The Top 25 Most Influential - The World Stage
- Subtitle: Cover Story
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.