After practising law in Haliburton for more than 40 years Raymond Selbie is getting ready to hand over his law firm to a familiar name within the county.
Selbie will be taking a reduced role in his firm as of July 1 when newly hired Patrick Louch will take over in his place.
Louch has only been working at Selbie’s firm for about two months but his family has a long history in the county. While Louch grew up in Richmond Hill his mother was born in Minden his grandfather Clarence McInerney taught at HHSS and was a principal at Archie Stouffer Elementary School and his aunt Molly McInerney runs Molly’s Bistro Bakery in Minden.
According to Selbie Louch’s familiarity with the community was part of the reason he felt comfortable handing over the practice to him. “One of the things about a small community is they don’t really trust outsiders right at the beginning” he said. “Patrick’s not an outsider. He’s been here a lot of his life…plus his family has been here for generations.”
For his part Selbie came to Haliburton after growing up in the west end of Toronto where he studied to be a priest and a social worker before graduating from UofT with an undergraduate degree in philosophy. While it took awhile for him to settle on law Selbie says he always wanted a job where he could do something positive for people.
After graduating law school at Western University Selbie got a job articling at a firm in Lindsay that had an office in Haliburton. He became the lawyer they’d send to the Haliburton office and after getting called to the bar in 1977 he came to the town permanently eventually taking over the Haliburton firm.
In his time in the county Selbie is proud to have raised a family here to have become an active member of the community through volunteer boards the Rotary Club and serving as vice chair of the hospital foundation and for being able to stay in practice for 40 years while keeping up with the law.
“As I look back over 40 years I think I’ve been able to achieve what I wanted to do and that’s something positive for the society in which I live” Selbie said. “In the overall I have a very good relationship with my clients and the community.”
Along with running his own firm Selbie was also appointed as a deputy judge in the small claims court part of the Superior Court of Justice and has been serving in that role for about 25 years.
Selbie hopes to use his experience to help Louch as he transitions into running the firm. Selbie plans to stay on for another year in a reduced role at the firm while Louch adjusts to his new position
Louch says that Selbie has been a helpful and excellent resource for him in the two months he’s spent at the firm so far. “I hope to learn from the best … it’s frightening at the beginning I still have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do but I can kind of see the path and I’m encouraged by it” Louch said.
According to Louch part of what drew him to Haliburton was the personal manner of law in smaller communities. “You deal with people’s problems and you tend to actually help them in a way that law in the city doesn’t” he said.
And that personal side of law in the county being able to help people with their problems is one of the qualities that has kept Selbie in the community these past 40 years.
“You’re able to solve problems [in small communities] because you don’t have a court to run to. In the city they just love to run to court and spend big bucks and spend the client’s money” Selbie said. “We will protect our clients but we will also find solutions for people rather than look to ways to litigate matters or go to court. And that’s a very rewarding experience most days.”