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Law Firm Closing is Canada's Largest

Normally an article about a law firm closing doesn't interest me that much. But a story on the closure of Goodman and Carr LLP in the Globe and Mail yesterday caught my attention for a couple of reasons.

First, this particular closure is a big deal in the legal profession - Goodman and Carr LLP was the largest law firm closing to date. Its decision to close last Tuesday is another sign of Canadian mid-size firms failing because of much larger foreign lawyer shops.

The second reason, which is even more interesting, comes at the end of the G&M article which mentions the previous largest law firm to collapse in Canada. Holden Day Wilson LLP, based in Toronto, was closed in 1996 to some extent because of an incident that has become part of Toronto lore and is a story that every Torontonian should know.

This is for the few people that have not heard this 14 year-old story: Gary Hoy, a partner at the firm, would periodically throw himself against the window of high-up floors in the Toronto-Dominion Centre to show that the glass was extremely strong. At an evening party, he did this trick again and succeeded. On his second attempt, however, he crashed through the window of the 24th floor, falling 72 meters to his death.

The firm, then dealing with merger woes, also had to deal with this controversial and public death. They closed soon afterwards amidst unpaid bills and compensation.
For anyone who has heard that story but wasn't sure if it was true, Hoy even won the Darwin Award for that year.

There, now you know some weird Toronto trivia that you can impress your friends with.

Thanks to Smudge for pointing out the G & M article and reminding me about this bizarre story.

Photo: Image from Brendan Lynch from the blogTO Flickr pool.


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