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.
Legal Leaders for Diversity (LLD) was launched in May 2011,
with more than 30 general counsel as founding members, to
promote a more inclusive legal profession in Canada. By early
2016, it had grown to more than 100 Canadian general counsel
at leading Canadian corporations. LLD’s mission statement
declares its resolve to value the range of perspectives, ideas
and experiences inherent in diversity of gender, race, sexual
orientation, disability, cultural background, religion and age.
Recent initiatives include: annual LLD Trust Fund scholarships
to support disabled youth studying law across Canada;
inviting senior gay and lesbian law partners to discuss barriers
and identify solutions, followed by circulation of findings
to member firms; and a mentorship program matching 22
minority-group associate lawyers from the Law Firm Diversity
and Inclusion Network with senior LLD members.