Native land claims make lawyers rich

Year Published:  1989  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX3685

Abstract:  Ottawa is spending a small fortune paying private law firms to fight native land claims, according to the October issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine. "Native land claims pushed fallout from bank failures, ureaformaldehyde lawsuits and even free trade out of the spending spotlight for outside legal services", says the magazine. As an example, it cites Calgary lawyer Brian Malone, who represents the federal government in the Lubicon land dispute. Malone billed the government more than $442,000 between April 1, 1988 and March 31, 1989. The Vancouver firm of Koenigsberg and Russell charge Ottawa $621,546 during the same period for handling three native land claims.
"These are your tax dollars at work," said Lubicon spokesman Fred Lennarson, who maintains the billings are "the tip of the iceberg" in Ottawa's costly efforts to avoid settling native claims. Lennarson noted that in the dispute over the Lubicon's claim, Ottawa is also paying federal spokesman Ken Colby and the Calgary law firm of Walsh Young.
-Source: Canadian Lawyer, October 1989; Calgary Herald, October 26, 1989
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