development and drafting of various company policies (social media, document retention, etc.).
In 2010 Lynsey worked with Alberta Electrical System Operator. In this role, she continued to handle all sorts of commercial and employment matters, and garnered extensive experience in the Regulatory arena.
Through these positions, Lynsey gained great experience drafting and negotiating major vendor and supply agreements in the consulting, IT, engineering, data storage and facilities space. She advised internal clients on competitive process RFP reviews, data room postings and information disclosure matters. She handled the myriad of commercial agreements and documents at the core of any large company’s legal framework from lease to asset purchase agreements.
Lynsey also became involved in the remaining basket of typical in-house topics such as Privacy, Commercial Real Estate, Information Technology and Intellectual Property.
In 2015 Lynsey joined us here at Simplex.

Calgary

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Lynsey - Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law
Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law

Interview with Lynsey Connors

What do you see as the problem with big traditional law firms?

In order to attract large-scale clients, the big firms commit to a huge business overhead that includes substantial advertising budgets, impressive downtown offices, generous client outings, and high associate salaries. They also maintain extensive research databases and libraries to be equipped for large litigation and transactional work.
This substantial overhead translates to high billable hour quotas for lawyers and elevated fees for clients. A lawyer’s time away from the office for vacation, parental leave, sick days, and stress leave equates to either a failure to meet the set quotas or the need to catch up upon returning to the office. It’s a never-ending cycle to justify the firm’s overhead, to avoid being fired, and to make partner within a seven-year window.

What do clients tell you about working with Simplex?

Clients like the flexibility of our legal services – calling on us as needed to handle a project or an increase in legal work. They have indicated that they are so appreciative of our ability to “take a project and run with it” while still following client instruction and keeping key people informed of progress throughout the process of providing legal services. Clients are often impressed with our immediate understanding of company dynamics, knowledge of internal processes, willingness to learn about their business, and our ability to deal directly with internal business groups as needed to provide our services.

Frédéric Breton, Lawyer

Degree: Civil and Common Law

Languages: English and French

Who he is

Frédéric received his Bachelor of Common Law degree (cum laude) in 1994 and his Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1992 from the University of Ottawa. He is fully bilingual in French and English. He has extensive in-house counsel experience culminating as Head of Legal Services of a large food manufacturing company. Here he had a team of eight lawyers in three locations. He provided advisory services to the company principals, supported M&A activities and established credit facilities.

How he got here

He began in his legal career as an articling student at DE GRANPRÉ, DESLAURIERS from 1994-1995. From 1995-1999, he practiced in the areas of Banking and Commercial Litigation and Real Estate Law at LEBEL ET ASSOCIÉS, SENC. From 1999-2001, Frédéric practiced with Robinson, Sheppard, Shapiro, LLC where he expanded his practice to include Litigation, Insolvency, Financing and Transactional matters.
Today, he is recognized in the field of Legal Affairs and as an expert in business law and management. Beginning in 2001, and up until 2014, Frédéric was the Vice President of Legal Affairs for SAPUTO Inc.’s Cheese & Dairy Foods Products Divisions (USA). In this role, he was the head of legal services for several divisions generating an income of about five billion ($5b), with a team of eight employees located in three different offices.
At Saputo, Frédéric led the Legal Affairs Department at the service of Sales (retail, foodservice and industrial Operations, Marketing, Procurement, Real Estate, Finance, Risk and Insurance, Logistics and Distribution, Quality Assurance, Research and Development), both at the Division and Corporate Levels. He supported Canadian, U.S. and international operations (Germany, United Kingdom, Australia and other countries).
In his role there, Frédéric supported and led strategic acquisitions with three different internal functions, and ultimately integration of purchased businesses, including Morningstar US $1.43B, DCI Cheese US $273M, Alto Dairy US $161M and Land O’Lakes West Coast Assets US $254M. He also successfully integrated all legal needs of a new division acquired in 2013, consisting of 2,000 employees, 10 plants and representing sales of US $1.6B.
Frédéric joined Simplex in 2015 with more than 20 years of experience. He is very familiar with the legal needs of all corporate functions of national and international businesses. He is known as a leader in his field, with a focus on excellence, and a high ability to sustain profitability and results. Frédéric works at a fast and efficient pace, and firmly values integrity and justice.

Montréal

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frederic - Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law
Bilingual Lawyers Practicing Civil Law & Common Law

Interview with Frédéric Breton

What do clients tell you about working with Simplex?

I believe managers and colleagues appreciate the experience we bring to their organization, our capacity to perform (in English and French) and to integrate quickly within the legal team and serve corporate functions. This happens right when we start—the trust we develop with them, our sense of organization and efficiency, the back-up Simplex offers when the client legal needs increase, and ultimately the tangible results we deliver. I also feel that the personality fit matters a lot.

