The Decade Dozen

From the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of Nexus.

Rob Centa

There's no doubt in Justice Steven Goudge's mind that Rob Centa, LLB 1999, should be on the Decade Dozen list. "He's a superbly talented young litigator who's going to be a superstar in his profession," says Goudge.  Centa, a partner and executive committee member at Paliare Roland Barristers in Toronto, specializes in all areas of advocacy, with a focus on public law, commercial litigation, insolvency and arbitrations.

"I've had a lot of experience with him," says Goudge, LLB 1968. "He clerked for me. He worked as one of the key members of my legal team in the inquiry I did. And he and I have taught together at the Faculty of Law. He has very significant respect amongst those before whom he's appeared and amongst those against whom he's litigated."

Will McDowell, LLB 1986, a partner at Lenczner Slaght, agrees. "Rob's transcendent skill lies in his ability to define the issues in any proceeding in which he is involved. He does this in a disarming way, and you figure out somewhere down the road that he has framed the question for which - hey! - he has the answer."

Paliare Roland managing partner Linda Rothstein, LLB 1980, calls Centa "one of the most talented lawyers of his generation." That's because of his "absolutely superb analytical and stunningly good advocacy skills," she explains. "Rob is one of the best strategists for his level of the bar I've ever seen. He's on the path to becoming one of the great counsels of Ontario."

He's also a dedicated volunteer with the University of Toronto. "He has terrific people skills," says Goudge, "skills that will take him into leadership roles, whether it's in a team of lawyers working on a case, in a group running a program, in a firm helping to run the firm, or whether he runs a venture someday. Those kinds of skills are quite unique."

Story: Lucianna Ciccocioppo

Photo: Jeff Kirk

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