Canadian Law Awards Excellence Awardees for Case, In-house, Firm and Profession categories revealed

Esteemed judging panel now looks at Excellence Awardees; winners to be announced at May 11 gala

Canadian Law Awards Excellence Awardees for Case, In-house, Firm and Profession categories revealed

The shortlist for Lexpert’s Canadian Law Awards categories for case, in-house, firm and profession categories is out. And now it’s in the hands of the 66 judges carefully chosen to go through the tough job of vetting all the nominees to come up with a winner.

But it’s a task that judges are happy to take on.

“I am thrilled to again participate as a judge,” says Yola Ventresca, managing partner at Lerners LLP and a CLA judge since the awards began in 2020. “Reviewing the candidate portfolios is truly an honour.”

Yola Ventresca
Yola Ventresca

She adds that the awardees embody all that is good about our profession. “The short-listed awardees are chosen from hundreds of applicants.  Each one is extremely distinguished in their respective category, making selection of a winner very difficult.”

Ventresca says she tries to approach the selection process “very methodically” by voting for the candidate “who most closely aligns with the established criterion.”

“Again, this is very difficult but very rewarding process. And all awardees should be extremely proud.”

First-time judge Gillian Hnatiw, principal at Gillian Hnatiw and Co. and a litigator who has looked at sexual assault cases, says she looks forward to reviewing the submissions because it gives her a “great opportunity to learn about all of interesting and impressive that other members of the bar are doing and to recognize the accomplishments of my peers.”

Gillian Hnatiw
Gillian Hnatiw

She points out that “it’s a reminder of all the great things that members of the bar can do.” She adds that having a short list of nominations that is publicized “is wonderful because it shines a big spotlight on a number of different firms, lawyers and projects out there, not just the final winners.” And having a large panel of judges with diverse backgrounds vetting the nominations allows for a variety of people and views coming together to a consensus on a category winner.

A methodical process of judging

Excellence Awardees were determined via a rigorous, expert-informed process. The Canadian Law Awards editorial and research teams reviewed all the submissions and are then sent to an independent external judging panel which will score the nominations against the criteria. Through an aggregation of judges’ scoring, a final winner will be chosen from each category.

On April 19, the Excellence Awardees for all Deal Award categories will be announced. Overall winners in deal and non-deal categories will be named at a gala event to be held in Toronto on May 11.

The Excellence Awardees are listed here and are as follows:


Commercial Litigation Case of the Year

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP; Gilbert Séguin Guilbeault - Lamoureux v. Organisme canadien de réglementation du commerce des valeurs mobilières (OCRCVM), 2022 QCCA 685       

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP; Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP; Bennett Jones LLP - Commissioner of Competition v Rogers Communications, Inc. and Shaw Communications, Inc.        

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP - Owsianik v. Equifax Canada Co., 2022 ONCA 813           

Lawson Lundell LLP - Remington Development Corporation v. Canadian Pacific Railway Company, 2022 ABKB 692

Lenczner Slaght LLP - Annapolis Group Inc v Halifax Regional Municipality, 2022 SCC 3

Stikeman Elliott LLP; Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP - Centerra Gold Inc. v. Bolturuk, 2022 ONSC 1040



Banking & Financial Services Law Department of the Year

HSBC Bank Canada         

Otéra Capital     



Law Department Innovation Award

EY Canada          

Ivanhoé Cambridge Inc.

Lightspeed Commerce    

Mila - Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute       

Wattpad Corp.


The Lawson Lundell LLP Award for Law Department Leader of the Year

Marisa Muchnik - Ferrero Canada Ltd.

Erin Eizenman - MaRS Discovery District

Eric Tilley - Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation (Infrastructure Ontario)

Jay Vaghela - Propel Holdings Inc.

Roger Chouinard - QuadReal Property Group

Patti Chan - Sunwing Travel Group Inc.


The LexisNexis Canada Award for Canadian Law Department of the Year

Sunwing Travel Group Inc.

Valsoft Corporation Inc.

Wattpad Corp.

Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)


The Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP Award for Construction, Infrastructure and Transportation Law Department of the Year

Alstom Group

BC Hydro, Legal Services

Brivia Group



TransAlta Corporation

VIA Rail Canada Inc.



