Rising Stars 2020

Despite a year of many challenges, the legal profession’s future has never looked brighter as a new group of leaders emerge
It is our pleasure to present this year’s Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40. 2020 has been a year of cataclysmic upheaval. COVID-19 has changed our whole world, impacting everything from our social lives to our working habits. However, this does not mean we should not be celebrating new talent in the legal profession.

In fact, in a time of disruption and uncertainty, recognizing new leaders is more vital than ever. Even though we were not able to celebrate their accomplishments in person, the legal profession’s future looks bright as we acknowledge its emerging leaders.  These are the lawyers who will be seizing the opportunity to ensure the profession emerges even stronger than it was before COVID-19.

The Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 awards recognize lawyers from law firms, in-house departments and other practices. Members of the legal profession in Canada were invited to nominate qualified lawyers who made outstanding contributions in their careers thus far.

We received hundreds of outstanding nominations and a short list of candidates was sent to our esteemed Advisory Board, comprised of 36 private practice and in-house counsel leaders. We thank the Advisory Board for dedicating their time to selecting and awarding excellence.

Congratulations to all the winners. We know you will be inspired by reading about their outstanding accomplishments. Despite the challenges we face today, the future of our profession has never looked brighter.

 

KYLE B. PLUNKETT

Aird & Berlis LLP

Partner

 

Kyle Plunkett is a partner at Aird & Berlis and a member of the firm’s Financial Services Group. He divides his practice equally between commercial restructuring matters and M&A and financing work. 

Kyle is a go-to-lawyer for many court-appointed officers and receivers in insolvency and restructuring matters. His practice encompasses both the litigation and commercial aspects of turnarounds, reorganizations, liquidations, security enforcement, receiverships and plans of arrangement in the context of formal and informal restructuring proceedings. Kyle has acted for and advised secured and unsecured creditors, debtor-in-possession lenders, debtors, suppliers, boards of directors, chief restructuring officers, purchasers, receivers, interim receivers, Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) monitors and bankruptcy trustees. He regularly advises on issues relating to reorganizations under the CCAA, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Canada Business Corporations Act.

Kyle also acts on a regular basis for Schedule I banks and other lenders on complex cash-flow and asset-based lending transactions as well as syndicated, secured, mezzanine and subordinated debt matters, both domestic and cross-border.

Kyle is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association, the Toronto Lawyers Association, the Turnaround Management Association and the Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce. His articles have been printed in industry publications, including the Banking & Finance Law Review and the Annual Review of Insolvency Law, and he is often invited to speak at professional conferences. With a keen interest in helping shape the future of the legal profession, Kyle takes an active role in recruitment and mentorship.

GEOFFREY STENGER

Bennett Jones LLP

Partner

BIANCA THOMAS

BMO Financial

Counsel

EMMA BLANCHARD

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)

Partner

ROBYN GUROFSKY

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)

Partner

SARAH MCEACHERN

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)

Partner

STEVEN FRANKEL

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Partner

CHRISTIAN LACHANCE

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Partner

ERIC FOSTER

Dentons Canada LLP

Partner

VIVIAN KUNG

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Partner

 

Vivian Kung has been proving herself to be a force within the legal community since she graduated as the 2006 gold medalist at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. She continuously adapts her broad practice to reflect market developments and accommodate her clients’ needs. Vivian has the unique ability to manage complex projects in the power and infrastructure/construction sectors and mergers and acquisitions in highly regulated environments. She is the Toronto lead of the Blakes Power group and a key contact of the Blakes Japan practice group.


Vivian has been an instrumental team member on numerous high-profile infrastructure projects across Canada, including the C$8.25-billion Eglinton Crosstown LRT and C$956-million New Toronto Courthouse projects. Her representative M&A transactions are reflective of her ability to deftly pivot among sectors, including advising BluEarth Renewables Inc. on the transfer of ownership of BluEarth from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to DIF Infrastructure V, and Equinix, Inc. on its C$1.04-billion acquisition of BCE Inc.’s 25 data-centre facilities across Canada.


In 2019, Vivian was inducted into the Construction Lawyers Society of America, an invitation-only association of the world’s best construction lawyers. With the benefit of her experience as senior legal counsel at EllisDon, Vivian is pragmatic and results-oriented. In her clients’ words: “We think of her as an extension of our in-house team. She thoroughly understands and supports our business needs and goals” and “Vivian’s approach to client service is uniquely tailored to our client needs.... Vivian is a quick and effective problem solver when it comes to both legal and logistical issues.”

