Zenith Awards: Elements of Social Responsibilty

<i>Lexpert's 2011 Zenith Awards celebrate the many contributions that law firms, in-house departments, academics and law students have made to law firm and corporate social responsibility. These wide-ranging initiatives in the legal community are truly impressive</i> <br/> <br/>What do environmental action, diversity initiatives, pro bono legal representation and philanthropy have in common for law firms and in-house legal departments? <i>Inter alia</i>, they come together with other pro-active measures into an evolving definition of Social Responsibility. <br/> <br/>We were amazed at Lexpert, and the Advisory Board was as well, at the range of team and individual contributions and programs. They are local and international; require significant investments of time and resources; and taken altogether, they change the world. <br/> <br/>We are all well aware of the business challenges facing lawyers. Whether at firms or in-house departments, lawyers are working to re-shape the nature of lawyering for the future. In the meantime, lawyers are also supporting orphanages; serving on boards of arts organizations, facilitating further diversity in law firms, and representing people and important causes that would not be heard otherwise. May this continue into the uncertain future for the legal profession. <br/> <br/>Congratulations everyone connected with the wealth of Zenith nominations we received. Thank you for taking the time to apply.
Zenith Awards: Elements of Social Responsibilty
What do environmental action, diversity initiatives, pro bono legal representation and philanthropy have in common for law firms and in-house legal departments? Inter alia, they come together with other pro-active measures into an evolving definition of Social Responsibility.

We were amazed at Lexpert, and the Advisory Board was as well, at the range of team and individual contributions and programs. They are local and international; require significant investments of time and resources; and taken altogether, they change the world.

We are all well aware of the business challenges facing lawyers. Whether at firms or in-house departments, lawyers are working to re-shape the nature of lawyering for the future. In the meantime, lawyers are also supporting orphanages; serving on boards of arts organizations, facilitating further diversity in law firms, and representing people and important causes that would not be heard otherwise. May this continue into the uncertain future for the legal profession.

Congratulations everyone connected with the wealth of Zenith nominations we received. Thank you for taking the time to apply.

1. Managing Partner Contribution to Corporate Social Responsibility

Level: 1
Project: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP-Kilimanjaro/Code Summit of Literacy Climbs
Winner (Firm): Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Winner (Individual): Sean Weir

In a fundraising project led by managing partner Sean Weir, teams of lawyers from Borden Ladner Gervais LLP climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2006, and again in 2010, raising roughly $1.2 million for the Canadian Organization for Development through Education, or CODE, in the process. The climb involved the remote Lemosho route, which begins in the tropical rainforest on the west side of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 6,000 feet, and involves crossing the Shira Plateau and arriving at the summit, which is 19,400 feet, just after noon on the eighth day. The money the BLG lawyers raised each time was matched on a 3:1 basis by the Canadian International Development Agency. In 2006, the climbers raised $110,000 which became $440,000 with the matching grant. In 2010 the BLG team raised $185,000, which grew to $740,000 with the CIDA funds. The money went to CODE's Children's Book Project in Tanzania. The program, which has won a UNESCO literacy award, publishes books in local languages and provides them to more than 110 schools and libraries in Tanzania.


2. Mid-Career Mentorship

Level: 1
Winner (Firm): Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Winner (Individual): Bradley E. Berg

Brad Berg has been extensively involved in mentoring, both within Blakes, and in the legal and broader community. His nomination was accompanied by heartfelt testimonials. Colleagues call him a devoted, life-long mentor, and say it is one of his defining characteristics. Throughout his career, Berg has taken on one mentorship role after another, often occupying several at any given time. They can range from official leadership positions at the head of large committees or groups, to quiet chats with anxious students. To each and every one of his mentorship positions, Berg brings an impressive toolkit of hard and soft skills. He has been a leader in the professional development and mentorship of associates and students since 2002, when he became a partner. That same year, he began running the largest summer law student program in the country as the firm's summer student co-ordinator. He has been a member of the Associate and Student Committee since 2003 and co-chair since 2007. He is currently the practice group co-ordinator for the litigation group in Toronto — perhaps the only lawyer in Toronto holding such a role while also co-chairing a large firm's associate and student committee.


3. Mentorship – Senior

Level: 1
Winner (Firm): Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Winner (Individual): Judy Wilson

Colleagues say Judy Wilson embodies the characteristics of an outstanding mentor. As a senior partner in the business law group at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, she has taken on a number of formal and informal mentorship roles and is currently mentoring two associates and two junior partners. Wilson exemplifies the goals of corporate social responsibility through mentorship. As an outstanding role model, she recognizes the importance of championing junior lawyers and devotes a great amount of her time to ensuring that her mentees succeed. She is a strong advocate for diversity and has one of the most diverse groups of lawyers working with her in the firm. She is open to discussing delicate issues, including the common frustrations with the practice of law and the ethical dilemmas that arise from time to time. Wilson shares her network and connections openly with those whom she has mentored and takes a personal interest in ensuring that her mentees are fully integrated into firm and client networks while, at the same time, encouraging them to recognize the enormous privilege of being a Bay Street lawyer and spend time and resources giving back.

4. Level: 2
Winner (Firm): Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Winner (Individual): R.J. Jack Thrasher, QC

His nominators call Jack Thrasher a true gentleman practitioner who treats everyone with respect and point out that this applies regardless of which side of a transaction people are on, or their position within their organization. He is extremely well-respected by his colleagues, clients, members of the Calgary community and the staff at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. The consummate professional, he makes everyone he speaks to feel important and valued and is never too busy to explain or review something or to express his gratitude for a job well done. Thrasher is described as the type of lawyer and the type of person that young professionals aspire to be. In addition to his vibrant law practice, he also gives a significant amount of his time and knowledge to the community. Chair of the Salvation Army's Calgary advisory board and vice-chair of the Glenbow Museum's board of governors, Thrasher not only works with the firm to secure sponsorship of the Salvation Army's annual fundraising luncheon, he also personally purchases tables and invites all the office staff. True to form, he is equally supportive of other charitable campaigns in the office.


5. Philanthropy by an Individual ***Please note tie***

Level: 1
Project: Lerners LLP-Kulemela Canada
Winner (Firm): Lerners LLP
Winner (Individual): Shannon Puddister

Kulemela means “to prosper” in the national languages of Zambia and Malawi. Kulemela Canada was founded in 2009 by Shannon Puddister, a commercial litigator at Lerners LLP, to address one of the largest obstacles to prosperity in developing countries: the lack of technical knowledge. At the village level, for example, broken water pumps often remain in disrepair because villagers lack the know-how to fix them and the funds to hire someone else to do so. At the regional level, inadequate building codes and construction know-how may lead to structurally unsound buildings. In partnership with Engineers Without Borders Canada, Puddister has been laying the groundwork for technical design competitions at universities in Malawi, Zambia and Ghana, and has spoken on engineering education in Africa and about the need to change the methodology of technical training in sub-Saharan Africa. As founding director of Kulemela, he is responsible for all aspects of the organization, including the management of operations and fundraising. He oversees staff in Malawi and Zambia, provides leadership on setting priorities, and is actively involved in establishing partnerships and fundraising.

