Five lawyers who refuse to give up on BlackBerry // The Insider

And not only because of the keyboard

By Christina Gonzales

On Tuesday May 29th, 2018


When Waterloo-based company Research in Motion (RIM) released the BlackBerry on January 19, 1999, it thrust the world into the smartphone era. The iconic keyboard and BBM introduced us to on-the-go emails and instant messaging. We couldn’t get enough.

The BlackBerry cornered the smartphone market for a decade. But in the first quarter of 2009, two years after its release, the iPhone overtook the BlackBerry in market share. And it never looked back. With its gorgeous touchscreen interface and expansive library of apps, the iPhone bewitched consumers. In 2011, RIM was forced to slash 2,000 jobs. The BlackBerry was on the verge of death.

But, thanks to a small band of loyal users, it kept breathing. And, in December 2016, the Chinese smartphone maker Communication Technology Holdings Limited bought the rights to the BlackBerry brand. In a bid to attract new users, it released a new model that ran on the Android operating system, opening the phone up, for the first time, to the app market. Today, there are still faithful users in the legal world. Meet five lawyers who won’t give up on the BlackBerry.

Tom Curry Tom Curry

Managing partner, Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP

Year of call: 1986
Began using BlackBerry in: 2002

Why he loves it so much:
 “I’ve always had a soft spot for BlackBerry because of its connection to Canada. And the phone remains the most secure device on the market. I send and receive a large volume of electronic messages every day. I don’t want to worry about security issues or whether I need to add on another security feature.”


Molly ReynoldsMolly Reynolds

Counsel, Torys LLP

Year of call: 2009
Began using BlackBerry in:

Why she loves it so much: “I love BlackBerry’s ‘Hub.’ It puts all my accounts — email, WhatsApp, social media — in one place, with colour-coded notification lights. I, of course, chose the light-blue notification to indicate emails that have come into my Torys account.”


Diane VieiraDiane Vieira

Partner, de Vries Litigation LLP

Year of call: 2006
Began using BlackBerry in:

Why she loves it so much: “In a few years, the fact that I own a BlackBerry might be akin to those people who pull out Walkmans in the subway. This is not a cool-looking phone. But that’s kind of why I like it. It has no bells and whistles, so it has nothing to attract my toddler kids — it’s great.”


Tycho Manson Tycho Manson

Counsel, Chernos Flaherty Svonkin LLP

Year of call: 1996
Began using BlackBerry in:

Why he loves it so much:
“I used an iPhone for a couple of years, but I went back to a BlackBerry because I love the keyboard. And because it runs on Android, it has good app functionality. Never say never, but I’ll keep using a BlackBerry for the time being.”


Patrick Hartford Patrick Hartford

Founder, NoticeConnect

Year of call: 2016
Began using BlackBerry in:

Why he loves it so much: “I was ready to abandon BlackBerry a year ago, but the newest model, the BlackBerry Motion, has great battery life. The Android operating system is clean and easy to use. The predictive text is also quite good. The only downside is that I’m made fun of for still owning a BlackBerry.”

This story is from our Summer 2018 Issue

Illustration by Kyle Metcalf