Tuesday, August 2, 2016
image of Top 25 graphic

Seven Faculty of Law alumni, including Professor Kent Roach, have been named to the 2016 Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers list of those who “made their mark over the past 18 months” in the legal profession.

The annual ranking is produced by Canadian Lawyer magazine, and 35 Faculty of Law alumni were among the more than 200 nominations received this year. The online voting was open to readers across Canada, and more than 11,000 votes were cast.


Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers for 2016:

In the Government/Non-Profit category, Hon. Justice Ian Binnie, Member arbitrator, Arbitration Place; and counsel, Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP Toronto, leads the group of finalists, for his arbitration work in the Senate scandal, his chairing of the UN Internal Justice Council, its implementation of the UN Dispute Tribunal and Appeals Tribunal Systems, and his counsel work on dispute resolution expertise at Lenczner Slaght.

In the Changemaker category, SCC Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella leads the finalists, as one of only three other Canadians—and the first woman—to receive an honorary degree from Yale University, “the latest in a long line of honours for the well-respected judge and human rights defender.” Her ruling in Carter v. Canada has changed the legal conversation on the assisted dying issue, and she is touted “as the next chief justice of the Supreme Court after Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin retires in 2018.”

In addition, alumnus Chris Bentley is a finalist in this category. He is executive director of Ryerson University’s Law Practice Program and Legal Innovation Zone. Lauded as a “staunch promoter of legal innovation,” he runs the experimental LPP program and assisted in launching the Legal Innovation Zone with Oslers.

Prof. Kent Roach, together with Craig Forcese, was named a Changemaker as well, for their tireless work in educating the Canadian public on the “pitfalls and issues of the previous federal Conservative government’s proposed anti-terrorism laws. Forcese and Roach’s approach to influencing public policy development also changed the way academics contribute it.”

In the Criminal/Human Rights category, alumnus Lorne Waldman was named once again. Waldman is a multiple Top 25 awardee for his work in high-profile cases that caught the public’s attention, such as the right of women to wear niquabs during citizenship ceremonies. He was also co-counsel in the litigation involving the revocation of Canadian citizenship for those convicted of crimes, such as treason, espionage and terrorism.

In the Corporate-Commercial category, alumni Bindu Cudjoe and Justice Frank Newbould were named. Cudjoe is deputy general counsel and chief administrative officer at BMO Financial Group, where she leads the legal, compliance, investigative and security groups for the bank. She was the founding member of the Diversity Council of the legal, corporate and compliance group, and co-chairs the talent development committee.

Justice Newbould of the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto leads the Commercial List Court, and has been praised by many for his work in the drawn-out cross-border Nortel trial, the largest insolvency and restructuring proceeding in Canadian legal history. He also embraced new technology to ensure real time progress in the case.