BORDEN LADNER GERVAIS
National firm Borden Ladner Gervais boasts several candidates in the Top 100 Women in Canada across its several offices. Cindy Clarke of the Toronto office is one of the firm's senior leaders and sits on the National Management Committee. As the National Group Head, Clarke represents hospitals and health organizations. She also has a class action practice focused on defending actions alleging improper claims. Kate Crawford is also in the Toronto office and is also one of the firm's National Business Leaders of its Health Law Group. Her dispute practice focuses on civil litigation, specializing on medical malpractice and public law actions and class actions. Kirsten Crain is based in the Ottawa office and has a broad litigation practice that includes commercial cases, intellectual property litigation, health sector cases and a wide range of administrative law matters. Crain has also represented clients in examinations under the Conflict of Interest Act and investigations under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. Also in Toronto, Caitlin Sainsbury is a routinely championed commercial and securities-focused partner who actually triumphed in the competition area when she led a team that successfully defeated certification on behalf of Samsung of a $1 billion Federal Court claim alleging conspiracy in the supply of DRAM memory chips. This was the first decision by the Federal Court refusing to certify a cartel claim and is one of the only such decisions anywhere in Canada. “We are huge fans of Cait Sainsbury,” extols one high-level peer in the securities capacity. “She is definitely spreading her wings now, getting into a host of interesting mandates in a lead position.” Nadia Effendi was part of a team representing Amazon in a proposed employment class action in which the plaintiff proposed to act as representative plaintiff on behalf of a proposed national class consisting of tens of thousands of drivers who have delivered packages to Amazon’s customers since January 2016, either through the Amazon Flex app or as employees of third-party delivery companies. “Nadia Effendi is one of the best,” ventures a peer. “She came up under [revered senior partner and star of the Ontario and Québec bars] Guy Pratte and so she got excellent training and is now carrying that forward.”
In the Vancouver office, Michelle Maniago focuses on class actions, mostly competition and consumer protection as well as shareholder litigation and privacy work. Also in the Vancouver office, Sarah McEachern is the firm's regional manager of commercial and construction disputes. She has extensive experience negotiating commercial agreements with health authorities, as well as resolving related disputes through mediation and arbitration. She has acted for online pharmacies and pharmaceutical development companies dealing with financing and licensing disputes. She is also an experienced arbitrator and was selected as one of 12 arbitrators to sit on the inaugural roster of Arbitration Place's NextGen Arbitrators.In the Toronto office of the firm, Caitlin Sainsbury is a routinely championed commercial and securities-focused partner who actually triumphed in the competition area when she led a team that successfully defeated certification on behalf of Samsung of a $1 billion Federal Court claim alleging conspiracy in the supply of DRAM memory chips. This was the first decision by the Federal Court refusing to certify a cartel claim and is one of the only such decisions anywhere in Canada. “We are huge fans of Cait Sainsbury,” extols one high-level peer in the securities capacity. “She is definitely spreading her wings now, getting into a host of interesting mandates in a lead position.” Trish Morrison of the Calgary office is acknowledged as an authority in the construction arena. Morrison leads the defense of a claim made by Dow Chemical Canada and ME Global Canada for damages in the amount of $210 million arising out of negligence and breach of contract related to the failure and forced shutdown of a boiler feedwater pre-heat exchanger, which is part of the process of cracking ethane gas into ethylene.
Kate Manning, the "M" in Toronto's DMG Advocates, brings Bay Street Big Law credentials to her new boutique environment. Manning attends to a varied practice, which balances shareholder disputes and oppression cases with a notable product liability emphasis.
Audrey Boctor, who joined Montréal litigation boutique IMK in 2010, is a generalist who is engaged in a lot of enforcement of arbitration awards, corporate commercial work and appellate work. “Audrey just has this demeanor that is great,” extols a peer. “You want to work with her, and she gets involved in some very cutting-edge files.” Among other matters that exemplify this testimonial, Boctor led the Canadian Vaping Association in a successful challenge to the constitutionality of provisions governing the testing and promotion of vaping in Québec. A peer raves on Boctor’s behalf, “Audrey is getting a lot of calls for Supreme Court of Canada work! She’s also getting a lot of calls from law firms when they are in trouble, and these are some of the most respected litigation firms in Montréal and Toronto!” Eleni Yiannakis is, according to peers, "one of the partners who is the future of that firm. She gets to court!" Yiannakis focuses on commercial litigation, class actions, injunctions, contractual disputes, construction litigation, and is co-counsel on a major infrastructure class action.
Myriam Brixi in the Montréal office of Lavery is considered by peers in the class-action space to be "one of the brightest young stars in the city, who should definitely be on your radar." Brixi is also noted for an insurance practice with a particular emphasis on the construction industry.
An all-purpose commercial litigator, Tammy Coates is responsible for spearheading the initial launch of the Calgary office of Western Canada powerhouse Lawson Lundell. Coates is a 2020 recipient of the prestigious Queen's Counsel designation. Coates acted on a milestone commercial matter for Shaw in which the Western Canadian telecommunication entity would, if the plan receives final approval from regulators, combine with the more nationally-based Rogers in an ambitious expansion. Shannon Wray, another key member of the Calgary team, has been busy with a number of cases over the past year, including as a team member on the aforementioned matter for Shaw. In addition, Wray has remained steadfastly dedicated to efforts in driving and fostering the team culture. Shannon Hayes, another Calgary partner, is an all-purpose commercial litigator with a particular emphasis on the energy industry. Hayes is part of a team representing key client TransAlta in post-arbitration appeals. “Shannon Hayes is someone to look out for,” asserts one peer, who confides, “If I had my way, I would hire her! Marika Strobl comes equipped with a varied commercial practice. She has a particular strength in domestic arbitrations and, in one example, was also part of the team representing TransAlta in post-arbitration appeals.
