2018 Zenith Award Winners
Rod Northey is a member of Gowling WLG’s Environmental Law Group who focuses on regulatory approvals and strategies across the full range of approval regimes involving the environment. He leads legal teams for several major environmental assessments in the transportation, energy and mining sectors in Ontario and Nunavut. The Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change appointed Northey to its expert panel to review Canada’s environmental assessment process. He authored the 2018 Guide to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and chairs the Board of Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Greenbelt Fund.
Insolvency & Financial Restructuring
Jeffrey Oliver is a Partner in Cassels Brock’s Restructuring & Insolvency Group who has extensive experience in detecting and prosecuting fraud actions, both within insolvency proceedings and in standard commercial litigation. Oliver recently played a leading role in the landmark appeal decision in Redwater, successfully defending the initial decision. He has volunteered for the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals to draft exam questions and also served on the INSOL Ian Fletcher Moot committee. Oliver has served as the president of the Board of Directors of ArtStarts In Schools.
Mathieu Piché-Messier is the Regional Leader of BLG’s Commercial Litigation Group in the Montréal office. Most of his practice is devoted to trial and litigation matters, inclusive of mediation, specializing in preparing and enforcing extraordinary remedies. Piché-Messier participated in the parliamentary committees of the National Assembly responsible for reform of the Québec Code of Civil Procedure. He recently completed the Leadership Program at Harvard Law School. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Association Foundation and has sat on the boards of several legal, charitable and cultural organizations.
Celeste Poltak’s class actions practice focuses on acting for marginalized groups against governments and large corporations. Poltak helped to achieve a landmark settlement on behalf of Sixties Scoop survivors, which was one of the largest class-action settlements in Canadian history, and she is counsel in a class proceeding against Canada on behalf of LGBTQ2I members of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP and federal public service for damages caused by the LGBT Purge. Poltak is at the forefront of promoting change, legal education and scholarship in the area of class actions practice, holding numerous time-consuming positions to advance these goals.
Johanna Price acts in a wide range of commercial, energy, construction and general litigation matters and occasionally acts as Inquiry Officer under the Expropriation Act. An advocate of alternative dispute resolution, she has been involved in many successful dispute resolutions through negotiation, mediation, arbitration and judicial dispute resolution. She Chairs the National Canadian Bar Association, ADR Section, and is a longstanding member and Past President of the Association of Women Lawyers, organizing its first leadership conference in 2011. She has also been on the organizing committee of the Women In Law Leadership (WILL) Awards since its inception in 2011.