6. Level: 1
Project: Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP-Friends for Zambia
Winner (Firm): Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP
Winner (Individual): Shelley O'Callaghan

Shelley O'Callaghan, co-chair of the environmental law group at Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP, is one of the founders and a director of Friends for Zambia, a registered charity whose mission is to raise money to build a community school in Lilayi, Zambia. Friends for Zambia sees education as the key to a better future for these children and their families, and particular emphasis is placed on encouraging the education of girls. O'Callaghan is the lead director primarily responsible for all fundraising and oversight of the construction of the school. The directors have agreed to be responsible for all administrative costs so that 100 per cent of all funds raised will go to building the school. As of March 2011, the organization had raised $570,000. Two four-classroom buildings have been finished as well as three washroom facilities and a water well. That means a reliable water supply and electricity. Through fundraising efforts, on her last visit O'Callaghan brought pens and pencils donated from Staples, new lab coats for the teachers, and skipping ropes and soccer balls for the kids. Friends for Zambia also raised enough money in Canada to buy a new school bus.


7. Philanthropy that Impacts Children ***Please note the tie. ***

Level: 1
Project: Stikeman Elliott LLP-Kids Inn Play
Winner (Firm): Stikeman Elliott LLP
Winner (Individuals): Luigi (Lou) Cusano, Brad Grant, Gary Clarke

Last year Stikeman Elliott LLP in Calgary made a commitment to help the community by founding the Kids Inn Play program along with Inn from the Cold, an organization that provides emergency shelter and support for homeless children and their families. The program raises money and buys supplies so that children in a tough situation have a range of safe and fun activities, allowing them to relax with their families. The firm has provided direct financial support and hosted numerous fundraising events like Spin for the Inn, a full day marathon of spin classes that saw firm members hopping on to bikes to spin and fundraise. Stikeman Elliott even integrated its clients into the program by including fundraising components at signature events such as its Six-Shooter Saturday at the Calgary Stampede. The firm has directed over $50,000 to the program in just one year. Stikeman Elliott firm members have also hosted activity nights with the families from the Inn, joining with them for bowling and pizza as well as a family barbeque. Money from the program has been used to fund Aboriginal cultural crafts, music and art programs, family trips to Calaway Park and the Zoo, bowling, picnics and even new sporting equipment for the shelter.

8. Level: 1
Project: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP & Give a Day Inc. - Give a Day to World AIDS
Winner (Firm): Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and Give a Day Inc.
Winner (Individuals): Michael Fekete, Jennifer Keenan

Give a Day is a movement of Canadians in all walks of life who are responding to the AIDS crisis in Africa by donating a day's pay on World AIDS Day. In 2006, a small group of Canadian law firms started a legal-community grassroots movement in support of Give a Day. Profoundly moved by the heartbreaking plight of the children and families devastated by the realities of the AIDS pandemic in Africa, co-chairs Michael Fekete of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and Jennifer Keenan, formerly of Keenan Pallin, called on the Canadian legal community to put aside traditional competitive relationships and work as one. They reached out to all Canadian law firms, inviting them to an organizing meeting where Stephen Lewis spoke. The community rallied in solidarity to raise more than $200,000 that first year. To date, the Legal Community Campaign in support of Give a Day has raised over $1.5 million. It is a genuine grassroots response that impacts the lives of children, parents and grandparents in sub-Saharan Africa where there are more than 13 million children orphaned by AIDS.


9. Philanthropy that Impacts Internationally ***Please note the tie***

Level: 1
Project: Davis LLP-Children of Eastern Japan Disaster Relief Foundation
Winner (Firm): Davis LLP
Winner (Individuals): P. Anthony McArthur, Hiroaki Takahashi, Cynthia Millar

As the only Canadian law firm with an office in Japan, Davis LLP shares a special relationship with the country that dates back to the firm defending Japanese-Canadians interned during the Second World War. So when the disasters struck Japan in March, 2011, the firm's lawyers and staff were gravely concerned. They quickly initiated two fundraising activities. It's estimated over 100,000 children were displaced when the earthquake and tsunami struck. Tony McArthur and Hiroaki Takahashi created the Children of Eastern Japan Disaster Relief Foundation out of the firm's Tokyo office. Its objective is to provide food, clothing, shelter, education, emotional and family support. The foundation is also mandated to look at current laws and regulations in Japan affecting children who are orphaned, as well as laws and practices governing adoptions and foster care. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Cynthia Millar led a firm-wide fundraising campaign and with the firm matching individual donations, $33,600 was sent to the Canadian Red Cross Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami fund.

10. Level: 1
Project: Shields O'Donnell MacKillop LLP - Lawyers International Food Enterprise
Winner (Firm): Shields O'Donnell MacKillop LLP – Lawyers International Food Enterprise
Winner (Individuals): Malcolm MacKillop, Jim Elder, Stuart Rudner, Abigail Browne, Melanie Reist, Lorraine Fleck

Lawyers International Food Enterprise, or LIFE, is an organization of lawyers with the mission to raise awareness about child poverty around the world among members of the legal profession. It was founded by Malcolm MacKillop of Shields O'Donnell MacKillop LLP in Toronto and Jonathan Lisus of Lax O'Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP. It operates on a volunteer basis and has formed a joint venture with the Stephen Lewis Foundation and World Vision Canada. LIFE specifically supports World Vision's “Survive 5” project in Tanzania, whose goal is to improve the survival and growth of all boys and girls under the age of five by enhancing their access to basic health and nutrition. LIFE has no paid staff and all expenses have been paid for by MacKillop personally. Lisus organized the foundation's launch event at McCarthy Tétrault LLP and was a major driving force in obtaining the support of the foundation's three patrons, Stephen Lewis, Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler and retiring Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie. To date, LIFE has raised more then $250,000 and has hundreds of volunteers and thousands of supporters.


