2016 Zenith 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.



Antree Demakos, Legal Line

Antree Demakos has devoted her career to demystifying the law and helping millions of Canadians obtain access to justice. Antree founded Legal Line in 1993 as a national non-profit that provides free answers to more than 1,000 legal questions in 65 languages. Legalline.ca has had 25 million hits. In 2002, Antree created and secured federal funding for the Business and Entrepreneur Awareness Program (BEAP), a business development initiative for at-risk youth throughout Canada. In 1993, Antree founded Pardons Canada, a federal nonprofit agency, and grew it into the largest criminal-records education and removal organization in Canada, helping more than 250,000 Canadians receive pardons for criminal convictions. In 1992-95 she located, met with and helped to reinstate 2,800 small business owners whose companies were summarily dissolved when they did not receive notice of a new $50 annual corporate filing fee.

Green and Spiegel LLP

Green and Spiegel is an immigration law firm, assisting people from around the world to work in Canada and to immigrate to Canada. Firm founder Mendel Green was a legal representative in the Supreme Court of Canada decision Singh v. The Minister of Employment and Immigration, one of the most important legal decisions in Canadian immigration history. The firm’s team includes lawyers licensed in Canada and the United States, who take pride in helping Canadian businesses with human resources needs and helping families relocate to Canada from around the world. It can provide services in some 30 languages. Green and Spiegel’s goal is to deliver excellent legal services to people from around the world with compassion and kindness. Many of the firm’s people have been through the immigration system themselves.

Black Female Lawyers Network

The Black Female Lawyers Network was incorporated as a notfor- profit and the founding board endeavoured to provide substantive opportunities to convene, connect and learn. Objectives include supporting the practical professional needs of black women practising law in order to extend their participation in the profession and enhance their public contributions. The group’s new website cites “celebrating, supporting and showcasing black female lawyers” as its raison d’être. Working with event planners Cheryl-Ann Philip and Nadine Miller, the 2015 retreat focused on identifying objectives, setting realistic goals and crafting a successful strategy. As evidenced by the women who referred to it during the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers’ annual awards gala, this network