The Top 25 Most Influential - Changemakers

  • Subtitle: Cover Story
Written by  Posted Date: August 3, 2015


The Top 25 Most InfluentialSara Cohen
Founder, Fertility Law Canada at D2Law LLP, Toronto, Ont.

Cohen has devoted her career to two activities that have changed the practice of fertility law for the better in Canada and beyond. She has spent countless hours teaching and mentoring on the subject of fertility as an adjunct professor, at home and abroad. Her collegiality in a notoriously competitive area of the law, truly underlines Cohen’s dedication to improving the practice of fertility law. More importantly she pushes for change she wants to see in this burgeoning area of the law. Recent lobbying efforts are sure to pay off; among them to obtain coverage for in vitro fertilization services through Ontario’s health plan as well as changes to the family law legislation that would clarify that a sperm donor is not a parent just by virtue of being a donor. Lastly, she is the first adjunct professor in the country to offer a course exclusively devoted to reproductive law in Canada, helping clear the path for future area practitioners.

What voters had to say:

“Sara has been instrumental in improving the law in assisted reproductive technology.”

“Genuinely cares about her field of expertise. This isn’t just a job for Sara, it is her passion.”

The Top 25 Most InfluentialAllison Dellandrea
Crown counsel, Ministry of the Attorney General,Toronto, Ont.

Dellandrea has been a key player in advancing the understanding of crimes against children by law enforcement officials, fellow lawyers, and the judiciary. She was involved in a child sexual abuse case in March where Ontario’s former deputy education minister Ben Levin pleaded guilty to child pornography related charges. The charges included making written child pornography, counseling a person to commit a sexual assault, and possession of child pornography. Dellandrea’s role as a Crown includes being the education lead for Ontario’s provincial strategy on Internet crimes against children. She is an instrumental leader in this area within the justice department.

What voters had to say:

“Allison is a tireless resource and is the penultimate legal mind for a prosecutorial position on all things related to child exploitation and sexual assault offences. For such a difficult subject that inherently involves very taxing emotional and legal issues, Allison always has time to provide sound advice to other Crowns prosecuting these very difficult and sensitive offences. Her efforts have made a tangible difference in making our society safer.”

The Top 25 Most InfluentialFred Headon
Assistant general counsel, labour and employment law, Air Canada, Montreal, Que.

As chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s Futures Initiative, Headon has given more than 25 presentations to lawyers, law students, professors, librarians, law firm staff, and regulators from Toronto to Buenos Aires, Victoria to Halifax, in person and online. The Futures report was released in August 2014 and its recommendations place Headon squarely in the midst of many important discussions on subjects essential to the profession. He continues to lead the Futures steering committee as it now turns its recommendations into action. Headon is an integral part of the discussion on the future of the profession and he was the first in-house counsel to become the president of the CBA.

What voters had to say:

“Brings energy and decency and the smarts to everything he does.”

The Top 25 Most InfluentialAlice Woolley

Professor and associate dean-academic, University of Calgary Faculty of Law, Calgary, Alta.

Woolley is a true changemaker in the area of law and technology as well as law regulation. She has been a valuable member of the Canadian Bar Association’s ethics and professional responsibility committee. Her work with the CBA Futures project as an ethics and regulatory issues team member is truly making a mark in the legal community. Woolley is also responsible for sweeping educational changes as chairwoman of the committee that developed and adopted significant curricular changes at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law, which focus on the practical elements of legal education and will come into effect in September.

What voters had to say:

“Leading expert on legal profession and ethics; when she talks, people listen.”

“Alice is a pragmatic visionary. Teaching law students in a way that will prepare them for a 21st century practice is of critical importance to the future of our profession.”

The Top 25 Most InfluentialMark Tamminga
Partner, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Hamilton, Ont.

Tamminga has devoted his career to automating legal practices. His information technology focus began in 1986 while he was still a law student and was given the task of systemizing the production environment for mortgage files. Since then, Tamminga’s aptitude for legal technology has only grown with Gowlings LLP. Three years ago, he was named Gowlings’ Innovation Initiatives leader. He is responsible for automating the Gowlings recovery services practice. He has designed and built a number of additional practice systems in the areas of debt collection, loan placement, and civil litigation. His role has required re-thinking the thornier aspects of large firm operations: managing cultural change, inducing client-side thinking, and building the compensation mechanics, which drive new behaviour.

What the panel had to say:

“Tamminga has shown real vision in tackling tough issues that many law firms are not quite ready to take on.”

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0 # J 2017-08-10 11:49
Jean-Pierre Blais is one of the lawyer I admire, I really love his work like the rights of consumers.
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0 # President and CEO Independent Sports Advisory services! Mediation/arbitration/Financial Mattersjames Francis Regan 2017-02-12 09:30
On a snowy Sunday Morning any committed lawyer should run 20 K just to stay on top of their game!!! Amazing inner strength here!!! Dodging that snow takes lots of hard work! Congratulations Ms. Dellandrea!!
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-15 # M.Francois Godere 2016-02-04 02:56
This message is meant for M. Henein. As a woman you should be ashamed to defend Mr. Gomeshi and denigrate the victims with your unreasonable cross examination. I am certain that you would not feel the same way should it be someone in your family or close to you who would have suffered abuse like these women have. You are a soulless person and you should not help this abuser get away with his crimes.
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0 # Ignorant postMichael Cohen 2017-07-13 14:16
Why does Ms. Henein's gender matter when the sole responsibility of a hired lawyer is to best represent their client in the most effective manner possible? Keep your feminism out o this discussion. She did her job very well otherwise Mr. Ghomeshi would be behind bars right now. Sure, morality does play a role in the law but a lawyer's sole duty is to their client. Should Ms. Henein or any other women that defended Mr. Ghomeshi just say the hell with it, he is my client but I don't like him so I'll just lose on purpose? That's professional and ethical suicide and can lead to your licence being cancelled.

Marie Henein was not a bystander watching this case from the outside as you are. She was hired to do her job and she did it fine. If the opposition had stronger evidence then she would not have won. Learn about the justice system before you make such ignorant remarks.
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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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