Rising Stars 2018

This year’s Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40, were honoured at the annual gala event at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto

This year’s Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40, were honoured at the annual gala event at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Here are brief introductions to these in-house and law firm Winners (and for bios and photos of this year’s and previous year’s winners, please click here).


Chad Aboud
Indigo Books & Music Inc. / Toronto
As Senior Corporate Counsel on Indigo’s in-house legal team, Chad Aboud has worked closely with internal clients and outside IP counsel to pave the way for an expansion of the business into the US. Aboud was a key member of the deal team for a complex Intellectual Property acquisition, which was unique to Indigo, the buyer, and its phased approach at providing continuity of business operations to the seller was also unique to the industry. The IP acquired was critical to the organization’s digital growth objectives. Aboud is a mentor for the Osgoode/Schulich JD MBA Program, providing advice and career-planning support to students. He has been an advisor and dedicated business partner to the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, which promotes children’s literacy, and helped lead the Indigo team to victory in the 2017 Toronto Corporate Run.

Yosef Adler
Minden Gross LLP / Toronto

Yosef Adler of Minden Gross LLP specializes in examining complex matters and finding creative ways to address them, particularly in M&As, shareholder disputes and corporate issues. Adler advises CEOs, entrepreneurs and start-ups on how to navigate daily corporate issues. He has led many complex acquisitions since 2013 and over the last year and a half he has led more than a dozen multi-disciplinary transactions involving cross-border issues in gaming, consumer products, distribution and real estate development. Adler sits on the boards of the Jewish Youth Network and Ohr Temimim, which offer support, education and guidance to children. He assists in developing programs to promote positive mental health and self-image for students to reach their full potential by helping establish job placements, volunteer positions and summer learning opportunities. Adler is pro bono counsel for Hadracha, an organization that helps entrepreneurs develop expertise to begin new start-ups.

Christopher A. Anderson
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP / Toronto

Christopher Anderson specializes in providing tax planning advice on complex M&A transactions, Private-Equity Investments, Investment Fund Structuring, Insolvencies, Real Estate Investments and Estate Planning in Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s tax practice. He also represents clients in disputes with the CRA and other tax authorities. Instrumental in growing the taxation of the firm’s professional athletes practice, he has provided tax advice on player contracts. Anderson Chairs the Law Society of Ontario’s Taxation Issues for Real Estate Lawyers conference and co-authored Canadian Taxation of Trusts. As a member of his firm’s Professional Development Committee, he regularly presents at the firm’s continuing legal education programs to keep clients up to date on tax and other important legal matters. He is actively involved in developing the firm’s hedge-fund and private-equity fund tax practice. Anderson provides pro bono legal services for UNITY, a charity that uses hip hop to improve young people’s lives.

Ian Andres
Goodmans LLP / Toronto

Ian Andres heads the Administrative Law group at Goodmans LLP. He has a wide-ranging Administrative and Municipal Law practice, assisting private- and public-sector clients on municipal issues ranging from bylaw interpretation and enforcement to complex planning applications and appeals with significant environmental, infrastructure and heritage components. He frequently represents landowners on property tax assessment and rebate appeals, and provides advice on development grant incentives and brownfield remediation programs, as well as expropriation matters, freedom of information requests, procurement, lobbying and permit issues. Andres is a long-time member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Municipal Law Executive and he was recently elected as section Chair. He is Past President of Athletes for Africa, a non-profit that uses the power and profile of sport to promote global citizenship and empower the next generation of youth in Africa.

Anthony Arquin
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP / Montréal

Anthony Arquin of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s Commercial Real Estate practice group advises on Commercial Real Estate sales and purchases, development projects and joint ventures for public and private corporations in Canada and internationally. He has been lead counsel for many landmark developments in Québec since 2012 and has significant experience in working on mixed-use complexes and commercial co-ownerships. Arquin has written articles on real estate business trends in the Québec real estate magazine Immobilier commercial. He sits on strategic committees of the Urban Development Institute of Québec and serves on the Montréal Executive Committee of the CBA, Real Estate Section. Arquin is a Director of the Canadian branch of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Humanity & Inclusion, which in 2017 assisted 2 million people with disabilities in 59 countries. He organizes an exclusive annual event for next-generation real estate professionals in Montréal.

Clarence Bennett
Stewart McKelvey / Saint John

As the youngest Managing Partner in Stewart McKelvey’s history, Clarence Bennett manages both the Saint John and Fredericton offices while maintaining a full Labour and Employment Law practice. His focus is on counselling employers over a wide spectrum of labour and employment law issues and is the lead labour and employment counsel to many of New Brunswick’s largest employers and works with a broad variety of clients spanning industries such as manufacturing, trucking, construction and IT. As Managing Partner, Bennett has introduced innovative pods to foster teamwork and has made considerable strides in advancing client-friendly billing and fee structures. Bennett is an active member in professional organizations associated with his labour and employment practice. He provides legal advice and guidance to the Board of Directors of the Fredericton Homeless Shelters and he served on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers.

Ally Bharmal
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP / Vancouver
Ally Bharmal practises Corporate Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate/Commercial Law at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, providing advice for a variety of private companies with an emphasis on the technology and food, beverage and agri-tech sectors. Bharmal pioneered Fasken’s food and beverage practice, served on and as Corporate Secretary of various corporate and community boards, led some of Canada’s market-leading transactions, and been a key advisor to many of BC’s top technology and food companies. He is a Director of the BC Food Processors Association, Co-chair of its Finance Committee and founder of its Funding Food Program. As Charter Member, Director and President-elect, he has been involved since 2009 in growing entrepreneurship through TiE-Vancouver. He serves as Legal Member of the Aga Khan Council for Canada. Bharmal is a Partner with Social Venture Partners Vancouver and served for many years on the Kids Up Front Vancouver Board and as BC Children’s Hospital Night of Miracles cabinet member.

Melissa Binns
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP / Hamilton
With expertise in a broad range of areas, including Patent and Trademark Litigation and Trademark Prosecution, Pharmaceutical Law, Copyright and Commercial Litigation, Melissa Binns’ practice at Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP spans the biotechnology, pharmaceutics, apparel, software, food/beverage and manufacturing industries. After obtaining a degree in Life Sciences, Binns worked in the molecular biology and microbiology field. She is a registered trademark agent and provides advice to clients on the protection and enforcement of Canadian trademark rights. She has acted in IP litigation proceedings, including Gilead Sciences v. Idenix Pharmaceuticals. Binns is involved in organizations in the technology field, including Innovation Factory, Lion’s Lair, and Synapse Life Science, supporting local emerging technology and life science businesses. She has been a member of BIOTECanada’s Subsequent Entry Biologics Task Force and regularly volunteers her time in supporting several organizations through fundraising events and speaking opportunities.

