BCF

Montreal, Quebec

Number of employees: 120 lawyers + support staff

Legal services

Co-directors: Andre Morrissette, Mario Charpentier,

www.bcf.ca

Primary markets:  Quebec

 

Law firm scores major success

 

When Walter Gretzky took his son Wayne onto municipal rinks, one of the things he taught was to skate to where the puck was heading, as opposed to where it was. Little did the father realize that two Montreal lawyers would later take that advice and use it to get ahead in business.

 

“The Gretzky story is one of our favourites,” says André Morrissette, who along with Mario Charpentier is co-director of BCF, which supplies a broad range of legal services. “For our firm to grow from seven lawyers to more than 120 in just seven years we had to do things different .We have always tried anticipate market changes and to get ahead of them.”

 

Morrissette attributes the firm’s success to several factors, notably its decision during the mid-1990s to focus on providing services to firms in the fast growing high technology and life sciences fields. However clients weren’t the only secret. BCF also concentrated on attracting and keeping some of the brightest legal talent that it could get. Last year alone the company attracted 40 new lawyers.

 

According to Morrissette, BCF professionals are not just any lawyers. “We are a very intense team,” says the legal entrepreneur. “On the way home from the Christmas party I went through our offices and at 10:00 o’clock at night there were still some people working.” The company puts a strong premium on youth. According Morrissette’s calculations, the average BCF partner’s age is significantly below that of those in most of the other large firms, in part,  he says because BCF partners are paid based on a formula that values output more than seniority.

 

That said, despite their success, Morrissette and Charpentier aren’t done yet. They are both still young, in their mid-forties, and within the next five years they plan to increase the firm’s size to 175 lawyers.

 

Peter@peterdiekmeyer.com

 

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Photos of André Morrissette and Mario Charpentier are in the CanWest archive from a National Post/ Gazette profile on December 12th, 2007.

 

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