Scott:Let me introduce you to my partner at Gowling WLG, Mark Ledwell who we have identified as a key influencer in the legal profession in Canada and globally. Welcome Mark.
Mark: Hi Scott.
Scott: You're truly a student of Canada from coast to coast so tell us about that experience and the role that it has played in the formative years of your career.
Mark: When I was a young student I really wanted to live and work around Canada I was wanting to meet Canadians and find out more about our country so I made it my business to go to school in different places to study with as many different people as I could. It was a time to get to know Canada and, as you say, I was a student of Canada and I think I still am. You've also practiced law all over Canada and in Europe. I started out as a criminal lawyer and I had the criminal law bug as a young lawyer. I was involved in some charter cases I appeared at a young age before the Supreme Court of Canada and Ontario court of appeal and courts of appeal in Atlantic Canada. So I was involved in criminal law but then I touched just about everything over a 35-year period I I built my own law firm I had about 25-30 lawyers working in a small community and had the good fortune of working in just about every area of law that you can imagine and it's really been fascinating. The focus of your legal work as I understand it in the last few decades has been in the infrastructure engineering, agriculture and finance areas.
Scott: So tell us about some of the projects that you worked on in those areas.
Mark: In my early days I was heavily involved in agriculture because of where I was living and practicing law in Atlantic Canada on the infrastructure side my project started with the confederation bridge - the fixed link to PEI between PEI and New Brunswick was a massive project at the time. A first for Canada. I've been involved in the New Brunswick trans-Canada highways from tip to tip, from front to cover and put ventures together that built and operate those highways. I've touched a lot of major infrastructure projects in Canada. On the financing side, a lot of it has to do with the work involved in financing some of those large projects and it's it's been a wonderful way to see Canada and help build Canada.
Scott: You've also spent time in a leadership role at Gowling WLG, as the leader of our financial services industry group as the managing partner in the early days. of our London office and then as the managing partner in our Toronto office. So tell us what are the personal skills that drew you into leadership at Canada's global law firm?
Mark: Gowling WLG's as Canada's global law firm just fits right in with the way i work and see things so a big part of my job is it has been pulling people together, making our firm better known globally and leading teams of people here in Canada either within our financial services team or in London where I served as the managing partner and more recently here in Toronto.
Scott: What trends do you see going forward for Canadian business in the global marketplace? I see an opportunity for Canada to renew its place in the global marketplace.
Mark: I believe there's a wonderful opportunity there for Canadian business and I know that there's a lot of people wanting to move in that direction. How does the Gowling WLG platform help you serving Canadian and international businesses and taking advantage of the trends that you mentioned? We have seven offices in most regions of Canada. Internationally we're making our way and we're wrapped in the Canadian flag and in the places I go and the people I meet internationally, there's a lot of interest in a Canadian co-led international law firm. The Gowling WLG platform is really ideal.
Scott: Thanks for doing this you have truly been an influencer both at Gowling WLG and in the legal profession in Canada and globally.
Mark: Thank you Scott.