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Ogilvy injects $1 million into McGill law’s coffers

|Written By Robert Todd

McGill’s Faculty of Law has received a major cash injection from Ogilvy Renault LLP, which last week announced members of the firm have donated $1 million to back a pair of scholars in international arbitration and commercial law.

“Ogilvy Renault is making one of the most substantial gifts to teaching and research at a Canadian law faculty ever,” said the faculty’s dean Nicholas Kasirer.

“The faculty is immensely grateful to the firm, its partners, retired partners, associates and staff for its historic generosity in embracing this international and transsystemic project to support arbitration as an emerging field in the faculty of law. We share Ogilvy Renault’s conviction that international arbitration and commercial law are critically important to McGill’s future and the future influence of Canadian law around the world.”

Ogilvy’s lawyers, agents, and retired partners — from all the firm’s offices — came together to raise $500,000. The firm itself gave $250,000, with chairman emeritus and Campaign McGill co-chairman Yves Fortier topping it off with an additional $250,000.

Fortier is a McGill law graduate, and considered a top performer in the area of international arbitration law. McGill law grads played a key role in the fundraising efforts, said the school, with 89 per cent of them participating.

Also of note was an earlier $5-million donation from Ogilvy Renault counsel and Campaign McGill co-chairman Senator Michael Meighen and his wife Kelly.

Ogilvy’s $1 million in support of the law faculty will be used to support the new Ogilvy Renault Faculty Scholars in Arbitration in Commercial Law.

The school said the scholars will “contribute to a critical mass of international arbitration and commercial law experts at McGill.”

Said firm chairman Norman Steinberg: “Ogilvy Renault has a very important relationship with McGill and it’s law school. Our successful Ogilvy Renault Faculty Scholars fundraising campaign and the very important university-wide campaign leadership roles played by Yves Fortier and Michael Meighen are a testament to the firm’s longstanding commitment to McGill.”

The school launched its capital fundraising initiative, Campaign McGill, in October 2007. The effort aims to “raise the funds needed to attract and retain the world’s best students and faculty, increase access to quality education, and enhance McGill’s ability to address critical global challenges,” said McGill.

The campaign so far has brought in over $475 million through over 67,600 donations from across the globe.