Richard Shaw

By Karen Gross / Photo by Nick Wong

From the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Nexus

As chairman of Calgary-based Inter Pipeline Ltd., Richard Shaw, LLB 1971, oversees a public company with a market capitalization of about $10 billion. And that’s just one of the roles he fills, in what you might call his second career as a corporate director, following several decades as a successful corporate securities lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault. “I dealt with oil and gas. I dealt with pipelines. I dealt with electrical generation companies,” he says. “I did pretty well the gamut of what you can do in securities and M&A in the energy space.”

Shaw’s route to the legal world was unexpected. The first in his family to graduate from university, he earned a science degree from McGill and went to work at IBM in Montreal. When a friend there told him he planned to attend law school, Shaw decided he’d try it too. “It wasn’t something I had in my mind to do. In fact, I had not even considered it,” he says. “It ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. I tell that story a lot.”

From law school, he joined what was then McCarthy & McCarthy, eventually relocating to Calgary to assist in establishing the firm’s national presence. And although he’s been in Alberta ever since, Shaw’s consistent support of the Faculty of Law hasn’t wavered. As part of the current financial aid Campaign for Excellence without Barriers, he and his wife Mary, a U of T alumna (MA 1971), contributed $100,000 for the Richard Shaw and Mary Tansey Shaw Award. “Mary and I feel very fortunate.  We’ve done well over many years and it’s appropriate to help others,” he says. “I think today, if I look back at my circumstances growing up, it would be a great challenge for me to go to law school. U of T Law gave me great opportunities and I’d like to give back, in some small way.”