Hilary Book
Book Law / Toronto
Hilary Book’s practice includes a broad range of Litigation matters, including complex Commercial Litigation, Commercial Real Estate disputes, Professional Negligence and Product Liability. She has appeared as lead counsel in lengthy and complex litigation involving fraud and conspiracy, relief from forfeiture, contempt and jurisdiction matters. Book spearheaded her previous firm’s associate mentoring program and she founded its Diversity Committee. Book has volunteered with Pro Bono Ontario. Her leadership roles with The Advocates’ Society included serving as a member of the task force that developed guidelines for Best Practices for Civil Trials. She is Vice-chair of the Standing Committee focused on improving the engagement of mid-career advocates. Book is a Director of the Village Family Health Team and she is a former Director of Off Centre Music Salon and Art City in St. James Town.

A. Danielle Bourgeois
Field Law / Edmonton
A. Danielle Bourgeois has a diverse Civil Litigation practice at Field Law that includes Contract Disputes, Debt Collection, Insurance Defence, Personal Injury, Fraud, Shareholder Disputes, Residential Construction, Foreclosure, Judgment Recovery, and Commercial and Residential Leases. She also prosecutes regulatory matters under the Public Health Act. She mentors junior lawyers and articling students at her firm and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Debtor and Creditor (North), Insurance (North), General Litigation, Creditor’s Rights and Civil Litigation (North) Sections. She volunteers at the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton and an Assistant Coach of MacEwan University’s women’s hockey team. As a former President and Assistant Coach, Bourgeois has made significant contributions to the University of Alberta Pandas Hockey program. In 2017, she was inducted into the University of Alberta Sports Wall of Fame. She provides pro bono legal counsel to the Pandas Hockey Alumni Society.

Étienne Brassard
Lavery lawyers / Montréal
Étienne Brassard is a member of the Lavery lawyers Business Law group whose practice is primarily focused on Private Corporate Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions as well as Corporate Law. He advises local and international businesses in relation to all forms of private financings, from traditional or convertible debt to equity investments. With considerable expertise in securing traditional bank or equipment financing by way of leasing, Brassard often counsels major financial institutions or lending groups with respect to their financings in Canada, the US and Europe. He is responsible for creating Lavery’s GO Inc. Program, which supports entrepreneurs in all stages of their start-ups’ life cycle, and as part of that program he regularly coaches young entrepreneurs and lawyers. Brassard has volunteered for many years as a coach and business advisor for Info Entrepreneurs (Canada Business Network) and Parcours entrepreneurial Rémi-Marcoux — HEC Montréal.

James Brown
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP / Toronto
James Brown is a member of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s Corporate Group and Co-chair of the firm’s Mining Group. He focuses on Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Finance and Securities, and general Corporate matters and has experience acting for underwriters and issuers in public offerings, including shelf, short-form, and bought-deal financings, global private placements, and transactions involving inter-listed companies. Since 2012, he has been a member of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada and was a member of the Planning Committee for its annual Convention. Brown is also a member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. In 2017, he was appointed as one of only two lawyers on the CSA Mining Technical Advisory and Monitoring Committee. Brown is involved in a number of Osler’s practice management and innovation initiatives, including the development of alternative fee arrangements and the adoption of budgeting tools for practice tasks.

Kyle Brunner
Seven Generations Energy Ltd. / Calgary
Throughout his career, Kyle Brunner has worked on Commercial Arrangements, Financing Transactions and Mergers and Acquisitions. As Vice President,General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at Seven Generations Energy Ltd., he has led the execution of a number of significant transactions and manages all other legal matters for the company, including litigation files, regulatory, employment and income tax matters. Leading a team of four lawyers, Brunner is continuously involved in Seven Generations’ business development opportunities and he is also a Director and Officer of the company’s US subsidiary. Brunner is a member of the External Engagement Committee of the Board of Directors of the Calgary Science Centre Society. He volunteers with the Calgary Drop-in Centre, and has volunteered as an instructor for the Legal Education Society of Alberta and as a camp counsellor with the Kids’ Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.

Nadia Campion
Polley Faith LLP / Toronto

Nadia Campion’s broad Litigation practice at Polley Faith LLP includes complex Commercial Disputes, Shareholder Oppression Applications, Director and Office Liability, Estates Matters, Class Actions and Professional Liability. Her extensive trial experience includes securities legislation, wrongful dismissal suits, shareholder disputes and corporate fraud. She has acted on several significant and high-profile cases, including Airia Brands v. Air Canada and Silver v. IMAX. She was counsel to the former Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, and staff member in the Elliot Lake Inquiry. Campion co-chaired the OBA’s Annual Institute for Civil Litigation in 2018 and chaired the Gale Cup Moot in 2016. She is co-founder of a bilingual Montréal-Toronto women’s referral network and has participated as an instructor at the LPP Trial Advocacy Program. She is responsible for recruitment, the student program and associates at her firm and has taken a significant interest in promoting parental leave rights for lawyers.

Nafisah Chowdhury
Miller Thomson LLP / Toronto

Nafisah Chowdhury of Miller Thomson LLP practises Commercial and Employment Litigation, representing a wide range of clients. She was Lead Counsel to the franchisor in YESCO Franchising LLC v. 2261116 Ontario Inc. and Lead Counsel to the employer in wrongful dismissal suit Dewitt v. Youthdale Treatment Centres. In addition to her involvement in the Canadian Muslim and legal communities, she co-leads her firm’s United Way drive and is active with its Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Chowdhury takes a lead role in educating the firm, the legal community and the general public on the importance of being inclusive and diverse. She is a Member of the Advisory Board and Awards Judge for the Muslim Awards for Excellence and a Member of The Canadian-Muslim Vote’s Advisory Board. She participated in the Muslim Leadership roundtable this year with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Evan Cobb
Norton Rose Fulbright / Toronto

Evan Cobb’s practice at Norton Rose Fulbright covers all aspects of Corporate and Commercial Law, with a particular focus on Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Restructuring. He regularly acts for debtors, creditors and court-appointed officers in both domestic and cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters. Cobb has played a key role in a very substantial portion of the firm’s largest restructuring matters, including acting for the Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada as lead counsel in its operational and financial restructuring in 2016 and MBAC Fertilizer Corp.’s successful restructuring of more than $300 million of outstanding debt to emerge from protection under the CCAA as a restructured publicly traded company. This was a multi-jurisdictional matter involving both Canadian and Brazilian proceedings. Cobb acted pro bono in the successful restructuring of a technology company in 2017, including both out-of-court transactional matters and at contested hearings.

Julie D'Avignon
Stikeman Elliott LLP / Calgary

Julie D'Avignon is a member of Stikeman Elliott LLP’s Tax Group, providing advice on tax matters relating to M&A Transactions, Corporate Reorganizations, Equity Investments, Flow-through shares and Financings, frequently advising on structures, transactions and reorganizations. Her diverse client base includes companies operating in industries ranging from Canadian and international oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, technology, financial products and service businesses. For several years she was a Board Member and Legal Director of the B.J. Hughes Foundation for the Development of Entrepreneurial Women and held the role of President and other executive roles for sections of the Canadian Bar Association (Alberta). She has provided pro bono support to several non-profit entities seeking charitable registration and with respect to various projects, including an investment in a social development initiative operating in East Africa. She co-led Stikeman Elliott’s involvement in Mount Royal University’s JMH Venture LaunchPad program.