11. Philanthropy by a Legal Team
Level: 1
Project: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP-Annual United Way Campaign
Winner (Firm): Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Winner (Individuals): John Macfarlane, Wendy Rickey

The annual United Way campaign at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is a source of great pride for the firm. In 2010, Osler offices raised over $1 million, an extraordinary effort that topped the list of Toronto-based law firms for the tenth year running. The firm's Canadian offices have raised over $4 million in the past four years to support the United Way/Centraide and its network of agencies, which deliver vital social services. The success is thanks to enthusiastic firm-wide participation from staff, managers, law students, associates and partners. The campaign is front and centre with the Osler United Way Committee for 52 weeks a year, and as soon as one campaign finishes, planning for the next one begins. It doesn't stop there. Many of those involved in the campaign each year are now also volunteering with local member agencies, which is as much a source of satisfaction as the financial support raised through the United Way campaign itself.


12. Pro Bono by Associates
Level: 1
Project: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP-UN OSLA Project and the Same-Sex Pension Fund Case
Winner (Firm): Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Winner (Individual): Mary Paterson

The UN's Office of Staff Legal Assistance, or OSLA, was established in 2009 to help UN employees challenge decisions on issues relating to discipline, termination, promotions and benefits. Lawyers working at OSLA have a responsibility to act in the interest of the client staff member, former staff member or affected dependants before the UN Dispute and Appeals Tribunals. Osler quickly established a relationship with UN OSLA, which Mary Paterson co-ordinates, and provides pro bono representation to employees whose cases are complex or likely to set precedent in the UN system. Paterson is a senior associate with a deep interest in pro bono work. She took on the cause of a UN employee whose same-sex partner – also a UN employee – was killed while working overseas. Although the UN agencies that employed her client and his spouse recognized the relationship as a marriage, the UN Pension Fund, which is independent from the UN, did not and refused to pay a widower's benefit. Paterson successfully challenged the Pension Fund, setting a precedent that will help same-sex couples working for the UN around the world.


13. Pro Bono by Region

13. Level: 1
Project: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP-Pro Bono Work with Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Winner (Firm): Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Winner (Individual): Colin Feasby

Colin Feasby of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has provided assistance to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association for many years. Colleagues say he sees it as his responsibility as a legal professional to help ensure fairness in public policy. He has worked pro bono on a number of important test cases and matters involving significant civil liberties issues such as freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and defamation. His work has an effect on all Canadians. Some of the high-profile files he worked on include Baier v. Alberta (2006), a Charter challenge to legislation denying school board employees the right to run for election to school boards, including school boards for which they were not employed. He was among those who worked on R. v. Bryan (2007), another Charter challenge, this one to the restriction on the broadcast of election results prior to the close of polls in the western provinces. Feasby is the Calgary member of the firm's national pro bono/community law committee. He acts as a mentor to many of Osler's associates and students and is very involved in student recruitment as a member of the firm's national students committee.

14. Level: 2
Project: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP - Vancouver Hospice Society
Winner (Firm): Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Winner (Individual): Debra Finlay, Jeffrey Merrick, Bahar Hafizi, Bavia Bisetty, Emily Yuen, Khaled Shariff

The team of lawyers from the Vancouver office of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP has provided a wide range of legal services for the Vancouver Hospice Society, which provides compassionate care for those facing advanced illness, death and bereavement. The Blakes team has provided the society with ongoing transactional and corporate advice. Firm lawyers helped with the acquisition of the land for the first hospice home and the preparation of a letter of intent regarding construction services. They drafted a memorandum for the Vancouver Hospice Society to use in issuing charitable tax receipts and also drafted an internet privacy policy for the society's website, as well as preparing a memorandum regarding the liability of directors of a society incorporated in British Columbia. The Vancouver Hospice Society's vision is to establish freestanding hospice homes, respite care, day programs and bereavement services in Vancouver in partnership with health authorities and other funding partners, as well as with existing hospices, palliative care programs and other related community groups. Its goal is also to support research and education on hospice care and bereavement.


15. Pro Bono by Team or Firm ***Please note tie***

Level: 1
Project: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Muslim Canadian Congress
Winner (Firm): Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Winner (Individuals): Tyler Hodgson, Margot Finley, Karen Kiang

In a ground-breaking case in Canada, a Muslim complainant at a sexual-assault preliminary inquiry asked to testify wearing her niqab, which fully obscures her face except for a narrow eye slit. The two accused were also Muslim and attended the same mosque. At the preliminary inquiry, the judge ruled her reasons for wearing a niqab were not strong religious conviction but a desire to be “more comfortable” while testifying. The Muslim Canadian Congress, a progressive, multicultural public-interest advocacy group, took the position a woman could wear a niqab for a variety of non-religious reasons, and it ought not automatically be viewed as a religious garment deserving of protection under the Charter. The Congress enlisted the pro bono help of BLG to intervene at the Court of Appeal. Firm lawyers from a diverse array of backgrounds worked alongside co-op students from the University of Toronto and argued the Congress's position. The court accepted the argument and held the reasons for a witness wearing a niqab should be determined on a case-by-case basis. The case is going to the Supreme Court of Canada.

16. Level: 1
Project: Hunter Litigation Chambers and University of Toronto - A Voice for Children's Rights in Polygamy Hearing
Winner (Firms): Hunter Litigation Chambers, David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights
Winner (Individuals): Brent Olthuis, Stephanie McHugh, Cheryl Milne

This project focuses on the rights of children caught up in the polygamy reference case before the BC Supreme Court. The case was filed to clarify whether Canada's polygamy laws are constitutional. The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children asked the David Asper Center for Constitutional Rights to be a partner in its intervention, and obtained pro bono legal counsel from Brent Olthuis of Hunter Litigation Chambers. Law students from the University of Toronto, supervised by Cheryl Milne at the Asper Centre, provided legal research. The team developed a compelling argument for the need to improve legal protection for the rights of children and presented the judge with practical legal options. At the start of the hearing, factors relating to children were acknowledged but not taken seriously. By the end, the impact for children and the need to address children's rights were central. Ultimately, enough evidence of harm to children was uncovered to open a new police investigation into child abuse in Bountiful, BC.


17. Pro Bono by Individual Lawyer

Level: 1
Project: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP - Pro Bono of the Year Individual
Winner (Firm): Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Winner (Individual): Melanie Sanchez

The judges call Melanie Sanchez a standout for the depth and breadth of her volunteer and pro bono work. Sanchez has been a board member and vice-president of the Toronto Friendship Centre for over three years. The drop-in center supports programs for the homeless and hungry in downtown Toronto, and serves over 200 meals for breakfast and lunch every day. She responded to cuts in funding by ramping up her own fundraising efforts while advocating with the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network to try to keep funding levels stable. She is active as well in the Answering TTP Foundation, which helps raise funds and awareness for thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpur, a rare autoimmune blood disorder, and with Roots of Empathy which combats bullying and aggression. She also gives her time to La Maison d'hébergement francophone de Toronto, the first francophone women's shelter in Toronto, and to Canadian Lawyers Abroad, among other groups. Colleagues say Sanchez has pro bono built into the fabric of her professional and personal life, demonstrating the most fundamental attributes of this award.