Boutique Law Firm of the Year

BH Legal

Glaholt Bowles LLP

Green and Spiegel

Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP (Hicks Morley)

Landings LLP

McLeish Orlando LLP


IP Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Gilbert's LLP


Smart & Biggar


Litigation & Dispute Resolution Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP

Crawley MacKewn Brush LLP

Jensen Shawa Solomon Duguid Hawkes LLP ("JSS Barristers")

Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP

Lenczner Slaght LLP

Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP


Litigator of the Year

François Grondin - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)

Peter Aprile - Counter Tax Litigators LLP

Grant Vogeli, KC - Lawson Lundell LLP

Crawford Smith - Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP

Monique Jilesen - Lenczner Slaght LLP

Sarit Batner - McCarthy Tétrault LLP


Managing Partner of the Year

Stuart Wood - Caravel Law LLP

Kristin Taylor - Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

James Speakman - Clark Wilson LLP

Tim Haney - Dentons Canada LLP

Morgyn Chandler - Hammerco Lawyers LLP

Kevin Kiley - McInnes Cooper

Brendon Pooran – PooranLaw Professional Corp.


Regional Law Firm of the Year - Atlantic Canada

McInnes Cooper

Stewart McKelvey


Regional Law Firm of the Year - Ontario

Blaney McMurtry LLP

Torkin Manes LLP

WeirFoulds LLP


Regional Law Firm of the Year - Prairies

McDougall Gauley LLP

McKercher LLP

Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP


Regional Law Firm of the Year - Quebec

Langlois Lawyers, LLP



Regional Law Firm of the Year – Western Canada

Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

Farris LLP

Lawson Lundell LLP


The LEAP Legal Software Award for Family Law Firm of the Year

Benmor Family Law Group LLP

Burrison Hudani Doris LLP

Crossroads Law

Epstein Cole LLP

MacLean Law

McCarthy Hansen & Company LLP

Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers



Best Use of Technology in a Law Firm

Caravel Law LLP

Counter Tax Litigators LLP

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Torys LLP


Diversity Initiative of the Year

Everyone Legal Clinic

Indigenous Community Initiatives and Support

The PRISME Conference

Fasken's Commitment to Reconciliation

NCA Network

Mentorship Plus program

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Program


Female Trailblazer of the Year (In House Counsel)

Terrie-Lynne Devonish - Altus Group Limited

Ashley Butts - BASF Canada Inc.

Shara Roy - EY Canada

Patricia (Trish) Callon - Sun Life

Noren Howg  - TransAlta Corporation


Female Trailblazer of the Year (Private Practice)

Cherie Brant - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Alicia Quesnel - Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

Corina S. Weigl – Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Sania Chaudhry - Forte Workplace Law

Ivanna Iwaykiw - Jellinek Ellis Gluckstein Lawyers

Yola Ventresca - Lerners LLP

Alison Babbitt - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Charmaine Panko - Panko Collaborative Law & Mediation


Pro Bono Initiative of the Year

Dentons Canada LLP - 30 Birds Foundation

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP - The Clinic (The Black and Indigenous Business Law Clinic)‎

McCarthy Tétrault LLP - British Columbia (Attorney General) v. Council of Canadians with Disabilities, 2022 SCC 27

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP - Obtaining relief for taxpayers from financial loss

PooranLaw Professional Corp. - I Decide Law Program

Waterloo Region Community Legal Services - Representation of Residents of a Homeless Encampment in a Municipal/Constitutional Law case before the Superior Court

WeirFoulds LLP - Five-Country Eastern Caribbean Constitutional Challenge


The Lincoln Alexander School of Law Award for Shaping the Future

Caravel Law LLP

Community Justice Collective

Counter Tax Litigators LLP

Everyone Legal Clinic (Access Pro Bono Society of BC)

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Suresh Law Professional Corporation

Recent articles & video

Howie Sacks & Henry committed to continued expansion as it sets its sights on the future

State can be liable for damages for passing unconstitutional laws that infringe Charter rights: SCC

Manitoba court dismisses medical malpractice claim due to 'inordinate and inexcusable delay'

Last chance to take part in the 2024 Readers' Choice

BC Supreme Court awards damages for car crash but dismisses loss of earning capacity claims

BC Supreme Court grants limited spousal support due to economic hardship in 21-year marriage

Most Read Articles

Support orders not automatically spent if ‘child of marriage’ hits age of majority: BC appeal court

US federal judge upholds law suspending 97-year-old appeals judge

BC Supreme Court partially varies will to ensure fair estate distribution

Ontario Superior Court approves settlement in mortgage renewal class action