Torys' chair Robert Prichard is interviewed in Canadian Business

Interview: Prichard the Third

October 25, 2010

Robert Prichard was the University of Toronto's dean of law, and its president from 1990 to 2000. He led Torstar through the most challenging period in its history, then signed on to place the greater Toronto transit system on a solid footing as president of Metrolinx.

Rob sat down with senior writer Thomas Watson following his appointment as chair of Torys LLP and the Canadian arm of book publisher Penguin.

Canadian Business (CB): You made headlines joining the new board at Penguin, but that's not your day job. You're working as a lawyer for the first time since graduating law school, right?

Robert Prichard (RP): That's correct. When I was looking for a job in 1974, Torys made me a wonderful offer, but I became a law teacher instead. Thirty-six years later, they made me an even better offer, making me chairman.

CB: What is it like to join a law firm at 61?

RP: Terrific. I didn't have to article. I'm thrilled to be a working lawyer at long last. After teaching law and retaining lawyers for many years, it is a special pleasure to actually be one. My problem is that I got here by luck, and my co-workers got here through hard work. I have to bring my A game every morning just to stay in the race with these terrifically talented and dedicated people.

CB: What exactly is your role?

RP: My job is to advise clients, represent the firm, be part of the leadership team and recruit, coach and mentor talent.

Read the full interview here.

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