The Advisory Committee for Lexpert's Rising Stars — Leading Lawyers Under 40 had their work cut out for them again this year. Our selection criteria encompassed a broad array of achievements, including deals, cases and/or files; community or professional involvement, or pro bono work; contribution to the firm's profitability; ability to adapt to change; education, awards and affiliations; and qualities identifying the nominee as a team player.
And so the board reviewed 95 nominations to get to our 47 winners. Often, the calls they had to make were remarkably close. Similarly, the cut to make the finalists' circle was difficult to execute, but well worth the exercise. We give you the results of their efforts; we're certain you will be as wowed as they were.
Jina Abells Morissette
SilverBirch Energy Corporation
Jina Abells Morissette is Vice President of Legal and Administration at SilverBirch Energy Corporation, a company created in August 2010 by a plan of arrangement in which Total E&P Canada Ltd. acquired UTS Energy Corporation. Between 2004 and 2010, Abells Morrissette was a member of the UTS management team, filling the roles of General Counsel and Corporate Secretary as well as leading the company's
transactional team. She was involved in all aspects of UTS's corporate governance and development and balanced a multitude of roles internal and external to UTS as the sole legal counsel. Abells Morissette's teamwork and dedication were an integral part of UTS's impressive growth from a $125-million start-up to a $1.25-billion publicly traded corporation.
Significant transactions included representing UTS in a $1.5-billion plan of arrangement with Total E&P Canada Ltd.; successfully defending a hostile take-over bid made by Total and acting for UTS in the $250-million divestiture to Imperial Oil and Exxon Mobil Corporation of UTS's 50-per-cent working interest in several oil sands leases.
Abells Morissette's wide breadth of experience leading legal teams and advisors external to the corporation allowed her to extend herself and her successes beyond UTS.
Through Abells Morissette's experience, expertise and work ethic, she became an essential contributor to the success of the UTS team as well as to the Calgary business community as a whole. Abells Morissette is a major supporter of the local arts community and has been a volunteer with Theatre Calgary for a number of years. With Theatre Calgary, Abells Morissette has assumed roles of increasing importance culminating in her role as Chair of the Board of Directors.
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Anil Aggarwal is a corporate/securities partner at Fasken Martineau's Toronto office, recognized for his expertise in structuring innovative investment products. In addition to regularly acting as counsel to investment funds, dealers, advisors and managers, Aggarwal also acts as counsel to public and private corporations. He has been Manulife Financial's outside counsel for its Individual Wealth Management division for more than 12 years and lead outside counsel for the past six years. He has also been the lead counsel on a number of multi-million-dollar IPOs. Aggarwal routinely involves his colleagues in his work and in his interaction with clients.
Among the more notable matters in which Aggarwal has advised Manulife are Manulife's acquisition from its clients of all their investments in the bankruptcy of Portus Alternative Asset Management Inc.; the creation of Manulife One, Canada's first all-in-one bank account; and the integration of AIC's Canadian retail investment fund business, acquired by Manulife in late 2009.
Early in his career, Aggarwal developed a self-sustaining practice. He is one of the Toronto office's top billers, with a proven ability to attract new work and expand existing mandates. As Vice-chair of the Business Law Section of Fasken Martineau's Toronto office, Aggarwal is involved in all aspects of professional development for associates as well as in numerous business issues. He has also served on the firm's partnership admissions committee.
Aggarwal is on Fasken Martineau's United Way committee. He spearheaded the firm's sponsorship of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto's awards dinner and of Mount Sinai Foundation's charity golf tournament.
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Davit Akman is a commercial litigation partner at Davies. He has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Federal Court, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal and Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, as well as various administrative tribunals, including the Competition Tribunal and the Ontario Energy Board.
Representative cases include acting for BCE Inc. in the SCC on the proposed $51.7-billion privatization of BCE Inc.; representing DIRECTV, Inc. in the SCC in Bell ExpressVu Limited Partnership v. Rex, a leading decision on the Radiocommunication Act; and as counsel to Canada Pipe Company Ltd. at the Competition Tribunal, the Federal Court of Appeal and the SCC on the only fully contested abuse-of-dominance case decided in Canada in the past decade.
Akman is consistently among Davies' most productive lawyers and is among the top 10 in billable hours. He is a member of the professional development committee and teaches internal research and writing seminars. He also teaches advocacy at Osgoode Hall and has published numerous articles on competition, litigation and class-action law. Akman's pro bono efforts include representing the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils in Suresh v. Canada at the SCC.
Akman marries an exceptional ability to quickly identify and understand key issues with an appreciation of business and practical imperatives. He is highly respected for his leadership, managing complex files, deadlines, clients and teams in a confident and collaborative manner that identifies him as a consummate team player.
Ledcor Group of Companies
Candice Alderson is Vice President & Associate Counsel at Ledcor Group of Companies. She began her career with Lang Michener LLP, where she was a top biller and the go-to person for complex corporate reorganizations, before moving in-house to Ballard Power Systems and then Ledcor.
Alderson's achievements at Ledcor, where she started as corporate counsel, include assisting in creating a telecoms install/repair division; acting as lead counsel in the negotiation of a joint venture with a public power company; and managing Ledcor's legal matters, including negotiating franchise agreements, preparing regulatory reports, securing property rights, and applying for state and federal funding as well as subsidies for broadband providers.
Alderson works with the leaders of multiple industry divisions at Ledcor. She reorganized the legal team to provide tailored legal services for each division. She is also on Ledcor's diversification strategy team, counselling the new ventures division on partnerships and acquisitions. As well, Alderson oversees Ledcor's partnership interest in Offsetters Clean Technology and other sustainability-focused mandates. At Ballard, the company won The Conference Board of Canada's Award in Governance after she implemented SOX corporate governance guidelines there. As a member of Ledcor's leadership committee, Alderson works to build mentoring relationships and improve employee retention and satisfaction.
At the Vancouver Bar Association, Alderson worked to fulfill the association's commitment to provide designated charities with essential funds. Under her guidance, Ledcor donated materials to Power to Be for a new respite facility. She organized volunteer employees to build a playground for the facility and secured free office space for the group.
Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
Jacqueline Armstrong Gates is a civil litigation partner in Gowlings' Kitchener, Ont., office. She focuses on commercial and banking litigation, insurance and professional liability, and restructuring and insolvency. She has developed a reputation internally as the “go-to” person for shareholders' disputes, and has argued cases at all levels of court in Ontario.
In 2010, Armstrong Gates was recognized as one of Kitchener-Waterloo's Top 40 Under 40 Leaders. She is Co-chair of the office's business development committee and the office leader for the mentor program. She integrates teams into client relationships, generously sharing credits, client responsibility and praise for work well done. Armstrong Gates is also a co-founder of the Empowered Women's Social Networking Group, which provides an opportunity for women to network and develop their business relationships and continues to receive enthusiastic response from women professionals and executives in Waterloo Region.
Armstrong Gates successfully chaired the OBA Law Day Committee from 2003 to 2005. She was an Executive Member at Large for 2005 and 2006 and was Secretary of the executive committee in 2006 and 2007. From 2007 to the present she has been Chair of the awards committee.
Armstrong Gates has been a board member of the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo and is now a fundraiser for the organization. She also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity Women's Only Build in Kitchener and at Brigadoon Public School.
BCE Inc./Bell Canada
Miguel Baz is Assistant General Counsel for BCE Inc. and Bell Canada and leads a six-member team responsible for delivering legal services to Bell business units that serve a wide range of clients. He manages Bell's relationship with outside counsel and has agreed to oversee Bell's legal-services RFP process.
