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Bergeron Clifford: A 25-year legal partnership founded on the bonds of brotherhood

The personal injury law firm founders pair their core values with a fighting team spirit

Bergeron Clifford law partners at their Kingston office.
Ted Bergeron and Chris Clifford in the mock courtroom at their Kingston personal injury law firm, Bergeron Clifford.

This story is about the bonds of brotherhood and service. 

Twenty-five years ago, a job interview brought the two lawyers who went on to found Kingston personal injury law firm, Bergeron Clifford LLP, together. 

“I knew in a heartbeat that he was our guy,” said partner Ted Bergeron.

Bergeron already knew Chris Clifford by reputation. His father was well-known around Kingston as a school administrator, and Clifford had earned some local fame of his own as a hockey hero.

Clifford knew Ted Bergeron from his distinguished stint with the Queen’s University Golden Gaels football team as well as his well-respected reputation in the community. 

A strong foundation of shared values

“The stresses and strains of advocacy can be a challenge,” said Clifford. “It’s a privilege and a blessing to do this kind of work with a partner you admire and respect”. 

If the founders come with an unbreakable bond, so do their values. The combination of tenacity, dignity and integrity creates a strong foundation. “Marrying humility with strength of character creates a tour-de-force,” said Bergeron. 

Perhaps most importantly for Bergeron and Clifford, it’s about applying those values in service of their clients, who they usher through some of the most trying circumstances they’ll face in their lives. 

“We focus on all the outcomes,” said Bergeron. “Some litigators forget to inform their clients about the emotional, psychological, and social costs of the litigation process.”

Clifford concurs.

“Our goal isn’t simply to get fair compensation for the injuries and losses sustained, but also to maximize our client’s medical recovery.” 

Success is measured by ensuring clients get the outcome that’s most important to them, whether it’s a speedy process for someone in their 70s who doesn’t want to go through five years of litigation, or to keep family conflict to a minimum. 

That’s why every Bergeron Clifford client can expect a sense of autonomy and agency. 

“They’re in absolute control of how we decide to proceed and determining whether we’ve arrived at the right destination,” said Bergeron. “Our job is to get them there.”

The founders also expect clients to bring the same integrity to the table they expect of themselves.

Creating legacy through mentorship

From the start, Bergeron and Clifford knew passing on the firm’s legacy would start with mentorship. 

They showed how committed they are by building a mock courthouse to mentor new associates and rehearse arguments for upcoming trials. 

“We’ve built a team of outstanding young lawyers and support staff who are similar to Ted and me in terms of our approach to the practice of law,” said Clifford.

Another key component of legacy building for the pair is helping create a community of personal injury law firms in Eastern Ontario, which came about as a natural consequence to how they practice the law. 

Anyone who is a party in one of their cases will leave the encounter with their dignity intact, including the defendant. “It’s important for us to earn the respect of our peers,” said Bergeron. 

It’s clear their shared values have helped the bonds of brotherhood grow stronger over the past 25 years and built the kind of foundation that will carry their work well into the future.