Spotlight Interview

Lori Hall is a partner in Gowling WLG's Hamilton office and a member of the firm's Intellectual Property Group.

Distinguished among the world's top trademark professionals by the World Trademark Review, Lori focuses her practice exclusively in the area of trademark prosecution. Over the course of her 14-year career, she has helped countless clients - from small startups to multi-billion-dollar corporations - protect and maximize their brands at home and abroad. She also routinely assists foreign IP firms in obtaining protection for their clients' trademarks in Canada.

Lori's work encompasses all aspects of the prosecution lifecycle, including trademark registrability and availability opinions, application drafting and filing, opposition and expungement proceedings, packaging review, and rights transfers. She is also regarded by clients for her sophisticated cross-border experience and strategic approach to managing large national and international trademark portfolios.

A sought-after thought leader in her field, Lori is the author of the trademark prosecution section of LexisNexis Practice Advisor, one of Canada's premier legal resources.

In 2020, Lori was nominated for the prestigious "Outstanding Practitioner in Canada (Trademark)" distinction at the Managing IP Americas Awards in recognition of her many career accomplishments.

We asked Lori about her background and daily challenges she faces.

1. How long have you been practicing law? How did you begin your law career?

  I have been practicing law for the past 16 years. I started as a researcher at a big Intellectual Property firm in Ottawa.  

2. What has your approach been to the ‘business of law’ side of the practice?

  I learned very early on that there is a lot more to running a successful practice than doing good legal work. My approach has always been, “how can I make your life easier today”. “What problem can I solve for you to get you home earlier”. I want my clients to feel better having had that conversation with me.  

3. What challenges are presenting themselves and how are you handling them?

  In my practice area, Trademarks, Canada implemented a New Act last year which completely transformed how we practice trademark law today. It’s been a year now, and there is still something new that reveals itself to me at least once a week! We have been working very hard as a team to build our expertise in dealing with all these new matters.

Like almost everyone else working in law firms, mid-March I packed my briefcase and laptop and headed home amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. At the time I couldn’t have imagined that I would still be working from home over 3 months later. Some days are harder than others. There are certain days when I feel very isolated, and other days I surprise myself with how productive I can be in my home office. I do however miss the banter with my colleagues, the face to face chats over coffee in the morning. I have a great group of female colleagues from my office that meet over zoom at least once a week for a “non-work” meeting.

4. What is a typical day like for you? What is the best part of your job?

  Because of the international nature of my job, my day is generally broken up into time zones. My office wall displays a chronological assortment of clocks from all the major time zones. It was intended to be a functional visual for my team and I, but it also happens to look very cool. I typically start off in the early morning working with my colleagues from Asia, Middle East, and Europe, the bulk of my day is spent corresponding with my clients and colleagues in Canada and the USA, and I end my day generally exchanging with my clients in Australia, working on their matters of tomorrow! The best part about my job is just that, I’m so lucky to be able to work with some many amazing clients from around the globe.  

5. On a totally different note, how do you like to spend your time when you are not at work?

  When not at work you can find me either with my friends playing on the soccer field, enjoying the local Niagara wineries, or relaxing with my husband and two girls on our rural country property.