THIS YEAR, LEXPERT WELCOMED
Rising Stars alumni to its celebration in various ways. This included inviting alumnus Marc-André Blanchard, now Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, to be our keynote speaker. We took this opportunity to ask alumni, some of whose careers have taken turns since they won: “What did winning the Award mean to you in your career?”
McInnes Cooper partner Michelle Awad, QC, who would go on to earn more accolades in recognition of her litigation talents and success, had this to say: “Being named as one of Canada’s Rising Stars was a huge honour. At the time, I knew I worked hard to provide great service to clients, develop my practice skills and knowledge of the law, and give back to the profession and my community, but I did not have time, or perhaps the necessary perspective, to step back and assess whether I was making progress on those fronts. The national recognition by Lexpert gave me both a sense of accomplishment and the motivation to carry on with the highest level of dedication.”
In general, she added, the Award is “a distinguishing factor for the young lawyers chosen and it comes at a time when they are trying to build their professional reputations.”
, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of Canadian Tire Corp., similarly describes the Award as marking a pivotal point in his career. To be nominated by one’s firm, one’s colleagues, meant a lot to him. But it wasn’t just a time to rest on laurels, he observed. For Nathanson, it was an occasion to consider and plan the next phase of his career: what’s next? He made a career move about that same time.
Rising Stars Awards winners are increasingly drawn from various types of legal careers. Bindu Cudjoe, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer in the legal, corporate and compliance group of BMO Financial Group, noticed this trend: “For me, the Rising Star award was meaningful recognition that success in a legal career is more than the hours you bill or size of the deal. It acknowledges that success can be met pursuing a diversity of career choices — from private practice to inside counsel — on your own terms, at a pace that works for you. Just as importantly, the Award celebrates your personal aspirations and contributions beyond the profession, such as volunteering, board membership and teaching.”
In fact, one cannot win a Rising Stars Award at this point without making some sort of contribution to community or profession. Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
partner Melanie Shishler remarked: “The Award came at an important juncture when it was particularly gratifying to have the effort I had put into my career reach a point where it could be recognized by my peers and clients. This accolade remains special to me because it not only took my professional accomplishments into account, but also considered and valued the contributions I’ve devoted to our local community. Getting that balance right is a challenge for all of us and I continue to aspire to achieve it.”
Lexpert has made continuous efforts to achieve broader Diversity among Rising Stars winners. Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
partner Linc Rogers
noticed. “The recognition had unique resonance to me because I am a proud part of the ever changing face of Bay Street. When I speak to young associates from diverse backgrounds they often mention this Award and tell me it is something to which they also aspire. In its own way this Award has helped make me a better role model. The Lexpert Rising Stars Award has meant many things to my career, but none more important than that.”
Rogers also said it was an opportunity to share recognition with his team: “Whatever success I’ve achieved is largely a reflection of the confidence and support that my colleagues and mentors have placed in me over the years. So receiving the Lexpert Rising Star Award was particularly special to me because it was a recognition of the support of the outstanding team with whom I work. The sponsorship and guidance I received at Blakes never felt more tangible than in that moment.”
, of Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP
, saw it as a validation of the training he had received: “It gave a visible opportunity to credit the people who provided the opportunity for me to do the work which allowed me to be considered for the Award.” In Lisus’s case, this meant, particularly, Tom Heintzman and Niels Ortved
, from his then law firm, McCarthy Tétrault LLP
commended Lexpert for relatively early on recognizing in-house counsel in the Rising Stars Awards. Campbell, Group Head and General Counsel, TD Bank Group said, “While that might be more common now, it was definitely not at the time and it was very gratifying to see the unique contribution of the in-house Bar recognized. For me, personally, winning the award was quite meaningful. Not only did it make me feel great, but it also significantly raised my profile both in the legal community and within my organization.”
The profile-raising theme recurred in winners’ comments. Adrian Lang
, who has now moved to a senior business role at BMO said, “The really special thing about Rising Stars is that it coincides with that time in most of our careers where we were working hard to build our practices and our brands. It really gives a boost to your brand at a time when external validation of your abilities is so important.” Shishler, too, said the Award was an important start to building my public profile in the business and legal community.
Congratulations to the latest group of esteemed winners, the 2016 Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40.
Rahool P. Agarwal
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP > Toronto
Rahool Agarwal’s practice involves shareholder disputes, proxy battles, complex contractual claims, fraud claims and constitutional issues. He has acted as lead counsel for Merck in patent-related litigation against a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer and as co-counsel to Pfizer in a successful defence to a proposed class action by Viagra consumers. He has appeared before appeal courts in three provinces and five times before the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also acted in notable public-policy cases: R. v. N.S.
, on the right to wear a niqab during cross-examination; Rasouli v. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
, on physicians’ unilateral right to withdraw life support from minimally conscious patients; and Kazemi Estate v. Islamic Republic of Iran
, on state immunity to a civil claim for damages in state-sponsored torture. Rahool is a pro bono leader within the firm and the broader legal community.
Cox & Palmer > Charlottetown
Robin Aitken is Prince Edward Island counsel to many public companies, including a leading national grocer and a Big Three telecom provider. She was recently lead PEI counsel on a lengthy reorganization of a $75-million loan facility. She is the partner responsible for articling students and recruits students for each of the firm’s four PEI offices. She has developed an orientation program that provides students with the skills they need to succeed at the firm, and with the business-of-law knowledge to develop successful practices. Robin is a long-standing board member of Fitzroy Centre, serving individuals with mental-health issues. She supports and fundraises for the Canadian Mental Health Association on a regular basis and provides guidance on housing issues. She is, in addition, a board member of the Stars for Life Foundation for Autism.