How is your life different now that you are practicing with Simplex?

I am now exposed to a new diversity of challenges in various industries, meeting new people and learning about new businesses. This is truly exciting.

Rachel Colabella, Lawyer

Degree: Civil and Common Law

Languages: English

Who she is

Rachel has over 20 years’ experience in general counsel, driving strategic growth initiatives, financing and acquisition transactions, risk management, corporate governance, and executive compensation design. Recognized as an effective leader adept in assessing strategic and operational capabilities, structuring and implementing national and cross-border transactions, and streamlining overall operations for optimal business efficiency. She has expertise in board leadership, oversight, and governance, as well as cross-border tax, business and estate planning. The terms of Rachel’s engagement on tax matters are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

How she got here

Rachel obtained her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Alberta and was called to the Alberta Bar in 1997. She also holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting Concentration from the University of Calgary.
Rachel started her business career at Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP as an Associate in their Tax department. Here she advised on the tax implications of transactions, taxpayer migrations, transfer pricing, cross-border issues as well as merger and acquisition issues.
In 2002, she took a role with Armstrong Osinski Law Firm in the Tax & Estate Planning Department. In the six success years at Armstrong Osinski, she developed and managed a boutique of corporate legal and tax practices representing and advising mid and high-net worth clients and private businesses. Here she was able to advise on cross-border issues, succession and estate planning, business purchase and sale and other tax-driven strategies.
In fall of 2008, Rachel joined Alaris Royalty Corp. as Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary. She was an instrumental member and advisor to executive management, implementing strategic objectives, designing risk management program and overseeing all aspects of the legal and tax function. Here she led a five-member legal team, negotiated complex agreements to facilitate cross-border financings, led the legal side of public equity offerings and senior debt transactions offered advice on international corporate structure and cross-border tax planning and compliance. Further, she oversaw the enterprise risk management of Aleris and its international affiliates and in her capacity as chief governance officer set internal compliance policy and maintained ongoing compliance, reporting and disclosure.
She is the author of several industry articles and presentations covering tax and business planning, corporate governance and accounting standards.

Montréal

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Interview with Rachel Colabella

What was it about Simplex that made you want to join?

I’m attracted to Simplex’s innovative business model, which fills a real hole in the legal field. Quality in-house legal services can be provided in many different ways and with Simplex’s out-of-the box thinking, client’s needs can be met cost-effectively. I’m excited to be able to work with other experienced and like-minded individuals and I like Simplex’s flexible approach and balanced culture.

What do you especially enjoy about practicing as in-house counsel?

I love being a part of a team and working with other business units to solve problems and help a company to grow. In private practice, I often only worked on one aspect of a deal and didn’t always have the opportunity to see the bigger picture. As in-house counsel, I am able to have a direct impact on the company as a whole and get a keen sense of the entire business, which allows me to add significant value.

Andrea Sepinwall, Lawyer

Degree: Civil and Common Law

Languages: French, English and Hebrew

Who she is

Andrea has over 10 years’ experience in the practice of law and is fluent in French, English and Hebrew. She is an active member of the New York State Bar. Andrea has a Diploma in International Studies from Université Montpellier III, a Bachelor of Arts in Middle East Studies and Political Science from McGill University and a Diploma in Political Science from the Institut D’Études Politiques. She continued her education at McGill Law School where she completing her Civil Law and Common Law Degree with Great Distinction.

How she got here

Andrea started her career in 2004 in Botswana, Africa, working for Collins Newman & Co. As a visiting attorney, she handled corporate and commercial, project and public-private partnership matters.
In late 2005, Andrea then joined Norton Rose, in France, where she developed a keen interest in Aircraft Finance, drafting and negotiating aircraft financing documents such as commercial and export credit agency backed financings, leases, security documents and managing and coordinating the closing conditions precedent.
Andrea became Counsel, Aircraft Finance and Commercial for Air Canada in 2007. Here her responsibilities included: drafting and negotiating complex aircraft, engine, aircraft simulator, aircraft parts and maintenance agreements. She also drafted and negotiated various supply and services agreement, building management and maintenance agreements as well as handled commercial real estate, IT, telecom, marketing and corporate finance agreements. She was the principal legal counsel for Air Canada Cargo. Her involvement in the first Canada Pre-Delivery aircraft financing (featured in Lexpert) and with the on-board entertainment deal (highlighted in several Canada mainstream press) are just a few examples of her achievements. Andrea demonstrated her ability to work in cross-functional team by successfully leading the implementation of the first electronic legal matter management system at Air Canada. She also showed her leadership skills with the creation and oversight of a legal internship program at Air Canada for legal assistants, paralegals and law students.
Andrea joined Simplex in 2016. The terms of Andrea’s engagement for New York State and aircraft-related legal matters are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Montréal

1-888-568-4119

Interview with Andrea Sepinwall

What was it about Simplex that made you want to join?

