2018 Zenith Award Winners

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Peter Vanvliet Snell, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP

Franchise Law Peter Snell is the National Co-chair of Gowling WLG’s franchise practice, assisting some of the world’s largest franchise systems with their expansion plans in Canada and overseas. Snell was appointed General Counsel to the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) in 2015 and chaired the CFA’s Legal and Legislative Committee from 2011 to 2015. As General Counsel, he has been actively involved with government advocacy initiatives and on potential law reforms through his work with the Uniform Law Conference of Canada. He was appointed as a special advisor to the Government of British Columbia in the drafting of BC’s franchise legislation.

Elyse Sunshine, Rosen Sunshine LLP

Public Law Elyse Sunshine practises public law litigation exclusively and co-founded the boutique Toronto health law firm Rosen Sunshine. She is independent legal counsel to various regulatory bodies and was appointed Complaints Review Officer for the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority. As a founding board member of the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund, Sunshine was instrumental in creating a public-service announcement video educating young people about preventing and detecting melanoma. She also prepared a video presentation, which aired at the Air Canada Centre in conjunction with an awareness event during a concert for the artist Sia. She serves on the Research Ethics Board at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and provides pro bono advice to Just Paws Animal Rescue.

Ray Thapar, Simmons da Silva LLP

Corporate Commercial Aggressive, responsive and effective are the three principles that exemplify commercial litigator Ray Thapar’s approach to dispute resolution. He has been counsel in several high-profile Canadian cases. Thapar has also had a significant impact by providing pro bono legal services for individuals in need and members of the South Asian community who face language barriers. Able to motivate and organize others, Thapar mentors new lawyers and students launching their careers in law. He is committed to raising consciousness in the area of women’s rights, supporting and empowering women, often in the face of social and cultural barriers.

Jennifer Traub, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Mining Jennifer Traub’s mining law practice has increasingly grown in relatively few short years. Due in part to this success, she was chosen to open Cassels Brock’s Vancouver office and now sits on the firm’s Executive Committee and serves as Co-chair of the firm’s Mining Group. Traub has played an integral role in managing some of the largest and most complex corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions deals in the Canadian mining industry. Her pro bono work includes Special Olympics BC and the Canucks for Kids fund, and she chairs the black-tie gala Daffodil Ball for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Lisa Weber, Weber Law

Aboriginal Law One of the first and few Métis to achieve a Master of Laws degree, Lisa Weber uses her knowledge and expertise to improve the lives of those she works for. She is an adjudicator and deputy chief adjudicator under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement of its kind in Canada. Weber represented intervenors LEAF and the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women in the 2017 Alberta Court of Appeal R. v. Barton decision. She is also involved as legal counsel representing organizations involved in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.