JASON MACINTYRE

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Partner

 

Jason's practice focuses primarily on secured lending and structured finance transactions, with a particular emphasis on aviation, project finance, infrastructure and defence. He has long been acknowledged as a leading aviation lawyer in Canada, with keen strategic insight and practical judgement.

Jason is a trusted adviser to a broad range of aircraft lessors, lenders, investors and manufacturers and leads high-value, precedent-setting deals, many of which have earned industry accolades. For example, he has acted for the underwriters on the first of five Canadian Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates launched by Air Canada and, together with a group of other Blakes lawyers, acted as global external counsel to the Aviation Working Group, a leading international organization of aircraft and engine manufacturers, lessors and financiers.

Jason routinely advises clients on complex aviation regulatory matters, including foreign investment in Canadian airlines, Transport Canada audits and airport privatization matters. He launched and co-leads the Blakes Drones group and routinely advises the Firm’s key corporate clients on the use of drone technology in their commercial operations.

Jason leads by example outside of his legal practice, spearheading the firm’s pro bono initiative for Space Place, an educational non-profit that is setting up a planetarium in Toronto. Both inside and outside the office, he is involved in a number of LGBTQ+ organizations, including [email protected] and aviation industry associations that promote the need for a more diverse workforce. Jason also routinely mentors young professionals with an interest in aviation and aerospace careers and is an active member of Blakes’ Student Committee.

LINDSAY COX

Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

Partner

 

Lindsay Cox is a Partner in Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP's Business Law group. Lindsay has over 15 years' experience as a corporate lawyer and is a trusted legal advisor to her clients. Her practice involves advising issuers and dealers on public offerings and private placements of debt, equity and other securities. She also provides legal guidance to public and private companies, investors, directors and special committees on compliance with securities regulatory requirements, TSX Venture Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchanges listings and compliance, corporate governance and other general corporate matters. Lindsay acts on high profile and high value mergers, takeover bids (including hostile takeover bids), acquisitions, and other business combinations and reorganizations.

 

Lindsay is involved in a number of committees and leadership groups that contribute to the success of BD&P. She supervises and provides direction to the firm's corporate services department, the team that provides a variety of services and administration on a wide range of corporate matters and a member of the BD&P United Way Committee, a group that organizes fundraising initiatives through the year in support of the Calgary United Way. Lindsay is also a member of the Governance Committee for Ronald McDonald House Alberta, a not-for-profit that provides support to families seeking vital medical treatment for their seriously ill or injured children. A keen writer, Lindsay writes and co-authors articles on various securities topics relevant to her clients businesses.

SUHUYINI ABUDULAI

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Partner

 

Suhuyini Abudulai has established herself as the firm’s resident “go-to” expert on Canadian consumer protection laws, in particular Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act. Described as: “a baffling document that banking lawyers refer to as a game of snakes and ladders, because every clause seemingly refers to another,” she has, quite literally, written the book on it - authoring the first annotated text of the Act.

While Suhuyini’s expertise can be counted on to generate files, her client service keeps them engaged with the firm. Notes one of her enthusiastic clients: “Suhuyini truly understands how to make my life as in-house counsel easier, which is a rare commodity! She is a trusted advisor and most definitely a rising star.”

Having found her footing in her own legal career, Suhuyini is committed to mentoring young Black lawyers across the city. From Precedent Magazine: “Suhuyini often speaks about the career hurdles placed before Black lawyers — from discriminatory comments to unconscious bias. 'We often dance around these issues, but I want to put it out there that stereotypes and biases play a role. I want them to continue in their careers. I don’t want them to give up.'"

OLIVIER FOURNIER

Deloitte Legal Canada LLP

Partner, Tax Law, Deloitte Legal Canada (National Leader)

 

In addition to practicing tax litigation on a full-time basis, Olivier Fournier is the national managing partner of Deloitte Legal Canada LLP. In that role, Olivier has been the core driver of the expansion of Deloitte Legal Canada’s footprint in the Canadian legal market: from a small law firm with a primary tax law focus into a firm of over 30 lawyers in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, practicing in areas such as cyber security, data privacy, labour and employment and tax law. 

