Norman Bacal is embarking on a second career as an author. His 2017 debut non-fiction, Breakdown: An Insider Account into the Rise and Fall of Heenan Blaikie, a  Globe and Mail and Amazon bestseller, follows his journey as a young lawyer in a law firm from student, to partner, to leader, intertwining with the rise and shocking demise of Canadian law firm, Heenan Blaikie. His first murder-mystery will be published in 2019.

His first work of fiction, a murder mystery, is expected to be completed and available to readers in 2019.


30 Years of Experience

For over thirty years, Mr. Bacal has been well known in Canada and in Hollywood, as among Canada’s leading tax attorneys in the entertainment business, having been involved in the financing of countless Canadian films and television shows and many Hollywood studio pictures that were filmed in Canada. He served as an advisor to many Canadian studios and producers and represented the Canadian industry before Canadian government committees on tax issues over the course of his career. He has acted as a Canadian advisor to studios such as Warner Bros and MGM and was a member of the Board of Directors of mini-major Lions Gate Entertainment for almost ten years.


Heenan Blaike

Mr. Bacal was the founder of Heenan Blaikie’s Toronto office in 1989 and grew it from a start up to an office of over 200 lawyers over a twenty five year span. In 1997 he became the national co-managing partner of the firm and over the course of the next sixteen years led the growth of the firm into one of Canada’s best known law firms, which was home to Canadian Prime Ministers Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Jean Chretien after they retired from politics. At the end of 2012 Mr. Bacal retired as managing partner and fourteen months later the firm tragically collapsed. His first book examines the essence of what made the firm great, and the lessons that can be learned from its success, as well as its failure.


A lesson of history

Mr. Bacal understands lawyers and what makes them tick as well as the inner workings of law firms. He has advised a vast array of companies, large and small, particularly in entertainment and sports. His vast experience will form the basis of his coming works of fiction.


Public Life

Mr. Bacal has been involved in numerous charitable activities in Toronto over the span of his career. He has been a supporter of various local Toronto causes and currently serves as a Governor of the Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal, an organization that works exceedingly hard to promote tolerance in a world which has been growing quite intolerant. He has supported and has been honored by The Reena Foundation, which works with developmentally challenged young adults, and the Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem, which specializes in neo-natal care.


From Montreal

Born in 1956 in Montreal, Mr. Bacal graduated with honours from McGill University’s Faculty of Law in 1980. He moved to Toronto in 1989 along with four very young children, all of whom are now independent. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife Sharon, a portrait artist.


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