Fastest Growing Companies #8: Calculated risk a winner for HazloLaw – Business Lawyers

Hugues Boisvert has carved a successful niche.
Hugues Boisvert has carved a successful niche.

HazloLaw – Business Lawyers continues to challenge the status quo as a boutique firm.

A novel approach that clicked with clients has landed the firm on OBJ’s Fastest Growing Companies list for a second year in a row.

“We took a gamble with starting the business five years ago, and the market has responded very, very well – we’ve been growing at a pace that’s pretty successful,” says Hugues Boisvert, the firm’s founder and CEO.

The risk in starting up a boutique firm that would focus on business law and tax litigation was a calculated one. In particular, Mr. Boisvert saw great potential in having a branch focusing on tax litigation, “a market which is very underserved in Ottawa in our opinion.”

At a more basic level, he wanted to establish his own firm in order to address common qualms about the industry. As a lifelong entrepreneur, he had grappled with limited access to legal teams and exorbitant fees.

In addition to capitalizing on the gap in the market, Mr. Boisvert was intent on further differentiating the firm by billing per project instead of the conventional practice of charging by the hour.

“We have implemented a policy whereby we charge by project and people know in advance. That’s building a level of trust between the clients and the lawyers, and people certainly appreciate that,” he says.

Mr. Boisvert says he is able to relate to his clients because he still views himself as a business owner and understands the day-to-day issues of operating a company. This translates into a fixation on delivering consistently exceptional customer service.

“By taking that approach, we’ve totally changed the game,” he says.

He adds that because of the firm’s small size, clients can have access to the firm’s partners and members of the team are extremely responsive to client needs.

Mr. Boisvert predicts that more and more large organizations will start turning to niche law firms for their legal needs.

HazloLaw – Business Lawyers

Year founded


Local head count


Key markets or customers

Owner-manager, privately held businesses, institutional clients in the education sector

Product or service

Boutique business law firm specializing in business, tax and international law

Three-year growth percentage

136.85 per cent

“I think the marketplace realizes you can still get the same exceptional quality of representation as you would in a large, multinational firm,” he says. “The boutique model focusing on one thing is clearly working, based on the success we’ve had.”

Mr. Boisvert says 80 per cent of the firm’s clients have been gained by “word-of-mouth referrals from other service providers like accounting firms.”

This validation has cemented the firm as a mainstay in the industry.

“In a very short period of time, we’ve built a reputation in the marketplace as being highly specialized, boutique, with a personal touch,” Mr. Boisvert says.