BMO Financial Group > Toronto
Imdad Ali has led the legal group in a number of transformational initiatives to support stronger risk management and efficiencies through innovation. He led the restructuring of BMO’s external-counsel program that rationalized BMO’s panel of external law firms to approximately 120 from 1,000; implemented new technology for matter management and e-billing; implemented new policies and procedures across BMO that delivered immediate cost and risk-management benefits; and has become a model for non-legal transformation projects. He has since begun a new role as Legal Counsel and Senior Advisor on the technology and operations legal team, developing an enterprise-engagement model to manage the more than 100 matters the team receives monthly. Imdad supports the United Way, Community Living and the S.E.N.A.C.A. Seniors Day Program in Oakville, Ont. He has also acted as a coach with the Oakville Soccer Club.
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh > Ottawa
Daniel Anthony is a recognized expert in internet and domain-name law. He has been responsible for enforcing trademarks in Canada and the copyrights of hundreds of clients worldwide, including many on the Fortune 500. He has recovered dozens of infringing domain names and succeeded in more than a dozen domain-name arbitrations. He is a leader in resolving urgent internet issues, such as phishing scams and counterfeiting operations. He has acted in the appeal for a 10-year airline trademark dispute, with important repercussions for loyalty programs, and executed an Anton Piller order to shut down one of the world’s largest illegal movie-streaming services, securing judgment of $1.2 million in damages and costs. Daniel recently acted pro bono for the Alliance for Responsible Mining in securing Fairmined certification of ethically mined products.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP > Toronto
Ana Badour is a partner in the financial-services group, advising on regulatory compliance in the areas of consumer protection, anti-money-laundering and prudential requirements. Her recent work includes acting for banks and other financial institutions in drafting compliance policies, providing consumer-protection advice on credit cards and other financial products, and acting for a foreign bank establishing a Schedule III branch. She has also advised clients in the financial-technology, including GoldMoney, on regulatory matters for its bullion-based internet platform; an incoming lender on Canadian legal structuring issues, and an online fintech lender on various regulatory matters. She advised several banks on the regulatory and compliance implications of the SCC Marcotte
decision and acted for two global banks establishing branches in Canada. Ana has fostered strong relations with important clients, including major Canadian banks.
Dentons Canada LLP > Edmonton
Heather Barnhouse practises in mergers and acquisitions and corporate/commercial transactions, and assists entrepreneurs positioning their companies for growth. She has been lead counsel to a number of clients completing transactions of national and strategic importance, including the creation of a national insurance brokerage concurrent with a private-equity infusion. She is lead counsel to a complex international company with operations in Canada, the US, China, Barbados and Malta, leading the legal team in a leveraged buy-out and eliminating a private-equity group’s ownership in the entity without disturbing the existing Canadian and US banking facilities. She has developed extensive experience drafting and negotiating clinical-trial and other research and collaboration agreements, as well as with FDA regulatory processes, distribution arrangements and licensing strategies to expand clients’ reach globally.
Goodmans LLP > Toronto
Anne Benedetti has a wide-ranging administrative and municipal law practice, working closely with both private- and public-sector clients. The projects Anne is involved with cover every stage of the development approval process and extend to special regulatory issues such as environmental management. She has been extensively involved in Waterfront Toronto, involving the redevelopment of the West Don Lands. She has acted for private developers, including Oxford Properties, RioCan REIT and Allied Properties REIT, on projects ranging from office towers to mixed-use redevelopment, retail intensifications and greenfield residential subdivisions. She has appeared before municipal councils, committees of adjustment, the Ontario Municipal Board, the Conservation Review Board and the courts. Anne’s pro bono work includes assisting the family of Sir Frederick Banting in protecting the Banting Lands for their heritage value.
Stikeman Elliott LLP > Toronto
Andrea Boctor is head of the firm’s national pension and benefits group. She has worked on a number of complex pension firsts, including the unprecedented set of pension regulations achieved for Essar Steel Algoma in 2013 and 2014. That effort led to first-of-its-kind pension legislation in Ontario, enabling a company, its employees and their community to stave off a potential financial crisis. Another first is Andrea’s work with Eckler shortly after a company filed for CCAA protection. The mandate involves the first attempt to convert a private-sector defined-benefit pension plan to shared-risk, the first time such a plan was ordered by the pension regulator to be restored to a DB pension plan and the first time any of these issues were dealt with in a CCAA proceeding.
Suncor Energy Inc. > Calgary
Chris Brett is an up-and-coming leader in the Calgary legal community who manages legal risk while delivering business-oriented solutions. His recent work has included numerous complex acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures in oil and gas and renewable energy; structuring and negotiating sophisticated commercial agreements, including risk-participation agreements with international commercial banks; drafting and negotiating long-term pipeline transportation service agreements, including for the Fort Hills Oil Sands Project; and handling diverse pipeline regulatory matters. He has played a leading legal role in various wind power projects in Ontario, very quickly learning the Ontario feed-in-tariff regime and Ontario’s large-renewable-procurement regime. He has also taken on legal aspects of consultation and commercial arrangements with First Nations and Métis groups in the oil sands. Chris is a leader in United Way campaigns and an active supporter of minor hockey.
