We help our clients use the law and creative thinking in order to foster flourishing and sustainable enterprises in service of people, planet, and profit.
WRD LLP is a values-based law firm serving the growing community of enterprises and entrepreneurs invested in using the power of business to solve social and environmental challenges. We strive to offer legal services for the full life-cycle of these purpose-driven enterprises – from formation, to investment, to growth of employees, clients, business partners or space, and finally to succession or dissolution. We are prepared to walk alongside our clients every step of the way.
We also appreciate that legal issues exist within a larger context of solving business problems, which is why we embrace collaboration with our clients and their other business advisors. When necessarily we are able to offer an intentional approach to arrive at solutions by leaning on expertise in Design Thinking, Creative Problem Solving, and Productive Thinking.
Finally, as we have significant experience in business succession transactions, we have come to recognize the opportunity that as more traditional business owners consider their succession plans, prospective buyers may be inclined to use an existing business as a vehicle to create positive social impact. This could take the form of employee-ownership groups or social impact investors. As such, we look forward to participating in more of these kinds of business purchase and sale transactions that include an explicit triple-bottom line element.
Our firm traces its roots back to the solo practice of Wakulat Law, which was established in 2010 when one of our founders, Robert Wakulat, decided to hang out his shingle in, what was then, the Centre for Social Innovation’s newest location on Bathurst Street in Toronto. The impetus had been to support individuals, businesses, and community organizations in developing the Province of Ontario’s green energy capacity but quickly transition to the broader social impact ecosystem.
It was unusual for law practices, or indeed any professional practice, to establish itself in a coworking space. However, the serendipity and shared spirit of a vibrant community offered the ideal environment in which to understand the needs and questions of our potential clients. We built trust within the community and were soon sought after by social enterprises both within and outside CSI. It was this growth moment that warranted the transition to a new firm – Wakulat Dhirani LLP – when Nabil Dhirani joined Robert and infused us with the energy to look beyond the four corners of CSI and seek out clients in other communities such as post-secondary incubators, artist spaces, and other coworking hubs.
We quickly learned that the questions being asked by our clients, especially about legal structure, were requiring us to think unlike lawyers. We started to eventually offer a more intentional pathway to solving the unique problems of social enterprises after doing professional growth work in design thinking and creative problem solving. It was clear that exploring the nexus between creativity and law offered a new value propostion to the minds working on our society’s most intractable issues.
As our client profile started to range in size from emerging growth ventures – both new and old economy – to established private companies and range in type from strict for-profit businesses to more impact-oriented not-for-profit organizations, we again found ourselves in an inflection point. So in 2018 we launched WRD LLP with our newest partner Warren Ragoonanan and a greater capacity to work on succession and international business transactions. Underlying our journey has been the realization that the business and organizational leaders who resonate with our community —such as B Corps and Holacracy organizations – need lawyers who understand new ways of thinking and doing business. We look forward to supporting your impact in the world.