2018 Zenith Award Winners
Sandra Barton is a leading civil and commercial litigator whose wide-ranging practice includes commercial litigation, class-action defence and defamation, product liability, trade-mark and copyright disputes. She represented Bombardier in its successful injunction application that resulted in an order enjoining Metrolinx from terminating its $800-million contract with Bombardier. Barton is a sought-after mentor who has formally and informally mentored numerous young lawyers and law students at various law firms, including those from underrepresented communities. She is also an instructor and lecturer, teaching trial advocacy as an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, and serves on The Advocates’ Society’s Board of Directors.
Sarit Batner is a partner in McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Toronto Litigation Group and a member of the firm’s Board of Partners. She maintains a significant trial and appellant litigation practice with a focus on complex commercial litigation and arbitrations. Known for her incisive cross-examinations and litigation strategy, Batner provides advocacy and strategic advisory counsel to many valued firm clients. She plays a key role in the firm’s recruitment of female partners and is an ardent advocate for inclusion and diversity in law. Batner teaches Trial Advocacy to students and lawyers at the University of Toronto Law School and at Osgoode Hall’s annual Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop.
Born in Montevideo, Miguel Baz came to Canada with his family when they fled from Uruguay’s then brutal military dictatorship. Now Assistant Corporate Secretary and Director of Legal Operations at Bell Canada, he is a skilled professional with solid leadership and management abilities who is fluent in English, French and Spanish. Baz has made an extraordinary contribution to Lawyers Without Borders Canada over 10 years. In just the past two years, he has been President of its Board, steering the organization through financially challenging times and bringing its annual budget from $4 million to $12 million.
Corporate Commercial Law
As Assistant General Counsel at Deloitte, George Begic helps guide management on complex acquisitions, divestitures and initiatives. He has led the legal negotiations of no fewer than 14 strategic transactions over the past two years and is a trusted advisor to Deloitte’s leadership team. Begic has led initiatives on Impact Day for World University Service of Canada, which sponsors refugee students to attend university in Canada, participates in the Legal Leaders for Diversity mentorship program and is a mentor for the University of Toronto Alumni program.
Personal injury lawyer Maia Bent made headlines across Canada last year when a defamation case brought against her was dismissed. Showing great courage, she warned the legal community that a doctor had been altering other doctors’ decisions in order to deny insurance benefits to injured claimants. In dismissing the doctor’s lawsuit, Justice Sean Dunphy agreed that Bent’s warning was “true and correct” and that she was a whistleblower. Bent was the third woman elected President of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. In 2017, she became an Adjunct Professor at the Western Law School and taught a course in Civil Procedure.