Langlois Lawyers, LLP > Montréal
Gabrielle Brochu practises civil and commercial litigation, with widely acknowledged expertise in construction, professional liability and disciplinary law. She has practised professional liability law before all levels of court for 15 years, defending doctors, chiropractors, lawyers, brokers, chartered evaluators, engineers and architects facing civil or disciplinary proceedings. Her recent high-profile work includes representing architects and their professional-liability fund against $15 million in claims alleging faulty insulation in condo chimney ducts; litigating a claim for more than $8 million in damages for allegedly faulty plumbing installations in the Mels Studios commercial building; and defending a day camp where a six-year-old child nearly drowned and is now severely handicapped. Gabrielle has taught at the École du Barreau du Québec since 2007 and volunteers at a suicide-prevention centre.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP > Montréal
Steeves Bujold practises medical law, pharmaceutical and commercial litigation, representing the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). He acts on more than 100 cases per year, the great majority of which are sensitive and complex, requiring tact, empathy and timely action and involving allegations of insufficient diligence, breach of professional standards and negligence. He takes a holistic view to ensure that practical legal and risk-management advice are balanced with business and reputational priorities. In Canada’s first class action involving prescription-drug product liability, he was responsible for expert scientific evidence, assembling a team of highly qualified experts in record time after the client transferred the case from another firm. Steeves is a governor of La Fondation du Barreau du Québec, leads the firm’s pro bono work and played a central role in scaling up pro bono work in Québec.
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP > Montréal
Gabriel Castiglio is recognized for the size and complexity of the securities and M&A transactions he negotiates, structures and closes. These include a leading role in advising Fiera Capital on the acquisition of Ohio-based Apex Capital Management for US$145 million; the creation of a joint venture with Toronto-based Aquila Infrastructure Management to form a $500-million infrastructure management platform; a secondary offering by National Bank of shares of Fiera for $114 million; and the acquisition of Bel Air Investment Advisors and Wilkinson O’Grady & Co. for US$156 million. He advised BMTC Group in various transactions during 2015, including capital reorganization to eliminate a dual-class share structure and the repurchase of 15.5 per cent of share capital for $108 million. Gabriel has provided pro bono advice to charitable organizations such as Théâtre La Chapelle and the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation.
Stewart McKelvey > Halifax
Level Chan is a leader in the pensions and employee benefits team who has grown the scope and profile of the practice. His work includes advising on pension and benefits matters in the $5.8-billion purchase of Safeway by Sobeys; assisting the Province of New Brunswick in Charter challenges to the implementation of the Public Service Shared Risk Plan; advising on pension administration and investment matters for the provincial public sector and utility pension plans in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland; advising on pension plan amendments and collective bargaining at universities in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island; and advising pension plans on amendment and conversion to shared-risk or target-benefit plans in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Level has had leadership roles in promoting diversity and inclusion in the profession and the firm.
Kate A. Crawford
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP > Toronto
Kate Crawford is a litigator in medical malpractice actions, class actions and administrative law. She represented the Hospital for Sick Children in the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario at several months of hearings. She regularly represents medical leaders in proceedings relating to physicians’ privileges under the Public Hospitals Act
, where she forges solutions — both collaborative and litigated — to issues of patient care and safety, physicians’ livelihoods and reputations, and professional licensing. She represented Toronto East General Hospital at the JKE Inquest, a lengthy probe into police and health-care interactions with the mentally ill. She also represented SickKids in the Motherisk Hair Analysis Independent Review and acts as the hospital’s lead counsel in the proposed class action arising from the Motherisk review.
Torys LLP > Toronto
Gillian Dingle practises civil litigation in corporate and securities law. She advises capital markets participants on regulatory matters and internal investigations and provides representation in civil and regulatory proceedings and regulatory investigations. She focuses on disclosure, securities class actions, and defending investment dealers and brokers in trading-related matters. She also represents corporations in contested-transaction matters. Recent actions include representing two underwriters in a proposed securities class action alleging misrepresentation by a mining company and certain officers and directors; representing a Canadian Schedule I bank in a securities class action alleging disclosure violations related to the US subprime mortgage market; and representing Manulife Financial in a securities class action and a secondary-market class action concerning the disclosure of risk-management and equity-market risk of Manulife’s variable annuity products. Gillian co-founded the Litigation Assistance Program at the OSC.
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP > Toronto
Larry Ellis practises insolvency and restructuring law. He has acted for numerous secured creditors in high-profile recovery efforts, including Warner Bros., Fox and Sony in the Blockbuster receivership. He regularly acts for major banks in CCAA and receivership proceedings and for court officers in CCAA, BIA and receivership proceedings. This includes acting for Grant Thornton in the receivership and wind-up of Triwest Construction and for Richter in its capacity as court-appointed monitor for restructuring Bowring and Bombay. He acts in international fraud cases, including for Isle of Man Joint Liquidators and local receivers in recovering Banners Broker assets for more than 100,000 creditors across some 100 countries. Larry was also part of a KPMG team for the Portus Group receivership, involving $800 million of investor funds at risk in Canada’s largest hedge fund scandal.
Laura L. Emmett
Lerners LLP > London, Ont.
Laura Emmett is an outstanding insurance defence litigator. In Montepeque v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, she was co-counsel representing the defendant, State Farm, in a five-week trial in which the jury found there was no liability and no damages were awarded. Other notable actions include obtaining a court order under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act barring a respondent’s civil claim against an applicant; obtaining summary judgment that the limitation period for claiming non-earner benefits had expired; blocking a motion for summary judgment against a statutory third-party client; on appeal, upholding an arbiter’s ruling requiring production of medical records from a tort action and ordering the neuro-psychological assessment of an insured party. Laura is President of the Red Shoe Society, which has raised more than $300,000 for Ronald McDonald House.
