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.



Fasken Martineau Pride Network, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

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.

Wesley Ng, Stikeman Elliott LLP

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.