Previously, Baz worked in the M&A group. In his decade at Bell, Baz has handled a wide variety of complex transactions, managed a high volume of work, coordinated legal teams in support of transactions and interacted with a diverse team of internal and external professionals. His major transactions include the attempted privatization of BCE Inc., the sale of Yellow Pages, the creation of the Bell Aliant Income Trust and Bell Nordiq Income Trust, and the acquisition of an interest in the Montreal Canadiens.
Baz interacts effectively on sensitive and strategic matters. His legal advice is grounded in business reality, and his capacity to think practically allows him to resolve business issues creatively.
Baz does not hesitate to wander out of his comfort zone and readily accepts new challenges. For example, although his background is as a transactional and commercial lawyer, he became the primary legal support for Bell's pensions and benefits group when the department's legal specialist left the company.
In addition to his work at Bell, he is Chair of Lawyers Without Borders Canada, where he has been instrumental in establishing partnerships between the organization and the Canadian legal community.
Andrew Bernstein is a partner at Torys' Toronto office who focuses on IP litigation, public law, commercial cases and class actions. Significant mandates include Pfizer v. Ratiopharm, an important ruling favouring the pharmaceutical industry over competing generics; Pfizer v. Apotex, the Federal Court of Appeal's first interpretation of the SCC's new framework for determining obviousness; Robertson v. Thomson, in which Bernstein was part of the Torys team that represented the Globe and Mail in Canada's first copyright class action.
Bernstein is a key member of Torys' Pfizer team, whose success in litigation was a contributing factor in the firm's selection to the Pfizer Legal Alliance. He is also a key partner in nurturing the relationship with Eisai Pharmaceuticals, one of Pfizer's strategic partners. Bernstein has shown leadership in changing the way patent cases are litigated, which is to say less driven by science and more driven by an underlying narrative or story. He has also added value by devising settlement strategies for pharmaceutical patent cases in situations where settlement has not been contemplated traditionally.
Bernstein is on the executive of the CBA's National Intellectual Property Section. He creates CLE programs and lectures at Osgoode and elsewhere. He is a thoughtful teacher and mentor to younger lawyers.
Bernstein has done pro bono work for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, most significantly on Quan v. Cusson and Grant v. Torstar Corp., two Supreme Court cases that changed defamation law. He brought and ultimately settled a moral-rights case for the late Canadian sculptor Haydn Davies.
David Bish is a restructuring partner at Goodmans in Toronto. He is regularly engaged by a range of clients, including companies, financial institutions, noteholders and accounting firms on complex corporate and insolvency matters.
Bish has a recognized expertise in cross-border insolvency transactions and has been involved in more US Chapter 15 bankruptcy applications than any other Canadian lawyer. These mandates include MuscleTech, Destinator, MAAX, Biltrite, Nortel and Cover-All, many of which have creatively developed the law.
Bish generates work for others. Clients such as MuscleTech, Broadview Networks and Trillium have continued strong relationships with the firm on corporate, litigation and financing matters. Bish provides mentoring and leadership to other members of the firm and has mentored associates as well as summer and articling students. He is a huge proponent of early development and responsibility for associates and provides opportunities for his colleagues to take on greater roles and share in innovative, complex and significant matters. He has led internal CLE programs and is a member of the firm's technology committee.
Since 2002, Bish has lectured at the CAIRP National Insolvency Qualification Program and has assisted major accounting firms in mock orals for members becoming licensed trustees in bankruptcy. He is a past instructor of insolvency law at LSUC's Bar Admission Course and recently published articles on Chapter 15 and landlord/tenant insolvency rights in Canadian Bankruptcy Reports. He also authored a chapter on cross-border insolvency proceedings for Halsbury's Laws of Canada.
Miller Thomson LLP
Jennifer Bishop is a business law partner in Miller Thomson's Toronto office. She represents a diverse group of clients on M&A, reorganizations, financings, divestitures and commercial agreements.
Significant mandates include acting as lead counsel on the divestiture of four Canadian divisions to different purchasers of a multinational, US-based manufacturing company; lead counsel on transactional matters for one of the world's largest hotel and leisure companies; and advising on one of Canada's largest, multi-jurisdictional procurement outsourcing agreements.
Bishop joined the firm in 2003 and soon became the highest-billing associate within her practice group. She devotes considerable time to non-billable matters and management duties. She is National Chair of Miller Thomson's women's leadership initiative and a member of the student, professional associate-development and USA network committees. She speaks regularly on business law and advertising and marketing law matters and mentors young associates, particularly on business development.
Bishop typically coordinates multi-practice teams from the firm's tax, securities, pensions and benefits, real estate, intellectual property, and labour and employment practices, and regularly involves young associates and students in her files.
Bishop is Director and Corporate Secretary of Smiling Land Foundation, a former member of the board of directors of Live to Give Relief Organization, and a fundraiser for Doug Philpott Inner-City Tennis and Tennis Canada. She has volunteered for the United Way, Habitat for Humanity and the Hospital
for Sick Children.
An accomplished tennis player, Bishop has won four Canadian national championships in singles and doubles, and expects to represent Canada at the world championships in New Zealand in 2011.
Marco Cloutier is a litigation partner at McInnes Cooper's Saint John, New Brunswick, office. He is counsel of choice for clients who wish to test new legislation and litigate novel issues.
His significant cases include Wilcox v. Miss Megan (Ship), the first case addressing the accident damage provisions of the Marine Liability Act; Fraser v. Haines, on the interpretation and application of New Brunswick's cap on automobile-related damages; R. c. Losier, the first New Brunswick case in which a defendant, Cloutier's client, was acquitted of criminal charges due to a breach of the Official Languages Act.
Cloutier's facility in both official languages enables the firm to extend its reach throughout the province and enhance client service. He represents francophone insureds and insurers in homeowners, automobile, CGL, professional liability and marine insurance matters. His impact on firm profitability has been significant.
Cloutier understands that insurers and other corporate clients need practical solutions for their real problems. This is reflected throughout his work, including papers such as Practical Tips on Surveillance for Claims Examiners and A Defence Lawyer's Guide to the Practical Use of Structured Settlements.
Cloutier's leadership in McInnes Cooper's regional insurance defence practice group has been meaningful and productive. He does not hesitate to involve team members from the firm's seven offices in four provinces.
He is a constant presence at client and firm functions, often bridging the linguistic and cultural gaps between the disparate communities in the Maritimes.
Cloutier is a member of L'Association des juristes d'expression francaise du Nouveau-Brunswick. He also provides pro bono advice to those who cannot afford counsel.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Jeremy Dacks is a partner in Osler's Toronto litigation department where he specializes in insolvency and restructuring litigation and bridges the litigation and insolvency groups.
Dacks assists clients in dealing with the inevitable stresses and uncertainties of the insolvency scenario while maintaining a focus on the end result. He is well aware that his clients are running a business while pursuing a restructuring before the courts and that it is important to ensure that the overall business model continues to operate as smoothly as possible, even if this makes the court process challenging.
Significant mandates include acting for Canwest Global Communications Corp. in the CCAA restructuring of its broadcast business; for InterTAN Canada Ltd. (The Source by Circuit City) in its restructuring under the CCAA; and for
JPMorgan Chase Bank in the complex cross-border restructuring of Collins & Aikman.
Dacks contributes substantially to the firm's profitability. He is an active participant in the domestic and international marketing activities of the insolvency group and has developed significant contacts at US-based law firms and international
Dacks sits on Osler's students committee and he is involved in the student recruitment process. He recognizes the importance of developing young associates and is an advisor to them. He helped create and teach professional-development programs, including programs on the practice of litigation, the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Rules of Civil Procedure and a pleadings workshop for students and associates at Osler.