Christopher Dawson
Lerners LLP / London, ON
Christopher Dawson practises Personal Injury Law at Lerners LLP. His files include significant claims involving million-dollar-plus cases and complex issues, both with respect to causation and damages. He has been involved in many motions on a complex case that set new law in the area of insurance benefits in motor vehicle accident litigation: Economical Insurance Co. v. Caughy. He has volunteered with the Children’s Hospital in London and the London Spinal Cord Injury Chapter. He sits on the Children’s Hospital Committee and created his own fundraising event, Christmas Hockey for Kids, raising tens of thousands of dollars annually for the hospital. He was an OBA insurance law Executive Board Member in 2017 and sits on the Brain Injury Association of London Community Awareness Committee. He is a founding member of Golden In Future, helping foster and promote sustainable changes in the Khayelitsha Townships around Cape Town, South Africa.

Sumeet (Sonu) Dhanju-Dhillon
Torkin Manes LLP / Toronto
Sumeet (Sonu) Dhanju-Dhillon is a member of Torkin Manes LLP’s Litigation Group who practises in all areas of Civil Litigation, with a particular focus on Business Law, and has also been involved in numerous private mediations and arbitrations. Her diverse client base encompasses owner/operated businesses, institutions and large multinationals and she spends a substantial amount of non-billable time learning the inner workings of her clients’ operations. Dhanju-Dhillon is a member of the firm’s Marketing & BD Committee and current Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. She was a member of the firm’s Justicia Committee, which helped establish the firm’s maternity leave program, ensuring support is in place for women lawyers preparing their practice for maternity leave. She is a volunteer Champion for #MoveTheDial, Chair of The Roger Fisher Negotiation Training Scholarship, sits on The Advocates’ Society committees and frequently speaks on obstacles that impact women in the profession.

Aaron Dow
Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP / Kelowna, BC
Aaron Dow practises Corporate and Commercial Law, Real Estate, Bank Lending, and Wills and Estates at Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP. He has extensive experience in Mergers and Acquisitions and has acted as lead counsel on several significant transactions. Dow learns his client’s business from the ground up and understands the challenges unique to their particular industry. He organizes events throughout the year as the lawyer representative on the Kelowna office’s Social Committee and spearheads the firm’s annual cross-office golf retreat. He organizes the Farris 9 and Dine golf tournament each summer, which partners the firm’s lawyers with members of the region’s business community for a friendly tournament. Dow is on the Board of Directors and is Vice President of Launch Community Development Foundation and he is a founding member and is on the organizational committee for 100 Men Who Give a Damn (Kelowna).

Cameron B. Elder
Harper Grey LLP / Vancouver
As Chair of Harper Grey LLP’s Construction & Engineering Law Group, Cameron Elder’s diverse Civil Litigation practice spans Health Law, Construction, Commercial Litigation and Real Estate disputes. He has been lead counsel in numerous high-value disputes, including a $7-million claim arising out of a large steam metering project, a multi-million-dollar case against parties involved in the upgrade of a district energy system, and a medical negligence claim with allegations of delayed diagnosis resulting in quadriplegia. Elder Chairs the firm’s Construction Group and is a member of the Strategic Planning Committee. He frequently presents to industry groups, including ACEC-BC, BC Building Envelope Council and BC RIMS. He volunteered with Access Pro Bono BC for more than five years and served for three years on the Executive of the Urban Land Institute. He is the firm’s contact for ACEC-BC.

Michael Fenrick
Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP / Toronto
Michael Fenrick has a broad Civil Litigation practice at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP. He works in Constitutional Law, Corporate Commercial Litigation, Class Actions, Professional Discipline, and Labour and Employment Law and has a particular interest in public-law issues. He has developed an expertise in litigating public-private partnership disputes, acting for both leading construction and engineering companies. Fenrick has appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada on numerous times and regularly acts for high-profile clients in a crisis management role on sensitive matters involving the media. He is Chair of the firm’s Continuing Professional Development Committee and was appointed to its Associates Committee. He has taught Constitutional Law at the University of Toronto and Constitutional Litigation at Osgoode Hall. He is a contributing author of Constitutional Litigation in Canada and a Director of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History.

Clara Ferguson
Lawson Lundell LLP / Vancouver

Clara Ferguson practises Energy and Regulatory Law with a focus on Public Utility Regulation at Lawson Lundell LLP. Her files are often highly specialized, multi-faceted and span multiple years. She regularly appears as counsel before the Alberta Utilities Commission, BC Utilities Commission, National Energy Board and other administrative tribunals. Ferguson understands the regulatory environments in both BC and Alberta and has spent significant time practising in each jurisdiction as well as in the Northwest Territories. Actively involved in student recruitment and a mentor to many associates at the firm, she helped design and establish the Project Development Group’s Core Skills Training Program and coordinated with partners and associates to ensure it was providing the skills and insight associates needed in both the legal and business realms. Ferguson also sits on several committees within the firm.

Chad Finkelstein
Dale & Lessmann LLP / Toronto

Chad Finkelstein is a Business lawyer and Registered Trademark Agent at Dale & Lessmann LLP specializing in Franchise Law, Licensing and Distribution, Intellectual Property Law, and Brand Marketing and Advertising Law across a broad spectrum of service sectors. He is regularly retained by law firms and consulted by private-equity groups in connection with purchases and sales of franchise chains. Finkelstein has negotiated complex cybersecurity vendor agreements with some of the world’s largest companies on behalf of one client and he negotiates talent agreements for television performers. He has negotiated sponsorship and endorsement agreements on behalf of, or involving, public figures, including professional athletes. Finkelstein chairs the firm’s Social and IT Committees. He is a member of Leadership Sinai, a fundraising arm of Mount Sinai Hospital. He provides pro bono advice to a non-profit industry association and is a regular National Post columnist on branding legal issues.

Bradley A. Freelan
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP / Toronto

Bradley Freelan’s practice at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP focuses on Corporate and Securities Law, with an emphasis on Mergers and Acquisitions, Shareholder Activism, and Corporate Finance. He represents acquirers and targets across a broad range of industries in both private and public M&A transactions and provides governance advice to boards and special committees. Freelan initiated and led one of the most successful profile-building projects in the firm’s history: the firm’s proxy contest and hostile bid studies, which offer a detailed, empirical analysis of proxy contest and hostile bid activity in Canada. Thousands of copies have been downloaded by the business, legal and academic communities, resulting in a significant number of new contacts and potential firm clients. Freelan has served as a Director of Epilepsy Toronto, is a member of the Sunnyview Youth Council and he mentors law students at the University of Toronto.

