Skip to content

Sylvie Patenaude

East Electoral Region (E)
Sylvie Patenaude

Candidate bio description

Lawyer & Mom. My two greatest passions. I'm not a politician. I just want to bring real life solicitor practice experience to the Law Society's approach on governance so that there can be a balance between regulations and their use or hindrance to the actual practice of law.

What inspired you to run for bencher this year?

I credit the great Sid Troister ( with inspiring me to run. In his last webinar, he laid out the need for more solicitors at Convocation. I finally clued in and realized why so many of the Law Society's rules that impact a solicitor's practice were impractical - it is the result of the lack of solicitors at the decision-making table... After 25 years...I thought it was time for me to take action and at least try and make change happen, rather than simply complain about various issues and how they are being dealt with.

What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?

I think we are all facing many issues. However, what I may believe is the "biggest issue" may not be as important to someone else.

What would be your first priority upon election?

My biggest concern is to ensure that regulations affecting our daily practice as solicitors have a more balanced and practical approach to them. I also want to become involved with the Law Society Tribunal and ensure that there is a balanced practice-based common sense approach to complaints and hearings not just based on a "pie in the sky" theory of how practice should be and what ideally we should be doing in a perfect world... but actually based on real life issues such as 4:50 pm house closings on a Friday afternoon when your purchaser is waiting for keys with his movers and you need to get the closing funds which have finally arrived from a B Lender to the vendor's counsel quickly...

What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?

CHANGE & EVOLVE. Change and evolve the way the Law Society thinks, the way it does things... not just because it has always been done a certain way... but to actually think of why it is doing something and see if there is a better, more practical way of doing it. I hope that I can put the 25 years of experiences I have gone thru to good use and do something... anything that helps change and improve what is currently in place.

What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?

What I may think is a pressing concern, may not be so pressing to others. I look forward to hearing from members of the East region on this...

Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?

I don't see the Statement of Principles as being new. 25 years ago, I took an oath... I think that some of us forget that oath (some of us forget what we had for lunch yesterday)...and need reminding every once and a while - hence the Statement of Principles reminding us of our duty to champion the rule of law and to safeguard everyone's rights and freedoms: I accept the honour and privilege, duty and responsibility of practising law as a barrister and solicitor in the Province of Ontario. I shall protect and defend the rights and interests of such persons as may employ me. I shall conduct all cases faithfully and to the best of my ability. I shall neglect no one’s interest and shall faithfully serve and diligently represent the best interests of my client. I shall not refuse causes of complaint reasonably founded, nor shall I promote suits upon frivolous pretenses. I shall not pervert the law to favor or prejudice any one, but in all things I shall conduct myself honestly and with integrity and civility. I shall seek to ensure access to justice and access to legal services. I shall seek to improve the administration of justice. I shall champion the rule of law and safeguard the rights and freedoms of all persons. I shall strictly observe and uphold the ethical standards that govern my profession. All this I do swear or affirm to observe and perform to the best of my knowledge and ability.

Poll Question

What do you see as the top issue that prospective benchers need to address if they are elected?