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Michael DeCosimo practises corporate law as a partner in BLG's Toronto office. He has been instrumental in building the firm's structured-products practice, having represented issuers in more than 50 IPOs and related offerings of structured products, which raised aggregate gross proceeds of more than $5.5 billion. His practice also embraces corporate finance, M&A and advising on securities law and corporate matters.
DeCosimo's clients include Sentry Select Capital Corp., Harvest Portfolios Group Inc., Acuity Funds Ltd., NexGen Financial Limited Partnership, Hammond Power Solutions Inc. and Grey Horse Corporation.
Significant transactions include acting for Acuity Focused Total Return Trust, which raised $740 million in its IPO, the largest closed-end trust offering in Canadian history, and acting on a $1.5-billion note offering for Loblaw Companies Limited.
DeCosimo consistently contributes to the profitability of BLG, exemplified by his ability to attract new clients and retain existing clients even in a challenging economy and competitive environment. He led the firm's national income-trust-conversions initiative and developed the Executive Briefing series, which has become a key tool for the firm to connect with decision makers and leaders in the business community.
DeCosimo is a leader who devotes considerable time and effort to mentoring junior lawyers and students. He is an active participant in the BLG Reads to Kids Program and is a sponsor of Financial Executives International on the firm's behalf. In addition to being the father of four young boys, he has coached multiple minor hockey teams.
Lax O'Sullivan Scott LLP
Rocco DiPucchio is a commercial litigation partner at Lax
O'Sullivan Scott. Significant cases in his varied practice include acting on a lengthy, contested merger before the Competition Tribunal; on the largest criminal fraud prosecution in Canadian history; and on a number of significant appeals, including Rolnick v. CashCode, Miller Paving Limited v. B. Gottardo Construction Ltd. and Janssen-Ortho Inc. v. Amgen Canada Inc.
He has appeared as counsel in approximately 40 reported cases. DiPucchio is a valued contributor to the firm's financial success. He generates considerable business, particularly in the automotive dispute-resolution field, and is almost exclusively self-sufficient in terms of his workload, while also generating work for junior lawyers. DiPucchio is one of two members of the firm's compensation committee.
DiPucchio has the interpersonal skills and the ability to function as a team player, which are absolutely critical to a small firm's ability to represent clients at a high level. He routinely mentors associates and consistently allows juniors at the firm an opportunity to shine by conducting cross-examinations, leading evidence and making submissions. He is also a very calming influence and has a great sense of humour.
DiPucchio was a member of The Advocates' Society's Young Advocates Committee, a guest instructor for the Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop, and on the Dean's Advisory Committee for Osgoode Hall. His pro bono involvement includes being a head coach for minor league hockey and a fundraiser for the Toronto Ronald McDonald House.
Spiegel Sohmer Inc.
Alexandre Dufresne is a tax lawyer at Spiegel Sohmer in Montréal and one of three members of the management committee. His primary areas of practice are tax planning, corporate reorganizations and insurance planning, where he's developed his own clientele, expertise and reputation. His clients
include BMO, MSA Financial, Fidelity Investments and UBS.
Significant mandates include negotiating the acquisition and structuring the international tax and corporate aspects of the FAZZT Indy Race Team, the only Canadian professional race team and a top 10 performer; acting as the main tax expert for the provincial police in a prominent international fraud case; and successfully disputing the taxation of certain dispositions under the Income Tax Act, which led to several amend-
ments to the statute.
Dufresne delivers approximately 15 lectures per year in the fields of financial planning, insurance and accounting and he frequently publishes tax-related articles. He is in charge of lawyer and student recruitment. He participates in their training and development, is responsible for their evaluations and salary increases and oversees their workloads. He is also the coach of the firm's baseball team.
Dufresne has set up numerous multi-million-dollar, tax-efficient donation transactions for charitable organizations and donors, including the Jewish Community Foundation of Montréal, the University of Montréal, the Jewish General Hospital, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and multiple schools.
He has assisted athletes, including Canadian Olympic Gold medallist snowboarder Jasey-Jay Anderson, in starting a business after their sporting careers.
Lavery, de Billy L.L.P.
Olga Farman practises health law and life sciences in Lavery, de Billy's Québec City office. Important clients she serves in the health sector include Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ); Montreal Heart Institute (MHI); and Hospital Maisonneuve-Rosemont.
Farman helped the MHI develop its coordination centre, which offers research services and manages various international multi-centre studies. She has also put in place CEPMED, which promotes personalized medicine, and advised the Ministre de la santé des services sociaux and various stakeholders in formulating the rules on research agreements for Québec and Canada.
Farman has successfully reached out to new clients such as MSSS, CEPMED, Jewish General Hospital and the Centre for Cellular Therapy and Pharmascience.
Farman also focuses on client retention through improved client relations, enhanced client reports and alternative fee structures.
Since the start of her career, Farman has shown interest in understanding how profitability is driven, how assets are used, how revenues are generated and how day-to-day actions and decisions, including her own, impact firm success. She has developed a unique ability to make the connection between performance and results.
Farman sits on Lavery, de Billy's marketing committee and trainee recruitment committee. She is directly involved in the global business and client-development strategy. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and authors articles in her field. Farman has significantly contributed to mentoring in an embryonic practice area. She is generous in sharing interesting and challenging work by involving young lawyers in major files.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Ryder Gilliland is a litigation partner at Blakes in Toronto. His experience engages all levels of courts in Ontario, the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick, the Federal Court of Canada, the Tax Court of Canada and he has had four appearances, with a fifth scheduled, before the Supreme Court of Canada. His practice embraces tax, competition, securities, copyright, constitutional, municipal, pension and defamation law. Gilliland has shown vision in recognizing, well before it was an evident trend, that the Internet would transform defamation law, and has situated himself as an expert in this emerging area.
Gilliland's mandates include acting in the Federal Court as lead counsel for the CCLA in Information Commission of Canada v. Minister of National Defence, which in-
volves landmark questions about access to government documents; and in Malhab v. Diffusion Métromédia for a media coalition in an SCC case that will determine whether a group can sue for defamation.
Gilliland is a key relationship partner for clients such as Torstar Corporation, CBC and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. He has attracted significant amounts of media-related litigation and developed important relationships with a large number of non-media clients.
He writes regularly for academic journals, trade publications and firm bulletins, and has made 35 media appearances over the past two years. He is actively involved in the firm's European initiative and in educational seminars.
Gilliland is an active Ontario Bar Association member, director of the Wilson Moot, teaches journalism at Ryerson University and does extensive pro bono work.
GE Capital, Americas
Jennifer Guerard is senior counsel for GE Capital, Americas (GECA). GECA's internal counsel actively participate in deals from start to finish, working with internal sales, risk and capital-markets teams, and supervising external counsel. This requires Guerard to be involved in multiple transactions simultaneously.
An example of Guerard's unique and challenging role is evidenced by the largest exit financing in North America in 2009, in which GE Capital acted as co-agent and co-lead arranger for $800 million in financing for the US and Canadian businesses of Quebecor. The deal was challenging due to a complex international structure with assets in numerous jurisdictions outside Canada and the US; Canadian and US revolving facilities; separate term facilities with complex inter-creditor arrangements; counsel in multiple jurisdictions; cross-border bankruptcy filings with concurrent broadcasted court proceedings; and new ownership upon exit from
GE has awarded three business Growth Trait Awards to Guerard for helping the business meet its goals. The awards were for “excellence and expertise” in her work on a $275-million term loan to Stelco; for “inclusiveness” in recognition of the complexity of the 2007 GECA $800-million ABL to Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (now Viterra); and for “impact” for her help with GECA's management of its North American timber equity portfolio.
Guerard has been an executive committee member for the Fred Victor Centre, which provides community services to GTA residents, since 2007.
