Peter MacKay joins law firm Baker & McKenzie as a partner

Former Central Nova MP and justice minister is rebooting his legal career by joining the firm Baker & McKenzie to advise on government and regulatory enforcement.

Former Central Nova MP and attorney general returning to law career

Former justice minister and Central Nova MP Peter MacKay is joining law firm Baker & McKenzie. (CBC)

Peter MacKay may have a new job at a prominent multinational legal firm in Toronto, but he says he's not ruling out politics in the future.

The former Central Nova MP and justice minister is rebooting his legal career as a partner at Baker & McKenzie, beginning Feb 1.

When asked if one day Canada might see him run for Conservative Party leader, he said it's "not his intent at this point." The party will chose a new leader May 27, 2017.

"I've said many times I'm not closing doors, I'm not prohibiting any future in other fields," said MacKay over the phone from Baker & McKenzie's conference room in Toronto.

"My focus, as I've said for some time, is having more time with my family and returning to my first profession, which was law, and dedicating all of my effort to excel at both."

Past legal experience

MacKay, who held a number of cabinet portfolios in the government of Stephen Harper and was a Crown attorney before running for politics in 1997, is joining the firm as a partner. He will advise on a range of matters including government and regulatory enforcement. 

MacKay said he looks forward to contributing to the firm in a meaningful way, particularly in the area of compliance and enforcement.

"I believe that the skills I garnered during my time in public life will lend to being able to contribute to that area of practice."

MacKay said he was drawn to the firm because of its reputation of giving back to the community.

"They do a lot of pro bono work and in fact it's required of members of this firm to give back to the community," said MacKay.

MacKay said he has enjoyed his time since leaving politics, trading "briefing books to story books" for his two young children, Kian and Valentia.

'A foot on the ground in Nova Scotia'

"I'll always have a foot on the ground in Nova Scotia," said MacKay, adding he intends to keep his home in New Glasgow.

"With a young family and where they're not in school at two-and-a-half and three months, they're quite transportable. We'll have them with us whether we're in Nova Scotia or here in Toronto for the balance of work," he said.

MacKay's new employers are excited to have him join their team.

"When you think about the practice of law and what many companies are looking for nowadays, they want legal advice but they also want sound business advice," said Kevin Coon, managing partner at Baker & McKenzie.

"The advice people like Peter can bring in terms of global perspective and comparative law perspective and having worked intimately within a regulatory environment — that's what increasingly our clients are asking about. That's why Peter is ideally suited into working here," Coon said.


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