Olivier is a dedicated builder, mentor and coach to partners and associates both within and outside the tax practice. He is also the co-sponsor of Deloitte’s CanWIN initiative, a business development group within Deloitte focused on the advancement of women and, in particular, their promotion to partnership. Of further note, under his leadership of Deloitte Legal Canada, 75% of new partner hires across all practice areas have been women, all of whom came to firm as lateral hires from top-tier Canadian law firms.

Olivier is very active in the tax community: in addition to speaking and delivering papers on a regular basis, he is a Governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation and teaches the APFF’s course on the General Anti-Avoidance Rule.

CHRIS ZELYAS

Dentons Canada LLP

Partner

KATRINA EDGERTON-MCGHAN

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

Counsel

NICHOLAS HOOGE

Farris LLP

Partner

ANTOINE AYLWIN

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Partner

JONATHAN LIM

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Partner

VERA TOPPINGS

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Partner

DAYNA STEINFELD

Fillmore Riley LLP

Associate

CAROLINE DESCOURS

Goodmans LLP

Partner

CATHERINE BIRON

Langlois lawyers, LLP

Partner

 

Catherine Biron, CHRP, is a partner in the Montréal office of Langlois lawyers. She advises and represents businesses on all aspects of labour and employment law. She represents and counsels unionized and non-unionized businesses, and advises, represents and assists provincially or federally incorporated companies, both SMEs and large businesses.

Catherine is recognized for her practical approach and ability to act in complex and sensitive matters. She is involved in the negotiation of collective agreements as well as in mediation. She represents businesses before all courts and tribunals regarding the management of employees and in a broad range of labour relations and employment law matters (grievances, civil remedies, human rights and allegations of discrimination, remedies for harassment or other allegations of labour standard violations, occupational health and safety, to give but a few examples). She has in-depth knowledge of and a pragmatic way of dealing with performance management, absenteeism, problematic behaviour in the workplace, and issues related to workplace health and safety.

Catherine is recognized for her client approach. She is also recognized by opposing counsel for her tact. She is frequently invited to speak at conferences and to provide practical training tools to human resources/labour relations managers. She holds a master’s degree in labour law and human rights law from the University of Oxford (England) and a Mini-MBA from McGill University.

Catherine was recognized in the 2021 Chambers Canada guide and in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada. She was also recognized as a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation Canada 2020.

JEAN PATRICK DALLAIRE

Langlois lawyers, LLP

Partner

 

Jean Patrick Dallaire acts as a strategic advisor, risk analyst, negotiator, writer and trainer in matters relating to the legal management of construction and infrastructure’s projects, documents and claims, regardless of how the work is carried out.

Having pleaded before all levels of the courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, he also remains active in the prevention and resolution of construction disputes. Jean Patrick is the author of numerous publications, conferences and accredited workshops namely on the industry best practices, both in contractual matters and litigation. His integrated team, comprised of members from different areas of the firm (business law, litigation, insurance and surety bonds, insolvency, health and safety, intellectual property, etc.), contributes daily to the advancement of major projects.

MICHELLE VIGOD

Goodmans LLP

Partner

ARUN KRISHNAMURTI

Google Canada

Counsel

LAURA MAZENC

Government of Saskatchewan

Ministry of Justice, Legal Services Division

ELIZABETH (BETH) BURTON

Gowling WLG

Partner and Practice Group Leader, Financial Institutions & Services Group (Calgary)

JAMES RENIHAN

Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP

Partner

 

His practice involves trials, appeals, arbitrations and urgent motions for relief from all levels of court in Ontario, as well as appearances in the Federal Courts and the British Columbia Supreme Court. James is a frequent speaker at legal education panels on a range of civil litigation areas.

He has presented and lead educational sessions at The Advocates’ Society, OBA, Law Society of Ontario, and Osgoode Hall Law School. In addition, he has written on litigation topics and contributed to The Advocates’ Society’s Advocates’ Journal.James has consistently maintained a strong commitment to pro bono activity and professional engagement. He has volunteered with Pro Bono Ontario’s Amicus program at the Divisional Court as well as the Duty Counsel program for motions at the Court of Appeal.James has been an ongoing instructor in the Ryerson Law Practice Program’s litigation training programs and has served as an external coach and mentor to Osgoode Hall Law School’s Jessup moot team for the past several years. Prior to joining LOLG, he worked at a large international law firm in New York and clerked for the judges of the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

CRISTA OSUALDINI

McLennan Ross LLP

Partner

 

Crista is a trusted advisor in matters of estate planning, administration, trusts and estate litigation. She is a partner with McLennan Ross LLP and the leader of the firm’s Estate, Trust and Taxation practice group. She has worked with many of Alberta’s business leaders and their families to develop innovative, strategic and comprehensive solutions for their estate plans or to tenaciously assist with estate related disputes.

