Candidate bio description
I have been practicing law for 25 years including 20 years as Assistant General Counsel at Deloitte LLP, the largest professional services firm in Canada. I attended Queen’s Law School and was called in Ontario in 1994. I practiced corporate law at Torys LLP before joining Deloitte. As counsel for Deloitte I focus on commercial matters but like most in-house counsel provide advice on a wide variety of topics. I am a director of the Toronto Lawyers Association. I received the 2018 Lexpert Zenith Award for Mid-Career Excellence in the Legal Profession Corporate Commercial Law.
What inspired you to run for bencher this year?
In-house counsel are under-represented among Benchers and Convocation would benefit from the perspectives of in-house counsel. I represent the interests of more than 10,000 highly skilled professionals in over 50 offices across the country at Deloitte. I’ve spent my career both protecting and empowering Deloitte and its people through legal services to help ensure they have the opportunity to reach their potential and are able to solve challenging, complex, and important problems. I hope to have the opportunity to represent my colleagues in the profession in Ontario with the same enthusiasm and care.
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?
The biggest issue facing the legal profession is the pace of change and the significant transformation of the profession. The demands for access to justice, the need to be a more inclusive and diverse profession, the growing number of students and internationally trained lawyers wanting to practice in Ontario, emerging technologies and disruptive market forces all will make the governance of the profession by Benchers increasingly complex. There are significant challenges but also opportunities to shape the profession in Ontario in the next four years.
What would be your first priority upon election?
To send a clear message about the priority of access to justice by making a commitment to sustainable funding of Pro Bono Ontario. Ontario should be a leader in pro bono law – if other provinces like British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan can do it we should be able to do it in Ontario. Not only do pro-bono initiatives advance access to justice but can be integrated with licensing and competency to provide valuable experience and mentorship.
What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?
As a member of Convocation I hope to contribute to the governance of the profession in a thoughtful way by setting the broader policies and directions of the profession that are in the best interests of both lawyers and the public in Ontario.
What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?
In Toronto the most pressing issue is the influx of people wanting to practice in the city and the shortage of articling positions. I support the recent decision of Convocation to maintain the articling and LPP program with enhancements. Relying on articling alone is not enough and moving to examinations as the sole basis of licensing and management of competency post call through the disciplinary system is not optimal. While LPP has some challenges, together with articling, it is an important commitment to competency.
Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?