18. Level: 2
Project: Miller Thomson LLP - Volunteer Lawyer for the Child and Youth Representation Roster in Saskatchewan
Winner (Firm): Miller Thomson LLP
Winner (Individual): Charmaine Panko

Charmaine Panko of Miller Thomson LLP has made a consistent and ongoing personal investment of her time and resources in providing a voice for children and youth involved in child welfare proceedings in Saskatchewan. She was one of the first to volunteer to be a member of the Child and Youth Representation Pro Bono Roster and, since 2008, has taken on 109 referrals and dedicated countless hours to being the voice of the children she represents. Colleagues say Panko understands the intricacies of child welfare issues and the far-reaching consequences for those children and their families. She makes a point of meeting with them on their own territory to make them feel comfortable. She also meets with biological family members, First Nations representatives, social workers, ministry lawyers and other interested parties as part of each file. Panko, a mother to 10 children ranging in age from 19 years to 13 months, also volunteers with Pro Bono Students Canada and as a mentor with the Canadian Bar Association student mentoring program.


19. Pro Bono – Access to Justice

Level: 1
Project: Frank Addario-Legal Aid Revitalization
Winner (Firm): Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP
Winner (Individual): Francis Addario

In Ontario, there had been no meaningful increase to the Legal Aid tariff in 20 years, discouraging lawyers from representing the most disadvantaged citizens. While many complained, Frank Addario, a litigation partner at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, stepped up to tackle the issue, winning a drawn-out and hotly contested battle with Legal Aid Ontario — and, therefore, the Ministry of the Attorney General. He did so by convincing criminal lawyers across the province to boycott the Legal Aid Plan. He dealt with the media, showing properly funded criminal lawyers are indispensable to the credibility of the justice system and insurance against wrongful convictions. He was the face of the boycott, its creator and driving force and, without his efforts, there would still be a quickly deteriorating status quo. A pre-eminent member of the defence bar, Addario has a long-standing policy of accepting any Aboriginal accused who comes through the door, whether a Legal Aid client or without funding at all.


20. Environmental Action by In-House Department

Level: 1
Project: Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd.-TargetZERO
Winner (Company): Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd.
Winner (Individual): Michael McKendry

TargetZERO is a 15-year global program Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. has implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. The program is part of a global commitment to measureable and tangible results contributing to environmental improvements on a global scale. The company is also involved with projects and organizations with a focus on the development of sustainable technologies, practices and planning and the protection and restoration of wilderness and wildlife. Among the programs it supports are Earth Rangers “Bring Back the Wild” school initiative, the Brick Factory Project in Egypt, the Animals Asia Foundation and the Haiti Green Project. In fact, after the devastating earthquake, Haiti Green Project received a grant from Husky Injection Molding Systems to offset their carbon footprint and was able to start a pilot program to install solar electricity with the community participation in two rural schools. TargetZERO was created and spearheaded by Michael McKendry, vice-president corporate services and legal affairs.


21. Environmental Action by Individual Lawyer

Level: 1
Project: Torys LLP-World Wildlife Fund Canada
Winner (Firm): Torys LLP
Winner (Individual): Patricia Koval

Patricia Koval has acted for World Wildlife Fund Canada since 1997 as part of Torys LLP's pro bono program. She represented WWF-Canada on a committee the prime minister's office organized to examine a cap-and-trade system for Canada. She also structured joint venture arrangements between WWF-Canada and its counterparts in the US, UK, Sweden, Norway, Russia and the Netherlands relating to co-ordinated global Arctic work. Over the past year, she has also structured long-term partnership arrangements with leading companies including Coca Cola and Fairmont, and restructured the fund's governance structure in anticipation of the new federal non-profit corporation legislation. Colleagues say she has brought in many at Torys to advise the fund pro bono on marketing and sponsorship arrangements, employment matters, tax and contractual matters and issues relating to donations from estates, among other things. Her support has gone beyond pro bono legal work. Koval has sat on the executive committee as well as the governance, audit and climate change committees, and served as the fund's chairman. She has also served on the Advisory Council for World Wildlife Fund International's board of directors for four years.


22. Environmental Action by Law Firm – Internal

Level: 1
Project: Stikeman Elliott LLP-Environmental Action Plan
Winner (Firm): Stikeman Elliott LLP

Stikeman Elliott LLP views environmental sustainability and a greener Canada as an integral and vital component of its business model and prudent business practice. In 2008, it launched Going Green/Virage Vert, an ambitious firm-wide action plan designed to nurture environmental sensitivity and achieve a measurable reduction in the environmental impact of the day-to-day operations. Among the steps being taken is vigorous firm-wide recycling of everything from paper, cans and bottles to toner, batteries, electronic and organic waste, and various office supplies. Duplex printing is now required standard practice resulting in savings of 7.5 million sheets of paper last year. The firm also installed retrofit of over 263 lighting sensors for savings of 450,000 KWH a year and 2500 light fixtures for savings of almost 400,000 KWH annually. It has increased use of video conferencing and discontinued bottled water, paper and plastic utensils. The leadership of Stikeman Elliott has also decided to commit to carbon neutrality through the purchase of carbon offsets to set an example and send a signal to firm members, clients and Corporate Canada.


23. Environmental Action by Law Firm – External

Level: 1
Project: McLennan Ross LLP-Emerald Awards
Winner (Firm): McLennan Ross LLP
Winner (Individuals): Ron Kruhlak, Rod McLennan, William Rosser

The Alberta Emerald Foundation, or AEF, was created 20 years ago by Ron Kruhlak, Rod McLennan and William Rosser, lawyers at McLennan Ross LLP. They felt Alberta needed an umbrella organization to bring together government, private industry, non-government organizations and individual people working to protect, preserve and enhance the environment. In 1991, the foundation teamed up with Deloitte & Touche Chartered Accountants and Alberta Environment and the AEF to establish the Emerald Awards. The awards program, supported by the firm, recognizes excellent environmental initiatives undertaken each year by corporations, individuals, not-for-profit associations, community groups and governments. Today it's a thriving organization with dozens of sponsors, a full-time executive director, a student intern, and a number of new programs. There have been over 1,700 positive environmental stories told through the program's nominations process. The firm hopes that providing a means with which to share success stories will encourage others to participate, thus helping ensure all Albertans benefit from a healthier, environmentally secure future.


