Saturday, May 16, 2020

 We are a network of over 10,500 alumni that span the legal profession and beyond – from Justices on the Supreme Court of Canada bench to entrepreneurs blazing their own trails. As valued members of our community, alumni are our ambassadors and one of our greatest strengths.

The Faculty of Law Alumni Awards biennially recognize the exceptional contributions of our community members. 

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes extraordinary public leadership and lifelong commitment to the community over the course of their career. 

The Wilson Prichard Award for Community and Professional Service, named in honour of Ann Wilson (LLB 1975) and Robert Prichard (LLB 1975), the award recognizes graduates of the Faculty of Law (less than 15 years since graduation), who demonstrate the highest standards of professional integrity, excellence and leadership and who have made a significant contribution to the legal profession and/or community through their public interest work, pro bono activities and/or community service.

The Faculty is pleased to announce our 2020 Alumni Award recipients

Distinguished Alumni Award

Wilson Prichard Award for Community and Professional Service

Maureen Kempston Darkes (JD 1973, LLD honoris causa 1996)

Maureen Kepston

Maureen exemplifies that anything is possible with a degree from U of T Law. Her trailblazing career is an inspiration. It's an honour to count her as one of our graduates. – Ed Iacobucci (LLB 1996), Dean and James M. Tory Professor of Law

Maureen Kempston Darkes was appointed General Motors Corporation Group Vice President and President, GM Latin America, Africa and Middle East (LAAM) and a member of the General Motors Automotive Strategy Board, effective January 1, 2002, a position which she held until her retirement from General Motors in December, 2009. Prior to this appointment, she was President and General Manager of General Motors of Canada Limited (GMCL) and Vice President of General Motors Corporation from 1994 to 2001.

Kempston Darkes currently serves on the boards of Canadian National Railway, Brookfield Asset Management, Irving Oil, Enbridge Inc., and Canadian Olympic Committee. In January 2013, she was appointed by the Government of Canada to the Science, Technology and Innovation Council. She has also served on the Boards of Brascan, Noranda, Falconbridge, Thomson Corporation, Balfour Beattie plc, and Schlumberger Limited. During her tenure as President of GM of Canada, she was a board member of the Vehicle Manufacturers' Association; the Ontario Government Education, Quality and Accountability Board; and the Ontario Minister of Health's Women's Health Council.

She was appointed by the federal government to the Free Trade Agreement Automotive Select Panel in 1989 and, in 1994, to the Transportation Equipment Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade.

Kempston Darkes is a former Director of Bridgepoint Health Foundation. She has served as the former chair for major gifts for Women's College Hospital Fund Raising Campaigns; co-chaired the BC Cancer Foundation's Millennium Campaign, focused on genome science and research into finding cures for and treatment of cancer.

In 1997, she was awarded the Order of Ontario and in 2000, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. She holds a BA in history and political science from Victoria College, University of Toronto and a JD from U of T's Faculty of Law, and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1975.

The Honourable Robert “Bob” J. Sharpe (LLB 1970)

Justice Bob Sharpe

Justice Sharpe's impressive career – from academia to the bench – has left an indelible mark, not only on the legal community in Ontario, but across Canada and beyond. To recognize his distinguished career is truly an honour. – Andrea Burke (LLB 1994), Law Alumni Association (LAA) President

The Honourable Robert “Bob” J. Sharpe (LLB 1970) was a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario from 1999 until his retirement from the judiciary earlier this year. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1974 and practised with MacKinnon McTaggart (later McTaggart Potts) in the area of civil litigation.

He was a professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto from 1976 to 1988 and served under Chief Justice Brian Dickson as Executive Legal Officer at the Supreme Court Canada from 1988 to 1990. Robert Sharpe was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto in 1990 and served in that capacity until his appointment as member of the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division) now the Superior Court of Justice, in 1995.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1991, awarded the Ontario Bar Association Distinguished Service Award in 2005, elected a Senior Fellow of Massey College in 2006, and received the Mundell Medal for Distinguished Contribution to Law and Letters in 2008. In 2011, he was appointed as a Visiting Professor, Oxford University and received the honorary doctoral degrees from the Law Society of Upper Canada and the University of Windsor.

