In the Spotlight—Leo Raffin

Practice Point

In the Spotlight—Leo Raffin

This month’s spotlight shines on Leo Raffin of McMillan LLP

How did you first get involved with CLEBC?

I presented once or twice at a securities law course and then was asked by Vic O’Connor to co-chair.  I took over as Chair of the Advanced Securities Law course the following year.

What are you currently working on (or have most recently worked on) with CLEBC?

I have co-chaired the Advanced Securities Law course for the last 20 years.  This year will be my last.

What inspired you to become a lawyer?

I suppose it was just the common path taken by my cohort of first-generation kids of immigrant parents: You become a professional. My father tells me that when I asked him if I should be a doctor or lawyer, he said lawyer because he didn’t think I liked the sight of blood. Also, Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law was a pretty popular TV show when I was growing up.

What led you to specialize in the area of securities law?

When I started law school I always thought I would be a litigator. In third year I took a securities law course and found it fascinating.  After articles, I was hired to work with one of the regulator lawyers who specialized in utilities regulation. But when I started work there were no active hearings so I got swept into working with the securities group. Fortunately, it was an area of interest.

What advice would you pass on to a newly-called lawyer?

Spend time learning your craft. I remember a story told to me about G. Arthur Martin, who was a great criminal lawyer and judge in Ontario. When he started practice as a sole practitioner specializing in criminal law, he had some time on his hands. So he spent it reading the Criminal Code from front to back, and back to front. What better way to develop a good base as a criminal lawyer, or any lawyer, know your subject area front to back – those are table stakes but important table stakes.

Recently I came across an acronym KITE as it might be used in the service industry. In this case, KITE stands for kindness, integrity, truth, and effort. If you keep these in mind, especially integrity, I think you can provide great service to your clients and yourself.

Other than law, what are you passionate about?

I enjoy being active. I have enthusiastically played many sports over the years and continue to do so. I have a great partner and I’m a few years away from retirement, so pretty soon she is going to get me full-time.

Anything else you would like our readers to know?

Pickleball on a cruise boat is a lot of fun.