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.
In 2013, Fasken Martineau adopted a firm-wide Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Transgender policy, including support for
LGBT affinity groups at various offices. The Ontario Region
created the Fasken Martineau Pride Network (Fasken Pride),
whose membership includes all levels of lawyers, staff and
students. Fasken Pride takes the lead in the firm’s LGBTfocused
external networks, including Pride at Work, Out on
Bay Street, Out in the Capital, and the Ontario Bar Association’s
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee (SOGIC).
Fasken Pride is a recognized force in the firm that will launch
its own page on the firm’s intranet in 2016. The LGBT page
will provide information on the network, as well as initiatives
and resources for LGBT employees and allies, including for any
parents, families and friends of LGBT youth at the firm.
Growing up in a multi-ethnic community, Wesley Ng
witnessed society’s different treatment of individuals based
on race and cultural background. As an associate at Stikeman
in 2002, Wes was one of a small group of lawyers who
proposed a diversity committee. The committee was one
of the first among Canadian law firms and Wes maintains a
leadership role, acting as a mentor to diverse students and
lawyers, including mentoring lawyers from the Internationally
Trained Lawyers Program; creating awareness of potential
for unconscious bias in recruitment; fostering a collaborative
relationship with diversity groups; and initiating the firm’s
partnership with Pathways to Education, encouraging young
people from at-risk communities to stay in school. What
began as a grassroots effort in the Toronto office has become
a formal national committee.