Justice Sharpe has written several books including The Law of Habeas Corpus (3rd ed. 2011); The Last Day, the Last Hour: The Currie Libel Trial, (1988); Injunctions and Specific Performance (5th ed. 2017); The Charter of Rights and Freedoms (with Professor Kent Roach) (6th ed. 2017), Brian Dickson: A Judge’s Journey (with Kent Roach) (2003); The Persons Case: The Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood (with Patricia McMahon) (2007); The Lazier Murder: Prince Edward County, 1884 (2011). His most recent book is Good Judgment: Making Judicial Decisions (2018). Justice Sharpe has also published many scholarly articles.

He is a frequent lecturer at academic conferences and professional development seminars. He was a member of the Advisory Panel to assist the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission regarding the judiciary (2002) and a member of the International Bar Association Rapid Response Missions to investigate threats to judicial independence in Russia (2005) and Pakistan (2007).

Justice Sharpe is currently Distinguished Jurist in Residence at the Faculty of Law, Member of Arbitration Place and President of the Osgoode Society for Legal History.

Nader Hasan (JD 2006)

Nader Nansan

"His legal skill was obvious as a law student, and has since outgrown all expectations. But even more impressively, he remains relentlessly committed to the ideals of the justice system: the presumption of innocence, access to justice, and substantive equality for all."  Amir Hessam Ghadaki (JD 2007), Times Group Corp. 

Nader Hasan (JD 2006) is a partner at Stockwoods LLP where he practises criminal, constitutional and regulatory litigation. Nader previously practised criminal and public law litigation as a partner at Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan (with Clayton Ruby) and as an associate at the New York office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Nader clerked for the Honourable Marshall  Rothstein at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Nader has served his community as a teacher, an advocate and a mentor.

Over the past ten years, Nader has been Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Nader has taught evidence and co-leads the criminal appellate externship process. He also teaches a popular course on criminal law and punishment from a comparative U.S-Canada perspective.

Nader sits as a co-chair on the University of Toronto Tribunal, where he presides over cases involving academic misconduct.

Nader has also devoted a significant amount of time to pro bono work in the courts. He is a member of the Ontario Inmate Appeal Duty Counsel Program, a roster of leading criminal counsel who appear regularly in the Ontario Court of Appeal to argue criminal appeals for the indigent. He also regularly represents individuals and public interest organizations in pro bono appeals in the Supreme Court of Canada.

Nader has been an outspoken advocate on diversity in the legal profession. Nader also regularly mentors young lawyers and students on both a formal and informal basis. Nader co-founded, with Professor Anver Emon, a duty counsel program to assist University of Toronto students who are approached by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). He will join the Faculty's David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights as the Constitutional-Litigator-in-Residence this fall.

Atrisha Lewis (JD 2012)
Atrisha Lewis

"Atrisha is an outspoken advocate on diversity within the legal profession. Her article, "Repealing Ontario Lawyers Statement of Principles is not a Principled Stand," (Globe and Mail, June 12, 2019) had an impact on our profession. She received hundreds of e-mails from individuals all over the country." Professor Simon Stern, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Atrisha Lewis (JD 2012), Senior Associate, McCarthy Tétrault’s Litigation Group, maintains a litigation practice focused on commercial disputes, including breach of contract and oppression claims. professional liability litigation, intellectual property litigation and tax disputes. Atrisha has appeared before all levels of Court in Ontario, the Federal Court, and the Federal Court of Appeal. She has considerable trial experience and has been counsel in private arbitration.

In 2019, Atrisha was elected as a Bencher to the Law Society of Ontario, having been elected on an equity-seeking platform. Atrisha is passionate about advocating in favour of inclusion. She has written a number of articles on the topic and has lectured extensively to members of the legal profession and the public on equity issues.

Atrisha gives back to U of T Law in a number of ways. She is an adjunct professor and a coach for the Grand Moot. She frequently lectures at the school to speak on motions, in the Legal Process course. She has also participated in the Lawyers Doing Cool Things speaker series and was the keynote speaker at this year's Black Future Lawyers conference. 

Atrisha was also a DiverseCity Fellow, a GTA based not-for-profit created to bring together diversity and inclusion advocates in the Toronto region. She was asked to be a part of Mayoral task force to address economic recovery for the City of Toronto and is a regular contributor to NEWSTALK1010, The Roundtable.