Monday, July 27, 2009

Former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Charles Gonthier has passed away.
“Charles Gonthier was an eminent and highly respected Canadian jurist,” said Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, in a statement on behalf of the court.

“His development of the notions of equity and good faith, particularly in the area of contract law, has benefited all Canadians. But Justice Gonthier’s contributions extended far beyond the courtroom.

His active dedication to the arts, and to issues such as sustainable development, demonstrated a unique interest in the welfare of both current and future generations. Members and employees of the court extend their deepest condolences to his family.”

Gonthier, who died in his hometown of Montreal on July 17, received his bachelor of civil law from McGill University before being called to the Quebec bar in 1952. He went on to practise with Hackett Mulvena & Laverty and Hugessen Macklaier Chisholm Smith & Davis, later called Laing Weldon Courtois Clarkson Parsons Gonthier & Tétrault.

He then moved on to an appointment to the Quebec Superior Court in 1974, and was named to the Quebec Court of Appeal in 1988. He was appointed to the Supreme Court shortly after that, on Feb. 1, 1989.

Gonthier served on the top court for 14 years, retiring in August 2003. Since then he worked as counsel at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, as chairman of the board of governors of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law at McGill’s law faculty, and as commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment.


Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP has announced a new partnership with Sutton Boyce Gilkes Regulatory Consulting Group Inc. that will offer clients joint advice on compliance with new registration rules recently introduced by the Canadian Securities Administrators.

Leading the charge at Cassels Brock is lawyer Peter Dunne, who heads the firm’s registration and compliance practice.

The effort focuses on new rules in National Instrument 31-103. It affects investment dealers, mutual fund dealers, limited market dealers, portfolio managers, and various other players within the financial sector.

“Recognizing the benefit of collaboration between service providers from different disciplines, the registration and compliance alliance combines the capabilities of a law firm with the skills and experience of former senior regulators, industry participants, and accountants,” read a statement from Cassels Brock and Sutton Boyce.
It added that,

“This combination of legal, regulatory, industry, and financial expertise does not exist anywhere else in Canada.”

A new president is on board at the Ontario Bar Association, with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s Carole Brown taking the helm after a recent election.

Other key changes include the election of Gilbertson Davis Emerson LLP’s Lee Akazaki as vice president. He is in line to become president for the 2010-11 term.

Douglas Downey of Lewis Downey Tornosky Lassaline & Timpano Professional Corp. was named secretary, while Jonathan Yen of JCY Law becomes treasurer.

Ferguson Barristers LLP’s Roderic Ferguson becomes chairman of professional development.
Meanwhile, Jamie Trimble of Hughes Amys LLP moves into the immediate past president slot.

A man the Canadian Society of Muslims calls the first lawyer of such decent in Canada has died.
Syed Mumtaz Ali, who was president of the CSM, came to Toronto in 1960 and went on to receive his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1962.

He is known for taking the lead in efforts to permit the use of Shariah law in Ontario.

Barry Leon has left Torys LLP for Ottawa’s Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP, where he will strengthen that firm’s international arbitration group as a partner.

Leon has over 30 years of experience as counsel in complex and significant disputes in various industries, said the firm in announcing his arrival.

“Our firm is committed to investing in the development of a globally competitive international arbitration practice. Barry’s knowledge and experience is rare in Canada and having him join our firm will help us achieve that goal,” said Aaron Rubinoff, a member of Perley-Robertson’s management committee.

“International arbitration is an important emerging frontier for Canadian counsel, and it is not limited by geography. Our firm intends to take full advantage of that.”

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP recently announced a pair of new associates to its Ontario offices.
Vanessa MacDonnell joins BLG’s Ottawa office, where she will practise public law and commercial litigation. She previously clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mark Paciocco arrives at the firm’s Toronto office, where he will practise in the areas of competition and commercial law and commercial litigation. He previously practised with Davis Moldaver LLP.

Ogilvy Renault LLP has unveiled a pair of appointments to its group of executives.
John Coleman is the firm’s new managing partner, while Norman Steinberg takes on the role of chairman.

ProBono Law of BC is on the lookout for lawyers to volunteer in Vancouver, Kelowna, and Victoria for its free outdoor legal advice-a-thon to raise awareness and money for the provision of pro bono legal services.

The events are set to take place Sept. 11 in Vancouver, Sept. 15 in Kelowna, and Sept. 18 in Victoria. The organization hopes to attract over 50 volunteer lawyers.
More info is online at

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