Rachel Hamilton is a partner in Davis's corporate and commercial practice group in Edmonton, with an emphasis on real estate, construction, pension and benefits, and business law. She plays a significant role in advising senior management of major clients such as Clark Builders, Edgeworth Properties and Otoka Energy on all aspects of their business organizations, including reorganizations, share/asset transactions, complex partnership negotiations, real estate/development and construction issues, annual share offerings, the development of mortgage investment corporations, the sale of securities in Asia and Canada, and the negotiation of service and technology agreements.
Hamilton has been a key contributor to Davis's growing client base. She has been extremely successful in promoting and implementing a teamwork approach to major clients. She has been responsible for recruiting many lateral hires in the litigation and corporate groups and is a mentor for students and associates.
She contributes to the firm's publications, client bulletins, blogs and seminars, and has co-organized and hosted networking events for young professionals in Edmonton.
Hamilton served as a Director and Secretary of Cornerstone Counselling Society, a not-for-profit agency, until January 2009. She continues to be involved in Cornerstone through fundraising and volunteer efforts. She has also made significant contributions to Kids on Track, an organization working to advance the prospects of disadvantaged youth and children.
Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP
Ludmila Herbst is a partner at Farris who focuses on corporate and commercial litigation, proxy battles, take-over bids and commercial arbitration. She is listed as counsel in more than 40 reported judgments.
Representative cases include disputes over ownership of Anglican churches; successfully defending the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games against a constitutional challenge by female ski jumpers; and obtaining court approval for the US$943-million acquisition of BC's largest biotech company, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, by Swiss-based Galenica Group.
Her SCC appearances include Musqueam Indian Band v. Glass, involving leaseholders on reserve, as well as several media and public-law cases.
Herbst is on the management and associate compensation committees and participates in the student interview process.
Herbst is co-author of Commercial Arbitration in Canada: A Guide to Domestic and International Arbitrations, a leading text cited by various courts in BC, Alberta and Ontario. She was President and Secretary of the Advocates' Club; taught commercial transactions at UBC; and was Secretary for the Administrative Law Subsection of the CBA. She also helps lead her firm's pro bono program.
Herbst is one of Farris's most popular lawyers. She always
has an ear out and a door open to younger lawyers and is
quick to share credit.
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Chris Hersh is a competition law partner at Cassels Brock in Toronto. Recruited in 2005, he has taken a leading role in building a competition law group at the firm, growing the practice to support four full-time competition law professionals.
Representative mandates include leading the 30-lawyer Canadian team that obtained competition law approval for Pfizer's US$68-billion acquisition of Wyeth and coordinating a complex, multi-jurisdictional competition review for the US$4.4-billion merger between Yamana Gold Inc., Northern Orion Resources and Meridian Gold.
Hersh provides strategic advice on all aspects of clients' operations. Pfizer retained him to develop risk assessments and bid strategies regarding its bid for Ratiopharm. He has been invited to speak at international conferences, including AIJA's 46th
International Congress in Paris and the IBC's annual conference entitled Competition Law Litigation: Enforcing Competition Law in Europe.
Hersh is on the firm's technology committee and he is a key member of the electronic discovery working group. He is at the forefront of outsourcing trends, and also has developed proposals for innovative alternative fee arrangements. He is well regarded for the mentoring work he does with junior lawyers and law students. Hersh is currently the Chair of Humewood House, an organization providing services for young mothers. His professional involvement includes serving as Chair of the Private Actions Committee of the CBA's Competition Law Section; lecturing at the University of Western Ontario and Osgoode Hall Law School; and serving as the Canadian representative on the IBA's working group on European Union private-damages claims.
Cameron Hughes is an energy law partner at McMillan's Calgary office. Significant mandates include acting as lead Canadian counsel for Royal Bank of Scotland in a $750-million dispute with J.C. Flowers & Company; for ENMAX Corporation regarding a $1-billion retail electricity services agreement with The City of Calgary; and as lead external counsel for the plain language redraft of the award-winning EasyMax
Hughes contributes significant non-billable hours and continues to build out the traditional oil and gas practice, focusing on energy derivatives and commodity trading, the electricity industry and climate-change initiatives, as well as new cross-selling opportunities among the firm's three offices. Hughes is extremely active in marketing as evidenced by his involvement with Plexus, the IECA, IPPSA, EEI and RMMLF.
Hughes played a key role in the merger of McMillan LLP and Thackray Burgess, and he is the merged firm's Calgary representative on the professional services committee. In that role, he oversees articling and summer student recruitment, lateral hiring, as well as associate and non-equity-partner performance reviews, compensation, career development and training.
Hughes revamped and teaches in the firm's internal education program. He assisted with the implementation of the firm's paternity-leave program and the women's initiative in the Calgary office, and was instrumental in creating the Professional Women's Advisory Group scholarship for the natural-resources-law class at the University of Calgary.
Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
Vince Imerti is a tax partner in Gowlings' Toronto office and leads the private-equity and venture-capital practice group. He is the primary advisor for tax planning and structuring of complex transactions, both domestic and international, for a number of large Canadian pension plans and Crown funds. As a result of the relationships Imerti has built, Gowlings has become the preferred firm for tax advice and other legal
services for these clients.
Representative mandates include acting as lead counsel on a $1-billion acquisition of a foreign corporation involving Canadian, US, Dutch and Luxembourg counsel; complex reorganizations as well as acquisitions of Canadian real estate and other companies by foreign public and private-equity funds as well as hedge funds; and structuring a complex life-settlement-contracts transaction involving Canada, the US, Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Imerti has been instrumental in building a large amount of business with three firm clients over a relatively short period of time. He has directed very material amounts of work to others in the tax, corporate finance, financial services and
business law practices.
As leader of the Private Equity Venture Capital National Practice Group, Imerti is deeply involved in restructuring the firm's venture-capital practice to ensure that core teams are located in low-cost centres where a critical knowledge base can be built to ensure that legal services are performed efficiently and profitability. The firm was recently retained by a large
venture-capital fund, largely on the merits of this model.
Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
Andrea Johnson is a corporate/securities partner at FMC's Ottawa office, focusing on IPOs, financings and M&A for technology companies. She has experience in the private-equity and venture-capital (VC) area and has acted on many of Canada's largest VC financings. Johnson has led many significant public and private transactions, including representing DragonWave Inc. in its US$129-million NASDAQ IPO using the multi-jurisdictional disclosure system, the first time that a publicly listed Canadian technology company completed such a transaction over $100 million.
Johnson is a strong business originator who generates substantial work for other professionals. She has a deep understanding of the issues encountered by private companies and investors in cross-border financings. Her niche expertise has made her the “go-to” counsel for several large US law firms.
In fiscal 2010, Johnson was in the top 25 per cent of Ontario partners for matter-originated billings. Johnson's practice is strategically important as it advances FMC's reputation in the tech sector. She actively contributes to firm management, and has served as the Ottawa student committee Chair and as an associate mentor.
As a mother of two, Johnson leaves the office by 5:00 p.m. most days and leads by example to deliver a message that private practice can offer flexibility and independence. She is an effective delegator, and enjoys giving associates and others responsibility for leading files.
Johnson has held board roles at Daybreak Non-Profit Shelter, Friends of the Central Experimental Farm and Bernadette Child Care Centre.
Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart
Will LeMay is a partner and practice group leader at Hicks Morley's Toronto office. Representative mandates include a successful challenge to the WSIB's policy of paying benefits even absent a loss of earnings, and convincing an arbitrator to uphold a discharge in a lengthy and complex case over 18 hearing days that required LeMay to lead expert evidence, conduct an accident-scene investigation, address claims that the grievor was suffering from a psychological condition, and defend against discrimination and harassment allegations.
