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Revealed: Canadian Law Awards winners 2020

See who won out in our first ever Law Awards

Revealed: Canadian Law Awards winners 2020

A global pandemic couldn’t stop the legal profession. Lawyers and firms across Canada have persevered in this most trying year, forging deals, advocating for clients, and keeping the lights on and the office running. A global pandemic wasn’t going to stop our celebrations, either.

Today the first annual Canadian Law Awards went virtual, hosting hundreds of attendees from across Canada.

Through the online format Lexpert and Canadian Lawyer were able to include a range of new experiences into the event. We held live panel discussions that sparked lively conversation and highlighted crucial insights. We facilitated peer to peer networking. The Canadian Law Awards, brought to you by Gowling WLG, were a resounding success.

“Although this has been a challenging year, it has also been one of opportunity,” says James Buchan, firm managing partner - clients at Gowling WLG. “From building diverse and inclusive workforces to harnessing innovation to better serve clients in the era of social distance, we continue to raise the bar for ourselves and challenge what is possible.

“These awards provide a unique opportunity to recognize the tireless work of our peers in positively shaping the culture of our profession — even in the most difficult circumstances,” says Buchan. “Congratulations to all of the finalists and nominees!”

“The legal sector has seen a great deal of innovation in recent years,” says Martin Denyes, managing partner, Ontario at Fasken. “Never has that been more important than over the last seven months. Fasken is very pleased to be saluting and celebrating leading innovators in our sector.”

“We are thrilled to be able to once again support the legal community in Canada as individuals, firms and departments are recognized for their excellence in driving innovation and efficiency in the profession as part of the Canadian Law Awards,” says Zena Applebaum, Director Customer Insights & Strategy Proposition Thomson Reuters Legal, Tax & Accounting Canada. “While the event may be virtual this year, Thomson Reuters continues to be committed to our customers wherever they are working. Congratulations to all of the category winners.”

“Bereskin & Parr’s founding 55 years ago was grounded in diversity and inclusion, making it part of our DNA.” says Scott MacKendrick, partner and litigation-group member at Bereskin & Parr LLP. “This is part of why we think it is important to recognize significant initiatives that promote diverse and inclusive workspaces.”

The whole Lexpert and Canadian Lawyer and team wants to thank everyone who attended, sponsored, and supported the event, and offer a huge congratulations to our winners!

Here’s a list of the gold winners from the 2020 Canadian Law Awards finalists from each category:

Capital Markets Deal of the Year

Gold Winner: TransAlta strategic partnership with Brookfield

Infrastructure & Projects Deal of the Year

Gold Winner: Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project

Insolvency & Restructuring Deal of the Year

Gold Winner: Catalyst Paper restructuring

The Thomson Reuters Award for M&A Deal of the Year

Gold Winner: Air Canada acquisition of Aeroplan

Private Equity Deal of the Year

Gold Winner: BC Partners buys GardaWorld

Cross Border Deal of the Year

Gold Winner: Newmont acquires Goldcorp/Newmont Barrick joint venture

Canadian Deal of the Year

Gold Winner: Newmont acquires Goldcorp/Newmont Barrick joint venture

Class Action Team of the Year

Gold Winner: Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP – Federal Indian Day School Class Action

Commercial Litigation Team of the Year

Gold Winner: McCarthy Tétrault LLP - Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, and the dual appeal in Bell Canada v. Canada (Attorney General)

Banking & Financial Institutions Law Department of the Year

Gold Winner: BMO Financial Group

Construction, Infrastructure & Transportation Law Department of the Year

Gold Winner: A tie between Aecon Group Inc. and Air Canada

Energy & Resources Law Department of the Year

Gold Winner: Pembina Pipeline Corporation

The Fasken Award for Law Department Innovation

Gold Winner: Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Canadian Law Department of the Year

Gold Winner: Bell Canada

Law Department Leader of the Year

Gold Winner: Kerry O’Reilly Wilks – TransAlta Corporation

IP Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Gold Winner: Smart & Biggar LLP

Litigation & Dispute Resolution Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Gold Winner: Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP

Canadian Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Gold Winner: Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP

Best Use of Technology in a Law Firm

Gold Winner: Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Atlantic Canada Law Firm of the Year

Gold Winner: Cox & Palmer LLP

Ontario Law Firm of the Year

Gold Winner: WeirFoulds LLP

Prairies Law Firm of the Year

Gold Winner: Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP

Quebec Law Firm of the Year

Gold Winner: Lavery de Billy LLP

Western Canada Law Firm of the Year

Gold Winner: Farris LLP

Litigator of the Year

Gold Winner: Linda Plumpton – Torys LLP

Managing Partner of the Year

Gold Winner: Les Viner – Torys LLP

Pro Bono Initiative of the Year

Gold Winner: BMO Financial Group – “Closing the access to justice gap through pro bono activities”

The Bereskin & Parr Award for Diversity Initiative of the Year

Gold Winner: McCarthy Tétrault LLP – “Inclusion Now”

The Gowling WLG Award for Woman of the Year

Gold Winner: A tie between Audrey Boctor - IMK LLP and Claire Hunter, Q.C. - Hunter Litigation Chambers

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