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Monday, November 28, 2016


The Toronto Lawyers Association will give Dale Ponder its 2017 Award of Distinction.

Ponder, who is the chief executive and managing partner of Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, first joined the firm in the 1980s as an associate.

She says that while the lack of women in the profession back then presented challenges, she was used to the environment, having grown up playing a lot of sports with male friends.

She started her career as a tax lawyer, but she soon moved into securities law, ascending to become a leading corporate and M&A lawyer. She became chief executive and managing partner of Osler in 2009, but she had already served as a co-managing partner of the firm for years before that.

Ponder says she was very lucky to have mentors in her early years at Osler such as Brian Levitt, Jack Petch and Peter Dey. Under their guidance, she was given the opportunity to work on some of Canada’s largest corporate and M&A mandates.

“I owe a great debt of gratitude to each of them for taking such an interest in me personally and for giving me the development opportunities they did,” she says.

The TLA’s other award winner is Stephen Thiele, of Gardiner Roberts LLP, who will be honoured with the Honsberger Award.Thiele is credited with shaping legal arguments in many significant cases that have had far-reaching effects. The awards will be given out at the TLA’s awards reception on March 2, 2017.


The Ontario Bar Association has opened up registration for Institute 2017.

Last year’s event won a Continuing Professional Development award from the Association For Continuing Legal Education for its use of technology in bringing around 2,000 lawyers from across the province together. Institute runs Feb. 7-11, 2017 in Toronto and Ottawa and will be broadcast live online.

For more information, or to register, visit


Gowling WLG has launched a new podcast to talk about diversity in the global legal industry.

Diversonomics will be hosted by associates Roberto Aburto and Sarah Willis, and will discuss how the legal profession can become more inclusive.

The podcast can be found on iTunes and the first six episodes will be released every Wednesday until Dec. 14. The firm plans to launch a second season of the podcast in 2017.


Law Times recently reported that alleged communications and funding failures might undermine indigenous engagement in a federal review of the environmental assessment process.

Readers were asked if this will lead to serious flaws in the overhaul of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in 2012.

Half of respondents said yes, this will harm the overhaul of the Act, and lead to less public confidence in environmental assessment processes.

The other half said no, while alleged communications and funding failures are not ideal, every review process has wrinkles and the overall goal of overhauling the act is sound.

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Law Times Poll

The Law Society of Ontario is in the midst of a major overhaul of the role of paralegals in family law — and a proposal on the issue could become an imminent issue for the regulator’s newly elected benchers. Do you agree with widening the scope of family law matters that paralegals can address?