Nils F. Engelstad
Alamos Gold Inc. > Toronto
Nils Engelstad is Vice President and General Counsel of Alamos Gold Inc. He has had legal oversight and responsibility for entering into a $150-million credit facility with a syndicate of banks, amending Alamos’s previous credit facility; acquiring Carlisle Goldfields by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement valued at approximately $30 million; combining with AuRico Gold in a merger valued at approximately US$1.5 billion; managing and settling a bet-the-project mining dispute valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars; completing a $60-million US and Canadian concurrent rights offering for McEwen Mining; and creating McEwen Mining from the US$1.4-billion merger of US Gold Corp. and Minera Andes. Nils serves as a director of both the international aid group War Child Canada and the Rumie Initiative, which provides affordable education around the world by distributing tablet computers.
Alexander K. Fane
Bull, Housser & tupper LLP > Vancouver
Alexander Fane is a partner in Bull Housser’s real estate group, focusing on large, complex and publicly important development projects. He has acted as lead counsel to Century Group Lands Corp. on the redevelopment of a shopping centre in Tsawwassen, BC, into a mixed-use residential and commercial community; to Aspac Developments Ltd. for a multi-billion-dollar residential-commercial development project in Richmond, BC; and BC Pavilion Corp. (PavCo) in the rezoning, development and operation of a $450-million casino/hotel complex next to BC Place. The rezoning approval process was highly contentious, requiring agreements on land exchanges, parks, streets and other public infrastructure. Alexander is a co-organizer of the annual Battle of the Bar Bands, raising $500,000 for the BC Chapter of the CBA Benevolent Society and a board member of Three Links Care Society, supporting Vancouver seniors’ housing.
Goodmans LLP > Toronto
Brenda Gosselin is a corporate and securities lawyer, focusing on corporate finance, restructuring, M&A and corporate governance. She advises companies on corporate governance and continuous disclosure obligations and has acted for RioCan REIT in its $250-million debenture offering, $230-million equity offering and issuance of $126 million in preferred trust units, a first for a Canadian REIT; for Milestone Apartments REIT in its $228.5-million IPO; for backstop financiers in a US$50-million liquidity backstop facility for Mood Media via non-brokered private placement; for Sherritt International on its extension of the maturity dates on $720 million worth of outstanding notes; and for Masonite International in the financial restructuring of US$2.2 billion of debt and its emergence from CCAA protection. Brenda is a former chair of the United Way committee who earned the firm its first Spirit Award nomination.
Jennifer L. Grossklaus
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP > Toronto
Jennifer Grossklaus is a partner in the M&A, corporate/commercial, capital markets and mining practices. She has become a key player in complex M&A transactions, including Barrick Gold’s US$1-billion sale of a 50-per-cent interest in the Zaldívar copper mine, an auction process requiring her to assess several transaction structures; Barrick’s US$610-million sale to Kinross of non-core assets in Nevada, including the negotiation of a new 50/50 joint venture; New Gold’s sale of a 30-per-cent interest in the El Morro project to Goldcorp, complicated by a larger transaction in which Goldcorp and Teck Resources combined their El Morro and Relincho properties into a 50/50 joint venture; McKesson’s $3-billion acquisition of Rexall and related businesses; and Wind Mobile’s acquisition by Shaw for $1.6 billion. Jennifer is Board Chair of e.p.i.c. School, a non-profit specializing in early education.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP > Toronto
Colleagues recognize Amanda Heale for cutting-edge taxation work, tireless dedication to developing students and associates, and her commitment to the profession. In 2004/05, she clerked with the Honourable Morris Fish of the Supreme Court of Canada. Today she advises on international tax issues, transfer pricing, domestic and cross-border M&A and tax litigation. Her work includes representing Silver Wheaton in its pending transfer-pricing appeal in the Tax Court of Canada; Hydro One in its $1.66-billion IPO; GlaxoSmithKline in its successful appeal to the SCC regarding the transfer price of the active ingredient in a branded pharmaceutical; Valeant Pharmaceuticals in its $8.7-billion acquisition of Bausch + Lomb; Walter Energy in its $3.3-billion acquisition of Western Coal; and Kinross Gold in its $7-billion acquisition of Red Back Mining.
Pitblado LLP > Winnipeg
Paul Hesse established the firm’s immigration practice, succeeding primarily through word of mouth, community engagement and referrals from former clients. His success is best demonstrated by his consistent ability to secure permanent residence in challenging cases, including child medical inadmissibility, humanitarian and compassionate cases, appeals and judicial reviews. He has spoken around the world on immigration, including addressing audiences in Africa, China and across Canada. He has also spoken on immigration law topics at Winnipeg’s Legal Help Centre. He is past Chair of the Immigration Section of the Manitoba Bar Association, a past President of the Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba
and also served as Manitoba’s representative for Immigration to Western Canada at the CBA’s Annual Immigration Conference. Paul co-founded and served as founding President of the Manitoba LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
Bruce A. Hibbard
Bennett Jones LLP > Calgary
Bruce Hibbard has advised on Canadian and international transactions that stand out for their range, complexity and scope. They include acting as lead Canadian counsel to Lagardère Travel Retail in its US$530-million acquisition of airport travel retailer Paradies; Canadian counsel to EnerVest Energy Foreign Holdings XIV-C, et al., on its $2.5-billion energy fund; Canadian counsel to EnCap Energy Capital Fund X-C, L.P. in offering and closing its US$6.5-billion energy fund; counsel to Westport Innovations in its US$273.5-million public offering in the US and Canada and US$54-million IPO on NASDAQ; and counsel to Enerflex Systems Income Fund in its $700-million acquisition by Toromont Industries. Bruce is a sessional professor with the University of Calgary Faculty of Law, where he teaches mergers and acquisitions. In addition, he has coached youth soccer with Calgary Southwest United.
