Checking in with Our Valued Partners at BLG

Marco Ouji
Talk with HIROC with Kate Crawford - recap article

Understanding the importance of collaborating with the legal team

In our third Talk with HIROC episode, we invited Gareth Lewis, our Vice President of Claims to have a chat with one of our close colleagues, Kate Crawford from Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG). 

As a valued partner of HIROC, the team at BLG supports HIROC and its Subscribers on a number of fronts - most commonly as lead Defence counsel for Subscribers in Ontario.

Gareth started off the episode by congratulating Kate, not only on her new role as BLG’s National Business Leader (Health), but also in her and BLG’s continued commitment in ensuring her clients (our Subscribers) are getting the best the organization can provide, on both on a local and national level. 

The HIROC / BLG relationship is a unique one that sees Subscribers tapping into the depth and the breadth of the team of lawyers at BLG. 

Since the start of the pandemic, both HIROC’s legal team and the team at BLG have been busy responding to a variety of queries from Subscribers. The collaborative approach ensures consistent advice, in most cases tailored for each situation, with topics ranging from disclosure to documentation. 

At the time we sat down with Kate, talk of the colder months ahead were top of mind, and Gareth was curious to see what advice Kate had for Subscribers on this year’s flu season, as well as the pandemic’s second wave.

Kate was quite candid in her response and explained that as much as her team hopes it doesn’t happen, it’s inevitable that the flu, just like COVID-19 is a very real thing and here to stay for now. 

“From March to May we did so much heavy lifting together, and if needed again, the research and work can be brushed off and quickly put back into action,” she said. “We’re hoping everyone has kept those plans readily accessible so Subscribers can refer to them in a moment’s notice - we don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” she reiterated. 

The healthcare system is constantly changing, but so has the work that Kate and her team have been involved in with hospitals as a result of the pandemic. 

When asked more about this, Kate shared that this crisis has been some of the most interesting legal work she’s had the chance to do - lots of novel issues are being raised. As a firm, her organization has been able to grow and deepen those existing relationships with their counterparts in the hospital system, as well as collaborating better than one would normally be able to.


Missed the talk? Watch it now!


On how the legal profession has changed during the pandemic and if it will go back to normal:

“I hope that all of our carbon footprints can remain a little lighter, however, we all miss getting into rooms with nurses, risk managers, and all our clients - it’s just not the same as doing it remotely. Going forward, the question we will begin to ask: is this an in-person meeting or can we do it virtually?

With everyone working from home, whether they are judges, lawyers or medical professionals, it’s humanized us: how many times have we seen our kids walk in during business video meetings?

However, one downfall of the virtual space are the challenges in really connecting, for example, reading non-verbal cues. It’s not the same when you can’t lean into observation during a video or phone call, but it can be neat to try and figure out how to best try to learn and adapt.

On how to stay grounded and balanced through all of this:

“Lawyers have very long and demanding days but, we’re very lucky to work with people in the healthcare sector and see very real human issues - it helps ground us, stay engaged and reminds us that those who we’re supporting are all exceptional people. 

Before the pandemic, the daily train commute from outside Toronto would help me with my daily structure and routine. In the COVID-world, it’s been easier to build time in my day to go for a run or attend a yoga class, however, finding the balance of when to work and when to take time to oneself can easily become blurred. I’m taking it as a work in progress.”


Want to check out more episodes from the series?


Just head on over to HIROC’s LinkedIn page and you’ll find all the episodes under the “video” tab as well as in our feed.

While you’re there, don’t forget to click the “follow” button so you’ll always be in the know when new episodes air.

Some of the topics we’ve featured so far include:

  • Innovation
  • Insurance
  • Human factors
  • Claims and legal perspective
  • Communication and media relations

Truly something for all of our viewers – and we’re excited to bring you more unique topics and engaging guests over the coming weeks.