Community legal services operations look to merge next year

News Sep 25, 2009 Ancaster News

For years they’ve been helping thousands of low income earners in Hamilton with a variety of matters such as landlord-tenant disputes, worker’s compensation claims and employment insurance and welfare-related matters.

Now Hamilton Mountain Legal and Community Services, along with the McQuesten group in the east end and Dundurn Community Legal Services in west Hamilton, are looking to merge into one community legal services operation.

The proposed merger was slated to be announced at the annual general meeting of all three groups last night (Thursday).

“We think if we became a single organization we can effectively provide even more service than we do now,” said Hugh Tye, lawyer/director at the Mountain legal clinic.

Mr. Tye said merger talks have been ongoing for the last six months and the merger is expected to be formalized in the new year. “It gives us more flexibility with our staff and resources.”

“It (amalgamation) has always been there on the horizon,” noted Mike Ollier, lawyer/director at McQuesten Legal and Community Services, who added the three firms have frequently worked together in the past.

The move will affect about 21 employees, including eight lawyers at the three operations.

Mr. Tye said no jobs will be lost as a result of the merger, although some of the existing locations might change.

“What we’re hoping is that we might increase employment,” Mr. Tye said.

The legal clinics are funded by Legal Aid Ontario, which Mr. Tye noted supports the collaboration.

While details of the new organization are still to be worked out, Mr. Tye said they are looking at partnering with community groups and opening satellite offices across the city, although probably not on a full-time basis.

“That’s what we want to talk to the community about,” Mr. Tye said. “Where do they need to get service and how.”

Mr. Tye said leases at the three existing clinics will be up for renewal in the coming months.

Community legal services operations look to merge next year

News Sep 25, 2009 Ancaster News

For years they’ve been helping thousands of low income earners in Hamilton with a variety of matters such as landlord-tenant disputes, worker’s compensation claims and employment insurance and welfare-related matters.

Now Hamilton Mountain Legal and Community Services, along with the McQuesten group in the east end and Dundurn Community Legal Services in west Hamilton, are looking to merge into one community legal services operation.

The proposed merger was slated to be announced at the annual general meeting of all three groups last night (Thursday).

“We think if we became a single organization we can effectively provide even more service than we do now,” said Hugh Tye, lawyer/director at the Mountain legal clinic.

Mr. Tye said merger talks have been ongoing for the last six months and the merger is expected to be formalized in the new year. “It gives us more flexibility with our staff and resources.”

“It (amalgamation) has always been there on the horizon,” noted Mike Ollier, lawyer/director at McQuesten Legal and Community Services, who added the three firms have frequently worked together in the past.

The move will affect about 21 employees, including eight lawyers at the three operations.

Mr. Tye said no jobs will be lost as a result of the merger, although some of the existing locations might change.

“What we’re hoping is that we might increase employment,” Mr. Tye said.

The legal clinics are funded by Legal Aid Ontario, which Mr. Tye noted supports the collaboration.

While details of the new organization are still to be worked out, Mr. Tye said they are looking at partnering with community groups and opening satellite offices across the city, although probably not on a full-time basis.

“That’s what we want to talk to the community about,” Mr. Tye said. “Where do they need to get service and how.”

Mr. Tye said leases at the three existing clinics will be up for renewal in the coming months.

Community legal services operations look to merge next year

News Sep 25, 2009 Ancaster News

For years they’ve been helping thousands of low income earners in Hamilton with a variety of matters such as landlord-tenant disputes, worker’s compensation claims and employment insurance and welfare-related matters.

Now Hamilton Mountain Legal and Community Services, along with the McQuesten group in the east end and Dundurn Community Legal Services in west Hamilton, are looking to merge into one community legal services operation.

The proposed merger was slated to be announced at the annual general meeting of all three groups last night (Thursday).

“We think if we became a single organization we can effectively provide even more service than we do now,” said Hugh Tye, lawyer/director at the Mountain legal clinic.

Mr. Tye said merger talks have been ongoing for the last six months and the merger is expected to be formalized in the new year. “It gives us more flexibility with our staff and resources.”

“It (amalgamation) has always been there on the horizon,” noted Mike Ollier, lawyer/director at McQuesten Legal and Community Services, who added the three firms have frequently worked together in the past.

The move will affect about 21 employees, including eight lawyers at the three operations.

Mr. Tye said no jobs will be lost as a result of the merger, although some of the existing locations might change.

“What we’re hoping is that we might increase employment,” Mr. Tye said.

The legal clinics are funded by Legal Aid Ontario, which Mr. Tye noted supports the collaboration.

While details of the new organization are still to be worked out, Mr. Tye said they are looking at partnering with community groups and opening satellite offices across the city, although probably not on a full-time basis.

“That’s what we want to talk to the community about,” Mr. Tye said. “Where do they need to get service and how.”

Mr. Tye said leases at the three existing clinics will be up for renewal in the coming months.