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP > Calgary
Brenden Hunter has been counsel in more than 20 contested hearings before Alberta regulators over the past 10 years. Almost all of the work was for applicants, and each application was successfully permitted and upheld on appeal where challenged. He recently represented AltaLink Management Ltd. as lead counsel in three successive contested transmission-facility hearings in Q2 2016 before the Alberta Utilities Commission on the $190-million Cooking Lake, $120-million Harry Smith and $105-million Calgary Southwest Ring Road developments. Brenden also practises Aboriginal law and is a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation. For three years he has acted as lead counsel for TransCanada on the $15.7-billion Energy East Pipeline Project, negotiating agreements with more than 50 First Nations and other Aboriginal communities. Brenden has been an executive of the Aboriginal Law Section (South) of the Canadian Bar Association.
Whistler Blackcomb Holdings, Inc. > Whistler, BC
Thierry Keable has played a leading role in many high-profile deals at previous firms. He is now General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings (WB). His successes include acting as a key advisor on WB’s critical negotiations with the province and First Nations for renewal of its 60-year operating leases; advising on WB’s $345-million, long-term strategic plan; advising on all risk-management matters for WB’s Canadian operations and mountain-biking events on three continents; acting for MacDonald, Dettwiler on its US$875-million acquisition of the satellite manufacturing business of Loral Space & Communications; participating in two of Lexpert
’s Top Deals for 2012; and acting for TELUS on the collapse of its dual-class share structure and proxy fight with Mason Capital — a Lexpert
Top 10 Deal in 2012.
TD Bank Group > Toronto
Marlo Kravetsky led the internal investigation of the most significant securities regulatory issue facing a bank-owned investment dealer in recent history. The case concerned structural issues within TD’s systems that led to qualifying clients not being placed in lower-cost-proprietary mutual-fund products and embedded advisor fees not being excluded from the fixed-account management fee in fee-based investment accounts. She was responsible for self-reporting to the Ontario Securities Commission and industry groups. She developed a remediation program ensuring fair treatment to affected clients, managed remediation across four business lines and developed a legal strategy to manage regulatory risk. She also led settlement of a several-hundred-million-dollar claim against TD in the collapse of the Icelandic banking system following the 2008 financial crisis. Marlo is a member of the diversity and inclusion committee of the Bank Group’s legal department.
Stikeman Elliott LLP > Montréal
Sophie Lamonde has led legal teams on large, highly complex M&A transactions, with emphasis on private-equity and cross-border deals. She was a key member of the team representing TELUS in its $600-million sale of a 35-per-cent stake in TELUS International to Baring Private Equity Asia. She acted on Taylor Morrison’s divestiture of Monarch to Mattamy Homes for $330 million; the $366-million sale of KRG Capital-backed Focus Corp. to WSP Global; and the sale of Astral Media to BCE for $3.8 billion. She also played central roles in restructurings, including the voluntary wind-down of Penson Financial Services Canada, in which $10 billion in assets held for clients was transferred; and the global restructuring of the AbitibiBowater Group. Sophie sits on boards of the Théâtre de Quat’Sous
and Fondation PalliAmi
, which support Notre-Dame Hospital’s palliative-care unit.
Torys LLP > Toronto
Martha MacDonald has practised tax controversy and litigation exclusively since her 2005 call to the Bar. She trained under industry leaders at a previous firm before becoming a partner in 2014. In 2015, she was recruited to lead and grow tax litigation at Torys. That year she won a significant motion for two ConocoPhillips subsidiaries on the scope of discovery in cross-border transfer-pricing cases and argued a GST test case for Great-West Life, affecting a dozen appeals. She has attracted litigation mandates from BMO and Canada Life Group Insurance. As a junior, Martha acted on landmark cases, including the leading case on the interpretation of Canada’s modern transfer-pricing regime for General Electric. While at law school, Martha volunteered at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva and for a refugee legal aid clinic in Cairo.
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan > Toronto
Mariana MacIntosh is a Senior Legal Counsel at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, nominated by McCarthy Tétrault LLP
and endorsed by Stikeman Elliott LLP
and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
. She consistently exhibits talent, communication skills, maturity and legal and practical understanding beyond her years. In the face of the pension industry’s increasing regulatory challenges, she has consistently achieved creative legal solutions. Examples include a collaborative and creative solution in a transaction that resulted in long-term savings to the fund of hundreds of millions of dollars and providing critical support in the implementation of changes to OTPP’s funding policy for long-term sustainability, requiring a deep understanding of actuarial principles. Mariana has volunteered with the Mothercraft Society, Roots of Empathy, Toronto Distress Centres, Pro Bono Law Ontario and the Unaccompanied Minors Project.
Susan E. Marsh
Morneau Shepell Ltd. > TorontO
Susan Marsh is General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Risk Officer at Morneau Shepell. She is responsible for managing a legal team of four lawyers and one assistant; leading and overseeing mergers and acquisitions, litigation management and compliance, privacy and security matters; creating and leading the enterprise risk-management program, business continuity and crisis management and insurance portfolio; maintaining all corporate licences, permits and registrations; ensuring compliance with securities and exchange regulatory requirements; acting as a strategic and tactical legal advisor to the board; and the overall management of effective board and shareholder meetings. Through her activities at Morneau Shepell, Susan supports the Kakuma project, including running half-marathons each year. Kakuma is a partnership between Morneau and the United Nations refugee agency supporting girls’ education in Kenya.
