2017 Rising Stars Award Winners


Annie Bernard, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l.

Annie Bernard’s construction law practice is multifaceted and includes contract drafting, project management, contract disputes, construction liens, Public Private Partnerships, Building Authority licensing, construction defects, procurement advice, delay claims, product liability, claim bonds, international infrastructure projects with an emphasis on Africa and international arbitration. Bernard has been a Director of the Théâtre Le Clou for eight years. She has also been instrumental in creating “Le Cube,” an international research and creation centre for theatre devoted to youth. She is involved in the Fasken “F3 ‒ Forces Féminines Fasken” group and is the co-founder of the Fasken Construction Committee, which has organized in the past two years a seminar held in Montréal and Québec for clients and potential clients. She has been President of the Construction and Infrastructure Law committee of the Canadian Bar Association ‒ Québec region for the past two years. She is also secretary of the Board of the Project Management Institute (PMI-Montreal) since 2013.

Erin Best, Stewart McKelvey

Erin Best is a litigator and head of the Stewart McKelvey Newfoundland and Labrador litigation group. She has appeared before all levels of court in NL representing over a dozen regional, national and multinational insurance clients, municipalities and construction clients. She regularly acts in complex and multi-party cases. As an intellectual property lawyer and trade-mark agent, Best has worked with her clients to develop and execute their brand and franchising strategies. In her role as an officer of the CBA National IP Section, she has been heavily involved in consultations on the Copyright Act and Trade-marks Act and regulations, including co-chairing the CBA submission on the overhaul of the Copyright Act in 2012. As Vice-Chair of the East Coast Music Association, Best helped implement diversity and equality policies for musicians in Atlantic Canada.

Simon Bieber, Wardle Daley Bernstein Bieber LLP

Simon Bieber has been with Wardle Daley Bernstein Bieber LLP since July 2010 and is now the managing partner of the firm. He is currently lead counsel defending a multi-million-dollar price-fixing class action. He acted for the former Chief Financial Officer of Sino-Forest Corp. in both class action and regulatory proceedings. Bieber was one of the first counsel to join the Litigation Assistance Program that provided pro bono representation to respondents before the Ontario Securities Commission: he acted for approximately 10 unrepresented litigants in the span of a year. Bieber is also involved with the Advocates Society and he regularly speaks at conferences hosted by the Law Society of Upper Canada, the American Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association and the Advocates Society. In the past year, Simon has presented in Bogota, Colombia, about litigation risks arising from North American companies engaging in mergers or acquisitions with South American companies.

Ryan J. Black, McMillan LLP

Ryan Black is a former software and internet developer, and now is an equity partner at McMillan LLP. He practises technology-related business law, and is a member of the Technology, Intellectual Property and Privacy group as well as Co-Chair, Information Technology, at McMillan’s Vancouver office. He takes on various leadership roles within the firm and in the broader community; and is called upon regularly by news media to provide commentary on topical and controversial legal issues. Black presents regularly at UBC’s Business Law Clinic and is active in professional organizations such as the Canadian IT Law Association and Video Game Bar Association for whom he is currently organizing the inaugural VGBA Canada Summit in Vancouver. He is a director of the non-profit society that guides one of Vancouver’s marquee events, the Honda Celebration of Light.

Audrey Boctor, Irving Mitchell Kalichman s.e.n.c.r.l./LLP

Audrey Boctor represents clients in complex civil and commercial disputes and has extensive experience in appellate advocacy. She has a broad public law practice, including constitutional and human rights law and a range of administrative and regulatory matters. Boctor also regularly advises on matters relating to private international law, including jurisdiction, state immunity, recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards. She has been a member of the Board of Directors and Legal Clinic volunteer at the Tyndale St-Georges Community Centre from 2013 to 2017. The Tyndale St-Georges Centre’s mission is to empower the residents of Little Burgundy, an underprivileged neighbourhood of Montréal, through educational programs. She is very involved with the Canadian Bar Association, particularly with respect to administrative law. Boctor represented the estate and son of the late photo-journalist Zahra Kazemi at all levels of court, including the SCC (Kazemi Estate v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 2014 SCC 62).