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Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018
Heather Zordel says she is pleased to become a bencher at the Law Society of Ontario, after a spot was vacated when Sandra Nishikawa was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice.


Toronto corporate and securities lawyer Heather Zordel is replacing Sandra Nishikawa as one of 20 benchers representing Toronto, while Nishikawa was appointed to a judgeship.

Zordel is a partner in the Securities Group at Gardiner Roberts LLP.

In the 2015 bencher election, Zordel placed 23rd out of 45 Toronto candidates, although only the top 20 lawyers are elected to be benchers.

Isfahan Merali and Tanya C. Walker, who came in the 21st and 22nd spots, have already been appointed as benchers representing Toronto since the election.

Zordel says all the benchers come from different backgrounds, and her experience in corporate and securities law will allow her to see things from the corporate bar’s point of view.

“I’ll be bringing a perspective as somebody who’s used to dealing with corporations and boards generally and also a perspective on the issues that the corporate bar sees,” she says.

Zordel started her term on Jan. 25, after a confirmation vote.

She steps into the spot Nishikawa held, after Nishikawa was appointed to be a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.


Law firm Fasken and the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers have released the application call for their Lucie and Thornton Blackburn Scholarship for a second-year visible minority student in an LLB or JD program at a Canadian law school. Applicants are asked to write an essay on a pre-determined topic and the application package is due on February 28, 2018.

The scholarship is worth $5,000 and will be awarded on the basis of financial need. Questions about the scholarship should be sent to the Scholarship Awards Committee at More details can be found on the CABL website’s Scholarships Page.


The Criminal Lawyers’ Association is accepting nominations for the 2018 G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal. To be nominated, the nominator must be an active, full member of the CLA at the time the nomination package is submitted. Interested parties are advised to visit the CLA website.


In this week’s poll, Law Times is asking readers about a report, expected to be released next month, that will kick-start a discussion about the size and composition of the Law Society of Ontario’s board.

We asked readers if they think the board is too big.

Seventy-three per cent said yes, the possibility of having more than 60 benchers at a meeting is unmanageable.

Twenty-seven per cent said no, there is no need for reforms.

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The new Ontario provincial government introduced legislation last month to kill a major wind turbine project in Prince Edward County. Do you agree with the move to kill the project?