I have long had an intellectual interest in those actors looking to disrupt established industries and as a working parent, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the ways that the legal industry could be revamped to better accommodate the needs of modern families. Simplex has found a way to do just that by delivering legal services in the way that the market has long been demanding – excellent quality at reasonable rates with inherent flexibility. For so many businesses, professional or quality legal services are just not an option and even for behemoths, the high cost model of traditional law firms is not always accessible. Simplex solves this problem by matching qualified lawyers with expertise in a variety of fields with businesses that need reliable outside support at a reasonable cost so that they can remain competitive. Simplex also allows for its lawyers to have flexibility thereby acknowledging that lawyers have outside responsibilities. The problem of retaining excellent lawyers in the legal industry is not just one affecting women – it is a problem of the way that the workplace and the industry has historically operated. Simplex is on the forefront of reshaping this and in so doing it is showing the market that top quality legal services can be delivered while simultaneously meeting the desire for flexibility of its lawyers and its clients.

What do you especially enjoy about practicing as in-house counsel?

I love the fast pace of working on commercial mandates and as an in-house counsel, the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution is a given. You are involved from the outset of a project and get to see it through to the end and you have exposure to all of the challenges involved throughout. Being an in-house counsel requires that you bring not only your legal expertise but also your commercial good sense and it’s a lot of fun to get to learn about different types of businesses, even within one corporation, and the pace of having to digest new information quickly so as to ensure that the agreements you draft adequately protect your client is quick and stimulating. I also have been fortunate to work as an in-house counsel in environments with dedicated, intelligent clients who have been a pleasure to work with and the people aspect, especially when the going looks tough, can’t be underestimated.

Sabine Altier, Lawyer

Degree: Civil and Common Law

Languages: French and English

Who she is

Sabine has practiced for most of her career as inside counsel for a major Canadian financial institution. She is fluent in French and English. Her practice focusses on commercial law, banking security, litigation management and risk prevention. She also has a rich experience in corporate and real estate gained at a major law firm prior to moving in-house.
Sabine’s strengths include well-honed analytical skills and a strategic vision as well as litigation prevention, crisis management and conflict resolution. She is well versed in the strategic deployment of products and services in collaboration with management and in implementing effective and long-lasting solutions.

How she got here

Sabine received her law degree from the University of Montréal in 1980 and was called to the Quebec Bar in 1981. In 1986, she completed a Master of Business Administration from Concordia University.
In the earlier days of her practice, Sabine worked for Adessy Kingstone as a law student, articling student and then as attorney. In 1983, she took on a position with Quebec Securities Commission (now AMFQ) and in 1985, joined Byers Casgrain (now Dentons) where her practice focussed on commercial, corporate, real estate and securities law.
In 1987 she joined Montréal Trust (Scotiabank Group) as Legal Counsel. Here she focused on corporate and trust law, acquisitions and mergers, real estate law, pension plans amendments, benefit and sharing plans, corporate trusts and transfer agency mandates. She worked with the Board of Directors and various management committees and assumed corporate secretariat functions.
In 2000 she took the role as Senior Legal Counsel for The Bank of Nova Scotia where she spent fifteen years. Here she was heading legal affairs for the Province of Quebec, more specifically in the areas of: regulatory and governance, drafting and interpreting commercial contracts, managing litigation and class action lawsuits, constitutional issues, and addressing consumer protection legislation. Over the years, Sabine managed numerous acquisitions made by the Bank, from the due diligence to the integration of operations. She regularly participated on the Board of Directors of the Bank’s regulated subsidiaries and management committees and liaised with Quebec regulatory and monitoring authorities.
Sabine joined Simplex in 2016.

Montréal

1-888-568-4119

Interview with Sabine Altier

What do you especially enjoy about practicing as in-house counsel?

I have been in-house counsel for the bulk of my career. This allowed me to be at the table of decision makers, exchanging views and ideas, focusing on strategy, establishing targets, outlining the path to make possibilities real and …getting the job done!

How do you think the Simplex model allows you to make a difference for clients?

The Simplex model allows for maximum flexibility and cost control. One chooses “à la carte”, as little or as much as needed, whether on a temporary full-time basis or recurring part-time. This allows the client to quickly fill a specific need to deal with a specific non-recurring project such as an acquisition, a due diligence effort, a sudden surge in work load, documenting processes and controls, or perhaps seeking a different point of view.

