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Focus on Leadership Dentons guides its clients through uncertain times

The Dentons Calgary team includes, from left, Afshan Naveed, partner; Tim Haney, managing partner; and Kelly Osaka, partner. Photo by Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

Dentons is a large law firm that’s had a big impact when it comes to helping clients navigate the pandemic. 

The recipe for success for the world’s largest law firm isn’t simply its size. It’s Dentons’ people on the ground, working in the communities it serves — including Calgary — that have helped the firm shine brightly as a guide during these dark times.

“A pillar of our culture is size, but we also recognize each market is very different,” says lawyer Tim Haney, Calgary managing partner for Dentons.

Local experience and intelligence have long been central to the success of Dentons, which employs more than 100 lawyers in Calgary. This characteristic has never been more apparent than during the pandemic.

“Historically, Dentons has done things differently,” Haney says. “We really focus on understanding our clients first.”

It’s an approach that has helped Dentons craft tailored solutions for its clients, which span the spectrum of Calgary’s diverse business community.

“The pandemic made circumstances very fluid, challenging and uncertain,” he says. “Not only are clients’ operations in flux, but the legal challenges they face are really changing, too.” 

Central to the firm’s success is its Calgary team, supported by a strong workplace culture built on inclusivity and an intellectual agility.

“We do not have a top-down structure,” Haney explains. “Rather, it’s a very holistic approach that values listening to team members and clients.”

As the majority of people are working from home, the ability to listen and adapt quickly is an invaluable skill necessary to meet the needs of both clients and team members. Although technology has been indispensable, it has its limitations, Haney adds.

“As a leader, one thing you have to be conscious of is the feeling of disconnectedness with working remotely.”

Consequently, he has spent many hours reaching out to the Calgary team, not only making sure they have the resources to thrive, but also ensuring they’re well. The pandemic has also served as a learning experience.

“The most adverse circumstances can create excellent teachable moments,” Haney says. “Organizations that are going to thrive post-pandemic are those that are open-minded to the lessons in this environment.”

That applies to Dentons, too, he says. 

“I really believe we are at the vanguard of innovative change for our operations and, more importantly, our clients.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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