Crista’s estate planning practice has a focus on assisting with the intergenerational transfer of wealth in privately held corporations. She enjoys assisting her clients with devising estate plans that will create a lasting legacy. She is regularly engaged in transactional work to provide expertise on trust law and the utilization and application of trust structures in complex commercial regimes.

Crista’s expertise in estate and trust law allows her to be an effective litigator in estate disputes. Notably, she is a lead counsel in the longstanding and complex litigation relating to a First Nation’s Trust that was established by the late Senator Chief Walter Twinn. This litigation has engaged complex issues of trust law, including relief aimed at expanding the jurisdiction of the Court of Queen’s Bench to vary trust provisions and addressing the impact of the legislative amendments arising from Bill C-31 on First Nation trusts.

Crista regularly volunteers her time for causes she is passionate about. She has a particular interest in mentoring and advocating for women in the legal profession and is a founding board member of the Edmonton Women’s Legal Forum.

DANIEL COLE

Gowling WLG

Partner (Leader – Advertising & Regulatory Group, Canada)

JAIMIE LICKERS

Gowling WLG Alumna

CIBC, Vice President, Indigenous Markets

JOEL MORRIS

Harper Grey LLP

Partner

KATHRYN BIRD

Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP

Partner

ALLAN J. RITCHIE

Loopstra Nixon LLP

Managing Partner

 

Allan Ritchie is the managing partner of Loopstra Nixon LLP and Global Chairman of LawExchange International, a network of over 2,000 lawyers in 34 offices around the world. He also leads the cross-border practice at LN, focusing on all aspects of international and domestic corporate and M&A advisory work. He is a trusted advisor to many of Canada's most successful multi-generational entrepreneurial families as well as general corporate counsel to some of Canada's largest privately held businesses. He is sought after by financial institutions to lead their cross-border initiatives and is a go-to counsel for international private capital players making acquisitions in Canada. Allan led the expansion of his firm into the United States with the opening of satellite offices in Buffalo and New York City in 2017.

He has received numerous accolades for his work in both Canada and the U.S. In 2020, he was awarded the Ontario Bar Association’s award for Excellence in International Business Law as well as being named to the Buffalo Law Journal's ‘Legal Elite’ list of the most influential lawyers in Western New York. Allan is a sought-after speaker on matters of law firm management, strategy and talent development. He led the development of Loopstra Nixon’s talent development framework which has been adapted and rolled out in numerous other law firms around the world. In recent years he has been a keynote speaker on these topics at conferences in India, Dubai, Czech Republic, Japan and throughout the United States.

JEAN-SÉBASTIEN DUPONT

Smart & Biggar LLP

Partner

 

Jean-Sébastien Dupont is an accomplished intellectual property (IP) litigator, patent agent and trademark agent. He successfully represents clients in a wide range of technically complex cases involving high-stakes and commercially important IP assets and rights for his clients. Practicing in both French and English, he has represented clients before the Quebec Superior Court, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.

Jean-Sébastien has contributed to the legal profession as a thought leader and innovator. With a background in computer science, he has advocated for the use of technology inside and outside the Courtroom. In recent trials before the Federal Court, pre-COVID, he pioneered efforts that resulted in early adoption of electronic methods in proceedings which the Court has now been forced to accelerate.

His most notable case work and client activities involve Canadian and international companies, large and small, across industries, including hockey equipment and apparel (Bauer Hockey), transport (Camso) and shipping (Canadian National Railway Company), advanced driver assistance systems (LeddarTech), advanced materials (Tekna), steel (Lainco), and tobacco (Imperial Tobacco Canada). Most recently, he represented Dr. Luc Bessette, in a matter involving a platform for digital medical records that resulted in the first ever judgement against the province of Québec for patent infringement in Bessette v Québec (Attorney General of Québec), 2019 CF 393 (Federal Court T-975-16).