Rahat Godil
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP / Toronto
Rahat Godil’s practice at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP includes complex Commercial Litigation and Arbitrations, Class Actions and Constitutional Litigation in a number of industries, including telecommunications, natural resources, mining, banking, power, financial services, and manufacturers of food, drugs and consumer products. Godil represents clients in wide-ranging disputes, including contract cases, negligence actions, securities-related litigation, class actions, injunctions and complex summary judgment and jurisdiction motions. An advocate for diversity and inclusion, Godil is an Executive Member of the Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society and organized workshops on Unconscious Bias in Arbitration. She led a Diversity in your Law Firm panel for Canadian Defence Lawyers and leads efforts to promote judicial diversity as a Director of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto. She acted pro bono for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association as an intervenor on R. v. N.S. (the niqab case).

Jordan Goldblatt
Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP / Toronto

Jordan Goldblatt is a Founding Partner and Managing Partner of Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP. His practice includes matters of Contract, Tort, Corporate Law/Governance, Insolvency, Employment and Defamation Law. He defends solicitor’s negligence claims as preferred counsel for LawPRO and is on the Canadian Civil Liberties Association roster of counsel who act on defamation litigation cases. Goldblatt acts in sports-related disputes on behalf of athletes, clubs, national sports organizations and for athletes in need of legal assistance through the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada’s pro bono program.
Goldblatt is a member of and contributor to The Advocates Society and was an instructor at the Osgoode Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop. He was chosen to join the CCLA & PBLO Public Participation Project, which matches people sued for defamation for public speech with pro bono counsel.

Kelly Goldthorpe
Green and Spiegel LLP / Toronto

Kelly Goldthorpe of Immigration Law firm Green and Spiegel LLP manages accounts and relationships with major corporations and businesses to facilitate the movement of temporary foreign workers, business visitors and other immigration needs. She is a founding member of the firm’s internal social committee, a certified member of its Joint Health and Safety Committee and has a lead role in articling and summer student recruitment and training. Goldthorpe is a member of the CBA Working Group on NAFTA Consultations, the CBA Policy Working Group on Immigration Settlement Services Study and the CBA National Immigration Law Section Working Group for Citizenship. She blogs about current trends and policy directions in Immigration Law. Goldthorpe is on the Board of Directors at University Settlement House and has done pro bono work for a Syrian refugee case. Goldthorpe supports several non-profit organizations, including Beautiful World Canada, New Circles and Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Sana Halwani
Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP / Toronto
As a member of the Intellectual Property practice at Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP, Sana Halwani specializes in Life Sciences and IT Patent Litigation but her practice extends to all facets of IP Litigation and complex Commercial Litigation. Halwani is a member of the firm’s Strategic Council, tasked with defining its innovation strategy, including future technology needs. Halwani is paperless, champions the use of technology in and out of the courtroom and is the firm’s inaugural IT and innovation partner. Awarded a University of Toronto Arbor Award for her service, she has served as a university Law Alumni Council member, teaches trial advocacy, is Co-chair of the Discipline Tribunal and Secretary to the Alumni Association Board. Halwani worked as pro bono counsel to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Canada’s first case addressing the patentability of human genes.

Heather Hansen
Martha McCarthy & Company LLP / Toronto

Heather Hansen of Martha McCarthy & Company LLP is a Law Society of Ontario Certified Specialist in Family Law. In practising high conflict, high net-worth Divorce Litigation, she has developed a deep understanding of Corporate Law and Tax Law. Her recent successful cases include a Superior Court 24-day trial in Turk v. Turk. Hansen’s practice is paper-free and she has stated she believes the profession is far too reliant on paper. She led three electronic trials recently in which all exhibits and submissions were made electronically. Hansen provided the court with the equipment, WiFi and IT support necessary and she assisted opposing counsel to adapt to the new technology. Hansen is a Fellow with the International Academy of Family Lawyers, teaches trial advocacy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and is pro bono counsel for Covenant House and the Child Advocacy Project.

Nader Raymond Hasan
StockWoods LLP / Toronto

Nader Hasan is a Partner at StockWoods LLP, defending clients accused of White-Collar and Regulatory offences. He also acts in Constitutional and Administrative Law cases and for Indigenous groups in Environmental and Constitutional cases. He was lead counsel to the successful appellants in Clyde River (Hamlet) v. Petroleum Geo-Services Inc. and has been counsel in 15 other Supreme Court cases. He also regularly represents and advises clients who are detained abroad, advocating for their interests with the Canadian and foreign governments. Hasan is an advocate on diversity in the profession and is presently co-counsel to the Law Society of Ontario in a judicial review of its new diversity-enhancing policies. He has been Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Hasan is a member of the Ontario Inmate Appeal Duty Counsel Program and regularly represents the CLA, CCLA, and BCCLA in pro bono Supreme Court appeals.

Katie Jamieson
Herschel Supply Company Ltd.
& Cormack Capital Corp. / Vancouver

As Head of Legal & Corporate Secretary, Katie Jamieson advises Herschel Supply, Parkland Design and Manufacturing, an affiliated brand, and Cormack Capital, the investment arm of the founders, along with their direct and indirect subsidiaries. Jamieson has advised on and led the cross-border acquisition of a luxury retailer, commercial agreements with Chinese retailers, including one of the largest online sales platforms in China, and licensing deals with major global brands. In addition, she oversees and manages a global trademark portfolio, foreign counsel covering more than 70 countries, and the development of Herschel’s global structure. Jamieson was chosen by the International Trademark Association to join its Anti-Counterfeiting Committee and its Canada Subcommittee. She is an inaugural member of the BC Chapter of Women General Counsel Canada and was invited to be a mentor in the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs’ mentorship program.

Kyle Kashuba
Torys LLP / Calgary

Kyle Kashuba’s practice at Torys LLP focuses on all aspects of Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency. He also has significant experience in Real Estate, Retail and Manufacturing Insolvencies. Kashuba has served as counsel to many insolvency professionals in their capacities as monitors, receivers and trustees and he has served secured and unsecured creditors, and financially challenged public and private corporations. In his first year of partnership, he was appointed as amicus curiae counsel to the Court of Appeal of Alberta in a complex insolvency case, Canada (National Revenue) v. Meyers Norris Penny Limited. Kashuba has volunteered with Calgary Legal Guidance, where he regularly advises clients on a variety of matters and trains other lawyers on Insolvency Law matters, as well as the John Howard Society, Student Legal Services and Pro Bono Students Canada. He serves as an Executive Member of the Canadian Bar Association (National) Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Restructuring Section.

