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About Us

Gowling WLG is an international law firm built on the belief that the best way to serve you is to be in tune with your world, aligned with your opportunity and ambitious for your success.

1,400+

Number of legal professionals

1,400+

Focused on key global sectors, including energy, financial services, life sciences, natural resources, infrastructure, real estate and tech

Around the world, our 1,400+ legal professionals and dedicated business support teams apply our deep sector expertise to understand and support your business, and see the world through your eyes.

19

Number of cities with offices

19

Repeatedly recognized as a top employer, and committed to diversity, inclusion and innovation

9,400+

Number of pro bono hours

9,400+

162

Number of individuals listed in Chambers & Legal 500

162

As a Gowling WLG client, you’ll have access to expertise in key global sectors and a suite of legal services. Combined with our presence in 18 cities worldwide and specialized expertise in countries around the globe, we’re positioned to help you achieve your objectives, wherever your business takes you.

129

Number of practices listed in Chambers & Legal 500

129

We’re proud to be recognized as a top employer, and actively encourage diversity and inclusion in our workplaces. Not only does this allow us to attract and retain the best talent, it also helps us attract and retain great clients, who know that motivated and engaged people produce higher quality work, approach problems with creativity and ingenuity, and will go the distance to help them succeed.

Learn more about careers at Gowling WLG Learn more about working with Gowling WLG

About the founding firms

Gowling WLG represents a natural evolution for its founding firms – Gowlings and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co – who, throughout their histories, have continually adapted to better serve their clients’ needs.

Gowlings

With roots tracing back to 1887, Gowlings has grown to become one of the largest and most respected law firms in Canada, with a reputation for innovation in client-focused service delivery. 



Building on its early strength in intellectual property, Gowlings has diversified to offer a full suite of business law, litigation and intellectual property services in all of Canada's key industries, including energy, mining, financial services, government, infrastructure, manufacturing, life sciences and technology. Gowlings ranks among the busiest law firms in the world for Canadian M&A, and is known for its deep expertise in client advocacy before courts, tribunals, regulatory bodies and governments in Canada.

Becoming a founding member of an international law firm is a natural progression for Gowlings, which has always operated with an international mindset, forming strong partnerships globally to better serve the needs of its clients. Prior to the combination with Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, Gowlings was home to 2,000 people in 10 offices across Canada and in London, Moscow and Beijing.

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG)

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG) was formed by the merger of Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham in May 2014.



The move introduced a new firm to the UK legal market, giving clients access to a broader range of services, increased capability in London and the UK, and enhanced international coverage. WLG is synonymous with outstanding client service and sector knowledge providing advice and solutions based on understanding the commercial issues, challenges and opportunities clients face. The merger created one of the UK's largest real estate practices – a broad-based practice acting for institutions, investors, developers and occupiers – and the UK's number one AIM firm; a position further enhanced through WLG's combination with Gowlings.

WLG has a strong financial services pedigree thanks to its market-leading investment funds practice, award-winning pensions experts and a highly rated private capital team, which advises UK and international high-net-worth individuals. In dispute resolution, WLG brought together Wragge & Co's strengths in intellectual property, construction and commercial litigation with Lawrence Graham's focus on international disputes, particularly in the areas of fraud and asset tracing, contentious trusts and insurance/reinsurance.

WLG can trace its roots back to 1730, when Lawrence Graham became one of the first law firms to register in the City of London. Wragge & Co was founded in 1834. Since then, both have established themselves as major UK firms before embarking on international growth. Wragge & Co opened offices in Germany and China in 2008, a full service office in Paris in 2010 and in Dubai in 2011. Lawrence Graham opened its first overseas office in 2003 in Monaco, followed by Dubai, Singapore and Moscow (the latter by joint venture).

Forming WLG was the first step towards creating a new international law firm. As a founding member of Gowling WLG, the firm offers clients increased international capability, connections and coverage.

Gowling WLG Structure

Around the world, our member firms operate and provide legal services to clients as separate legal entities under the common brand of Gowling WLG.