VANESSA COITEUX

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Partner

 

Vanessa Coiteux is a partner in Stikeman Elliott’s Montréal office in the Corporate Group. Her practice focuses on the areas of securities, public and private mergers & acquisitions and corporate financing. She frequently advises issuers and underwriters in connection with public and private offerings in Canada and abroad, as well as TSX-listed securities issuers on regulatory compliance, corporate governance and continuous disclosure requirements matters. Vanessa also has significant expertise in cybersecurity and works with public and private companies on legal, ethical and governance issues. In this capacity, she advises her clients on a wide range of privacy, data security and information management matters, including information security breach responses, compliance and disclosure, and provides advice on best cybersecurity business practices. Vanessa works with clients from various sectors including the engineering, communications, computer science, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and retail industries.

As Chair of the Montréal office’s Students & Stagiaires Committee, Vanessa is very involved with the firm’s next generation and acts as mentor for young lawyers, students and stagiaires (articling students). She is very passionate about the advancement of women and has co-organized the Montréal office’s “Women in Finance” event for five consecutive years. Vanessa is a also member of the Board of Directors and President of the Board of the Quebec Breast Foundation.

BEN HUDY

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Partner

 

Ben Hudy is a partner in Stikeman Elliott's Calgary office in the Capital Markets and Mergers & Acquisitions Groups. His practice focuses on securities, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other co-ownership structures and general corporate and commercial matters. Ben acts for public and private issuers, both domestic and international, as well as investment dealers and private equity investors on a broad range of matters including public and private offerings of equity and debt securities, takeover bid and plan of arrangement transactions, asset and share purchase and sale transactions, corporate reorganizations and debt restructurings.

He has also been involved in the negotiation and formation of a number of joint ventures and other co-ownership structures in the oil and gas services and oil sands sectors. He regularly makes significant contributions to the firm’s corporate practice which continues to act on a high number of noteworthy matters. Ben has been a presenter at conferences and seminars in Canada and the United States on corporate and oil and gas related matters. As an addition to his Alberta practice, Ben is qualified to act in New York, having been called to the bar in 2009.

KIM LE

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Partner

 

Kim Le is a partner in Stikeman Elliott’s Toronto office in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity Groups. Kim has extensive experience working with private equity funds, private equity portfolio companies and multinational corporations, as well as advising on all aspects of cross-border private equity. Kim leads several of the firm’s most valued client relationships and serves as a lead advisor on some of Canada’s most complex M&A transactions. She represents and acts for clients on corporate and commercial matters across a wide variety of sectors, including technology, manufacturing, food and beverage, mining and engineering. Kim quickly rose through Stikeman Elliott’s ranks as a trusted legal advisor for clients.

She works seamlessly with teams across the firm’s offices in nearly every aspect of her cross-border transactional practice – whether through quarterbacking working groups in a transaction or involving specialists directly with clients for targeted resolution of specific issues. As an active advocate of mentorship and diversity, she makes special efforts to advance and mentor women lawyers within the firm and sits on the firm’s Diversity Committee. In addition, Kim recently led a session at the Canadian Lawyer “Women in Law Summit,” titled “Utilizing mentorship opportunities to grow your career”.

NICK CROSBIE

Husky Energy

Team Lead, Legal

ELIZABETH (BETH) NANTON

KPMG Law LLP

Partner, U.S. Immigration Practice Leader

WARDA SHAZADI MEIGHEN

Landings LLP

Partner

AUDREY GIBEAULT

Lavery, de Billy, L.L.P.

Partner

KOBI BESSIN

Torkin Manes LLP

Partner

 

Kobi is a partner of Torkin Manes in the firm's Business Law Group. His practice focuses on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance.

A trusted advisor to his clients, Kobi’s experience includes the successful completion of numerous complex transactions. He provides sound counsel at all stages to formulate, negotiate and implement the structure of acquisitions or sales of businesses, as well as other corporate and commercial transactions. He has experience across a wide array of industries and is particularly active in the pharmaceutical and health care sectors. By working closely with his clients, Kobi is able to provide valuable strategic advice, always focused on completing the transaction or task at hand while delivering on his clients’ business goals and objectives.

Kobi’s legal skills and dedication to service are much in demand by clients and colleagues. He is highly respected for his strategic management skills and responsiveness. He has a deep understanding of the business goals at the heart of every deal and brings this high level of complex thinking to all of his transactions. His dedication to exceptional client service is at the forefront of all his dealings with clients and colleagues.