As Chair of the WSIB/OHSA practice group, LeMay has developed strategies for cross-selling current clients on WSIB and OHSA work, as well as developing new clients.
Initiatives that have resulted in significant new billings include developing client awareness of the WSIB's approach to LOE benefits and helping clients develop best practices for dealing with the WSIB; developing client awareness of the WSIB's fatal-premium-adjustment policy; and developing tools for clients to conduct reviews of their disability-management processes.
LeMay also speaks and writes regularly, and has developed alternative billing arrangements for clients, including flat-fee and project pricing. He is also developing a WSIB and OHS training program and providing hands-on training for young lawyers and is a mentor to a firm-high three associates as well as an articling student.
LeMay's community work includes acting as a board member and Vice-chair of the Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario and raising funds for the Rick Jackson Scholarship at Queen's University.
Julie Lessard is Chair of BCF's Business Immigration Group. In less than 10 years, she built the largest such practice in Québec and one of the largest in Canada. Her group provides multinational corporations with strategic advice on all matters of international mobility with particular emphasis on expatriate law, regulation, policy and compliance. She also helps clients devise strategic models for attracting global talent, represents Canadian performing artists and assists international entrepreneurs coming to North America.
Lessard's clients range from numerous Fortune 500 businesses to Québec SMEs. She has capitalized on the special relationship between Québec and France and her efforts have led a number of prominent French companies to retain BCF. Her expertise has been sought on one of the largest mergers
in Canadian history.
Lessard has innovated by introducing competitive flat-rate packages for certain types of work. She recognizes the value of paralegals and employs a large group. She is among the top 5 per cent of BCF revenue generators.
Lessard was a member of BCF's board of directors for two years and now sits on the verification committee. She maintains an open-door policy for professional and personal concerns and challenges, and is a frequent mentor.
Lessard has represented non-profit organizations pro bono, and contributed to UN and CIDA projects. She is a Vice President of the Québec Immigration Lawyers Association and, in both a professional and personal capacity, contributed briefs on proposed amendments to federal and provincial immigration legislation.
Heenan Blaikie LLP
Melissa MacKewn practises securities litigation as a partner in Heenan Blaikie's Toronto office. Previously, she was senior litigation counsel at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and lead counsel on numerous cases. These include a market-timing brief that resulted in the largest monetary settlement achieved by the Commission to date; Portus Alternative Asset Management, an $800-million hedge-fund fraud involving 26,000 retail investors; and Norshield Asset Management, arising from a hedge-fund collapse involving 1,900 Canadian retail investors and $139 million in losses, which is recognized as the most complex hedge-fund prosecution by the OSC.
MacKewn has generated a stand-alone practice at Heenan Blaikie, acting for securities regulators including the OSC, IIROC and the MFDA, as well as respondents and witnesses in regulatory proceedings. She regularly advises clients on securities enforcement and compliance matters. With inside knowledge of how securities regulators function, MacKewn has negotiated resolutions that offer out-of-the-box solutions, which minimize reputational risk and piggyback claims.
MacKewn is entrepreneurial, spearheading initiatives aimed at dealer firms that are expanding her firm's client base. Recognizing that insurers now offer expanded liability coverage for broker and advisor liability, MacKewn developed an in-house seminar for insurance counsel, adjusters and underwriters. This led to a significant referral to Heenan Blaikie and is expected to be a growing area of business.
MacKewn is a regular lecturer and author on securities litigation as well as a role model and mentor to young women students and lawyers trying to balance career and family responsibilities. She frequently volunteers at her children's school.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Dan McLeod is a securities and M&A partner at Blakes. He is a member of the Alberta, British Columbia and New York Bars. McLeod has been involved in a number of complex securities offerings and reorganization transactions that have required the coordination of many sources of legal assistance. He is currently acting as underwriters' counsel in the proposed $1-billion initial public offering of an energy corporation, and earlier this year acted in the same capacity in Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.'s $1.3-billion IPO.
McLeod has identified and pursued new international opportunities and expanded his practice beyond energy companies operating only in Canada. He heads up the securities and M&A teams for clients of Blakes with whom other lawyers have the principal business relationship.
McLeod has embraced change throughout his career to gain valuable legal and market experience. From a litigation practice in Blakes' Vancouver office, McLeod moved to New York as a corporate associate for Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in 2008. He accepted an appointment to S&C's Australian offices in 2001 and worked there until 2002, at which time he
rejoined Blakes in Calgary.
McLeod serves as an informal mentor to students and associates and as a principal to articling students. He encourages his junior lawyers to challenge themselves to take increased
levels of responsibility.
McLeod also serves as a parent volunteer at Clear Water Academy school. He is a regular participant in charity running races, including the recent “Race for Pace” benefitting Pacekids organization for disabled children.
Stikeman Elliott LLP
D'Arcy Nordick is an M&A and securities partner at Stikeman Elliott's Toronto office. His varied clients include banks, securities dealers, miners, investment funds, technology companies, REITS, retailers, infrastructure participants, media and telecom companies, and private-equity firms, which he represents on an array of matters including M&A, corporate finance and governance, securities, licensing and joint ventures, project development and restructuring.
Significant mandates include representing Teachers' Private Capital in its investment in CTVglobemedia Inc.; working with Scotia Capital in creating what became the $27-billion annual Maple Bond market; and acting for the dealers in Morgan Stanley's $2.5-billion bond offering, then the largest such offering in Canadian history.
Nordick is at the forefront of profitability at Stikeman Elliott. His clients include RBC Dominion Securities, Société Générale, TD Securities, National Bank Financial, BMO, Clairvest, Del Monte Foods and NIIT Technologies. He has developed these clients by providing each one with business-focused advice, which has produced numerous mandates. He follows his clients into new areas of law and has increased his profitability throughout the economic downturn. Nordick is a team player who mentors nine associates and students in the Toronto office. He teaches at Osgoode, where he is involved in alumni affairs and fundraising.
Nordick does pro bono work for the Canadian Environmental Law Association. He is master of ceremonies for Stikeman Elliott's annual United Way Gala and co-chairs the firm's Movember campaign for prostate-cancer research. Nordick is also a hockey and soccer coach for children's teams.
Kim Orr Barristers P.C.
Victoria Paris is the managing principal at Kim Orr, where she practises class-action and commercial litigation. Paris is named as counsel in 30 reported decisions, most involving
novel issues of law.
Her significant cases include acting as lead counsel to the plaintiffs in the successful certification of a class action alleging misrepresentations in an Ontario public college's course calendar; representing Research in Motion Ltd. in the defence of litigation regarding historical stock-option grants; and acting as co-lead counsel or counsel for the plaintiffs in the Medtronic, Guidant and Timminco class actions.
Paris has forged important relationships with leading counsel across Canada and in the US, all of which have been invaluable to the firm's success. She is the liaison with the lead American counsel for multi-district litigation in several
high-profile class actions.
A class-action practice requires extensive teamwork among the lawyers at the firm, co-counsel, outside experts and advisors, and opposing counsel. Paris has a unique ability to coordinate all of these resources and to achieve extraordinary results within tight time constraints. She is generous with her time and constantly mentors junior lawyers at the firm and within
the class-action Bar.
Paris taught corporate governance at Queen's University and lectured in the Crown litigation course. She serves on the board of The Stop Community Food Centre, an organization providing programs and advocacy to support food and social needs, and is a former board member of Friends of the Earth, a national environmental organization.
