2016 Rising Stars Award Winners


Rahool P. Agarwal, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

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Rahool Agarwal’s practice involves shareholder disputes,proxy battles, complex contractual claims, fraud claims and constitutional issues. He has acted as lead counsel for Merck in patent-related litigation against a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer and as co-counsel to Pfizer in a successful defence to a proposed class action by Viagra consumers. He has appeared before appeal courts in three provinces and five times before the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also acted in notable public-policy cases: R. v. N.S., on the right to wear a niqab during cross-examination; Rasouli v. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, on physicians’ unilateral right to withdraw life support from minimally conscious patients; and Kazemi Estate v. Islamic Republic of Iran, on state immunity to a civil claim for damages in state-sponsored torture. Rahool is a pro bono leader within the firm and the legal community.

Robin Aitken, Cox & Palmer

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Robin Aitken is Prince Edward Island counsel to many public companies, including a leading national grocer and a Big Three telecom provider. She was recently lead PEI counsel on a lengthy reorganization of a $75-million loan facility. She is the partner responsible for articling students and recruits students for each of the firm’s four PEI offices. She has developed an orientation program that provides students with the skills they need to succeed at the firm, and with the business-of-law knowledge to develop successful practices. Robin is a long-standing board member of Fitzroy Centre, serving individuals with mental-health issues. She supports and fundraises for the Canadian Mental Health Association on a regular basis and provides guidance on housing issues. She is also a board member of the Stars for Life Foundation for Autism.

Imdad Ali, BMO Financial Group

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Imdad Ali has led the legal group in a number of transformational initiatives to support stronger risk management and efficiencies through innovation. He led the restructuring of BMO’s external-counsel program that rationalized BMO’s panel of external law firms to approximately 120 from 1,000; implemented new technology for matter management and e-billing; implemented new policies and procedures across BMO that delivered immediate cost and risk-management benefits; and has become a model for non-legal transformation projects. He has since begun a new role as Legal Counsel and Senior Advisor on the technology and operations legal team, developing an enterprise-engagement model to manage the more than 100 matters the team receives monthly. Imdad supports the United Way, Community Living and the S.E.N.A.C.A. Seniors Day Program in Oakville, Ont. He has also acted as a coach with the Oakville Soccer Club.

Daniel Anthony, Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh

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Daniel Anthony is a recognized expert in internet and domain-name law. He has been responsible for enforcing trademarks in Canada and the copyrights of hundreds of clients worldwide, including many on the Fortune 500. He has recovered dozens of infringing domain names and succeeded in more than a dozen domain-name arbitrations. He is a leader in resolving urgent internet issues, such as phishing scams and counterfeiting operations. He has acted in the appeal for a 10-year airline trademark dispute, with important repercussions for loyalty programs, and executed an Anton Piller order to shut down one of the world’s largest illegal movie streaming services, securing judgment of $1.2 million in damages and costs. Daniel recently acted pro bono for the Alliance for Responsible Mining in securing Fairmined certification of ethically mined products.