24. Firm Legal Team – Intellectual Property

Level: 1
Project: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP-Regulatory Team
Winner (Firm): Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Winner (Individuals): Elizabeth McNaughton, Alice Tseng, Laura Weinrib, Wendy Mee, Jennifer Smith, Dara Lambie

The Regulatory Team at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP is a subset of the Intellectual Property Group that consists of six lawyers, two partners and four associates, all women. The team has much to teach about how women can work and advance successfully in a large law firm environment. There have been many maternity leaves in recent years, sometimes with a third of the group on leave at any one time. Despite how busy work is for the remaining lawyers, each has always been incredibly supportive of those on maternity leave. The group is unusually collaborative, and members help one other as much as they can. If one person is overloaded, the others do their best to alleviate some of the pressure. Not only does this include refraining from delegating further work to the person, but it can also be rebalancing of existing work, even if it means a more senior lawyer is taking on work from a more junior one. Team members update each other on new developments, the systematic dissemination of information comes from all members of the team, not just the most senior, and each member's comments are valued without regard to seniority.


25. Firm Legal Team – Corporate

Level: 1
Project: Team Lawyering, Corporate
Winner (Firm): Lawson Lundell LLP
Winner: (Individuals): Rita C. Andreone, Michael L. Lee

A commitment to corporate social responsibility is a guiding principle at Lawson Lundell LLP, which has a dedicated corporate governance group to advise clients on good, if not best, practices in the area. Implied in corporate social responsibility is acting in a way that leaves a positive stamp and assists the community. The firm does just that, and works to make sure the many organizations its members are involved with do it as well. Rita Andreone and Michael Lee, the two nominees highlighted for this award, commit hundreds of non-billable hours annually to working with non-profit organizations on governance issues. They also write and present extensively on the topic to non-profits, lawyers and others. They are exemplars of the work of many Lawson Lundell partners who teach about and lead in the governance of many kinds of organizations, from commercial corporations to boards of trustees to not-for-profit and community organizations. Lawson Lundell is one of just a few law firms in Canada that is an Associate of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, the highest level of membership open to non-institutional investors.


26. Firm Legal Team – Pensions

Level: 1
Project: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP-Veterans' Benefits Project
Winner (Firm): Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Winner (Individuals): Mark Phillips, Vince DeRose, Nadia Effendi, Jacquie El-Chammas

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP contacted the Office of the Veterans' Ombudsman last year and offered to provide pro bono services to veterans who were unsuccessful before the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. That allows veterans to seek judicial review of decisions before the Federal Court, an option that had not previously been viable for many because of the associated legal costs. The project's overarching aim is to ensure that Canadian veterans and their families receive the disability benefits to which they are entitled under the law. The range of services BLG provides includes drafting of the application for judicial review, preparation of affidavits and application records, development and writing of facta and conducting the oral argument. Since the fall of 2010 lawyers from BLG's Montréal and Ottawa offices have represented six veterans in applications for judicial review before the Federal Court. Three have been granted on consent of the Attorney General of Canada, one has been granted by the Federal Court after a contested hearing, one has been fully argued before the Federal Court but a decision had not been rendered as press time, and one was in the early stages of judicial review.


27. Firm Legal Team -- Litigation

Level: 1
Project: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP-Small Claims Duty Counsel Project
Winner (Firm): Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Winner (Individuals): Paul Schabas, Anne Glover, Rahat Godil, Brad Berg

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP is one of four major law firms in Toronto who launched the Ontario Small Claims Court Pro Bono Duty Counsel Project in 2006. The firm has continued to play a key role in this initiative. Every Thursday, a Blakes lawyer is on hand at Small Claims Court and available as duty counsel. If he or she needs a legal issue researched for a trial, other members of the team will do the research at the office. There are currently over 20 Blakes lawyers from several practice groups volunteering with this project, and over 50 Blakes lawyers have volunteered dating back to the start of the project. Blakes articling and summer students are also given the opportunity to attend with a supervising lawyer. The program is designed to help people who otherwise would not be able to hire a lawyer and to improve public access to the courts. The lawyers provide information about court rules and procedures, assistance filling out court forms, pro bono legal advice and pro bono representation at motions, trials and other appearances.


28. Innovation in Corporate Social Responsibility – Institutional

Level: 1
Project: Acklands-Grainger for Red Cross “Ready When the Time Comes”
Winner (Company):Acklands-Grainger Inc.
Winner (Individual): George McClean

Acklands-Grainger is the national founding sponsor of the Canadian Red Cross “Ready When the Time Comes” program, which is dedicated to creating a network of national volunteer forces ready to respond in the event of a large scale disaster. Under the program, which provides real grass-roots support to Canadians in the most difficult times, the Red Cross goes into the workplace and provides employees with training so they can be mobilized as a community-based volunteer force in the event of a disaster. “Ready When the Time Comes” was started in Winnipeg last year and there are now 40 volunteers who can be deployed in the event of a flood, fire, tornado or major storm. Many of them are Acklands-Grainger employees and their families who asked to sign on. They got the call when floods and forest fires hit Canada earlier this year, and were able to help by staffing telephones and handing out emergency supplies, among other things. The company, Canada's largest distributor of industrial, safety and fastener supplies, will be training team members in Calgary and Vancouver next year and plans to roll out the program in other regions in the future.


29. Innovation in Corporate Social Responsibility – Individual

Project: Bernard Miller-McInnes Cooper's CSR Program
Level: 1
Winner (Firm): McInnes Cooper
Winner (Individuals): Danny Graham, QC, Leslie Hickman, Bernard Miller

Thanks to the forward thinking and the leadership of Bernie Miller, managing partner of McInnes Cooper, and others, the firm's newly established corporate social responsibility program has actually been integrated into its strategic plan. The program focuses on three areas. Community engagement is the first, and dedicated committees have been formed in each of the firm's seven offices to focus on volunteerism. The office committees co-ordinate projects that involve hands-on activities and members do not shy away from difficult issues with mental health, poverty, early intervention, disabilities issues and many other socially relevant causes emerging as areas of focus. The second area of the focus is environmental sustainability, and the firm has committed to meeting ambitious guidelines to cut waste, improve energy efficiency and reduce its CO2 emissions. The third area is pro bono services and McInnes Cooper has started a program that compensates lawyers for pro bono work. The firm has also created a full-time corporate social responsibility co-ordinator position to ensure the program is active and well-managed.