Robynne Blaine Kazina
Taylor McCaffrey LLP / Winnipeg

Robynne Kazina provides advice on Family Law matters at Taylor McCaffrey LLP. She has been involved in complex family property accountings dealing with high net-worth clients that involve issues surrounding family trusts and sophisticated corporate structures. Her cases include S.L.A.K. v. A.S.H., the first contested adoption trial in Manitoba dealing with birth fathers’ rights, in which she successfully obtained an Order of Adoption for her clients. Kazina has a Masters of Social Work in addition to her law degree and she has developed a new practice area for her firm in Fertility Law. Recognizing a trend in family law towards mediation and collaboration, she has positioned herself as an expert in Collaborative Law. Kazina has been a Board Member of Families in Transition and volunteered with the Legal Help Centre to advance access to justice initiatives. She is incoming Chair of the Manitoba Bar Association’s Family Subsection.

Matthew Kindree
Pallett Valo LLP / Mississauga, ON

Matthew Kindree practises in the areas of Banking and Finance, Financial Services, Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Equity, and Corporate Reorganizations and Restructurings at Pallett Valo LLP. He has particular expertise in leading and coordinating complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions and corporate reorganizations. Kindree has been designated as a Specialist in Corporate-Commercial Law by the Law Society of Ontario and as a Specialist in Corporate Finance by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Ontario Bar Association (Business Law Section) and sits on the Board of Directors of the Randstad Canada Charitable Foundation. He is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. Kindree is a mentor to students and associates, and devotes time to assist in their learning and growth. He has chaired the Ontario Bar Association’s MBA in a Day for Transactional Lawyers for the past five years.

Josée Kouri
Dollarama Inc. / Montréal

Josée Kouri is Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary of Dollarama, a TSX-listed company with 1,160 stores and a market cap of more than $16 billion. Since joining in 2011 as Dollarama’s first in-house counsel, Kouri has navigated complex legal, financial and operational issues, overseeing all legal matters associated with the company’s growth in Canada and its joint venture in South America. She oversees all legal aspects of the business, including Commercial, Corporate and Securities laws, Governance, Corporate Finance, Banking, Real Estate, Regulatory, Litigation and IP. Kouri has led numerous financing transactions, including participating in negotiating an eight-year strategic agreement and leading the negotiation of Dollarama’s current credit facilities. She has built the company’s Legal Affairs group and now has a team of four lawyers and one paralegal. Kouri serves as an ambassador for the Educaloi fundraising campaign.

Mathieu Laflamme
McCarthy Tétrault LLP / Québec City/Montréal

Mathieu Laflamme is McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Québec City Office Lead and a member of the Business Law Group. He practises in all major areas of Corporate and Commercial Law, including Private Equity, Mergers and Acquisitions, Partnerships, Corporate Reorganizations and Financing. His recent experience includes setting up several Private Equity and Venture Capital funds. As Office Lead, Laflamme oversees all strategic administrative duties. He championed the implementation of the firm’s innovative Québec City office space with a design that encourages collaboration and presented these novel professional concepts to Justice Canada in 2017. Laflamme oversees the office’s annual United Way campaign and he has been an Organizing Committee member since 2015 of the second-largest Réseau Capital event. He is an active member of the recruitment committee and serves the firm’s national New Website Steering and McCarthy Services Projects Committees.

Drew M. Lafond
MLT Aikins LLP / Calgary

Drew Lafond provides advice to First Nations and Métis communities on Economic Development, Corporate Structure, Finance, Governance, Taxation, Oil and Gas Development, and Liquor and Gaming Licensing. Early in his career, he prepared submissions and attended before the Alberta Court of Appeal on R. v. Hirsekorn, a seminal decision concerning Métis rights in Alberta. He has closed numerous landmark transactions for First Nation and Métis communities, including asset and share purchases and Corporate Finance and Commercial Real Estate. Lafond is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan and a descendant of the Simpcw Nation in British Columbia. He contributes to the success of the reserve he grew up on by volunteering pro bono for the Nation’s Economic Development and Governance committees. Lafond is the Vice-president of the Indigenous Bar Association and he volunteers for Level, a program dedicated to mentoring Indigenous youth in urban communities and to teaching them the basics of law.

Fabien Lanteri-Massa
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP / Montréal

Fabien Lanteri-Massa specializes in Bank Financing, Project Financing and Asset-based Financing at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. His other areas of expertise include Renewable Energy, Infrastructure Projects and Public-Private Partnerships. His clients include financial institutions, pension and private-equity funds, development banks, sponsors and companies. Lanteri-Massa formerly practised as a Project Finance lawyer in Paris. He advises clients on projects lasting 20 to 40 years, requiring the structuring of projects with a long-term view of clients’ objectives while mitigating potential risks that may arise during a project’s lifetime. He is a member of the Canada-France Chamber of Commerce and a founding member and Past President of the Young Leaders’ Circle of the International Economic Forum of the Americas. He is lead pro bono counsel of the One Drop Foundation and an international mentor with the Enablis Foundation.

Benjamin Lee
TimberWest Forest Corp. / Vancouver

As Vice President, General Counsel & Real Estate and Corporate Secretary of TimberWest Forest Corp., Benjamin Lee manages complex Litigation in addition to M&A and Transactional work. He is the company’s Chief Ethics Officer and, as a member of the company’s Executive Committee, Lee is a key driver of corporate strategy, at the forefront of all aspects of the business and in dealings with key stakeholders. He took on a commercial role as VP, Couverdon Real Estate, TimberWest’s real estate division, in 2017. Lee is leading the development and implementation of an automated and paperless in-house contract generation, review and approval system covering thousands of routine contracts. He also created a comprehensive and inaugural anti-corruption compliance program for TimberWest. Lee is Director (Chair of the Governance Committee) and Secretary for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (BC & Yukon division).

Hartley Lefton
Dentons Canada LLP / Toronto

Hartley Lefton is National Co-lead for Dentons Canada LLP’s Insurance group and he also carries on a general business practice. He built the firm’s Corporate/Regulatory Insurance practice and contributes to the growth of its Insurance Litigation practice. His Transactional and Commercial/Regulatory practice focuses on regulated financial institutions. Lefton is Development Partner of the Toronto Corporate group and he provides strategic and tactical advice to many current and former senior federal, provincial and municipal public officeholders in Canada. He has helped financial institutions adopt leading-edge technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence and created an IFRS 9 advisory group at Dentons to advise financial institutions on the implementation of this new accounting standard. Lefton is Director and Secretary of AboutFace Craniofacial Family Society and he acts for Sloane’s House Pediatric Recreation and Respite Care Centre. Lefton is actively involved in Toronto’s Jewish community organizations.

Kwang Lim
Bennett Jones LLP / Vancouver

Kwang Lim’s Business Law practice at Bennett Jones LLP includes Corporate Finance and M&A. He advises entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale-ups, public companies, agents/underwriters and other advisors across various industry sectors involved in domestic and international financings and transactions. He also advises on Securities Law compliance and Corporate Governance issues. Lim is a member of the Firm’s Cannabis and Fintech & Blockchain practice groups and its Information Technology Committee. He is the Firm’s Regional Co-leader in BC for the Technology Fast 50 Program. Lim is a regular guest lecturer for the Capstone Business Law course at the Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia. He is also a member of the International Association of Korean Lawyers (Co-chair for the M&A/Corporate Committee), the Canada Korea Business and the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, and 100 Men Who Give a Damn (Vancouver).

