Candidate bio description
As owner and principal of MACGREGOR LAW, Kelly specializes in corporate and commercial law with an emphasis on consumer goods, marketing, sales and operations. Before establishing his firm, Kelly was Senior Counsel with Kraft Canada Inc. providing all aspects of business and legal leadership in consumer packaged goods law: operations, supply chain, international trade and policy and sales and competition law. At Kraft, he was also the Director of Government and Industry Affairs, helping to establish the Dairy Processors Association of Canada and serving on its Board of Directors. He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba (BA), the University of Windsor (LL.B.) and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University (LL.M. in Law and Regulation).
What inspired you to run for bencher this year?
My primary inspiration came from current Benchers, and from the many lawyers I admire for their competency and compassion, who all encouraged me to step up and out and participate in the wider legal community. It was both humbling and exciting. I then asked myself what I could offer. I realized that I wanted to do what I could to reflect the areas of importance to my immediate legal community - in particular the small and sole practitioners and in-house counsel. I felt that if I could represent those voices, both in Toronto and the other Regions, I would have accomplished an important task. I also saw room to emphasize the other areas that I feel are important to all legal practitioners and all consumers of legal services in Ontario. Coming from a marketing company, I decided to use a bit of the marketing skills I managed to pick up over the years to "sell" what I think is important: COMMUNICATION To encourage effective and efficient communication among the Law Society, the legal community and the consumer of legal services so as to represent all interests today and in the future. COMPASSION To continually advocate for improved access to the legal system – both Criminal and Civil – so that the system works for all Ontarians. This includes easing access to underserved legal consumers and assisting the members of legal community to overcome mental and physical challenges. COMPETENCY To maintain and continually improve professional standards to protect and enhance the lawyer “brand” in Ontario. And to use my personal competencies, including a focus on solutions, strategic thinking and execution, relationship building, stakeholder / cross functional management, talent management and integrity, to advocate and service the issues and concerns of all legal stakeholders. COMPUTERS (or CONNECTIVITY) To embrace and expand the available technological tools and supports to maintain and enhance access to the legal system for lawyers and for all consumers of legal services in Ontario. CLARIVOYANCE (it had to start with a "C") Finally, to continually influence the Law Society to have in place strategic goals and directions to anticipate and embrace the challenges and opportunities we will all face well beyond 2023.
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?
I only speak for myself and possibly for my Community; but I believe it is to emphasize "Compassion" and "Competency" in order to provide relevant and affordable legal services to all consumers of these services in Ontario. This is not about fees. It goes more to the "how" legal services can be more efficiently provided to consumers - both big and small - while paying attention to the needs of small practitioners and in-house counsel and acknowledging the important role they play in the delivery of legal services. Mostly this about "Computers"; but I also see a role for better "Communication".
What would be your first priority upon election?
First would be to acknowledge that I have a lot to learn as a new Bencher. Then, I would want to participate in doing what I can to assist in formulating a strategic plan and strategy that would provide a road map and time table to address not only my concerns but also to listen carefully to the voices of all legal practitioners and consumers of legal services in Ontario. My job is to listen and to learn. Then to use my skills to advocate for what I believe in as well as for what my colleagues and our consumers raise as their priorities.
What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?
First of all, I would want to say that I had made a positive, material and measurable difference for all of the legal community and the consumers of legal services in Ontario. That's what justifies re-election. I believe that positive difference would be reflected in a reasonable and achievable strategic plan for the future of the Law Society and its role in the broader legal community. I would like to see the Law Society envision where it wants to be in 2023 and beyond and help it get there.
What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?
Again, I can only speak for myself; but I do believe there is a pressing need for more support for small and sole practitioners so they can fully participate to the best of their ability in the wider legal community. There is an important role for this group to play in all aspects of access to justice. However, their needs and concerns have to be listened to, understood and then acted upon.
Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?
Creating and abiding are different. However, both need to be done intelligently. Principles that are created to reflect the Ontario we all live in and the Ontario legal community are more likely to be successful and embraced.