The Top 25 Most Influential - Page 5

  • Subtitle: Cover Story
Written by  Posted Date: August 6, 2012


Photo: Brian Harder
Photo: Brian Harder
Douglas J. Black
Vice chairman and senior counsel of Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
and chairman of the University of Calgary’s board of governors, Calgary

Douglas Black was elected by Albertans as one of three nominees for the Senate on April 23. His web site refers to him as “Doug Black, Senator in Waiting.” An avid supporter of the arts, in his senate campaign, Black vowed to “be a voice for arts and culture” in Alberta and across Canada. His practice at FMC involves providing legal, policy, and strategic advice to governments and corporations. With a legal practice focused on corporate-commercial and energy law, Black is also president of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada, an industry body he helped found that’s pushing for a national energy strategy. He has been active in conservative politics for nearly 40 years. Even though he likely won’t get to sit in the Senate, Black told the Leduc Representative newspaper in April he was running because, “the Senate isn’t democratic and I think changes need to be made.”

What the panel had to say: “His knowledge of energy policy and Canadian politics would serve Canadians well if Black ever got a chance to sit in the Senate.”

The Top 25 Most InfluentialChief Justice Robert Bauman
Chief Justice, Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver

Chief Justice Robert Bauman authored the much-anticipated B.C. polygamy reference, and also took a strong stance on judicial independence when the provincial government launched its justice system modernization plan earlier this year. In a speech to the B.C. branch of the Canadian Bar Association last November, he warned that B.C.’s justice system is “threatened, if not in peril,” due to chronic underfunding from the government. He noted that many cases — some quite serious — are being thrown out, especially at the provincial court level, due to unreasonable delays. He also bemoaned cuts to the numbers of court clerks and other support services and called on lawyers to be ambassadors of the value of the legal system.

What voters had to say: “His decisions have influenced the course of justice.”

The Top 25 Most InfluentialMichael Geist
Professor, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, Ottawa

Michael Geist holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law. On the Top 25 list for a second year, he continues to be arguably the most influential voice on law and technology in the country, not only within the legal profession but also by educating the Canadian public through his newspaper columns and highly regarded blog. Over the past year, he has made public much of the debate of Canada’s new copyright laws, highlighting many of the issues and problems that otherwise would pass under the radar.

What voters had to say: “Michael Geist is my idol.”

The Top 25 Most InfluentialJordan Furlong
Partner, Edge International Inc.; senior consultant, Stem Legal Web Enterprises Inc.; award-winning blogger, Ottawa

Jordan Furlong is one of the few Canadians who constantly question the status quo and how law firms are run in this country. He is well-versed in marketing and social media as well as law practice management and is a sought-after speaker at professional events and conferences as well as writing on the topics at his Law21 blog. He has his eye on the ball when it comes to the future of legal practice in Canada and is more than willing to drag Canadian lawyers and firms kicking and screaming into the new age of the practice of law.

What voters had to say: “Jordan is a key commentator and consultant on change in the legal profession.”

The Top 25 Most InfluentialNorman Steinberg
Chairman, Norton Rose Group, Montreal

Cementing his influence in global law firm Norton Rose Group, Norman Steinberg became the first non-U.K. chairman of the group in May. His appointment, as Norton Rose chief executive Peter Martyr put it, “is a reflection of the globalization of the practice” of law and makes Steinberg one of Canada’s major players on the international scene. He has significant management experience as well as strong understanding of international markets gained from a practice focusing on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, privatization, and corporate governance.

What the panel had to say: “In his new position, Steinberg is putting Canada out there on the global stage.”

Prepared with assistance from Monica Russell.
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0 # StudentSiva 2012-11-03 19:59
Where is Clayton Ruby or Barbara Jackman
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0 # StudentRavi 2012-08-20 11:03
Geist's name in the list represents a credible recognition to public voice and open debate. His insights and objective comments on important IP and IT policy issues made his Blog an enlightening place to revisit. Many Congratulations!
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+4 # RE: The Top 25 Most InfluentialGraeme Mitchell 2012-08-08 16:11
Curious that four of these individual currently hold judicial office. By virtue of being judges these individuals are no longer lawyers and should not be included in this roster. It is also disappointing that no lawyers from Manitoba, Saskatchewan or the Maritime Provinces are included. There are many lawyers doing important advocacy in those jurisdictions. A more representative list should be compiled in future.
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0 # LawyerMelinda Munro 2012-08-07 17:50
So there are no influential lawyers east of Montreal? There are no francophone influential lawyers and there are no influential lawyers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan?
The contest is obviously Toronto-centric so why not call it that or don't have winners in a year where you don't get a reasonable distribution of nominations?
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+3 # Social WorkerBarb Dorrington 2012-08-08 09:52
They live where they live. I do not think it is an issue of where people reside at all. Perhaps next year you can recommend some nominees. Lots of selected lawyers were from one could call the contest Ottawa-centric, if one expands on your thinking. Really, these people all did great things and should be in the spotlight. Well deserved nominees and make Canada a better place to be! Hopefully next year, we will find other equally strong candidates and they will get their turn to be recognized.
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Gail J. Cohen

One of Canada’s most experienced and respected legal journalists, Gail J. Cohen is the former editor in chief of Canadian Lawyer and Law Times, who was responsible for the editorial direction of all the publications in the group, which also includes Candian Lawyer InHouse, Canadian Lawyer 4Students, and the daily Legal Feeds blog. Gail has covered the legal profession in Canada as a reporter and editor since 1997, which had put her in a prime position to access and engage thought leaders in the regulatory, legal, and business realms. Canadian Lawyer and its editorial team have been the recipients of many journalism awards and their publications are highly respected throughout the legal profession in Canada and abroad.

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