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Don’t dodge those bar association functions. That’s the lesson Robert Ventura learned this year. In May the then-general counsel for Quebec’s Groupe Laperri�re & Verreault Inc. (GL&V) ap-peared on a panel for a Boston Bar Association conference on U.S.-Canada trade. Fellow panel-member Brian Lenihan of Boston’s Hill & Barlow was so impressed by Ventura’s presentation that he got right to work recruiting Ventura for the firm’s burgeoning U.S.-Canada practice group. Two months later Ventura joined Hill & Barlow as of counsel. “It’s rare that you can take all of your experience and have it count for something,” says Ventura, 47, a Canadian American who has also worked for several firms in New York, including Shearman & Sterling. Born and raised in Montreal, Ventura has law degrees from McGill University and New York University. The transition to private practice has been easy, Ventura claims: “The pace is just a little slower and a little more intellectually stimulating.” At GL&V, and previously as GC for the Quebec-based printer Quebecor, Inc., Ventura had to field questions from all over the company about a range of nonlegal issues. Now, he says, he can focus on doing business across the border and bounce ideas off a half-dozen members of the group. “I love it,” he says about his new job. “I was very fortunate for it to fall in my lap.”

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