30. Innovative Student Program – Law Student Innovation

Level: 1
Project: Davies Student Project
Winner (Firm): Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Winner (Individuals): Nanci K. Ship and Justin D. Vineberg

Summer and articling students at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Montréal work as a group the first week of their summer to design and execute a project that benefits a charitable organization of significance to them. It's part of the Davies Student Project, launched in 2007 to teach team-building skills and reinforce the importance of social responsibility as one of the firm's core values. The students have to plan and execute the project on their own time. Over the years, they have served meals on a weekly basis to the men at a homeless shelter; helped with a park clean-up project; planted a garden at a hospice for children and planned a BBQ for a Down's Syndrome support group. This year about 20 joined 3,500 volunteers to take part in the SOS Richelieu flood clean-up project in the Montérégie region. They helped clear the sandbags and debris left from the floods, performing physical hard labour and confronting difficult living conditions in a severely stricken area.


31. Innovative Student Program – Non-Law-Student Innovation

Level: 1
Project: LAWS / Blakes Mentoring Program
Winner (Firm): Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Winner (Individuals): Saad Ahmad, Jessica Bullock, Richard Turner, Andrew Spiro, Jillian Swartz

Law in Action Within Schools, or LAWS, is an innovative high-school program that combines law-related studies with practical experiences for high school students who face barriers to achieving their academic, career and life goals. Blakes has been reaching out to Toronto's inner-city high school students through this program since 2005, hiring five students through the LAWS summer job program and sponsoring a sixth student to work in a legal aid clinic. In 2008, the firm began partnering with LAWS to offer a unique workplace mentoring program. Each mentor is matched with a Grade 11 or 12 student in September and commits to working with the student for the entire school year. The pairs meet once a month at the firm and are in phone and email contact between times. They talk about overcoming obstacles, the power of mentorship, making a positive first impression, networking, negotiation skills, public speaking, workplace etiquette, and presentation skills. The mentors can even help provide academic support if required. Students often maintain relationships with their mentors after graduating and have, on many occasions, used their Blakes mentors as references on future job applications.


32. Law Firm as Employer

Level: 1
Project: Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP-Leave for Change
Winner (Firm): Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
Winner (Individuals): Michel A. Brunet, Christopher E. Pinnington, Solange Goulet

In 2009, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP became the first law firm to participate in the Uniterra Leave for Change program. The program is an international corporate volunteerism initiative that mobilizes people and organizations in Canada to help in the developing world. Its aim is to reduce poverty through the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals such as eradicating extreme hunger and poverty and combating HIV/AIDS. Each year, FMC lawyers and staff are offered the opportunity to transform part of their annual leave into a two- or three-week volunteer assignment in a developing country. The firm contributes $5,500 per volunteer, with the balance covered by Uniterra, and it also covers 50 per cent of the volunteer's vacation time so that for a two week assignment, they only use one week of their own time. This year eight FMC members will embark on remarkable journeys and use their skills and knowledge to build the capacities of local organizations around the world. By the end of 2012, FMC will have sponsored over 20 members to participate in international development projects in nine countries, bringing about sustainable changes in communities across three continents.


33. Law Firm Contribution to Legal Education

Level: 1
Project: Pro Bono Students Canada/Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP Tax Court of Canada Project
Winner (Firm): Pro Bono Students Canada, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
Winner (Individuals): Barbara L. Grossman, Donald G.H. Bowman QC, David E. Spiro, Nikki Gershbain, Kim Stanton

The Toronto office of Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP has partnered with Pro Bono Students Canada to develop a pilot project for students to represent low-income Canadians before the Tax Court of Canada on a pro bono basis. The program was developed at the suggestion of the Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada in response to the significant number of people appearing in his court without representation. The pilot project, the first law firm initiative of its kind in Canada, allows students interested in tax law to gain strong, practical, hands-on experience under the supervision of FMC tax litigators. It also gives some of Canada's least advantaged the chance to have legal representation in tax matters. The goal is to expand the project to other Canadian cities where PBSC has chapters and FMC has an office including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Montréal.

34. Level: 2
Project: FMC/UBC Law Review Special Issue: Diversity and the Law
Winner (Firm): Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
Winner: (Individuals): Dana F. Hooker, Carman J. Overholt QC

In March of this year, Fraser Milner Casgrain and the University of British Columbia Law Review teamed up to publish a special issue on “Diversity and the Law,” a compilation of essays on a range of subjects related to diversity. Dana Hooker and Carman Overholt, both FMC lawyers, applied to the Law Foundation of British Columbia and received a grant of $15,000 to cover costs of the publication. They also contributed articles along with academics, professionals and community leaders representing various perspectives on diversity and the law. FMC has always done its best to attract a diverse population and, in 2006, took a more strategic approach, developing the FMC Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. The firm recognizes that simply making statements about diversity isn't enough to ensure that people truly embrace it, and that the only real way to bring about change is to make sure inclusion is a part of the firm's culture. The special issue of the UBC Law review very much reflects that spirit. It is available in print and accessible on electronic databases.


35. Law Firm Contribution to Education

Level: 1
Project: McMillan LLP-Kulam
Winner (Firm): McMillan LLP
Winner: (Individuals): Larry Markowitz, John Israel Galambos

Kulam is a grassroots initiative that seeks to help the underprivileged in Africa through projects relating to health, education and general infrastructure. The organization's focus so far has been on Ethiopia and Rwanda. Larry Markowitz and John Israel Galambos of McMillan LLP have been involved in all meetings of Kulam's grassroots organizing committee, and provided Kulam with legal counsel on the structure and on its registration as a qualified charitable organization. They have advised Kulam on its plans both for raising funds and investing those funds in Africa. Among the projects Kulam is involved with is the rebuilding of a schoolhouse in Gondar, in Northern Ethiopia. The previous schoolhouse was open on all sides, exposing the children to wind, rain, dust and animals roaming about. The new school, a two-room reinforced concrete building that accommodates some 60 students, has been turned over to the Ethiopian government, which is providing the teachers. Kulam has also been involved in sponsoring heart surgeries in India for 11 young Ethiopians, a de-worming program targeted at remote Ethiopian villages and digging wells to ensure safe water and eliminate the long walk women have to make to collect water.


36. Action or Plan that Advances Retention of Women in Law

Level: 1
Project: Blakes Women's Network
Winner (Firm): Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Winner (Individuals): Marie-Helene Constantin, Dawn Jetten, Holly Reid, Melanie Gaston, Joan Chambers

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP founded the Blakes Women's Network to help ensure the success of the firm's women lawyers and law students. The strategy? A range of programs to help women network across offices and practice groups, and also provide them with targeted business development and professional development opportunities. The network has reached out beyond the firm. It was a founding sponsor of Business Leadership for Women Lawyers, a forum to help women who are senior associates at any firm acquire the business skills they need to advance. The Blakes Women's Network is also a founding sponsor of The Judy Project, a leadership forum for women who are senior executives, organized by the Rotman School of Management. It has an internal website and publishes regular newsletters to highlight events and personal successes, share information and strengthen the connection between women in different areas of the country and different areas of the law. The group hosts regular client events for women in Vancouver, Calgary, Montréal and Toronto.


