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Natalie McFarlane

Senior Legal Counsel

Degree:
Common Law

Languages:
English and French

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Who she is

Practicing since 2005 Natalie has experience in both in-house and private practice, as well as in non-legal roles. She is passionate about legal innovation and looking for ways to provide clients with practical advice in a way that will help a legal department efficiently manage matters, workflow, and costs. She has experience implementing technology within a corporate legal setting, as well as a strong background in business law, real estate, and general corporate. She was called to the bar in Ontario.

How she got here

Originally from Montreal, Natalie completed CEGEP with a Bilingual Dipome D’etudes Collegiales in Health Sciences at Vanier, she continued her education and obtained her Bachelor of Public Administration with a Minor in Economics from Carleton University, followed by her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Windsor.

Natalie truly understands what it means to be an in-house lawyer, as she completed her articles with RBC Insurance Services. During her career, she has gained a diverse skill set having been in-house at TD Bank Financial Group, AIG and Baxter Pharmaceuticals. Interested in the ever-evolving world of business model innovation, in 2009 she chose to move to private practice where she could simultaneously work with organizations focused on social innovation.

Natalie often presents on topics at the intersection of technology and law and is actively involved with MaRS Discovery District.

Natalie joined Simplex 2018.

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Interview with
Natalie McFarlane

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

My career as a lawyer began in the in-house legal environments of multi-national corporations in the financial services industry and my professional perspective grew from that foundation. As a legal entrepreneur, I came to realize that the pre-eminent challenge for existing purchasers and prospective purchasers of legal solutions rests with the traditional business model of law firms. Simplex Legal is proof that a legal business model that is designed foremost with the client in mind, can also be beneficial for its lawyers. Until SimplexLegal, I started to truly doubt whether that possibility would become actual. Needless to say, I was excited to join.

What do you especially enjoy about in-house counsel?

As a result of serving in the in-house counsel space, I developed an appreciation for providing value in a dynamic context where law and business intersect in real-time. As I evolved professionally and personally, I become committed to the idea of taking a relationship-based and proactive approach to executing responsibilities as legal counsel; with an aim to maintaining the integrity of key internal and external business relationships – and by extension, minimizing risk and facilitating business vitality. I especially enjoy being in-house counsel because law does not exist in a vacuum and in-house counsel is a great way to experience that reality.

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