Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court welcome new judges Walker, Rochester and Nowak

They hail from diverse fields, including administrative, maritime, and IP law

Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court welcome new judges Walker, Rochester and Nowak

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Arif Virani has announced the appointment of Elizabeth Walker and Vanessa Rochester to the Federal Court of Appeal and Allyson Whyte Nowak to the Federal Court.

Federal Court of Appeal

Elizabeth Walker and Vanessa Rochester will sit as Federal Court of Appeal judges. Before their appointment, they served as judges of the Federal Court.

Walker articled and practiced with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto and Ottawa before joining the National Capital Commission in 1991 as counsel. She returned to Osler in 1994, practising corporate securities transactions and commercial and governance issues for Canadian and international clients. She was named as the managing partner of Osler’s Ottawa office from 2004 to 2014.

In 2014, Walker was appointed chair of the RCMP External Review Committee, focusing on administrative law, employment and labour law, and Charter and human rights issues. She guided the committee through a significant transition period following the amendment of its mandate in November 2014.

Rochester practised predominantly in maritime and transportation law areas before her appointment to the bench. She also worked with Norton Rose Fulbright. She spent several years practising in London, England, and in Singapore, where she handled complex multijurisdictional disputes.

Rochester was the president of the Canadian chapter of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association. She also sat on the Maritime Law Executive and the Federal Court Bench and Bar Liaison Committee of the Canadian Bar Association.

Federal Court

Allyson Whyte Nowak, a senior partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP in Toronto, was appointed as judge of the Federal Court, replacing Justice S. Roussel, who was elevated to the Federal Court of Appeal effective April 19, 2022.

Nowak’s 20-year practice at Norton Rose Fulbright encompasses intellectual property (IP) and related commercial litigation such as patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and disputes over the ownership and inventorship of IP. She has experience litigating at the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court of Canada.

Nowak has participated as a guest lecturer in the National Judicial Institute's judicial education seminars on IP law. She also regularly spoke and wrote on a variety of intellectual property topics.

Minister Virani congratulated the new appointees and expressed confidence that they would serve well in their new roles.

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