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Michael Parrish is a litigation partner in Fasken Martineau's Vancouver office who focuses on product-liability matters. Parrish has consistently demonstrated the ability to manage large and complex files. He encourages his clients to resolve claims early, even where “perfect” information is not available, reasoning that the cost of achieving perfect information almost always outweighs the benefit in a negotiated resolution. He has made this strategy a core principle for the firm's insurance and product-liability group.
Representative cases include acting for a public utility in a dispute regarding a defect in a $30-million piece of equipment. By synthesizing complicated technical issues, locating and instructing one of the world's leading experts, and optimizing the strengths of his case, Parrish was able to secure an extremely favourable result. He was also co-counsel for an international manufacturer in a $30-million fire claim involving 10 separate actions, more than 75 plaintiffs, eight defendants who advanced third-party claims, 20 days of discovery, numerous interlocutory motions, more than 15 expert reports and six days of multi-party mediations, all of which culminated in excellent
results for his client.
Parrish is among Fasken Martineau's most productive members, regularly billing more than 2,000 hours annually. He is a tireless marketer, responsible for a number of marketing initiatives. He is a strong leader who fosters teamwork, and teaches the firm's small-claims and junioring in-house seminars.
Parrish has volunteered for many years at the Western Canada Society to Access Justice and at the UBC Law Students' Legal Advice Program. He is also an accomplished triathlete.
Stephen Penney is a partner in Stewart McKelvey's St. John's office where he practises labour and employment law and civil litigation, acting for numerous employers in Newfoundland and Labrador. He is also counsel to Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, which represents the interests of municipalities in the province, and represents individual municipalities in taxation, bylaw enforcement, development, liability and labour and employment matters.
Significant cases include acting as co-counsel to the Canadian Employers Council in Fraser v. Ontario, which dealt with the extension of Charter rights to collective bargaining; successfully defending Great Dane Trailers in CRA Trailers, a three-month arson trial; and acting as counsel in Happy Valley-Goose Bay v. Cabot, which dealt with the ambit of municipal powers.
Penney advises many significant firm clients and is the main contact for Chartis Insurance. He recently attracted a major oil and gas client and helps develop business in various practice areas, particularly construction, municipal, and labour
and employment law.
Penney is on the firm's articling committee and was on the marketing committee, where he was involved in the merger of Stewart McKelvey's six regional offices. He serves on the business-development committee of the labour and employment group and edits the construction and infrastructure
Penney is generous in offering feedback and explaining the “big picture” to associates and students, and is committed to promoting diversity at the firm. He is a director of the Community Youth Network in St. John's and a Big Brothers in-school mentor.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Matthew Peters is a commercial lawyer and McCarthy Tétrault's Regional Managing Partner in BC. He focuses on outsourcing and commercial transactions for large organizations, such as the Province of British Columbia, Vancity, Pharmasave, BC Lotteries, BC Assessment and HSBC, as well as technology clients such as PMC-Sierra.
Current transactions for which Peters is lead counsel include one of the largest telecommunication procurements currently underway in North America; a large system-integration deal valued at approximately $100 million; and the acquisition of a Canadian company by Peters's client, one of the largest technology companies in the world.
Peters has averaged 2,040 average annual billable hours over the past six years and generated substantial work for others. As a third-year associate, he spearheaded the transformation of the firm's Vancouver IP group into an integrated technology practice. He repositioned the group to increase its revenues in the recent recession. As Regional Managing Partner, he has initiated a key growth strategy for the BC region, materially increasing client-development activities in the context of measurable performance and accountability.
Peters plays key roles in the firm's national growth, project management and IT strategies. He has also implemented an active engagement strategy in Vancouver that includes specific incentives and recognition for team behaviour, broader inclusion of staff in office activities, further engagement of associates in client-development activities, and enhancing partner involvement in national initiatives.
Peters leads a team that is focused on orphan and AIDS relief in Africa and is involved with an orphanage in Kibali, Uganda.
Stikeman Elliott LLP
Eveline Poirier is a partner in Stikeman Elliott's Montréal office, where she practises employment law as a barrister and solicitor. Significant litigation mandates include acting on the first Québec class-action employment case claiming damages in lieu of notice of termination in the context of mass dismissal; securing a $2.5-million constructive-dismissal judgment in McBrearty v. Cerescorp Company; and obtaining an injunction suspending the City of Montréal's blue-collar workers' right to strike during a Québec Major Junior Hockey League game.
Significant commercial mandates include acting on the acquisition of CAE's Marine Controls Division and Classified Media (Canada) Holdings, and representing AbitibiBowater on employment matters in CCAA proceedings.
In her 16 years at Stikeman Elliott, Poirier has played a fundamental role in the employment law group's growth. She has developed a fully hybrid practice in employment law and never shies away from developing new areas of specialization, such as executive compensation. Many clients have been with Poirier since her articling days. Consequently, she has not only adapted to her clients' growing needs but developed expertise in anticipation of such needs. Poirier has also attracted a significant number of Québec entrepreneurs to the firm.
Poirier is a former member of the associates' committee and now serves on the technology and students' committee. She also spends many hours mentoring younger colleagues. She acts as designated employment and labour counsel for the Québec Breast Cancer Foundation on a pro bono basis.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Emmanuel Pressman is the Toronto-based Co-chair of Osler's M&A group. He acts for issuers, acquirors, targets, shareholders, special committees and financial advisors in friendly and contested take-over bids, going-private transactions, negotiated acquisitions, arrangements and complex restructurings.
Significant mandates include advising Magna International Inc. in its contested share-capital reorganization; acting as lead counsel to Vector Capital in its privatization of Corel Corp.; and as lead counsel to Kinross Gold in its acquisition of
Pressman is one of Osler's top revenue producers. His
practice is highly profitable and lends itself to the involve-
ment of others. He is a member of the students' committee, sat on the firm's 10-year strategic-planning review, oversees knowledge management, develops marketing materials and supervises programs aimed at skills development, quality assurance and client relations.
Pressman has successfully developed client relationships with new and existing investment-banking clients resulting in a number of corporate-finance mandates. He is a speaker and author on M&A matters and corporate and securities law, and was the only North American lawyer invited to speak on deal-making and capital-markets activity at Vale's Global Executive Strategy Conference in Brazil.
Pressman is generous with his time whether it be on recruiting, career progression, firm strategy, business development or legal-advice matters. He completely rewrote and overhauled the firm's M&A-related continuing education programs for associates and students, and supervises pro bono work for not-for-profits and start-ups through Osler's Community Law Program.
Cox & Palmer
Suzanne Rix is an immigration law partner at Cox & Palmer in Halifax and one of a handful of lawyers in Atlantic Canada practising exclusively in this area. She acts for both business clients and individuals, frequently serving them in French, German or Spanish as well as English.
Rix began the firm's immigration practice when she joined Cox & Palmer in 2001, building the specialty to a thriving full-time practice. She is extremely creative in finding solutions to immigration problems and has assisted hundreds of families to immigrate to Canada, boasting a 99-per-cent success rate on applications for permanent residence in Canada. Rix also recently helped a German company bring more than 200 workers for the construction of the Canaport LNG facility in Saint John, New Brunswick, and helped a Mexican company bring 100 workers to Halifax.
Rix chairs the firm's Immigration Practice Group and until 2009 was a member of the firm's executive committee and the professional personnel partner for Cox & Palmer's Halifax office. Recognizing that career satisfaction is the key to lawyer retention, she has developed the firm's associate retention strategy and mentor program, which has allowed the firm to retain its top-performing associates.
Rix is a member of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Immigration Committee and Vice-chair of the Immigration Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association (Nova Scotia). She is also director of the Immigration & Diversity Team of FUSION Halifax and a member of the board. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and to international students at
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Alan Ross is a partner in BLG's energy regulation practice in Calgary. His work embraces electricity, transmission infrastructure, renewables, green-energy projects, environmental law, and oil and gas. He has made an excellent reputation acting on leading-edge energy-sector disputes in emerging areas of law.