37. Corporate Social Responsibility by Law Firm that Impacts Children

Level 1
Project: BLG Reads to Kids
Winner (Firm): Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Winner (Individuals): Jane Bachynski, Catherine Guertin, Patrick Hawkins, Louise Lee, Magnus Verbrugge

For each of the last eight years, BLG Reads to Kids has sent over 300 volunteers from every BLG office into schools in economically disadvantaged areas of Canada to read to children from kindergarten to Grade 3. The volunteers from Borden Ladner Gervais LLP each contribute on average 15-20 hours over the school year. In addition, the program has established partnerships with existing organizations such as Ottawa Reads, Calgary Reads and several school boards to explore more ways to help. According to education professionals across Canada, literacy is a number one priority. Experts agree that if primary students cannot read at an acceptable level before Grade 3, a child's future is challenged in many ways. BLG recognized the importance of the issue and developed a community program that offers worthwhile value and benefit for children in underprivileged areas. Studies have shown that many poverty-touched schools and regions are short of books and reading materials so, to help foster the spirit of reading, BLG has supplemented its program with a book-donation drive.


38. Corporate Social Responsibility by In-House Department that Impacts Children

Level: 1
Project: Pro Bono Children's Projects, Royal Bank of Canada, McCarthy Tétrault, the IRB and Pro Bono Law
Winner (Company/Firm/Organization): Royal Bank of Canada, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Pro Bono Law
Winner (Individual): Thierry Ntumba, Pro Bono Committee

Lawyers at the Royal Bank of Canada are active in the Unaccompanied Minors program in both Canada and the United States. Here at home, RBC Law Group partners with McCarthy Tétrault LLP, the Immigration and Refugee Board and Pro Bono Law to help unaccompanied minors by acting as their designated representatives. RBC lawyers in the US partner with KIND and Paul Hastings LLP in a similar program to help children who are separated from their families in an unfamiliar country deal with a completely unfamiliar process. RBC is also active in the Child Advocacy Project, which helps children with special-education access issues get representation to allow them to pursue their educational requirements. That keeps them in school so they get the education they deserve. Theirry Ntumba, in particular, has been very involved in this, providing assistance in a variety of ways including negotiating for placement into an appropriate program and finding alternative programs where necessary that provide help for children in need. RBC allows its staff to make use of its facilities to carry out pro bono work and will reimburse reasonable expenses incurred. Pro bono work done by RBC general counsel members is recognized on a quarterly basis through the bank's rewards program.


39. Corporate Social Responsibility by Law Firm that Impacts Children – International

Level: 1
Project: Espoir d'Enfants Orphanage and School
Winner (Firm): Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Winner (Individuals): Claude Gendron, Nicolas Leblanc, Marie Bourdeau

More than 15 years ago, Jacqueline Lessard, now 83, decided to get involved in the care and welfare of children in Haïti, one of the poorest countries on earth. She succeeded in establishing “Espoir d'enfants” (Children's Hope), an orphanage that houses 60-100 children and schools dozens more. The devastating earthquake in January 2010 destroyed their humble dwelling. Lessard still needed help to feed and clothe the children — and now also put a new roof over their heads. She created a foundation and assembled a team that included Oxfam Québec. Together, they raised $1.3 million. Fasken Martineau had a team of its own working on all elements of the project, from the creation and organization of the foundation to the establishment of partnerships with donors and construction teams. The law firm used its real estate expertise to help with negotiations for the acquisition of the land. In addition to helping the children of Haïti, the project will be completed in part through the pro bono labour of young adults taking part in a back-to-school project aimed at construction trades and crafts. The project will allow the orphans to leave the temporary shelter they have been occupying since January 2010, ensuring a roof over their heads for years to come.

40. Level: 2
Project: The Omatjete Primary School Project, Cassels Brock
Winner (Firm): Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Winner: (Individuals): Cam Mingay, André Boivin, Andrea Rigobon

Cam Mingay and André Boivin were invited by Angus Mining (Namibia) Inc., one of their clients, to tour an Angus property while at the 2011 Mining Indaba Conference in Africa. The client mentioned Angus directors often stop at the nearby Omatjete Primary School to donate supplies. Mingay and Boivin researched the school and spoke with school officials who said what they needed above all else was chairs. Mingay and Boivin talked with the firm's mining group and the partners agreed to donate the cost of one chair for each guest who attended the firm's reception at Indaba. The reception was a success and the firm later furnished every class in the school with chairs. While still in Namibia, they visited the school and learned many children sleep there because they live too far to return home at night. The school provided each with a simple roll-away mat. Back in Canada, the Cassels Brock lawyers arranged a second donation to cover the cost of bunk beds and proper bedding. As fathers themselves and lawyers whose practice focuses on mining, particularly in Africa, they say assisting a primary school in the region seemed like an obvious choice. They plan to stay in touch with the school and look forward to their next visit.


41. Corporate Social Responsibility by Law Firm that Impacts Children – Regional

Level: 1
Project: Lawson Lundell: Family Services of Greater Vancouver
Winner (Firm): Lawson Lundell LLP
Winner (Individuals): Chris W. Sanderson QC, Brad Armstrong QC, Michael B. Morgan, Sarah J. Nelligan

For over a decade, Lawson Lundell LLP has been very active in supporting Family Services of Greater Vancouver, a community-based not-for-profit organization that provides crucial social services to those in need. Chris Sanderson and Brad Armstrong have served on the board of directors for the past 13 years with each serving a term as chair (Sanderson is the chair right now). Lawson Lundell lawyers have also helped Family Services with a number of strategic objectives, from buying a large property in East Vancouver to the planning, development, launch and operations of the society's flagship drop-in resource centre for homeless and at-risk youth. And the firm has connected the organization with other corporate supporters such as BC Hydro, as well as donating funding for programs since 2006. The most recent example is the three-year commitment of $20,000 annually to help fund the organization's Money Skills Program. Lawson Lundell also provides on-going legal services at significantly reduced rates, underscoring its conviction that of the many worthwhile community-building and philanthropic endeavours it could support, none is more important than promoting the personal development of young people.