LINDSEY GALVIN

Whitelaw Twining LLP

Director

 

Lindsey Galvin is the founding partner of Whitelaw Twining’s Alberta office, Whitelaw Twining LLP, where she leads a team of approximately 15 lawyers and staff. She is one of the firm’s leading lawyers in the fields of complex bodily injury cases, insurance coverage disputes and host liquor liability matters. Her insurance defence practice includes advising clients in relation to abuse litigation, fatal accident claims, infant bodily injury claims, cross-jurisdictional issues and municipal and class action proceedings. Residing in Calgary, Lindsey actively practices in three Canadian jurisdictions: Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon. Lindsey is a key member of the leadership team for several of the firm’s insurance industry clients, both internationally and domestically. Lindsey is a skilled negotiator in multi-party, multi-issue disputes. Many of her cases involve technical insurance policy interpretation and policy limits issues. Lindsey’s appellate-level work includes a key decision on notice periods in municipal law in British Columbia.

Lindsey currently leads the firm’s Energy Law group. She served for a number of years on the Canadian Bar Association’s Insurance Subsection (National) Executive, including in the role of Chairperson. She recently co-chaired the firm’s mock trial program. Lindsey is a regular presenter in the area of host liquor liability. Lindsey serves as a formal mentor to five lawyers, and many informally. She is committed to seeing junior lawyers enjoy practicing law, and to seeing the profession improve its retention of women practitioners long-term.

MAXWELL CARROLL

Lawson Lundell LLP

Partner

MUNEEB YUSUF

League Inc.

General Counsel

CORIN BOWMAN

Ledcor

Associate General Counsel

MATTHEW LERNER

Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP

Partner

JENNIFER HUNTER

Lerners LLP

Partner

LOUIS-NICOLAS BOULANGER

McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Partner

KATE MCNEILL-KELLER

McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Partner

ISABELLE VENDETTE

McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Partner

DANIEL WALLACE

McInnes Cooper

Partner

ADAM CHISHOLM

McMillan LLP

Partner

LOUIS SEVENO

Woods LLP

Partner

 

Louis Seveno is a partner at Woods LLP in Montreal specializing in high-stakes civil and commercial litigation and arbitration. Called to the bars of Quebec, Ontario and New York, he regularly represents clients before both trial and appellate courts, as well as before domestic and international arbitral tribunals.

Louis practices mainly in contractual disputes, corporate and shareholder litigation, insolvency, employment law, professional liability, class actions, private international law, and injunctive proceedings. He is active in cases involving Canadian and foreign corporations in various industries and in cases involving cross-border or multi-jurisdictional issues. He has also acquired substantial expertise in construction and PPP disputes and is one of Canada’s leading infrastructure lawyers in the 2020 Lexpert Special Edition: Infrastructure. Louis is acknowledged by his peers in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and The Best Lawyers in Canada. He was also included in Benchmark Litigation Canada’s 40 and Under Hot List for 2020.

He acts as Secretary of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Division. He also sits on the CBA-Qc’s Legal Technology, Covid-19 Crisis Management and Virtual Courtroom and Electronic Evidence committees. He gives numerous conferences annually and is a guest lecturer at the Université de Montréal’s Civil Litigation Workshop and McGill University’s Law for Architects and Engineers course. He frequently offers pro bono legal services, particularly in Employment cases involving human rights components. Louis practices in English, French, and Spanish.

JEFFREY LEVINE

McMillan LLP

Partner

JILL WILKIE

Miller Thomson LLP

Partner

TAMARA NAPOLEON

Miller Titerle & Company

Principal, Managing Principal (Victoria) and Leader of Indigenous Law Group

JANA LINNER

MLT Aikins LLP

Partner

PETER SENKPIEL

Nathanson, Schachter & Thompson LLP

Partner

MATHIEU DESCHAMPS

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Partner

LARA MASON

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Partner, Litigation

ALEX GORKA

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Partner

LEENA YOUSEFI

YLaw Group

Lawyer/CEO

 

Leena is a family lawyer and the founder of YLaw, a boutique family law firm with offices in Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia. Under Leena’s leadership, YLaw has become the fastest growing female-lead family law firm in BC, and in 2020 made history by winning The Globe and Mail’s Top 400 Fastest Growing Companies in Canada and Canadian Business’s Top 500 Growth awards.