In the firm’s historic Vancouver office, Amy Nathanson balances a varied practice composed of pension work, trust and estates and insolvency. Several of her cases touch on all three aspects at once. Nicole Skuggedal attends to a thriving labor and employment practice, including issues of wrongful dismissal, labor relations, human rights and privacy issues in courts, in arbitrations and before various tribunals.
LAX O’SULLIVAN LISUS GOTTLIEB
Nadia Campion of revered Toronto litigation boutique Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb is a peer favorite, with an all-purpose commercial litigation practice. “She just has a good way about her," insists a peer. "[She is] very effective and good to deal with, people like her.”
Dominique Ménard of Montréal boutique LCM boasts a diverse and broad practice that encompasses injunctions, seizures, Anton Piller or Mareva orders. A peer testifies, “She’s quick, she’s fast, and clients have huge confidence in her. She often steps into files where the client might be losing ground in confidence and she will get in there when the going gets rough. She’s also building a practice that is almost like an in-house counsel for some larger clients.”
NATHANSON SCHACHTER & THOMPSON
Karen Carteri of Vancouver litigation boutique Nathanson Schachter & Thompson is championed by a client as “a patient and thoughtful lawyer who considers all angles before implementing a strategy and always puts her client first. She handled a partnership split and sale of shares with an oppressive director. This proceeded to a 10-day arbitration hearing.” Carteri is a favorite of local peers as well, with one pointing to her as "a sign that Nathanson Schachter is building a team for the future."
PALIARE ROLAND ROSENBERG ROTHSTEIN
At the revered Toronto boutique Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein, Linda Rothstein is a name partner and founding member of the firm. Rothstein is frequently engaged in some of the firm's most high-profile matters, including inquiries, internal partnership disputes and class actions. Megan Shortreed is a multi-faceted litigator with a diverse practice. Shortreed is addressed by peers as "big time" in the administrative and professional liability space. Shortreed was prosecution counsel for the College of Nurses of Ontario in its professional discipline prosecution of serial killer Elizabeth Wettlaufer. Shortreed was also the court-appointed representative counsel for the employees of Maple Bank in the bank's insolvency proceedings. Odette Soriano is a versatile litigator who primarily operates in the fields of class actions, defamation law and professional liability matters. Soriano was part of a team that obtained a favorable judgment in a certified proceeding on behalf of holders of registered accounts at BMO Nesbitt Burns and BMO InvestorLine who allege that, between 2001 and 2011, those companies charged undisclosed fees on foreign exchange transactions in their registered accounts.
Shantona Chaudhury joined famed Toronto barrister Paul Pape’s firm in 2009 as a brand-new lawyer and since then has blossomed into one of Toronto’s most promising young litigators, as well as a name partner at this firm. Although primarily known for its appellate work, the firm, and Chaudhury in particular, is also involved at the trial level. Chaudhury has been retained on certain class-action cases, which are typically, but not exclusively, in the plaintiff capacity.
Andrea Gonsalves of revered Toronto litigation boutique Stockwoods is a multifaceted litigator who is involved in class action work as well as administrative law, advising of tribunals, and judicial review applications. Luisa Ritacca is the firm’s Managing Partner. In addition to her managerial duties, Ritacca attends to a practice that is dedicated to a good deal of administrative law, advisory work and commercial litigation.
THORNTON GROUT FINNIGAN
DJ Miller, one of the most prominent insolvency partners at Toronto boutique Thornton Grout Finnigan, is considered one of Bay Street's leading authorities on the practice. "She is a serious black-letter insolvency lawyer," raves one client. Miller is frequently at the helm of some of the firm's, and the province's, biggest CCAA proceedings. Most recently, she is leading the firm’s team in representing Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, the first publicly funded entity to file for CCAA. She also led one of the first CCAAs in the cannabis industry. Commercial litigator Deborah Palter is one of the only partners at the firm to operate in practices outside of insolvency. In a recent example, she is acting on behalf of Hillcrest, a landlord and defendant in an action and motion brought by Hudson’s Bay Company after Hillcrest terminated the company’s lease for failure to pay rent for seven months.
Marg Waddell, founder and name partner of Toronto plaintiff-side boutique Waddell Phillips, is considered "a leader in the plaintiff class action area." Waddell is lead counsel for plaintiffs in an ongoing case concerning the approval of a unique form of third-party funding, with an underlying issue of defective medical device and failure to warn. She is also lead counsel in an ongoing case concerning systemic negligence and breach of fiduciary duty regarding a teacher at an esteemed ballet school taking nude photographs of students and selling them online. More recently, Waddell filed another class action against a local neurologist who allegedly kept video cameras in his facility that were purportedly used for “before-and-after” breast augmentation photos but then were distributed without consent.
Janice Wright is a founding member and one-half of Toronto boutique Wright Temelini, which focuses on securities and white-collar crime work. Wright is beloved by peers and respected by opponents. “She does quite a few insider-trading cases. If I had a white-collar case, she would be my first call.” Wright’s reputation extends to the bench as well; “Janice is old-school, and she has enough credibility with judges to get away with her no-bullshit demeanor.”