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Focus on Leadership Cassels Brock

Daniel Zuniga, lawyer and partner with Cassels Brock. Wil Andruschak, © Postmedia Content Works

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

Cassels Brock may be a newer law firm in Calgary, having opened here about three years ago, but it has a long history of success.

Renowned for serving the mining industry and, more recently, the burgeoning legal cannabis sector, it has a history in Canada stretching back about 130 years.

“Our firm sought to come to Calgary to expand its client base and, in turn, help our clients expand their opportunities for growth,” says Daniel Zuniga, lawyer and partner with Cassels Brock.

While Cassels Brock’s expertise in resource extraction dovetails well with the energy industry, the firm also saw fertile soil in Calgary’s startup community.

“There’s a growing sense of a need that the city must diversify its economy, and we’re starting to see that,” Zuniga says, adding the firm works with many companies involved in new technologies, including artificial intelligence.

“The startup ecosystem is much more fulsome than people may realize, and it’s not strictly dealing with oil and gas like it once was.

“It’s always been a city of entrepreneurs — a group of people getting together starting an oil and gas company,” he says. “When I first started practicing law about a decade ago, 90 per cent of my clients were oil and gas clients, and now it’s more like a 50-50 split with entrepreneurs.”

While Cassels Brock is seeing tremendous growth within its oil and gas client base, it’s also quickly growing a base of clients from smaller, fast-growing firms involved in a wide variety of sectors.

Many of these companies are led by former employees of larger firms who are new to leading their own business. While they are adept in the technology, products and services they’re creating, they are not traditional entrepreneurs. And that’s where Cassels Brock helps.

“As a lawyer, it’s very gratifying to act as a business adviser in their journey to success, as opposed to only legal counsel.”

What’s more, the formula has been a winning one.

“We have a smart, ambitious team here,” Zuniga says. “I believe the sky is the limit in how we can help this city grow.”

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

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