Recently, Canadian Bar Association National Magazine highlighted the growing Canadian trend of boutique law services, in an article titled Boutique Law Firms: the call to go small.
Though boutique firms are nothing new, National remarks that recent economic downturns, globalization, and quickly-advancing technology have combined to give smaller firms an advantage amid a world of large-scale law offices. Low overhead, expertise and the ability to adapt are just a few of the things that make boutique firms a first choice for many Canadian clients.
According to Gordon, what sets MKS apart from other law firms is their depth of experience and knowledge of the Canadian immigration system.
“One of our differentiating factors is our litigation work. Our experience in court and immigration tribunals and our knowledge of the enforcement mechanisms and pitfalls helps us work effectively in our field,” Gordon told National Magazine.
The problem, the article points out, is that large and midsize firms are struggling with “the pressure of being all things to all clients” in the modern world of law. The benefit of a boutique law firm is that clients can receive expert service for exactly what they need.
“We don’t try to manage a client’s home purchase; we don’t try to do their wills and estates and we don’t try to do commercial contracts,” Gordon told National. “We do what we do, which is move people around in the immigration field, and we do it quickly because business operates on its own timescale.”
Montreal-based founder of LeChasseur Avocats, Marc-André LeChasseur, says that being a small firm can be a blessing and a curse.
“On the one hand, when clients call you they feel that you really know what you’re taking about because you focus on one thing and know it well. That’s the good thing. The bad thing is that they think you’re incompetent in the rest,” LeChasseur told National. “The danger with all that is that we have to promote our specialty without making our services appear too restrictive.”
As for Gordon Maynard, he says the focused work MKS does in Canadian immigration law keeps him and his partners busy. Especially when it comes to foreign worker policy, which keeps the Vancouver law firm very active.