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Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday, December 18, 2017
Richard Wagner has been appointed as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Photo: Andrew Balfour Photography


Richard Wagner, 60, has been named as the Supreme Court of Canada's next chief justice.

Wagner, who built his career in Quebec as both a lawyer and judge, was first appointed as a justice of the SCC in 2012. He will replace Beverley McLachlin, who retires Dec. 15.

McLachlin had been in the role of chief justice for almost 18 years, and left a significant legacy in the role. 

Wagner, a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, was called to the Quebec bar in 1980. He practised at Lavery, de Billy SENCRL / LLP (formerly known as Lavery, O’Brien and Lavery, Johnston, Clark, Carrière, Mason & Associés), from 1980 to 2004, when he was appointed to the bench at the Quebec Superior Court.

“There is a great deal of respect for Justice Wagner in terms of what he’s done as a lawyer, his involvement in the community and his career as a judge. There was a lot of pride when he was appointed to the Supreme Court and all the much more so now that he’s appointed chief justice,” says Louis Charette, a partner at Lavery lawyers who worked with Wagner on construction and professional liability litigation files in the litigation team at the firm until Wagner was appointed to the bench in 2004.

Wagner served as a judge at the criminal division, civil division and commercial division until 2011, when he was appointed to the Quebec Court of Appeal

Wagner’s appointment ends months of speculation about who would take McLachlin’s place at the court. On Dec. 18, he will take an oath of office as chief justice.


The Law Society of Upper Canada is inviting lawyers and paralegals to make nominations for its annual awards.

Nominators will have until Jan. 26, 2018 to select deserving lawyers for the Law Society Medal, the Lincoln Alexander Award and the Laura Legge Award. The law society is seeking paralegals nominees for the William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award and the J. Shirley Denison Award, which is also open to lawyers.

More information about the awards and the nomination process can be found on the law society’s website.


The Ontario Bar Association has called for nominations for its labour and employment law award.

The Randall Echlin Mentorship Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in mentorship, guidance, or enhancing the area of law, as well as other aspects.

Nominees can be employment and labour lawyers, Ontario judges, members of the Ontario Labour Relations Board or a labour arbitrator and must be OBA members.

Nominations must be made by Feb. 12, 2018.

For a full list of criteria and eligibility requirements, visit the OBA’s website.

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