Examples of recent work include acting successfully as lead counsel for ConocoPhillips Canada to determine entitlement to coal-bed methane assets under split-title conditions; acting on a highly publicized application for the largest transmission upgrade in Alberta in 20 years; representing TransCanada PipeLines Limited on the first regulatory prosecution of energy trading activities in Alberta history; and acting for Kinder Morgan Canada Company before the National Energy Board to successfully reinstate the Windsor-Sarnia portion of the Cochin Pipeline system.
Ross has played a key role in developing BLG's energy-
infrastructure practice, solidifying and growing the firm's links to transmission players like TransCanada PipeLines and AltaLink LP. He is a dedicated team player, effective in reaching out to opposing counsel and working with experts. He is frequently sought out as a mentor and principal.
Ross has dedicated significant time to the Law Society of Alberta as a member of the discipline committee and the diversity committee. He has also demonstrated a commitment to social issues as a long-standing volunteer for Calgary homeless organizations, is involved at the leadership level with the Alberta Emerald Foundation, which supports environmental volunteerism, and has been an active fundraiser
for the United Way.
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Elie Roth is a tax-planning partner at Davies, and represents taxpayers in tax audit and litigation matters. Representative transactions include acting as Canadian counsel for Fiat SpA in the purchase of Chrysler LLC's operations; acting as counsel to Access Justice Durham on the Durham Consolidated Courthouse project, the first P3 project completed by Infrastructure Ontario; and acting for Masonite International Corporation on its acquisition for $3.1 billion by an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Roth has been integral to the initiation and development of the firm's relationships with a number of key clients. As one example, a large US-based investment fund retained him on Canadian tax matters in connection with its initial investment in Canada. Davies has subsequently acted on a number of significant investments in Canadian real estate, oil and gas properties, and public- and private-company investments.
Roth focuses on achieving clients' strategic business objectives, including increasing business value by optimizing tax structuring. He is also involved in tax policy, and was retained by the Department of Finance to advise on the
regulation of charities.
Roth contributes his time and legal skills to Table to Table, Virgin Unite and the International Dyslexia Association, which awards the Elie Roth Scholarship for Personal and Professional Development in recognition of his pro bono work. He recently assisted a member of the Royal Family on an international charitable-development project. Roth teaches in Osgoode Hall's LLB and LLM programs. He regularly contributes to leading tax publications and speaks frequently on tax issues.
Jason Squire is a litigation partner at Lerners LLP in Toronto. His significant mandates include acting as co-counsel in DeWolf v. Bell ExpressVu, a class action in which he developed a daring strategy to have the core issue successfully determined by summary judgment; Ford v. OMERS, where Squire was one of three lawyers representing Ford Motor Company of Canada in a shareholder claim that involved 51 days at trial and five on appeal; and Poulin v. Ford, where Squire drafted the materials resisting a motion for certification in a product-liability class action. The record was so well built that the court at first instance ordered that the costs of the motion be borne by the US lawyers who were underwriting the litigation.
Squire's unique advocacy skills attract work from inside and outside the firm. He has established an emerging media profile and helped develop Lerners' marketing strategy, including proposals for comprehensive litigation services to institutional clients. He speaks and writes on such diverse topics as the responsibilities of independent experts in litigation, e-discovery and the enforcement of non-competition agreements. Squire manifests client service at its best, with a talent for efficient solutions. His greatest successes have been on teams, and his unflappable calm and confidence make him a popular
leader and mentor.
Squire has raised funds for a class of disabled students to have access to programs offered by Variety Village; advised Aboriginal leaders on the employment-law aspects of self-governance institutions; and performed pro bono legal work for
Partners in Research.
Michael Statham is a litigation partner at WeirFoulds. Significant mandates include advising the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in dealings with AbitibiBowater Inc., including the proceedings commenced by AbitibiBowater under Chapter 11 of NAFTA; advising the proposed representative plaintiff in Trillium Motor World Ltd. v. General Motors of Canada, which involves a wind-down agreement signed by certain Canadian General Motors dealers; and representing the City of Guelph in Guelph (City) v. Super Blue Box Recycling Corp. in its successful defence at trial and appeal of a multi-million-dollar damages claim for alleged breach of contract, bad faith and misrepresentation. Statham has also acted on numerous business cases that involved sophisticated accounting, valuation and assess-
ment of damages issues.
Statham is one of six members of the firm's management committee. He is vital to the firm's ability to manage large, complex litigation, has assisted in improving the firm's overall profitability, and consistently shows vision and leadership on business and partnership issues.
Statham designed and headed up WeirFoulds' programs for complying with the Law Society's new client-identification and -verification requirements. With colleagues on the management committee, he implemented changes to the firm's standard retainer letters arising from the work of the CBA's Task Force on Conflicts of Interest. He is also co-editor and author of Electronic Documents: Records Management, e-Discovery and Trial.
As the management committee's representative on the associates committee, Statham has been instrumental in working on improving collegiality, mentoring the firm's students and associates, and ensuring that the firm's high professional standards are consistently maintained.
Arlen Sternberg is a litigation partner in Torys' Toronto office. Significant cases include a multi-million-dollar dispute involving the Rogers Centre; the defence of a well-known radio personality in a defamation claim; and a $50-million contractual claim involving the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Sternberg has had lead roles on high-profile employment law cases, including for RBC and Scotia, and has been lead counsel on regulatory cases in various industries. In a lengthy trial for a brokerage firm, he successfully excluded the other side's expert evidence, a ruling (Dulong v. M.L.) that became the subject of articles and was taught in seminars as a significant development in the law.
Sternberg has developed important client relationships, including one with Rogers. He is also the manager for 16 other clients. He proactively follows and contacts clients about developments in their business, a practice that has been responsible for important new mandates. To serve clients' needs, he has developed expertise in niche areas such as employment law disputes and in administrative and public regulatory law
in various industries.
Sternberg is a mentor to junior lawyers at Torys, and is always available to associates. He has shared Divisional Court hearings, trials and regulatory hearings with junior associates.
Sternberg is a certified instructor at Advocates' Society workshops. He has been a guest instructor at the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall's advocacy courses, and a judge at moot competitions. He has successfully handled various pro bono cases, including a recent one for Special Olympics Ontario, and participated in the Lawyers Feed the Hungry program.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Kim Thomassin is one of the few Canadian women acting as Regional Managing Partner (Québec region) of a national law firm. She is also on the firm's leadership team. Thomassin specializes in project finance and M&A, with an emphasis on the energy and infrastructure sectors.
Significant transactions include the sale by AbitibiBowater Inc. of its interest in the McCormick hydroelectric facilities to Hydro-Québec; and the acquisition by SUEZ Energy Astoria of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec's interests in Astoria Project Partners LLC.
Thomassin was one of the top billers in Québec in 2009. She has strong relationships with the Caisse, Kruger Energy, Alcoa and FPL Energy. Thomassin reoriented her practice and the service offerings of the Québec City office to tackle the challenges of practising in a global market. When some sectors were slower, she focused on renewable energy, while monitoring activities in slower markets to ensure readiness when necessary. She also helped lower expenses and improve collection and billing procedures. Her business-development initiatives promote cross-selling of national and regional expertise.
Efficient at building transactional teams with members from numerous areas of practice, different offices and various levels of experience, Thomassin has more than once turned long-term mandates into secondments for younger associates.
Thomassin was elected as a 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games ambassador and sits on the Équipe Québec board. She is VP of the board of Fondation de la faune du Québec, and a member of the Montréal Heart Institute and Tel-jeunes fundraising committees.
