Nicholas Loeb is Norfolk's new in-house lawyer

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

Nicholas Loeb

Nicholas Loeb


Norfolk has lawyered-up on a full-time basis.

Tuesday, the county’s in-house legal counsel arrived for his first day on the job.

Nicholas Loeb, 33, hails from London. He recently won the competition to serve as Norfolk County’s first staff lawyer.

Loeb comes to Norfolk by way of Middlesex County. For the past three years, Loeb has served as Middlesex’s assistant barrister.

Loeb was the successful candidate among 30 applicants. He likes the idea of developing a new department with a clean slate.

“The idea of starting a legal department was appealing, as was the opportunity to continue providing legal services to the public sector,” Loeb said in an interview.

“I liked the idea of going to a single-tier government so I could provide the full range of legal services.”

Norfolk CAO David Cribbs identified the absence of an in-house lawyer as a deficiency when he took over from former CAO Keith Robicheau last year.

Cribbs pointed out to Norfolk council that an in-house lawyer would knock about $200,000 a year off the county’s legal costs. And this is after accounting for a salary in the range of $89,300 to $130,800.

Cribbs this week did not say how much Loeb will be paid. However, he did say that Loeb will appear on the province’s Sunshine List after his first full year of employment. That means Loeb is earning at least $100,000 a year.

Loeb is a native of Lindsay. He earned a degree in political science at the University of Ottawa before studying law at Queen’s University in Kingston. He was called to the bar in 2013. He articled as a civil litigator in Ottawa before joining the staff at Middlesex County.

In recent years, Norfolk has out-sourced its legal requirements to law firms in Hamilton and Toronto. Cribbs says costs for doing so can range from $120 an hour for a law clerk to $400 an hour for a lawyer.

Cribbs says an in-house lawyer will improve work flows in all county departments. With an in-house lawyer, work no longer has to come to grinding halt while staff waits for direction on legal sticking points.

Norfolk’s legal costs in 2015 came to $544,800. This fell to $518,000 in 2016. Cribbs says the bill for 2017 will be in excess of $500,000.