2016 Rising Stars Award Winners
Marc-André Blanchard is an esteemed lawyer from Québec who in April became Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In this role, Ambassador Blanchard works to advance Canada’s interests, promote international development, security and human rights, and to keep our government informed on multilateral issues. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Blanchard had been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of McCarthy Tétrault LLP, one of the country’s most prominent law firms. He also has a long history of political involvement, as the former president of the Québec Liberal Party and, more recently, as a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s transition team. Ambassador Blanchard holds several degrees including a Master's in Public Administration and a Master’s in International Affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He is a Lexpert Rising Stars alumnus, and in 2013 was named one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer.
Rahool Agarwal’s practice involves shareholder disputes,proxy battles, complex contractual claims, fraud claims and constitutional issues. He has acted as lead counsel for Merck in patent-related litigation against a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer and as co-counsel to Pfizer in a successful defence to a proposed class action by Viagra consumers. He has appeared before appeal courts in three provinces and five times before the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also acted in notable public-policy cases: R. v. N.S., on the right to wear a niqab during cross-examination; Rasouli v. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, on physicians’ unilateral right to withdraw life support from minimally conscious patients; and Kazemi Estate v. Islamic Republic of Iran, on state immunity to a civil claim for damages in state-sponsored torture. Rahool is a pro bono leader within the firm and the legal community.
Robin Aitken is Prince Edward Island counsel to many public companies, including a leading national grocer and a Big Three telecom provider. She was recently lead PEI counsel on a lengthy reorganization of a $75-million loan facility. She is the partner responsible for articling students and recruits students for each of the firm’s four PEI offices. She has developed an orientation program that provides students with the skills they need to succeed at the firm, and with the business-of-law knowledge to develop successful practices. Robin is a long-standing board member of Fitzroy Centre, serving individuals with mental-health issues. She supports and fundraises for the Canadian Mental Health Association on a regular basis and provides guidance on housing issues. She is also a board member of the Stars for Life Foundation for Autism.
Imdad Ali has led the legal group in a number of transformational initiatives to support stronger risk management and efficiencies through innovation. He led the restructuring of BMO’s external-counsel program that rationalized BMO’s panel of external law firms to approximately 120 from 1,000; implemented new technology for matter management and e-billing; implemented new policies and procedures across BMO that delivered immediate cost and risk-management benefits; and has become a model for non-legal transformation projects. He has since begun a new role as Legal Counsel and Senior Advisor on the technology and operations legal team, developing an enterprise-engagement model to manage the more than 100 matters the team receives monthly. Imdad supports the United Way, Community Living and the S.E.N.A.C.A. Seniors Day Program in Oakville, Ont. He has also acted as a coach with the Oakville Soccer Club.
Daniel Anthony is a recognized expert in internet and
domain-name law. He has been responsible for enforcing
trademarks in Canada and the copyrights of hundreds of
clients worldwide, including many on the Fortune 500.
He has recovered dozens of infringing domain names
and succeeded in more than a dozen domain-name
arbitrations. He is a leader in resolving urgent internet
issues, such as phishing scams and counterfeiting
operations. He has acted in the appeal for a 10-year
airline trademark dispute, with important repercussions
for loyalty programs, and executed an Anton Piller order
to shut down one of the world’s largest illegal movie streaming
services, securing judgment of $1.2 million
in damages and costs. Daniel recently acted pro bono
for the Alliance for Responsible Mining in securing
Fairmined certification of ethically mined products.
Ana Badour is a partner in the financial-services
group, advising on regulatory compliance in the areas
of consumer protection, anti-money-laundering and
prudential requirements. Her recent work includes acting
for banks and other financial institutions in drafting
compliance policies, providing consumer-protection
advice on credit cards and other financial products,
and acting for a foreign bank establishing a Schedule
III branch. She has also advised clients in the financialtechnology,
including GoldMoney, on regulatory matters
for its bullion-based internet platform; an incoming
lender on Canadian legal structuring issues, and an
online fintech lender on various regulatory matters. She
advised several banks on the regulatory and compliance
implications of the SCC Marcotte decision and acted for
two global banks establishing branches in Canada. Ana
has fostered strong relations with important clients,
including major Canadian banks.