Bennett Jones LLP
Jon Truswell is a corporate/commercial partner at Bennett Jones. Clients in his transactional practice include ATCO Group, Precision Drilling, Aecon Group, Enerflex Systems, Extendicare and Avalon Resources.
His significant mandates include representing Marathon Oil Corporation in its US$6.9-billion acquisition of Western Oil Sands Inc. He also represented lead underwriters RBC Dominion Securities Inc. and CIBC World Markets Inc. on Alberta Treasury Branches' offerings of $1.6 billion of non-callable bonds.
Truswell makes a significant contribution to the firm through his strong work effort and file origination and his increasing involvement in key marketing efforts. He brings a commercial approach to his practice and understands well the “business” of law. He also contributes as a mentor and speaker.
Truswell is efficient in the delivery of legal services and the ultimate team player. While working on a number of large transactions, including Precision Drilling's $2-billion acquisition of Grey Wolf, Truswell was often responsible for overseeing the work of more junior lawyers. He routinely staffs files for large and small transactions, supervises other lawyers effectively and exhibits leadership by the manner in which he interacts with others, his performance expectations and his
attention to mentoring.
Truswell has extensive involvement in the community as a Vice-chair of the board of the Lindsay Park Sports Society, head coach of the Springbank Minor Hockey Association, and coach or assistant coach of mini-Tyke and Tyke teams in the Calgary Sabrecats Lacrosse Association.
Macleod Dixon LLP
Don Tse is a corporate partner at Macleod Dixon's Calgary offices. He has been counsel on more than $30 billion of public financings in Canada and the US, including offerings by Talisman Energy Inc., Canadian Pacific Railway, Encana Corporation and FortisAlberta Inc. Tse has also acted on significant M&A transactions including representing AltaGas Utility Group Inc. in its $210-million acquisition by AltaGas Income Trust; CE Franklin Ltd. on its acquisition of a western Canadian oil field equipment distributor; and Taylor NGL in its $590-million acquisition by AltaGas Income Trust.
Tse originates work for more than 70 professionals. He is active in business development for other practice areas. He is the relationship partner for EPCOR Utilities Inc. and Flint Transfield Services and is the primary point of contact for Talisman, CPR, Encana and FortisAlberta. US counsel refer work to him. Tse is also the editor of Carswell's compilation of Alberta's securities laws and is an active speaker.
Tse manages Macleod Dixon teams involving lawyers in tax structuring, due diligence, oil and gas, employment and environmental areas. He coordinated a team working with nine separate vendor groups selling their businesses into a newly formed trust. He is Co-chair of the articling committee, engaged actively in recruiting, and a sought-after mentor.
Tse has supplied new computers and software for 18 classrooms as well as playground equipment for Providence Children's Centre for children with disabilities. He received a National Distinguished Dedication Award in 2004 from the Canadian Diabetes Association for his volunteer work.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Laurel Vanderjagt is Vice-president, Corporate Counsel and Assistant Secretary at Four Seasons, where she leads negotiations on many of the company's projects, including the negotiation of letters of intent, management agreements, and loans
Recent transactions include the purchase of lands from The Walt Disney Company for the development of a Four Seasons' project in Orlando, Florida; joint-venture arrangements between Four Seasons, Kingdom Hotels International and Bay Yorkville Limited Partnership regarding the development, operation and management of a Four Seasons' branded project in Toronto; and arrangements between Four Seasons and Las Vegas Sands relating to a project in Macau.
Vanderjagt's role at the company has evolved from one of associate corporate counsel to trusted legal and business advisor. She is instrumental in ensuring that the relationship between Four Seasons and its owner partners continues to thrive and grow by successfully balancing their respective needs. Vanderjagt often finds practical and effective solutions to a wide range of issues that arise in the context of the legal regimes that exist in the various jurisdictions in which Four Seasons'
projects are located.
Vanderjagt has a tremendous work ethic and spends considerable time assisting younger lawyers who are part of the eight-member in-house legal team. She works effectively with colleagues from the development, procurement, operations, human resources and taxation departments, and successfully manages Four Seasons' team of outside domestic and
Vanderjagt contributes a significant amount of time and effort every year to The Terry Fox Run.
Lawson Lundell LLP
Marko Vesely is a civil and commercial litigator who leads the firm's defamation and media law group. He has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia including 14 appearances before the BC Court of Appeal, as defence counsel before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and before the Trade-marks Opposition Board.
Vesely has attracted numerous clients to the firm. Clients appreciate his ability to wield creative and effective strategies in support of business and legal goals. He seeks opportunities to provide clients with the information and insight they need to succeed, and he presents seminars to firm clients and regularly updates them on relevant developments.
Vesely is a frequent writer and lecturer who authors a defamation and media law column in CCCA Magazine. He teamed with other firm lawyers to launch a western Canada commercial litigation blog, and lectures on legal topics at local universities and colleges.
Vesely invests in associates, having dedicated hundreds of hours to mentoring and recruitment activities. He involves juniors in all his files, and in marketing and business-
development activities. He looks for opportunities for them to co-author articles, present at seminars and to promote
their own practices.
Matthew Williams is a tax partner in Thorsteinssons' Toronto office who focuses on all aspects of taxpayer representation, including civil and criminal tax litigation. He has appeared before the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on a wide range of issues, including tax appeals, tax-evasion matters, CPP/EI appeals, Charter applications and rectification orders.
Significant cases include Lehigh Cement Limited v. The Queen (2010 FCA 124), an important GAAR case in the Federal Court of Appeal; Toronto Transit Commission v. M.N.R., which changed the common understanding of CPP “pensionable earnings”; St. Michael Trust Corp. v. The Queen, a landmark case on trust residency; and The Queen v. MIL (Investments) S.A., Canada's leading case on treaty-shopping.
Williams is one of Thorsteinssons' most productive and profitable young partners and the firm contact for Lehigh Cement, MDC Partners Inc., Univar Canada Ltd. and the Loblaw group of companies.
His excellent relationships at the Department of Justice have assisted various firm members in resolving bureaucratic issues there. He speaks at a wide variety of conferences, including the Ontario Tax Conference and the Prairie Tax Conference; has written for the Canadian Tax Journal; and is an editor of Tax Litigation Quarterly.
On a pro bono basis, Williams has assisted many philanthropic organizations in obtaining charitable status. He represents them from inception and has acted on the registration process and beyond.
Lang Michener LLP
Grant Wong is a China Practice partner in Lang Michener's Vancouver office. He specializes in listings and financings for China-based companies.
In his three years since returning to the firm, he has helped to establish and grow the firm's China Practice. He has identified opportunities and turned them into successful transactions that are at the heart of his profitable practice. He is actively involved in mentoring junior lawyers.
Significant mandates include acting for Hanwei Energy Services Inc., a Chinese energy services company, on its $77-million TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V) equity financing; IND DairyTech Ltd., a Chinese dairy company, on its TSX-V financing; and for a public company in a $70-million reverse take-over by Melco China Resorts, a Chinese ski resort
Wong has consistently been a top biller. He continually
seeks added revenue streams, such as referrals and cross-selling opportunities. Internally, he is regarded as the go-to lawyer
on listings issues.
Wong has been instrumental in establishing the firm's Hong Kong office as a new profit centre and promoting the firm within China. He has expanded and diversified the China Practice services group, growing it from primarily inbound transactions to dual listings on the TSX and HKSE. The approach has been so successful that the firm is looking to replicate it across Asia.
Otherwise, Wong has worked with SUCCESS, a non-profit social-services provider assisting new immigrants and people at all stages of the Canadian experience. He provided guidance on the Canadian legal system and advised on available legal resources in the community.