Mann Lawyers hosts open house in bigger, better new office space

Law firm expands as seven lawyers from former Burke-Robertson join its team

Ottawa law firm Mann Lawyers opened its doors to clients and colleagues Tuesday night by hosting a party to show off its warm and welcoming new office space.

You might say the firm has more Mann-power than ever, what with the new addition of seven lawyers from Burke-Robertson LLP. It closed up shop, effective Oct. 2, after 129 years of providing legal services in the region.

That means Mann Lawyers has grown from 24 to 31 lawyers, and is still in the process of expanding.

On hand to welcome arriving guests was Mann Lawyers’ operations manager, Sandra MacLeod. She was joined by the firm’s managing partner, Ted Mann, and senior partners Heather Austin-Skaret and André Martin.

Mann Lawyers
From left, Sandra MacLeod with Heather Austin-Skaret at the open house hosted by Mann Lawyers on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, to show off their new office space on Holland Avenue. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Mann Lawyers
From left, Ted Mann, André Martin and Heather Austin-Skaret at an open house hosted by Mann Lawyers on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, to show off its bigger and better office space on Holland Avenue. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Mann Lawyers has changed towers within the Holland Cross building complex and now occupies an entire floor, with nearly 17,000 square feet of space.

The office was previously used by Great-West Life Assurance Company but has been much improved through the services of Michele Dredge and Steve Leahy of neighbouring firm Dredge Leahy Architects.

Mann Lawyers
From left, Steve Leahy, Ted Mann and Michele Dredge at the open house hosted by Mann Lawyers on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, to show off their new office space on Holland Avenue. Photo by Caroline Phillips

At the party, there was a giant dry erase board filled with messages of congratulations. Guests mingled over food and bubbly, and toured the firm's new office.

In the spirit of the international GivingTuesday campaign, visitors were invited to make food or monetary donations to the Ottawa Food Bank.

The Burke-Robertson lawyers’ move to Mann Lawyers had been more than a year in the planning.

“They have a similar philosophy to us, which is all about the client and making the client comfortable and focusing on the client experience at the firm,” Mann told OBJ.social. "And, they’re all really nice people.”

Nancy Cook Johnson was called to the bar 44 years ago and spent the bulk of her career at Burke-Robertson, specializing in real estate and corporate commercial law. Last May, she was the first woman to receive the Abe Feinstein Solicitor Award from the County of Carleton Law Association. Even more recently, she was honoured by the United Way for making a significant impact in Ottawa in the areas of leadership, philanthropic giving, advocacy and volunteerism. She received its second annual Spark Ignite Award.

“We’re sad to wind up Burke-Robertson,” she told OBJ.social at the party.

“In considering where I would move to, the first priority was that the law firm had to have excellent, dedicated lawyers. The second was that the firm culture was friendly and down to earth.

“The thing that impresses me is the extent of the community involvement by this firm. I knew they were very generous but I'm finding out every day that they do more than I had realized.”

Mann Lawyers
From left, Nancy Cook Johnson, Greg Ste. Marie and Jane Murray are among the former Burke-Robertson lawyers to recently join Mann Lawyers LLP. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Mann Lawyers
From left, Ines Jelic, one of the Burke-Robertson lawyers to recently join Mann Lawyers, with Deborah Bourchier, managing partner of GGFL accounting firm, and Karine Devost, a lawyer with Mann Lawyers, at an open house party hosted by the Ottawa law firm on Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Mann Lawyers
Mitchell Besner, a lawyer with Mann Lawyers, with Mike Flaherty and Sue MacGregor, principals at Praxes Strategic Communications and Business Development, at an open house hosted by Mann Lawyers on Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Mann Lawyers
Partner Colleen Hoey from Mann Lawyers with Kevin Bossy, chief executive of Bishop Water Technologies, Andrew Loschmann, president and CEO of Field Effect Software, and André Martin, senior partner at Mann Lawyers, at a reception held Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Photo by Caroline Phillips

caroline@obj.ca