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• he loved the practice of law, Ladner Downs (and BLG) and hard
work; he thrived working in a team environment and passionately
embraced and fostered at all times the intellectual collegiality that
is part of any successful law firm;
• his idea of an enjoyable weekend was spending time in the office
with his deal team colleagues working on a complex M&A deal or
• he was a great mentor and firm builder, and was generous with his
time and intellect in developing so many of BLG’s corporate
lawyers (some of whom moved on to other opportunities). This
group included, to name just a few, Bill Sirett, Neil de Gelder, Bob
Shouldice, Tim Sehmer, Cam Belsher, Nigel Cave, Warren Learmonth
and many others; and
• he was active in the profession and in the community, a bencher,
board member of companies and non-profits, and a member of
many professional committees.
Bill’s brilliant mind, his thirst for knowledge, his energy and passion, his
open-mindedness to exploring and exchanging ideas and his desire to
always grow and improve as a lawyer were inspiring and infectious.
Lawyers very rarely begrudged working late evenings or weekends with Bill
on his files. And Bill never took advantage of being the senior lead lawyer
on files so that he could direct that all of the heavy lifting be done by others.
He always eagerly rolled up his sleeves and put in the same hours as everyone
on the team.
Like a star quarterback or team captain on a successful hockey team, Bill
elevated the level of commitment, passion and skill of all who worked with
him and followed his lead.
As an aspiring law graduate, Bill interviewed with and was hired by Tom
Ladner (one of the most important builders of the firm following his father,
Leon). Approximately 40 years after hiring Bill and on the occasion of his
retirement as a partner at BLG, Tom wrote to Bill and said, among some
other very nice things, this:
For 40 years your devotion and loyalty to the firm were unsurpassed. All
partners, associates and staff owe you a huge debt of gratitude for all that
you have done for us. When it came to the needs of our clients or to the
needs of our firm, your selfless attitude was an inspiration to so many.
Despite his passion for (and at times a workaholic approach to) practice,
Bill somehow found time to spend meaningful quality time with a very loving
family (four children). At times, in trying to strike a good work/life bal-