Catherine Lovrics
Bereskin & Parr LLP / Toronto
Catherine Lovrics of Bereskin & Parr LLP is a Trademark Agent and Co-leader of the firm’s Copyright & Digital Media practice group, focusing on Trademarks, Copyright, Personality and Publicity Rights, as well as Marketing and Advertising Law, Consumer Protection and Privacy Law. She advises on legal issues related to the Internet and digital media. Lovrics specializes in IP protection and works with many of Canada’s premium brands, multi-national companies and lawyers worldwide. Lovrics is a mentor at the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, Vice-chair of its Copyright Policy Committee and an instructor at the Institute’s Copyright Master Class at McGill. She served on the Executive of the Ontario Bar Association’s Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law, Entertainment, Media and Communications Law and Privacy Law sections. She is on the Board of the Artists’ Legal Advice Services.

Jonah Mann
Stikeman Elliott LLP / Toronto

Jonah Mann practises in the M&A and Capital Markets groups at Stikeman Elliott LLP, focusing on Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance and Securities Law compliance matters. Mann acts for public companies and leading investment banks on complex capital markets transactions, including IPOs, acquisition financing, cross-border offerings, takeover bids and business combinations, frequently representing Canadian and US private-equity firms on public and private M&A transactions and strategic investments for a range of industries. He leads several of the firm’s most valued client relationships and was recently lead advisor on some of Canada’s most complex and high-profile corporate transactions. Mann is a leader in the McGill University alumni community and has led successful fundraisers for some of Toronto’s leading art institutions. He taught Corporate Finance Law at the University of Western Ontario on a pro bono basis and has lectured at Osgoode Hall Law School.

David Massé
Stikeman Elliott LLP / Montréal

David Massé practises in the Corporate Group at Stikeman Elliott LLP, specializing in M&A, Capital Markets and Securities. He is counsel to sellers, purchasers and financial advisors in Mergers and Acquisitions, Divestitures, Spinoffs and Reorganizations. He is a member of the firm’s Mining Group, acting for mining companies and underwriters on M&A, Corporate Finance, Joint Ventures and Mining Development projects. Massé Chairs the practice group lunches of the Montréal office’s securities law and public M&A practice, which provide continuous legal education in the capital markets sector. He has been an active member of the Office’s Recruitment Committee for the past 10 years, significantly contributing to the firm’s recruitment success. Massé is President of the Cercle finance et placement du Québec, a networking organization for professionals involved in Québec’s financial markets, and has been a member of its Board of Directors for 10 years.

Andrew McLaughlin
Major Drilling Group International Inc. / Moncton
Andrew McLaughlin is General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of Major Drilling Group. After serving in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs for nine years, McLaughlin now leads Major Drilling’s legal affairs spanning more than 20 countries, helping navigate compliance issues in challenging operating environments. He has represented the company in arbitration in Latin America and in Canada on very short notice. He leads Major’s Whistleblower system, enhanced its global Enterprise Risk Assessment process and leads efforts on IP matters, including a patent dispute. He has helped Major transition to a nearly paperless legal department and champions the implementation of a corporate-wide diversity policy. He launched Lawyer’s Corner on Major’s intranet to foster a better understanding of on-the-ground legal issues for front-line workers. McLaughlin founded a federally incorporated not-for-profit aimed at establishing Casa Canada Cuba, a cultural centre in Havana. He is also a member of Moncton’s RCMP Board.

Miguel Mendes
BMO Financial Group / Toronto
Miguel Mendes is Senior Litigation Counsel at BMO Financial Group. He has Capital Markets, Wealth Management and Banking expertise, and advises BMO’s Retail Banking Business on contentious matters across Canada, Europe and Asia-Pacific. As part of BMO Legal’s Idea Incubator program, he designed an innovative digital service to make investing in segregated insurance funds faster and easier for BMO’s customers and broker networks. He is a top resource for resolving exceptionally sensitive complaints, partly stemming from his hands-on resolution of a years-long dispute. Mendes Chairs BMO Pride, dedicated to ensuring BMO’s LGBTQ+ employees and customers can be their authentic selves. He was a lead architect and founding Chair of BMO’s Canadian Pro Bono Program. As a Pro Bono Ontario volunteer duty counsel, Mendes acts for an HIV+ Venezuelan man fighting for US asylum through BMO’s Asylum Project. Mendes is President of the Portuguese-Canadian Lawyers Association.

Drew Mitchell
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP / Winnipeg
Drew Mitchell has developed a large commercial practice with a specialty in Commercial Lending at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP, advising a wide variety of small and large businesses on Mergers and Acquisitions, Dispositions, and Reorganizations, as well as advising on the organization and structure of corporations and other business entities, such as limited partnerships. He focuses on three areas: Banking and Finance, Securities Law, and Real Estate and Development. Mitchell regularly meets with his lender and other clients to solicit feedback and to seek input on best practices for communication, service delivery, and fee structures. This has resulted in the implementation of a number of changes to his practice, including meeting via electronic means and alternative fee arrangements. He was a Board member and held executive positions at not-for-profit organization Family Dynamics. He mentors the firm’s summer students, articling students and associate lawyers.

Elisabeth Neelin
Langlois lawyers / Montréal
Elisabeth Neelin practises Civil and Commercial Litigation at Langlois lawyers. She has experience in a wide range of matters involving Commercial Law, Civil and Professional Liability as well as in Regulatory Litigation and Regulatory Investigations and also has expertise in areas of Public and Administrative Law. Neelin frequently represents foreign clients, including in matters of private international law and challenges to the jurisdiction of Québec courts. She has advised a number of Canadian and international companies in health law compliance matters to help them understand and respond to the flurry of changes made to the regulatory framework in Québec. Neelin was appointed by the Senate of Concordia University as a Chair of Student Tribunal Hearing panels. She also participates in the FTA Éclaté initiative and supports a centre that provides education and other services to downtown youth and families in Montréal.

Matthew Norris
Fogler, Rubinoff LLP / Toronto
Matthew Norris assists businesses on a broad range of Corporate, Commercial and Business matters at Fogler, Rubinoff LLP. His Corporate Law practice focuses on M&A transactions and the negotiation of complex commercial arrangements and agreements. He acts for a diverse group of clients, including private-equity firms, financial institutions, multi-national corporations, professional partnerships, owner-operator businesses and emerging and start-up companies. Norris leads the firm’s partnership as legal sponsor of the Entrepreneur’s Organization and provides pro bono legal services as corporate counsel. He manages the firm’s engagement with the Association For Corporate Growth and has served on its Membership Committee. He is on the firm’s Business Development and Talent Growth Committees, helps lead law student recruiting and is a mentor to associates. He leads the firm’s efforts to increase the use of technology, recognize and promote diversity in the workforce, increase and promote a culture of transparency and promote work-life balance solutions.