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP > Vancouver
Graeme Martindale practises in securities and capital markets, corporate finance, M&A and corporate law, focusing on mining. He has worked on some of the largest deals in the Canadian market and played a lead role in Northern Property REIT’s $840-million acquisition of True North REIT, one of the largest residential REIT transactions in Canadian history, involving counsel in eight provinces and two territories across multiple practice areas; a company-saving transaction for an international copper-mining client, involving corporate-securities, financial services, employment, tax and environmental lawyers in Canada and US; the $470-million acquisition of Lumina Copper by First Quantum Minerals; and the $1.5-billion acquisition of Minefinders by Pan American Silver. Graeme is pro bono counsel to Whistler Adaptive Sports Program Society, providing athletic programs for those with physical or cognitive disabilities.
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP > Toronto
Laurent Massam has been involved in large, complex IP and commercial litigations for some of the firm’s largest clients. He is regularly sought out for leading roles by both IP and advocacy teams. Laurent assisted greatly in the transition of corporate counsel at BASF when the client contact moved on. He has become a trusted IP litigator on a full range of complex subject matters, from trademarks and domain names to copyright, board matters and patents. He is known for his sound litigation instincts, negotiation skills and an ability to analyze IP matters and complex commercial issues. He has been selected for the firm’s Emerging Opportunities Think Tank. Laurent has provided pro bono legal advice through Pro Bono Law Ontario and Lawyers for Aboriginal Arts. For two years he has headed the firm’s IP pro bono team.
McInnes Cooper > St. John’s
Beth McGrath practises in energy and natural resources, commercial law, corporate finance and banking and financial services. She represented the provincial government in both the Hebron and Hibernia South Extension projects, advising on Crown royalties, industrial and employment benefits plans, dispute resolution, regulatory licensing and project development. Beth was counsel for the government of Newfoundland on project development and the $6-billion financing of the Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Development Project. She was counsel for Ocean Choice International in its $160-million purchase of Fishery Products International. She was Counsel to the Provincial Health Authority during the Cameron Inquiry (2007/08) into the erroneous and delayed reporting of breast-cancer test results, and Executive Secretary to the Review Commission on Constituency Allowances. Beth serves on the boards of the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation and the YMCA (NL).
McMillan LLP > Calgary
Greg McIlwain focuses on complex corporate transactions, including international and domestic mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, reorganizations and joint ventures. He also advises United States and international businesses on establishing and structuring Canadian operations. He has recently acted for a Canadian environmental consulting company in its sale to a US-based buyer; a publicly traded US energy company in the development of a Canadian petrochemical facility; a US buyer purchasing and financing a portfolio of Canadian franchised fast-food restaurants; a US private equity in the purchase and financing of a Canadian oil and gas services company; a publicly traded US energy company in the “dropdown” of $1 billion of Canadian assets to a master limited partnership; and for Arcturus Realty in the sale to SNC-Lavalin Operations & Maintenance. Greg is Chair of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Oncology Camps.
Michael L. Mjanes
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP > Vancouver
Michael Mjanes is a member of the real estate and corporate/commercial groups with a complex list of engagements that includes acting as lead counsel to the Simon Fraser Student Society on the financing, construction and leasing of a new $55-million student union building on SFU’s Burnaby campus; acting for the Oppenheimer Group, a fresh-produce distribution and marketing company, in its phased sale to Total Produce; acting for Canfor in its $65-million acquisition of the Elko and Canal Flats sawmills; acting for StorageVault Canada on multiple strategic-asset acquisitions; and acting for an emerging energy company in its Series A financing round, including negotiation of subscription agreements, security holders’ agreement and debenture issuances. Michael is involved in Access Pro Bono, where he has provided a free monthly legal clinic to economically disadvantaged people.
Axess Law Professional Corp. > Toronto
Mark Morris aims to be a workflow pioneer. Through Axess Law, he has been instrumental in building processes that allow for the daily delivery of commoditized legal services, enabling many thousands of files to be transacted on a monthly basis. His daily business activity involves building repetitive simplicity into everyday legal processes. Innovations include: bringing volume-based legal services to consumers; open-concept legal services that maintain solicitor-client privilege; transactional recording of interactions to recall individual instructions and interactions; flat-fee disaggregated pricing on a limited number of items; and opening hours that match retail need. Last fiscal year Axess Law served over 40,000 Ontarians. Mark has been a volunteer with the adult literacy program at the Toronto Public Library and is a board member of the parental engagement committee of his children’s school.
WeirFoulds LLP > Toronto
Ryan Morris is Co-chair of the tax group at WeirFoulds. He is a top Canadian tax counsel to sophisticated domestic and international clients. He recently assisted a Fortune 500 company with an internal reorganization, won an important tax dispute for one of its franchisees and advised on several compliance matters. He has significant experience advising issuers, including a Big Five bank, on sophisticated tax-focused investment products. He is regularly the lead tax lawyer for M&A transactions, including then publicly listed Soltoro on a share disposition by plan of arrangement to Agnico Eagle Mines. He has acted as lead counsel on tax disputes, up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada. Ryan has introduced the WeirFoulds Access to Justice Tax Dispute Program to provide self-represented litigants with duty counsel at the Tax Court of Canada.
Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP > Vancouver
Denise Nawata is an M&A and securities lawyer focused on cross-border deals and public and private capital market transactions. Denise’s transactions in the past year include: representing Intrexon Corp., a global leader in synthetic biology, in its US$40-million acquisition by plan of arrangement of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.; acting as BC counsel for the Orion Mine Finance Group in the US$540-million construction financing package to advance the Pretium Resources Inc. mine; and acting as part of the deal team that represented Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. in a US$750-million merger with Oncore Biopharma, Inc., to create a global leader focused on an oral cure for hepatitis B. Last year Denise joined the faculty of UBC’s Sauder School of Business as an adjunct professor to help design an inaugural course on international mining law.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP > Calgary
Terri-Lee Oleniuk’s practice focuses on project-related issues in natural resource development and regulatory, environmental and Aboriginal law. Her recent work includes representing BluEarth Renewables in the first hearing into development of an Alberta wind farm; playing a key role in securing approvals for the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project for Nalcor Energy — a $10.3-billion, 3,000-megawatt dam project opposed by ENGOs, Aboriginal groups and landowners, which withstood eight separate court challenges by ENGOs and Aboriginal groups; and managing the hearing process for Kinder Morgan’s proposed $6.8-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, including leading preparation of the final 450-page argument, after which the NEB recommended approval; and leading TransCanada’s submission to the NEB hearing on pipeline abandonment. Terri-Lee has served 10-plus years as Board Chair at the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta.
Scotiabank > Toronto
Stacey Parker-Yull is responsible for overseeing global executive compensation and pension/benefits at Scotiabank. Her recent projects include acting as lead counsel on an outsourcing arrangement between the bank and an East Indian technology company; resolution of numerous cross-border compensation/pension issues; analysis of proposed changes to the US Internal Revenue Code, TSX Security-based Compensation Rules, etc. under the Dodd-Frank Act
in the bank’s acquisition of ING Group; acting as lead counsel on legal and implementation issues in the redesign of the bank’s Canadian pension and employee-share-ownership plan; acting as lead counsel on the current redesign of the bank’s international pension strategy; and acting as lead counsel on a compliance review of the bank’s annual compensation plans. Stacey mentors law students at the bank and the U of T Faculty of Law.
Sacha R. Paul
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP > Winnipeg
Sacha Paul has a diverse civil litigation and Indigenous law practice. He has acted for a number of large hydroelectric utilities and mining companies engaging with Indigenous groups in resource development. He has assisted in drafting complex agreements to address development impacts. In Canada v. Khadr
he represented Amnesty International before the Supreme Court of Canada concerning Canada’s obligations to assist a citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay. He also acted before human-rights tribunals respecting complaints against governmental bodies in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and for the Province of Manitoba in the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry into the Manitoba child-welfare system. Sacha is a board member of the Misericordia Health Centre Foundation and has volunteered for its Angel Squad to help raise money for the foundation.
Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP > Toronto
Gregory Power is a human-resources lawyer and problem-solver with a nationwide practice. His recent work includes representing a publicly traded company in a wrongful dismissal and reprisal case involving allegations the company engaged in bribery and corruption with foreign government officials; representing a police services board at arbitration in an officer’s public allegations of discrimination based on PTSD; and acting as lead HR counsel to a global courier company in the sale of its Canadian business. This involved managing a legal team to address labour relations, employment, human-rights and pension law in multiple jurisdictions, a task made more complex because local HR staff were unaware of the sale and could not be consulted. Greg has also served as a U of T Student Mentor and led Hicks Morley’s participation in Bikes for Tykes in support of children with cancer.
Cameron M. Proctor
PrairieSky Royalty Ltd. > Calgary
Cameron Proctor joined PrairieSky Royalty (PSK) in February 2014 to guide the largest energy IPO in Canadian history. He played an integral legal role in creating a company with a $5-billion enterprise value. In September 2014 he led the secondary offering of PSK shares held by former parent Encana. In November 2014 he led PSK’s $750-million acquisition of Range Royalty and in December 2015 he led PSK’s acquisition of royalty assets from Canadian Natural Resources for $1.8 billion and concurrent $680-million non-brokered private placement. Prior to joining PSK, he was Executive Vice-president, Chief Legal Officer and Director of Sinopec Canada. His responsibilities included a $1.1-billion joint venture with Chesapeake Energy, the acquisition of a 15-per-cent interest in Pacific NorthWest LNG and a proposed $11-billion liquefied natural gas project that is operated by Petronas.
Derek D. Ricci
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP > Toronto
Derek Ricci is a litigation partner whose recent work includes acting for Vale in connection with the multi-billion-dollar Voisey’s Bay Project dispute; Sears Canada in settling a $100-million commercial dispute; Ontario Lottery and Gaming in successfully defending a claim concerning the legality of roulette gaming; Domino’s Pizza in multiple commercial disputes; Barrick Gold in successfully defending substantial royalty-related claims by Newmont Mining; and MI Developments in successfully defending a precedent-setting oppression remedy application. He acted for the plaintiff in the firm’s first class action and for defendants such as CIBC, GMP Securities, Nevsun Resources and Barrick Gold in major securities class actions. Derek has been a member of the firm’s Professional Development and Student Committees and is a mentor to business students at the University of Ottawa.
