ZSA is proud to feature the 8 Questions Series interviewing prominent lawyers in Canada, aimed at discussing interesting perspectives and the challenges that face those in the legal profession. These articles, entitled “8 Questions With…” will be published on our website www.zsa.ca and in the ZSA Daily Digest, a daily compilation of legal news circulated by email to more than 1,500 legal professionals across Canada.
Emily Lee, Partner, ZSA Legal Recruitment, interviews Ryan Farquhar, Director, Power Transmission, Enbridge Inc.
1. Why did you decide to become a lawyer?
Long-term, I wanted to get into a role that allowed me to be a key contributor to growing a business. A legal background would give me the right constructs and framework for that, as well the flexibility to pursue the legal path or the business path.
2. What is the biggest professional challenge you have faced during your career?
In a past role, I was a partner in a venture capital firm and we were involved in shutting down a business out West which resulted in a number of people losing their jobs. Executing on that was one of the most challenging times in my career, professionally and emotionally.
3. If you could change one thing about the practice of law, what would it be?
The work demands. The expectation of lawyers is that we are service providers and always available, which is true. Quite often, the more entrenched with a business or client, the more they expect and value your opinion. What comes along with that is that you are expected to be available “ which is what we sign up for” so it is not something that we can complain about.
4. What advice would you give to someone starting his/her career in law?
- My advice would be to focus on an area that you are going to enjoy and the success will follow as a result. Don’t chase money. If you don’t know what you want to do now, pursue something that will give you greater flexibility in the longer term and the more chances of success you will have.
5. What was the last good book you read/movie you saw?
Life is Beautiful. An older movie but it was great.
6. What is your favorite restaurant?
My brother-in-law runs a place on King West called WURST [609 King Street West]. It’s an awesome sausage and beer hall.
7. Where would you most like to travel?
I’d love to go back to Italy, rent a house in Tuscany, get a car and tour around from there. That or New Zealand I’ve never been.
8. If you were not a lawyer, what would you be doing?
I would be running a small business; something more entrepreneurial.
Ryan Farquhar is Director of Power Transmission at Enbridge, responsible for developing Enbridge’s power transmission business platform. Prior to joining Enbridge, Ryan was Vice-President & General Counsel of publicly-traded Tonbridge Power Inc. Ryan held a management role with respect to the Montana-Alberta Tie-Line (MATL) line, the first cross-border merchant electric transmission line in North America. Tonbridge was acquired by Enbridge in late 2011. Ryan has deep experience in private equity and venture capital investing, having been a Partner at one of Canada’s leading independent fund managers. Ryan received a Bachelor of Laws from The University of Western Ontario and Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University.