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From left to right: Charles Gluckstein, Bernard Gluckstein, Richard Halpern, Derek Nicholson, Steve Rastin, Simona Jellinek, Erin Ellis

Gluckstein Lawyers finalists for trio of Canadian Law Awards

Written By: Paul Russell, LegalMatters Staff

Charles Gluckstein says he is honoured that Gluckstein Lawyers has been shortlisted in three categories for the upcoming Canadian Law Awards.

“The fact that our peers think we are doing a good job for the bar and our clients is the highest compliment we can get,” says Gluckstein, the firm’s managing partner.

“The most important thing to us is our service to our clients. At the same time, it is great to be recognized as leaders in the legal community,” he tells LegalMattersCanada.ca.

After hundreds of nominations were received from law firms and legal departments across the nation, Gluckstein Lawyers is a finalist for Ontario Law Firm of the Year, Managing Partner of the Year and Best Use of Technology.

Strategic Partnerships

Founded in 1962 by Charles’ father Bernard, Gluckstein Lawyers has enjoyed remarkable growth in recent years. In 2020 alone, the firm entered into three strategic partnerships, expanding the reach and work of the Gluckstein team.

One of these partnerships was with Richard Halpern, a lawyer known across Canada for his expertise in medical malpractice cases and who now oversees Gluckstein’s birth trauma practice.

“Richard’s experience allows him to provide meaningful advice and direction to families considering a medical negligence lawsuit when there has been a birth injury,” says Gluckstein.

Lawyer Jan Marin also focuses on medical malpractice claims. She was instrumental in obtaining a Supreme Court of Canada decision to reinstate a $1.3-million award to a woman who had a kidney removed as a result of injuries suffered during a surgical procedure.

Gluckstein Lawyers also partnered with Steve Rastin, a leading personal injury lawyer in Barrie and past president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. Rastin and associate Jordan Assaraf handle class action and mass tort lawsuits for the firm, allowing people to join forces and take on large entities to win compensation for a claim.

The third 2020 partnership was with Ottawa civil trial lawyer Derek Nicholson, one of Ottawa’s leading civil trial lawyers since 1980.

 

Diversification and Growth Mindset

Gluckstein foresees advocating for those who have suffered sexual assault or abuse as an area of growth for the firm.

Simona Jellinek, Erin Ellis, and Ivanna Iwaysykiw have joined forces with our firm to form Jellinek Ellis Gluckstein Lawyers, and have become leaders in sexual assault and abuse cases,” he says.

“Our expansion into these critical areas highlights our ever-evolving offerings, and our commitment to true, full-circle care.”

Gluckstein says these strategic partnerships benefit both parties.

“The partnerships work well as our firm takes care of the marketing, administration and technology issues,” he says. “These lawyers can then focus on practising law, leaving the business part of the operations to us.”

The firm’s lawyers and clients also benefit from the modern technology Gluckstein Lawyers utilizes.

“I try to bring cutting-edge software and best practices to every aspect of our day-to-day operations,” says Gluckstein. “The COVID-inspired lockdown allowed us to embrace a paperless work environment while reducing our collective carbon footprint.”

In 2018, Gluckstein Lawyers was one of the first law firms in Canada to implement Filevine, a cloud-based customizable file management software platform that allows all staff members to access virtual filing cabinets with ease from any secure location worldwide.

“We began integrating other cloud-based software programs into Filevine in 2020, including MedChart (for electronic requests for medical records), Tracument (for remote fax, secure send, and mail capabilities), and VineSign (for remote electronic signatures) to create a seamless work process,” says Gluckstein.

“Our firm’s use of Filevine during the last three years has increased productivity and allowed our staff to connect with clients in a more efficient manner, which has resulted in elevated levels of satisfaction from clients,” he adds.

 

Meeting Staff & Client Needs

Another technological innovation is to embrace an omni-channel digital marketing approach when dealing with clients, Gluckstein says.

“This approach ensures that every client is met with a unique advertising experience centred on their needs and behaviours, allowing clients to interact with us in whichever manner suits them best, including Facebook, Instagram, email or text message.”

He says his relationship with staff members is also important.

“I am a big proponent of check-in meetings, so I can track what the staff workload is, and to ensure their needs are being met,” Gluckstein says. “Staff satisfaction is very important to me.”

He notes that polls have shown that many people do not want to return to their office jobs on a full-time basis, after experiencing the work-at-home environment brought on by COVID.

“I listened to my staff and have instituted a very flexible hybrid office setup,” says Gluckstein. “Our use of technology in all areas allows us to effectively collaborate without being in the office.”

To reward staff and to encourage them to professionally bond, he says the firm holds a retreat once a year.

“Prior to COVID, we were 30 employees, and we used certain events such as the retreat to bring us closer,” Gluckstein says. “Now that we are 60 people, keeping that sense of community and culture is very important to me.”

As for his managing partner of the year nomination, he notes that he “wears a lot of hats” at the firm.

“I’m the head of technology, head of marketing and head of operations and finance, plus I run a busy client caseload,” Gluckstein says.

“Along with embracing and enabling change within the firm, I want to keep identifying the gaps and weaknesses in our structure. That will allow us to strengthen our performance and productivity as we meet the needs of clients across Ontario.

 

Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers

With 60+ years of experience handling personal injury cases, Gluckstein Lawyers specialize in cases involving motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, birth injuries, long-term disability, brain and spinal cord injury, wrongful death, product liability and class actions.

They take care of all aspects during the claims process, work with insurance companies on behalf of their client, and secure sufficient compensation for pain and suffering. They are consistently ranked as one of Canada’s top 10 personal injury law firms.

Winners of the Canadian Law Awards are to be announced on May 19.



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