Nestled amongst Winnipeg’s downtown prairie stone skyscrapers, artisan restaurants, and lively art scene, you will find one of the largest law firms between Toronto and Calgary. Thompson Dorfman Sweatman (TDS) has been providing local, national, and international legal services in over 25 areas of the law to clients across every major sector for more than 130 years. TDS is Manitoba’s largest independent law firm (with 100+ lawyers). It has long been recognized as a centre of excellence in the areas of business law, IP protection, financing, data protection and privacy law, dispute resolution, employment law and global legal services. In 2020 TDS was named the Gold Winner for Prairie Law Firm of the Year at the Lexpert® 2020 Canadian Law Awards.
TDS’ diverse client base ranges from True North Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (Winnipeg Jets) to Tech Manitoba and start-ups like Callia and VidDay, to established and growing tech companies like Bold Commerce and Farmers Edge. TDS has been involved with North Forge for over a decade now, dating back to the Eureka Project days. Mark Howe, TDS’ Director of Business Development & Client Relations says, “More than 10 years ago, I worked with TDS’ senior IP lawyer Silvia de Sousa to get the firm involved with what is now North Forge. We knew we had to take ‘the long view’ in the start-up space.” When it comes to the start-up community, Mark adds, “We were ‘all in’ at the start with North Forge, and we are ‘all in’ now.”
TDS’ 11 offices across Manitoba and Saskatchewan give back and are cognizant of their responsibility to make a positive contribution to our local communities. Over $250,000 is contributed every year to supporting more than 100 worthwhile community initiatives, including the arts, environment, technology, education, the advancement of medical care, local economic development, children’s causes, and providing access to legal services for disadvantaged community members. Hundreds of hours of pro bono legal services are also provided by TDS’ lawyers, which includes offering North Forge founders the opportunity to meet one-on-one with TDS start-up lawyers at no cost. It is this community mindfulness that solidifies TDS’ partnership with North Forge.
With a keen understanding of the unique and fast-paced world of tech, TDS actively sponsors North Forge to foster local tech-enabled and advanced manufacturing start-up innovation. This allows TDS to keep up with changes and developments in the tech and advanced manufacturing industries while providing North Forge start-ups with expertise from TDS’ lawyers, including access to seminars, articles, and webinars.