Cenovus Energy Inc. > Calgary
As a seventh-year lawyer, Kate Ryder’s accomplishments and responsibilities are truly remarkable. In 2015, she led negotiation and successful settlement of a $40-million construction dispute. She currently manages and works directly with external counsel on all of Cenovus’s most significant litigation matters. In the past year, she has been responsible for aggregating and standardizing Cenovus’s litigation-management practice. She also acts as counsel or lead counsel on matters related to an industry-leading general partnership between Cenovus and ConocoPhillips, for which Cenovus acts as managing partner and operator. She has demonstrated the ability to extend beyond the role of legal counsel and contribute to corporate strategy. Kate is a board director for the Indefinite Arts Society, which promotes opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. She also volunteers with Student Legal Assistance at the University of Calgary.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP > Toronto
Kurt Sarno specializes in M&A, private equity and joint ventures and co-leads the private-equity group. He was the lead or key member of teams that advised CBS on worldwide reorganization of its International Distribution Business; Baring Private Equity Asia on its investment in TELUS International; Aecon Group and Airport Development on the sale of their majority interest in the Quito, Ecuador International Airport; Wynnchurch Capital on its investment in Carson Air; Kraft Heinz on its international post-merger integration; Holcim in its merger with Lafarge; Wynnchurch Capital on its acquisition and subsequent sale of NSC Minerals; and CBS on the worldwide reorganization of its outdoor advertising business. In addition, Kurt has done pro bono work for Habitat for Humanity and fundraising for the United Way.
Nicole K. Skuggedal
Lawson Lundell LLP > Vancouver
Nicole Skuggedal’s legal practice ranges across a number of industry groups where she is involved in complex arbitrations, human-rights tribunals, collective bargaining, negotiations and court cases. These include acting as co-counsel to the appellant in one case involving constitutional authority over labour relations of First Nations organizations, which reached the Supreme Court of Canada; acting as counsel to the mediator in highly contentious public-sector collective bargaining involving the British Columbia teachers’ dispute; advising Weyerhaeuser on litigation regarding employees entitlement to pension benefits post-termination and related pension valuations; resolving grievances on post-retirement health-care benefits of 1,500 Weyerhaeuser retirees; and developing collective bargaining strategies to reduce risks of unionization in northern municipalities, the film industry and the education sector. Nicole donates time to the Western Canada Society to Access Justice as a pro bono clinic volunteer.
Royal Bank of Canada > Toronto
Kathrine Smirle has done exceptional work in private practice and as in-house counsel for the Royal Bank of Canada. She is responsible for litigation management, class actions and providing legal advice to key stakeholders and corporate groups. Her ability to quickly and directly get to the heart of complex matters has made her an invaluable business asset. Prior to her role at Royal Bank, she worked in litigation for Ogilvy Renault LLP, advising noted clients on regulatory matters, class actions and general civil and commercial disputes, particularly large-value corporate/commercial litigation of trusts and estates, as well as business restructuring and receiverships. Kathrine is committed to justice, inclusion and equality, working for Women Gaining Ground, the Liberal Party of Ontario and East Coast Connected, fostering the Atlantic Canada community in Ontario.
Susan M. Tomaine
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP > Vancouver
Susan Tomaine works in the cross-border M&A and private-equity fields, across industries including mining, technology, biotech, retail and manufacturing. She has taken a lead role on highly complex transactions, including representing Kaminak Gold in its acquisition by Goldcorp for $520 million; Indochino Apparel in a $42-million investment by Dayang Group; GCT Global Container Terminals in its $1.02-billion refinancing; Lundin Gold in its US$240-million acquisition of the Fruta del Norte Project from Kinross Gold; QuadraFNX Mining in its $3.5-billion sale to KGHM Polska Miedz; T & T Supermarket in its $225-million acquisition by Loblaw Cos.; and Lucara Diamond in the $72-million acquisition of the Karowe Mine in Botswana. Susan is a leader of the Vancouver-based Women’s General Counsel Forum providing providing, mentoring and development opportunities to in-house lawyers.
Jason W.J. Woycheshyn
Bennett Jones LLP > Toronto
Jason Woycheshyn is a leading lawyer in complex commercial banking and shareholder litigation. His mandates have included: representing Bank of Montreal in fraud recovery lawsuits arising from cheque-kiting and other fraudulent cross-border schemes, obtaining multiple Norwich Pharmacal Orders and Mareva Injunctions and recovering millions of dollars; representing Citibank, N.A. in successful opposition to BlackRock Asset Management Canada Ltd. efforts at obtaining declaratory relief under the Plan of Compromise and Arrangement, which restructured the $32-billion, third-party asset-backed commercial paper market; representing the Special Committee of Coventree Inc. in response to an OSC investigation and a 50-day hearing into public disclosure immediately before the collapse of the Canadian asset-backed commercial paper market. In 2014, Jason volunteered, at his own expense, as an international election observer for Ukraine’s presidential elections in the midst of a revolution.
Kim J. Yee
Harper Grey LLP > Vancouver
In the practice of health law and insurance law, Kim Yee has consistently demonstrated a range of insight, legal acumen and strategic thinking. Her clients include health professionals and two national retail chains involved in high-severity, bodily injury and product-liability actions. Recent court cases include a multi-party carbon monoxide poisoning; drug recalls; spinal cord and brain injuries; multiple amputations; burn injuries; infant claims; coroners’ inquests following fatalities; and risk-management advice and litigation in fertility law. In addition, she works to keep her clients out of court proceedings. Her gravitas and experience are recognized and respected by coroners, mediators, co-defendant counsel and opposing counsel. Kim’s involvement in the community has included student legal services, the Hope Mission and the AIDS/HIV network of Edmonton. She is also a supporter of British Columbia Guide Dogs, helping with fundraising as well as the organization’s annual charity event.