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP and Gowling WLG (UK) LLP are members of Gowling WLG International Limited, a company limited by guarantee registered in England.  Gowling WLG is the name and brand under which the members of Gowling WLG International Limited and their respective affiliates provide services around the world.  However, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP and Gowling WLG (UK) LLP operate and carry on business as independent and autonomous entities.  They are not one international partnership and the members of Gowling WLG International Limited are not legal partners with each other. Gowling WLG International Limited does not provide legal or other services to clients. Rather, its purpose is to act as a coordinating entity for its members.  Our structure is explained in more detail on our Legal Information page.

Learn more about the structure of Gowling WLG

Pro Bono & Community Service

For over a century, Gowling WLG has provided pro bono legal services in communities across Canada to those who need them most.

Our pro bono clients include charities, community organizations and individuals who are marginalized or disadvantaged, and without means to obtain legal counsel. Gowling WLG also performs legal services at no charge in support of organizations that advocate for the public good in matters of broad public concern.

Some of the organizations we've worked with on a pro bono basis include:

 

Making an impact in our communities

At every level of our organization and across every office around the world, our professionals and staff have a personal commitment to giving back to the communities in which they live and work.

It's why we've been recognized multiple times with the CIBC's 'Spirit of Leadership' Community Award, bestowed annually to partner organizations that demonstrate distinctive corporate giving and community spirit.

We regularly donate our time and resources to a wide variety of social, health, community and legal causes, including:

Diversity & Inclusion

We believe that there's strength in diversity, and that attracting and retaining a diverse team not only creates a better, more equitable workplace, but allows us to deliver the best possible service to our clients across Canada and around the world.

Our vision

At Gowling WLG, we believe that diversity and inclusion is an integral component of our culture.

Our Diversity & Inclusion Council's mission is to continue to promote and advance diversity and inclusion initiatives to create a better, more equitable workplace and allow us to continue to provide superior service to our clients.

Why?
 
  • Promoting diversity and a culture of inclusion is simply the right thing to do.
  • Diversity helps us attract and retain top legal talent. We act for diverse clients across Canada and around the world, and it’s important that our team reflects this.
  • Diversity helps us better serve our clients. Diverse teams bring different perspectives, apply different approaches to problem-solving, and generate better, more creative solutions.

Our strategy

We have a vision for diversity and inclusion at Gowling WLG — and we’ve been taking concrete steps to make it a reality:
 
  • In early 2014, we committed to a national Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.
  • To guide this strategy, we partnered with the Canadian Institute for Diversity and Inclusion (CIDI), Canada’s leading national not-for-profit organization specializing in diversity and inclusion in Canada’s workplaces.
  • Through our partnership with the CIDI, we became one of the first law firms in Canada to conduct a firm-wide diversity and inclusion self-identification census.
  • More than 1,500 of our professionals and staff across the country voluntarily took part in the census. The CIDI also conducted focus groups and individual interviews to learn more about our culture and to identify specific areas of focus.
  • The results of the census, focus groups and interviews have provided us with an important benchmark in terms of understanding where we are now, what we’re doing well and where we need to concentrate our efforts in the future.
  • Armed with these valuable metrics, we've finalized our Canada-wide Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, which includes clear, measurable goals to be achieved over the coming years.
  • We've also created a national Diversity & Inclusion Council — comprising our CEO, National Director of Human Resources and two representatives from each of our offices — to guide and move the strategy forward.

Current initiatives

Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network (LFDIN): Gowling WLG is a founding member of the LFDIN, a group of Canadian law firms working together to promote diversity and encourage a culture of inclusion in our firms and the broader legal profession.

