The Top 25 Most Influential
- Subtitle: Cover Story
The Top 25 Most Influential is not just about bright stars, big deals, or number of media mentions — although those may play a part. We have endeavoured to select lawyers who have been influential within the profession as well as Canadian society over the last 18 months. Closing a high-worth deal, for instance, doesn’t necessarily have a big impact beyond that particular business or industry. The Top 25 is about a level of respect, the ability to influence public opinion, and help shape the laws of this country; contribution to the strength and quality of legal services; and social and political influence and involvement. It can include regulators and politicians — although former Justice and Public Safety ministers Rob Nicholson and Vict Toews were shut out this year.
Once again, we split the list up into five areas of influence, changing them slightly from last year, and have chosen the top five in each of: corporate-commercial law; changemakers; criminal and human rights law; government, associations, and non-profits including public inquiries and officers of Parliament; and have brought back the in-house counsel category. Nominees were put in the category in which the individual exercised their influence in the time period.
A number of previous winners are back this year, such as B.C. Chief Justice Robert Bauman, Vancouver criminal lawyer Joseph Arvay, Osgoode Hall Law dean Lorne Sossin, and the University of Ottawa’s Michael Geist. This year’s list also sees a strong cohort of new movers and shakers including corruption expert Kristine Robidoux, Supreme Court of Canada Justice Rosalie Abella, Quebec corruption inquiry chairwoman Justice France Charbonneau, incoming Canadian Bar Association president Fred Headon, and a group of highly respected changemakers.
Some of our winners proved to be quite controversial including Joe Groia, whose nomination one voter called “a travesty that cheapens this entire exercise.” However the majority of comments lauded his efforts in the battle with the Law Society of Upper Canada over civility in the courtroom. Echoing the sentiments of many, one voter noted: “His commitment to his clients and his beliefs is to be rewarded, not punished!” Ontario’s ombudsman André Marin is often criticized for his brash style but he received more positive comments on his nomination than any other candidate in the Top 25.
So without further ado, here are the 2013 Top 25 Most Influential. They are listed with the top vote getter in each category first, followed by the others in alphabetical order.
Disagree with the choices? Did we miss someone obvious? Post your feedback at below or e-mail it to email@example.com.
Page 2: Top 5 in Corporate-Commercial Law
Page 3: Top 5 Changemakers
Page 4: Top 5 in Criminal Law/Human Rights
Page 5: Top 5 in Government/Non-Profits/Associations
Page 6: Top 5 In-House Counsel
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.