The Top 25 Most Influential - The World Stage

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


The Top 25 Most InfluentialLouise Arbour
Counsel, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Montreal, Que.

An international lawyer who has recently settled back in Canada, Arbour has certainly earned a spot on the Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential list again this year. She is a winner of the 2015 Simons Foundation Award, recognizing world leaders who shape and create an environment for a safer and more just world. Arbour has spoken out against prolonged use of solitary confinement and has been inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. She has been a Supreme Court of Canada judge, an international war crimes prosecutor, and a law school professor. Her ability to pick things up quickly led her to various roles nationally and internationally. Arbour says economic disparities between and within counties is the number-one inexcusable human rights issue at the moment. Always craving new and challenging environments, just last year she finally did something she had never done: joined a law firm in Montreal where she continues to fight for human rights.

What voters had to say:

“Her stunning contributions speak for themselves.”

“International superstar.” 

The Top 25 Most InfluentialDawn Devoe
General counsel, World Vision Canada, Toronto, Ont.

Devoe is World Vision’s key legal adviser for its No Child for Sale advocacy campaign aimed at ending child labour and human trafficking. As lead counsel for the Canadian negotiations regarding World Vision’s partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, she has represented the organization at global partnership meetings in South Africa, Kenya, and the Philippines. This partnership accounts for more than $30 million of annual food aid programmed through World Vision Canada. With projects in nearly 100 countries across the globe, Devoe manages a busy legal department and has been able to remain flexible and nimble.

What voters had to say:

“Amazing lawyer and person. She not only has a love for the law, but also cares deeply for others and demonstrates that in her work.”

“Brilliant legal counsel, very creative problem solver, able to incorporate legal and taxation laws into a beneficial solution to all parties.”

The Top 25 Most InfluentialPascale Fournier
Professor & research chair, legal pluralism and comparative law, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, Ottawa, Ont.

Fournier has achieved international recognition for her groundbreaking work on gender, religion, and the law, using fieldwork interviews with women from various countries to highlight the complex interplay between religious and secular law. She has received numerous national and international awards and nominations in 2014. Fournier became a fellow of the prestigious International Women’s Forum for her role as a leader in the legal profession; receiving the Canada-Arab Chamber of Commerce Award for “academic excellence and contribution to humanity.” Fournier represented the University of Ottawa as a successful leader in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference and was unanimously appointed by the National Assembly of Quebec to the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission.

What voters had to say:

“Outstanding mind, according [to] Harvard’s Prof. Kennedy.”

The Top 25 Most InfluentialMurray Klippenstein
Founder, Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors, Toronto, Ont.

Back for the second year on the Top 25, Klippenstein’s ongoing representation of 13 members of the indigenous Mayan Q’eqchi’ population from El Estor, Guatemala, continues to make waves. Three related lawsuits are before the Ontario courts against Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals over the brutal killing of Adolfo Ich and the gang rape of 11 women from Lote Ocho. In a precedent-setting ruling in July of 2013, an Ontario court decided that lawsuits can proceed to trial in Canada over the objections of Hudbay Minerals. At home he is also taking on the big guys in a case against Encana Corp. that’s challenging the regulation and practice of hydraulic fracking in Canada.

What voters had to say:

 “Kudos for standing up for, upholding Canadian values, wherever we operate.”

The Top 25 Most InfluentialPascal Paradis

Executive director, Lawyers Without Borders Canada, Quebec City, Que.

Also back for his second time on the Top 25, Paradis is an unstoppable force and a passionate advocate for human rights, particularly for women and children. Thanks to Paradis’ initiative, the Quebec bar joined LWBC to act as international counsel in favour of Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger condemned to jail and flogging for his comments criticizing the regime. Since January 2015, Paradis and LWBC are leading a consortium of Canadian organizations working on a wide-range five-year project to foster justice. They aim to implement means of prevention and reconciliation for women victims of sexual violence and other persons affected by the Malian armed conflict. He also speaks at many international conferences on human rights issues.

What voters had to say:

 “He has left a very profitable position in a big national law firm to head LWBC for a very small paycheque because he followed his heart and his passion.”

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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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