The Decade Dozen

From the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of Nexus.

Cornell Wright

One of his biggest clients hopes Cornell Wright, JD/MBA 2000, continues to answer the phone at Torys LLP for a long, long time.

"On big transactions, when there are six pots on six burners, I trust Cornell to really get in there and think through issues, as if I had all the time and attention to dedicate to those problems," says David Binet, executive vice-president of Woodbridge Co. Ltd., the Thomson's family private investment company. "I can use him as my proxy. I think he's exceptionally talented," says Binet.

And wise beyond his years, says Les Viner, LLB 1981, Torys' managing partner. Wright, a firm partner, inspires and draws out the best in his colleagues, adds Viner. "He runs great teams. A really important part of being a strong lawyer is the ability to identify the other resources you need, to communicate clear instructions, to delegate and supervise well, and to pull the team together."

Wright worked on the Thomson-Reuters acquisition deal, "one of the most complex deals ever done in Canada because of the nature of the transaction" says Viner. Wright is also one of the key advisers to the Canada Pension Plan, to Brookfield Properties and to George Weston Ltd. "These are all very sophisticated and demanding clients who go back to him because they trust him."

Calling him "hopeful," Viner highlights Wright's volunteerism too. "He's well-known as a wonderful mentor, training and developing other people. He has a heart of gold and is generous with his time; he's deeply involved with our outreach and diversity programs."

"He has achieved all that foundational training that young lawyers need to get under their belt, all the technical, client-service stuff, and he's now at a stage in his career where he can use all his talents to become an adviser," says Binet. "He's really developed the skill of understanding not only what the legal issues are but also what the client wants to achieve. This could be his decade."

Story: Lucianna Ciccocioppo

Photo: Jeff Kirk

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