Patience Omokhodion
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP / Toronto
Patience Omokhodion practises Banking and Restructuring and Insolvency Law in Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP’s Financial Services Group. She works on secured and unsecured lending transactions, including cross-border transactions, project financings, public-private partnership transactions and joint ventures, representing both lenders and borrowers. Omokhodion previously practised at a major firm in London, England. Her practice is national and international, involving various jurisdictions including England and Wales, the US, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Mexico, Barbados and the Cayman Islands. She provides advice to clients from across a diverse range of industries, including aviation, mining, energy, utilities and construction. After a key partner left, Omokhodion became active in the continued growth of the firm’s Aviation Finance practice. She serves as Director of the Black Female Lawyers Network and she is actively involved with the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. She mentors students from ethnic minorities seeking financial and/or legal careers.

Katy Pitch
Wildeboer Dellelce LLP / Toronto
As a member of Wildeboer Dellelce LLP’s Tax Practice, Katy Pitch focuses on all areas of domestic and cross-border Corporate Income Tax Law, both public and private, and specializes in the taxation of executive compensation. Pitch is a member of the firm’s M&A Practice group and the Business Development and Student Committees. She has gone paperless in her practice and is frequently asked to participate in firm technology projects, including its document management system. Pitch authors user-friendly tax content for Tax Law Updates. She champions the firm’s women’s and green initiatives and is a member and speaker at Global Equity Organization. She supports the RBC’s Race for the Kids in support of Sunnybrook, volunteers with Ledbury Park Elementary School and Holy Blossom Synagogue and is an assistant coach of the North Toronto AAA Rookieball baseball team.

Christine Plante
Bennett Jones LLP / Calgary
Christine Plante’s general Commercial Litigation practice at Bennett Jones LLP has an emphasis on Civil Fraud Recovery, Employment Law and Shareholder Disputes. She has done fraud recovery litigation, including various Mareva injunctions, attachment orders and Anton Piller orders. Plante has developed an expertise in handling sensitive workplace investigations, including sexual harassment complaints and frauds. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, she has adapted her workplace investigation expertise to address complaints of sexual harassment, assault and discrimination. Plante organizes and edits the annual updates for textbooks Employee Obligations and Illness and Disability in the Workplace. She is a member of the Human Resources Committee and Board of Directors of the Brenda Strafford Society for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and provides pro bono assistance in litigation, human resource and workplace investigations to Calgary-based not-for-profits, including Calgary Legal Guidance and Wordfest.

Sangeetha Punniyamoorthy
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP / Toronto
Sangeetha Punniyamoorthy specializes in Intellectual Property Litigation at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP and has experience in litigating copyright, patent and trademark matters. She provides strategic advice in the procurement and enforcement of global brands in a variety of industries, with a focus on pharmaceuticals. Prior to attaining her law degree, Punniyamoorthy obtained a BSc in molecular biology. She has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada twice and won both times and she has been asked to testify in the Senate Hearings on Copyright Law Reform. She writes for some of Canada’s leading IP publications, serves on the Canada Amicus committee of the International Trademarks Association and is a Fellow of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada. Punniyamoorthy is on the Advisory Board of Canadian Tamil Professionals Association and is Director of Girls Inc. of York Region. She is Chair of the Ontario Bar Association IP-IT Section.

Leila Rafi
McMillan LLP / Toronto
A member of McMillan LLP’s Capital Markets and M&A Group in Toronto, Leila Rafi advises on a broad range of Corporate and Securities Law matters, including Director and Officer Indemnification and Corporate Governance. Rafi acts frequently for Canadian public corporations with respect to financings and continuous disclosure obligations and for investment managers and dealers in establishing investment products and public financing transactions. She acts for private corporations with respect to corporate reorganizations and M&A transactions. Rafi is the billing lawyer for all offerings of one of Canada’s major banks under its $7-billion linked-note program. She is Co-leader of McMillan’s US Initiative, Women’s Initiative and @startups. Rafi acts as a formal mentor to young female lawyers through the Women’s Law Association of Ontario and volunteers regularly at the Yonge Street Mission and the Law Society of Foundation Feed the Hungry Program.

Conrad Rego
McCarthy Tétrault LLP / Vancouver
Conrad Rego is a member of McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Real Property & Planning Group, focusing on all aspects of Commercial Real Estate with a particular emphasis on Real Estate Financing. He advises significant institutional and private landlords, developers, investors and lenders on a variety of residential, commercial, mixed-use and comprehensive projects. Rego has been lead transaction counsel on many sizable, complex, syndicated real estate financing transactions for key lending clients. He is a member of the firm’s Seniors Housing, Accounting, International Markets and Consumer and Retail Products industry groups. He is Co-chair of the Vancouver Office Markets Committee. Rego is the firm organizer for A Night of Miracles and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. gala sponsorship. He provides pro bono legal services and support and participates in the strategic advisory committee of the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund. He is on the NAIOP Board of Directors.

Caitlin Sainsbury
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP / Toronto
Caitlin Sainsbury is the Regional Manager of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s Commercial Litigation Group and has a broad Litigation and Dispute Litigation practice. She advises clients in Commercial Litigation matters, including complex commercial disputes, competition/antitrust and securities class actions. Sainsbury has extensive Securities Litigation experience, acting for dealers and individuals in civil and regulatory proceedings and investigations. She has represented companies in contested Mergers and Acquisition transactions. As part of her work for financial services clients, Sainsbury leads the team that encourages business development and maintains client relationships. She Co-chairs the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Regional Sub-Committee (Canada) on White Collar Crime and is Secretary of The Advocates’ Society’s Securities Litigation Practice Group. Sainsbury is a member of the Canada Committee for Human Rights Watch and the University of Toronto’s International Human Rights Program Alumni Committee.

Jaclyn Seidman
Goodmans LLP / Toronto
Jaclyn Seidman practises in the Entertainment Group at Goodmans LLP and is Co-head of one of the firm’s Business Law Groups. Her diverse practice focuses on Entertainment Law and Transactions involving media companies, social media and IP. Seidman advises several leading entertainment companies and is counsel to a major educational book publisher. Her broad range of transactions includes acquisitions, complex licensing arrangements and corporate reorganizations for clients in the film, TV, theatre, publishing and digital media industries. Seidman has been a board member of the Jewish Chamber of Commerce and the McGill Alumni Association — Toronto Branch. She is a founding Board member of The Advisory Council for McGill’s Women, Leadership and Philanthropy Initiative and has volunteered with the Corsage Project. She teaches business law courses at the University of Toronto Rotman Commerce Department and lectures on Entertainment Law at the University of Toronto Law School.