Joanne Kohen, Lawyer

Degree: Civil and Common Law

Languages: French and English

Who she is

Joanne has been practicing law for over 15 years, with extensive in-house experience in the Technology and Aerospace industries.

She has provided legal guidance on global supply chain, logistics, risk prevention, intellectual property, employment law as well as trade and environmental compliance.

Joanne’s strengths include risk management, conflict resolution, conflict management and commercial strategies. She has provided support virtually to geographically separated teams, in both French and English.

How she got here

In 1996 she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Finance from Concordia University and later obtained a Juris Doctor Degree (Common Law) in 2001 from Rutgers University School of Law in Camden, New Jersey. Thereafter, she obtained her Civil Law Equivalence from the University of Montréal, graduating in 2003.

She began her career at Barsalou Lawson, a tax litigation practice covering all aspects of tax dispute resolution including audits, administrative appeals, competent authority and judicial proceedings before federal and provincial courts in Canada.
In 2005, she took on a position with Bombardier Aerospace where she advised on global commercial agreements, supply agreements, along with non-disclosure, service, collaborator and development agreements.

She further advanced her career and took a position with SMART Technologies in 2006, a multi-national technology company, as Senior Legal Counsel. Here she had an enriched position as lead counsel on issues pertaining to global supply chain, logistics, human resources and operational matters related to hardware manufacturing and global environmental and trade compliance.

In addition, she trained and mentored internal departments and promoted processes and policies company-wide.

In 2016 Joanne joined Simplex Legal.

She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Barreau du Quebec and the Colorado Bar.

Montréal

1-888-568-4119

Interview with Joanne Kohen

What do you especially enjoy about practicing as in-house counsel?

I love being part of the business team. Having been raised in an entrepreneurial family and holding a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance, I enjoy learning about my client’s business and incorporating my business knowledge and skills to provide a practical business approach to advising clients and providing the best possible strategic solution while anticipating and assessing risk.

What was it about Simplex that made you want to join?

I have never been one to do things on the traditional path. I wanted to continue a rewarding practice of law but still have time to explore other things in life. Simplex is helping lead the way to redefining the business of law with an innovative approach that allows flexibility and predictability to both clients and lawyers.

Ashley McInnis, Vice President of Business Development

Degree: Business Development

Languages: English

Who she is

Ashley is a graduate of Santa Monica College in Southern California where she was a nationally ranked distance swimmer. She started her career working in the entertainment industry working in marketing and advertising.

When she returned to Canada in 2008 she began her Career in the legal industry working for an agency that provided business development services for law firms. Prior to joining simplex Ashley spent 6 years at one of Canada’s largest law firms.

How she got here

Ashley spent the majority of here career in marketing and business development in the legal industry. In her early career she quickly went from being a sales rep to a manager leading a team working with mostly US based Law firms, assisting them with business development with the corporate legal market.

Having spent six years as a manager at a large Bay Street firm she worked with lawyers in responding to client RFP’s and gained invaluable insight into what purchasers of legal services are in search of. Over the past ten years Ashley has seen a huge shift in the legal industry and appreciates the different skill set that is required to manage in-house legal needs.

Corporate work is no longer something that is easily farmed out to the big firms, clients need someone who will be a second set of eyes and help them manage issues across the spectrum and view things from the business side.

Montréal

1-888-568-4119

Interview with Ashley McInnis

How do you think the Simplex model allows you to make a difference for clients?

The Simplex model is focused on using our lawyer’s experience of having been in-house to help clients find efficiencies and streamline the process while doing the various mandates. We are different from lawyers who have only been in private practice as you develop a skill set where you have to see the business as a whole.

While my primary role is business development Simplex utilizes every member on their team’s skill set to serve the client, even the non-lawyers. I am able to add value because I have spent the past 15 years in marketing and business development. I have always been required to have some input or sign-off from the in-house counsel. I am guilty of waiting until the last minute to engage the in-house lawyer and then needed them to turn things around quickly.

I have first-hand experience working on the business side and as added value to clients will work with their business team along with our lawyers to develop processes and streamline nagging issues, as well as lead seminars with their business teams.

What do you think clients will most like about working with you?

I’m not a lawyer, so I have a bit of a different perspective when solving business issues. I can offer a perspective that may not be as obvious to someone focused on the legal issues. Because my role is to support our lawyers and clients everything I contribute to a mandate is added value, you’ll never see consulting fees for me on a bill.

Canada Wide Network of Lawyers

There are times when demand for our services outstrips our available talent. In these cases we have augmented our team with our extended family – lawyers of the same quality you have seen here who accept mandates as needed.

Montreal

1-888-568-4119