2017 Zenith Award Winners


Wendy King, Capstone Mining Corp.

Wendy King played a key role developing the diversity policy at Capstone, supporting board and management diversity. Wendy manages an all-female team and works tirelessly to promote the advancement of women of all ages and ethnic groups. She was instrumental in promoting her executive assistant to the role and duties and title of assistant corporate secretary. She is also extremely supportive of the personal goals of women within the organization, providing alternative and flexible work arrangements. She served as the Chair of the Vancouver Club, as its first female President and has mentored young female professionals, graduate students and highschool students with the Minerva Foundation. Wendy is an adjunct professor at the Allard School of Law at UBC and has held an executive role with the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association for many years.

Shalini Konanur, South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario

Shalini Konanur pioneered a dispersed service model for SALCO, with seven satellite clinics now serving South Asians across Greater Toronto. Shalini also spearheaded SALCO’s test case program, going beyond advising to actively advocating for access issues affecting South Asians. Under her guidance, SALCO has intervened at the Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court of Canada and the Ontario courts on issues such as procedural fairness in sponsorship claims, honour killings, religious freedom and racial profiling. She leads the fight against forced marriage, where women’s efforts to escape can lead to sexual assault, abduction, assault and murder. She leads the initiative on forced marriages and lobbied provincial and federal governments to enact reforms to support victims. Her work also spurred formation of the Network of Agencies Against Forced Marriage. Shalini was the 2014 CBA Legal Aid Leader.

Elyse Korman, Otis & Korman LLP

Elyse Korman is a passionate advocate for refugee claimants, including women and children fleeing persecution abroad. Elyse’s work includes acting for: women and children fleeing China based on their opposition to the Family Planning Policy; young Ethiopian female athletes persecuted because of their gender and ethnicity; women fleeing forced female genital mutilation in Africa; female journalists fleeing persecution in Afghanistan; women fleeing domestic and gender violence in countries with no access to state protection; women fleeing religious persecution in China and Pakistan; and women fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation. She has developed particular expertise as an appellate lawyer, preparing over 100 applications to the Federal Court of Canada seeking judicial review of failed refugee claims. She has also provided close mentorship to other women lawyers and legal clerks practising in refugee law.

Cynthia Kuehl, Lerners LLP

Cynthia Kuehl is deputy leader of the health law group. As former head of the appeals group, Cynthia increased the firm’s profile in this highly specialized area. She maintains a highprofile trial and appeals practice, including as trial counsel in Moore v. Getahun et al., a case that caused appellate review of expert evidence. She’s also built a diverse commercial practice and regularly appears at every level of Ontario court, at arbitrations, mediations, professional and regulatory tribunals and inquiries, and has been counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada and Federal Court of Appeal on pro bono interventions. She has managed to balance raising a family with building and maintaining a demanding litigation practice and is often sought out as mentor. Cynthia has been recognized by various publications for the last four years for her work in health and commercial litigation and was previously named Lawyer of the Year for health care law in Toronto.