Completely self-made and not equipped with much except her education and a big dream, in 2013 she opened her law practice in a small office-share space. Her dream was to bring positivity and humanity to a profession that is sometimes known for cultivating the opposite within itself. Unafraid to tackle cultural and important family law issues within her community, she went on to become successful counsel on several ground breaking cases at the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of British Columbia which were frequently covered by the media. In 2019, she was chosen as Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40.

Leena is convinced that the main reason behind every success she has had is believing in and empowering her female leadership qualities which include nurturing, love, community and kindness.

CHIMA UBANI

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Partner, Corporate

REN BUCHOLZ

Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP

Partner

VINCENT BERGERON

ROBIC, LLP

Partner, Lawyer and Trademark Agent; Leader of the Emerging Technology Group

JONATHAN COADY

Stewart McKelvey

Partner

NANA YANFUL

The Black Legal Action Centre

Legal Director

BAILEY HARRIS

Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP

Partner

PETER DANNER

Torys LLP

Partner

MOLLY REYNOLDS

Torys LLP

Counsel

MARK GUSTAFSON

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Director, Legal Services

NADIA CHIESA

WeirFoulds LLP

Partner

JOANNA VINCE

Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP

Partner

FABIEN FOURMANOIT

Xplornet Communications Inc.

Vice-President, Legal

RISING STARS ADVISORY PANEL 2020

We received hundreds of outstanding nominations and a short list of candidates was sent to our esteemed Advisory Board, comprised of 36 private practice and in-house counsel leaders. We thank the Advisory Board, all listed below, for dedicating their time to selecting and awarding excellence.

Gerry Apostolatos

Lawyer, Partner-Montreal; Immediate past Co-Chair of Board of Directors

Langlois Lawyers LLP

Sarbjit Basra

Managing Partner

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Mark T. Bennett

Managing Partner

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Lydia Bugden, Q.C.

CEO & Managing Partner

Stewart McKelvey

Matthew W. Cockburn

Managing Partner

Torys LLP

Jeffrey I. Cohen

Managing Partner

Torkin Manes LLP

George Cooper. QC

Chief Executive Officer and Partner

Cox & Palmer LLP

Bindu Cudjoe

General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Legal Compliance & Investigations Group, CWB Financial Group; Vice President, Women General Counsel Canada

Tom Curry

Managing Partner

Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP

Teresa Dufort

CEO and Managing Partner

McMillan LLP

Peter Feldberg

Firm Managing Partner

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Cheryl Foy

University Secretary and General Counsel

Ontario Tech University and Past President (2019), President (2018), (Co-Chair) 2016, Founder Women General Counsel Canada

Matthew Gottlieb

Managing Partner

Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP

Warren Katz

Managing Partner, Montreal Office

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Jeffrey Jay Kay, Q.C.

Managing Partner

Farris LLP

Melissa Kennedy

Executive Vice-President and Chief Legal Officer

Sun Life Financial

Kevin J. Kiley

Managing Partner

McInnes Cooper

Justin Kutyan

National Leader and Senior Partner

KPMG Law LLP

Keith David LaBossiere

CEO & Managing Partner

Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP

Dale H. Lastman, C.M.

Chair

Goodmans LLP

Catherine Lau

General Counsel

MEC

Dave Leonard

Partner and Chief Executive Officer

McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Peter J. Lukasiewicz

CEO

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP

Hugh L. MacKinnon Q.C.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Bennett Jones LLP

Ashok Menen

Investigation Counsel

Enforcement Branch Ontario Securities Commission and Director - South Asian Bar Association of Toronto (SABA)

John G. Murphy

National Managing Partner & CEO

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Lorne O'Reilly

Lead Counsel

Dow Chemical Canada ULC and VP & Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors- Alberta Chapter, Association of Corporate Counsel

Nora Osbaldeston

Managing Partner, Toronto, Vaughan and Markham

Miller Thomson LLP

Dale R. Ponder

National Co-Chair

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Graham Porter

London Managing Partner and Firm Chair

Lerners LLP

Clifford G. Proudfoot, QC

Managing Partner

Lawson Lundell LLP

Michael S. Richards

Managing Partner, Toronto Office

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

Bryson A. Stokes

Firm Managing Partner, Toronto

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Raphael Tachie

Senior Counsel

TD Bank and Vice President - Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL)

Beth Wilson

Canada Chief Executive Officer

Dentons Canada LLP

Grant A. Zawalsky

Managing Partner

Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP