2019 Zenith Award Winners


Julie Ouellon-Wente, BMO Financial Group

Julie Ouellon-Wente has been a Change Agent with respect to pro bono, diversity and leadership at the Bank. An alumna of McCarthy Tetrault LLP, “she first approached them and suggested that BMO and McCarthy Tétrault lawyers work together to co-staff the Pro Bono Ontario Hotline for one week in December 2017. Based on the success achieved that week, BMO then committed to staffing one week each quarter in 2018 – each time with a new law firm to help introduce and encourage other lawyers in the community to engage in providing pro bono legal services. This approach has been successful and through this initiative, legal advice continues to be provided to approximately 350 callers each week that BMO co-hosts.” She used a similar approach for the Power of Attorney clinic. To expand the program to an additional local hospital, Ouellon-Wente reached out to Blakes. Lawyers from Blakes now team up with experienced non-lawyers at BMO to provide these services.