Ashley Smith
Saskatoon Police Service
Ashley Smith is Director of Legal Services for the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) and a member of its Executive Team. SPS Legal Services has more than 400 active legal files, manages hundreds of agreements, provides advice in all areas of law, and handles SPS litigation, inquests and officer discipline, as well as all access and privacy matters. Smith is counsel to the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police. She is counsel for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Smith Chairs the St. Thomas More College Board of Governors and the CBA Saskatchewan Privacy North Section and she is Vice-president of the STM Lawyers Guild. She is Past President of the Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association. She teaches Criminal Trial Advocacy and serves as a member of the Sopinka Cup Organizing Committee.

Michael B. Smith
TD Bank Group / Toronto
Michael Smith is Associate Vice President of TD’s Global Acquisitions, Divestitures and Strategic Investments legal team. He has served as Special Assistant to TD’s CFO on various significant projects. Smith has led and driven a number of highly strategic and transformational M&A Transactions and projects for TD. He has played a leading role in TD’s investment in fintech, including creating, designing and implementing an enterprise policy governing investments in strategic fintech companies and overseeing the legal function in numerous strategic investments by TD in fintech technologies. Smith has taken a major role in building a more diverse and inclusive culture at TD, including participating in the restructuring of TD’s Diversity and Inclusion counsel as part of a strategic review, leading the LGBTQ2S+ communications work stream and leading TD’s General Counsel’s People Manager Engagement Committee.

Scott A. Smith
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP / Vancouver
Working out of Gowling WLG’s Vancouver and Toronto offices, Scott A. Smith has a leading national practice at the confluence of environmental, energy, natural resource, and Indigenous law. He has a strong track record of successfully advising clients in high-profile, complex regulatory hearings and related litigation for major natural resource and energy projects across Canada. Smith also has extensive experience advising clients on the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples, as well as negotiating and drafting precedent-setting agreements between Indigenous people, proponents, and other governments. Smith is recognized as a thought-leader and a highly skilled negotiator in government-to-government negotiations. He is also deeply committed to increasing access to justice for Indigenous peoples — most recently providing pro bono legal information to members of a First Nation in connection with their treaty ratification process.

Andrew E. Stead
McMillan LLP / Calgary

Andrew Stead leads McMillan LLP’s Calgary Litigation team. His practice includes Product Liability Defence and Commercial Litigation with a focus on the energy sector and Regulatory Law. He has extensive experience in both Litigation and Arbitration, including defending product liability claims, energy (oil and gas), class actions and construction disputes, representing clients of all sizes in a wide range of industries. Stead has successfully obtained precedent-setting judgments on issues of contractual limitation of liability, the duties parties have in construction litigation, awards of solicitor-client costs, and the application of Section 121 of the Constitution. His pro bono activities include spearheading and supervising McMillan Calgary’s participation in the Duty Counsel program at the Calgary Courts Centre. Stead volunteers at Calgary Legal Guidance and he is the Marketing Chair for the Fire Science Litigation Specialized Litigation Group.

Daniel L. Stevenson
Cox & Palmer / Fredericton

Daniel Stevenson practises Corporate, Commercial, and Tax and Estate Planning matters at Cox & Palmer. He advises business owners, several banks and individuals in matters relating to Mergers and Acquisitions and mergers of businesses, commercial financings, tax driven reorganizations, venture-capital financings, commercial real estate and succession and estate planning. Stevenson is a member of the firm’s Student Recruitment Committee. He has served on numerous boards, including the Chalmers Foundation Inc., a registered charity that manages millions of dollars for the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton. He also serves on the board of the Brendon Oreto Foundation Inc., another registered charity that assists underprivileged children by facilitating their participation in sports across New Brunswick. He is a member of the New Brunswick Law Society’s Admissions Committee. He has lectured at the Law Society’s Bar Admission course and, in his spare time, coaches minor hockey.

Clarke Tedesco
Crawley MacKewn Brush LLP / Toronto

Clarke Tedesco’s practice at Crawley MacKewn Brush LLP focuses on Civil Litigation and Enforcement proceedings before securities regulators. He successfully defended a technology company and certain of its directors and officers in Halsey v. Genoil. Tedesco led a firm initiative to create a standardized precedent system, has been at the forefront in pushing for electronic integration and has had a key role in mentoring the firm’s juniors. He has also been actively involved in the development of new lines of business for the firm. Tedesco has acted as a mentor for young lawyers through the Toronto Lawyers Association. He participates in events put on by legal associations, including The Advocates’ Society, and he takes a leading role on the Governance Committee of a local golf club. He has a longstanding commitment to community sports, having organized a local hockey association for the last five years.

Tanya Walker
Walker Law Professional Corporation / Toronto

Tanya Walker of Walker Law Professional Corporation is certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a Specialist in Civil Litigation. Walker successfully represented the plaintiff in T.S. Publishing Group Inc. v. Shokar and argued a complex one-month misappropriation trial. From 2010 to 2015, she was an Adjudicator with the Assessment Review Board. After encountering discrimination in her early years of practice, Walker decided to strive to encourage members in the legal profession to participate in initiatives to reduce racism and sexism in law. In 2016, Walker was elected as a Bencher with the Law Society of Ontario as the first black elected female Bencher from Toronto and one of the youngest sitting Benchers. Walker was accepted into the Accenture mentorship program. She is a member of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and a member of the Law Society Tribunal.

Ashley Weldon
Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP / Calgary

Ashley Weldon advises Oil and Gas clients in Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP’s Energy Practice. She clerked at the Alberta Queen’s Bench before joining the firm. Her legal advice to energy clients includes royalty interpretation matters, joint-venture disputes and rights of first refusal. Weldon provided the foundational legal and contextual support to the firm’s litigators in Blaze Energy Ltd. v. Imperial Oil Resources. Weldon is Director of the Canadian Energy Law Foundation and is slated to become the Chair of CELF Energy Research Seminar, Jasper in 2020 and President in 2021. She is Director-at-large, Legal, Petroleum Joint Venture Association and a member of the Organizing Committee for the CELF Energy Research Seminar. She has been a Course Instructor for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Land Administrators. She is a regular volunteer server for the Calgary Drop-In Centre breakfast.

Sherry A. Wendt
Cenovus Energy Inc. / Calgary

As Director, Corporate Secretarial Legal, Associate General Counsel & Assistant Corporate Secretary at Cenovus Energy Inc., Sherry A. Wendt’s responsibilities cross multiple internal reporting lines and functional disciplines. Her experience includes leading and/or managing external and internal counsel, as well as organizing multidisciplinary internal teams on very complex corporate transactions and matters. Wendt played a significant role when Cenovus undertook high-profile transactions from 2015-17, including two material capital markets transactions, a material disposition and a transformational asset acquisition. She played a central role in advising internal transaction teams, organizing and coordinating work streams across multi-internal constituencies, and liaising with multiple external counsel in Canada and the US. Wendt is Corporate Secretary to the RCMP Foundation and has been coach/mentor with In the Lead, a leadership development program, and a mentor in the Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Branch Mentorship Program.

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