As a member of the LFDIN, we're committed to its Statement of Principles:
 
  • Sharing ideas for the promotion of diversity and inclusion in connection with recruitment, retention and advancement within law firms
  • Working with Legal Leaders for Diversity and other general counsel, law departments, business leaders and professional associations in their efforts to advance diversity and inclusion
  • Supporting outreach programs in law schools and the broader community
  • Promoting thought leadership and constructive dialogue on issues of diversity and inclusion
  • Evaluating our efforts
Gowling WLG is also involved in a number of other initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion. Some of our activities and awards in these areas include:
 

Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program: Gowling WLG was the first law firm to join the PAR program, an initiative of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and the world’s only corporate responsibility assurance program for Aboriginal relations. As a “committed level” member, Gowling WLG will undergo an external review by an Aboriginal business panel to evaluate the firm’s performance in employment, community investment, business development and community engagement. The results will enable Gowling WLG to proceed to the certification levels of bronze, silver and gold, and further solidify Gowling WLG as a great firm for Aboriginal peoples to work with and work for.

Justicia Project: In AlbertaBritish Columbia and Ontario, Gowling WLG has played a key role in the Justicia Project, an innovative program designed to retain and advance more women in legal private practice.

The project was first introduced by the Law Society of Upper Canada in response to evidence that women leave private practice at a higher rate than men in their first 10 years of practice. As a participating firm, Gowling WLG is committed to achieving goals in four areas: tracking gender demographics within the firm; reviewing/introducing flexible work arrangements and parental leave policies; adopting initiatives to foster women's networking and business development expertise; and promoting leadership skills for women.

Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusion (LLD) Trust Fund: The LLD, a group of Canadian general counsel from coast to coast who have declared their support and commitment for creating a more inclusive legal profession, recently announced the establishment of the Legal Leaders for Diversity Trust Fund. The fund aims to advance diversity in law faculties and provide equal access to legal education by offering annual scholarships to young people with disabilities. The scholarships will provide financial assistance to students with physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments for undergraduate or graduate studies in Canadian law faculties.

Gowling WLG is a proud contributor to this worthwhile cause. In July 2015, we hosted a special reception to honour Tawana Giscombe, one of the first recipients of an LLD scholarship. Learn more about Tawana and see photos from the event here.

Program of Legal Studies for Native People (PLSNP): Gowling WLG is a strong proponent of the Program of Legal Studies for Native People (PLSNP), a pre-law course offered through the University of Saskatchewan’s Native Law Centre.The eight-week program helps prepare Aboriginal students for a career in law by giving them the opportunity to study first-year property law before they enter law school. It includes writing workshops, mentorship, and a supportive and collaborative classroom environment. Aboriginal customary law and traditions are also significant features of the PLSNP.

To date, over 785 students of Aboriginal ancestry have earned law degrees after completing the PLSNP, and a remarkable 75 per cent of all Aboriginal lawyers in Canada entered the practice of law through the program. Gowling WLG’s Paul Seaman is a proud PLSNP alumnus. Learn more about our involvement with the PLSNP here.

Starbucks International Excellence in Diversity Award: In 2013, Gowling WLG became the first Canadian law firm to receive the Starbucks International Excellence in Diversity Award. Based on an annual diversity survey of Starbucks' legal service providers around the world, the award recognizes our extensive efforts to enhance diversity and promote inclusion.

Gowling WLG Realizing Opportunities for Women (GROW): Founded by our professionals in Toronto, GROW (Gowling WLG Realizing Opportunities for Women) promotes greater recognition and understanding of issues facing women in the workplace. Through engaging, well-attended networking events, GROW enables women to connect with mentors and build relationships that enhance their professional and personal lives.

Because I Am A Girl: On October 11, 2013 — the second annual UN International Day of the Girl — Gowling WLG launched a new sponsorship initiative as part of the global Because I Am a Girl movement. The firm's sponsorship involves a strong commitment to gender equality, girls' rights, and ending the cycle of poverty for girls and their families in the developing world. A key project of Plan Canada, Because I Am A Girl aims to remove the unique barriers faced by girls in the world's poorest nations by focusing on their rights to safety, education and basic nutrition.

Best Employers in Canada: Since 2010, Gowling WLG has been ranked as one of the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. The annual survey, based primarily on employee feedback, recognizes organizations from across the country with the highest levels of employee engagement.