2018 Zenith Award Winners


Chris Javornik, BMO Financial Group

Investment Funds & Asset Management Chris Javornik is Associate General Counsel and Managing Director at Bank of Montreal, leading a team of lawyers across North America, Europe and Asia to support BMO Global Asset Management’s worldwide focus. Javornik’s M&A legal management expertise has been critical in supporting a series of strategic global M&A transactions at BMO. He has advocated to strategically relocate lawyers across jurisdictions to develop internal expertise, accelerate cooperation and knowledge sharing, and develop careers within BMO’s Legal Group. Javornik has championed a focus on clear, concise and plain writing for clients. In his personal time, he enjoys coaching youth soccer and hockey.

Simona Jellinek, Jellinek Law Office Professional Corporation

Personal Injury Simona Jellinek’s practice is almost completely devoted to championing the cause of sexual abuse survivors. Her litigation practice centres on suing large institutional defendants. Jellinek has spearheaded and witnessed changes both in law and policy around helping survivors of sexual abuse and assault. She has been a member of the Toronto Police Sexual Assault Committee for more than a decade. She co-wrote the Law Society of Upper Canada Guide for the Provision of Legal Services in Cases Involving Sexual Abuse. Jellinek is an Executive Committee Board Member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and she was awarded its award for Distinguished Service in 2013.

Monique Jilesen, Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP

Corporate Commercial Monique Jilesen is litigation counsel in complex proceedings and plays a leadership role at her firm as a member of the Management Committee and Strategic Council and as the partner responsible for Finance & Pricing. She has worked on significant commercial litigation matters, including the Algoma CCAA and oppression proceedings and the Sears CCAA proceedings. Committed to mentoring, Jilesen is an advocate for diversity and inclusion. She is a member of the Toronto Commercial List Users’ Committee, an Executive Member of the Advocates’ Society Commercial List Practice Group and past Chair of the Gale Cup Moot. Jilesen was awarded the 2017 Douglas K. Laidlaw Medal for Excellence in Advocacy.

Barbara B. Johnston, QC, Dentons Canada LLP

Employment Law Barbara Johnston, QC, heads Dentons’ Calgary Labour and Employment group. Johnston has been counsel in major cases in labour, employment, human rights, and health and safety matters. She served as a board member and, ultimately, President of the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers. She was inducted as a Fellow into the US College of Labor & Employment Lawyers in 2016, one of the first Canadian women to receive this recognition. Johnston is Vice-chair of the Alberta Alumni Council for Queen’s Faculty of Law and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Queen’s Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace.

Caroline (Nini) Jones, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP

Labour Relations Nini Jones practises employment and union-side labour law at Paliare Roland, where she also has a special interest and expertise in human rights matters. She works with police associations across Ontario and acts for police associations in tough cases involving police-sector labour relations. She represents unions and their members in human rights litigation. Jones advises her police association clients on government legislation affecting their rights, and also carries on a union-side labour practice representing unions and their members at grievance arbitrations, Labour Boards and the courts. She Co-chairs the annual Police Association of Ontario Emerging Issues and Legal Developments conference.