42. Level: 2
Project: Children's Rights Council
Winner (Firm): Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Winner (Individuals): Gary Daniel, Tariq Remtulla, Athar K. Malik, Antonio Turco

The Children's Rights Council is an international organization that advocates for the active engagement and full participation of two parents in the life of a child, regardless of their marital status. The Council is dedicated to minimizing the emotional, physical and economic abuse, neglect and distress of children – and the elimination of anti-social and high-risk behaviours –following relationship breakups and marital disputes between parents. It acts as a catalyst to increase the use of joint-custody arrangements and boost the involvement of non-custodial parents. The group turned to Blakes in 2009 when it ran into a problem. The organization has affiliates throughout the United States and international affiliates in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, France, Israel, Japan, Switzerland, and Sierra Leone. Someone in Canada was calling his organization a confusingly similar name, and there was a claim of trade-mark infringement to be brought. Blakes was able to help the Children's Rights Council in preparing and filing the claim and ultimately obtaining judgment in its favour.


43. Level: 3
Project: Macleod Dixon Ride for Kids
Winner (Firm): Macleod Dixon LLP
Winner (Individual): Steven H. Leitl

Spearheaded by partner Steve Leitl, Macleod Dixon LLP has been hosting the Ride for Kids since 1997. Each rider who participates is asked to raise at least $4,000 through pledges from friends, family and co-workers. Macleod Dixon covers all expenses so that all pledge money goes directly to the charities. The Ride started as different routes in the Rocky Mountains. In 2000, it became a three-day journey from Jasper to Calgary, and more recently it was switched to a two-day journey from Jasper to Banff, a ride of 300 kilometres. Last year's Ride for Kids was a huge success, raising more than $100,000 for the YMCA's Strong Kids Campaign, the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank-Macleod Dixon Milk for Teens program and Youth Central. The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign focuses on providing financial support for those unable to afford the full cost of a YMCA program or activity, while the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank is a charitable organization dedicated to the collection and distribution of quality emergency food to those in need. Macleod Dixon and the food bank have also teamed up to establish the Macleod Dixon Milk for Teens program, which provides additional milk for the growing bodies and minds of more than 12,500 adolescents annually.


44. Diversity Action by In-House Department

Level 1: Project: RBC Law Group Diversity Committee
Winner: (Company): Royal Bank of Canada
Winner: (Individuals): Lucille D'Souza, Manju Jessa

The RBC Law Group Diversity Committee is dedicated to supporting Royal Bank of Canada's overall commitment to diversity through a series of initiatives. The first initiative is promoting diversity awareness internally by hosting training sessions on subjects such as cross-cultural competency awareness. The committee is also working actively to advance talented women, visible minorities and people of colour within the law group to better reflect Canada's diverse communities. That includes promoting collaborative partnering with the bank's outside law firms to raise diversity issues in law firms and encourage them to develop diversity initiatives of their own. Another RBC initiative is supporting newcomers to Canada through internship programs for foreign-trained lawyers and law students that will help provide them with Canadian work experience and expand both their professional networks and work opportunities. RBC believes the legal profession will be enriched as lawyers of diverse backgrounds bring different perspectives, ideas and experiences to the table. The diversity committee is also developing a program for law students with Aboriginal backgrounds.


45. Diversity Action by a Law Firm

Level: 1
Project: Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP-Four Diversity Initiatives
Winner (Firm): Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
Winner (Individuals): Kate Broer, Kara Sutherland, Andrea F. Raso Amer, Karen Tuschak, Michael D. Schafler

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP says simply making statements about diversity is not enough. The firm believes the only real way to embrace change is to make sure inclusion is in the fabric of its culture. In 2006, it made diversity and inclusion part of its national strategic plan. Among a number of significant initiatives, this year FMC engaged Michael Bach, the national director of diversity at KPMG, to develop a half-day program on unconscious bias and inclusion for senior leadership and anyone else with hiring, promotion or compensation responsibilities. More than 40 FMC members also act as mentors to new Canadians in partnership with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council joint mentoring program, which pairs skilled immigrants with established Canadian professionals. In addition, FMC runs a six-month paid internship program that provides internationally-trained lawyers with practical hands-on experience in a broad-based Canadian law firm. The first of its kind in Canada, it helps launch interns' legal careers by giving them the experience and help to transition to practice in Canada. FMC is also one of 10 founding corporate partners and pro bono legal counsel to Pride at Work Canada, a federal not-for-profit organization, as well as an original and continuing sponsor and pro bono legal counsel to Out on Bay Street.


46. Diversity Action by Lawyers' Group

Level: 1
Project: Legal Leaders For Diversity
Winner (Companies): Royal Bank of Canada, DuPont Canada, Deloitte
Winner (Individuals): Kevin Derbyshire, Ken Fredeen, David Allgood

Started by Kevin Derbyshire of DuPont, Ken Fredeen of Deloitte and David Allgood of Royal Bank, Legal Leaders for Diversity is an initiative from Canada's in-house counsel community to encourage diversity and inclusion. The idea is to convince Canadian in-house counsel to use their positions of influence to push for greater diversity and inclusion — not just inside their own organizations, but also throughout the legal profession. Allgood, widely recognized as the dean of the Canadian in-house bar, has chosen to use his profile to advance a wide range of diversity and inclusion causes. Together with Derbyshire and Fredeen, he personally reached out to general counsel across the country to ask for their support in this initiative. Derbyshire has been a leading advocate for change in the legal profession and was an early adopter of the concept that in-house counsel can use their procurement powers as a tool to effect change. Fredeen is a founding member and current chair of Deloitte's Inclusion and Diversity Council and for the past several years has also been the executive sponsor of the LEAD network (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Employees at Deloitte). To date, over 50 general counsel have signed the Legal Leaders for Diversity pledge.


47. Pro Bono Team of the Year – Firm

Level: 1
Project: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Réjean Hinse Wrongful Conviction Civil Lawsuit
Winner (Firm): Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Winner (Individuals): Guy Pratte, Alexander De Zordo, Katherine Loranger, Marc Unger, Patrick Plante

Wrongfully convicted of armed robbery in 1964, Réjean Hinse was sentenced to 15 years in prison. In 1997, eight years after the Québec Police Commission reopened his case and concluded that Hinse was the victim of a botched investigation, he was finally acquitted by the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2008, a team of experienced civil litigators from Borden Ladner Gervais LLP agreed to represent him on a pro bono basis in a civil lawsuit. The team spent three years scrupulously re-examining 50 years of evidence and addressing a myriad of legal questions. Following a six-week trial at the Montréal courthouse in November and December of 2010, Superior Court Justice Helene Poulin reprimanded the federal government for negligence in failing to properly investigate Hinse's claims that he was innocent. (The Québec government settled with him during the trial.) Hinse, 73, was awarded a total of $13.1 million from the federal and Québec governments, the largest such award in Canadian history. The Attorney General of Canada is appealing the judgment.