2015 Rising Stars Award Winners


Scott Campbell, Stewart McKelvey

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Scott Campell is qualified with the Ontario and Nova Scotia Bars and involved in several proceedings under the Nova Scotia Class Proceedings Act. He has argued important civil cases at the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, including Burton Canada Co. v. Coady, the leading authority on summary judgment; Cyr v. Anderson, the textbook case on the right to a civil jury trial; and Portage LaPrairie v. Sabean, after which future CPP disability payments are deductable by an SEF 44 motor vehicle insurer. In 2012, he was part of a successful legal team at the Supreme Court of Canada in Annapolis County District School Board v. Marshall and has been involved in numerous leave applications and intervener motions at the Supreme Court. Scott is a Director of the ALS Society of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Karen Carteri, McMillan LLP

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Karen Carteri has been an equity partner since age 34 and is a key partner in litigation. Her practice focuses on corporate and commercial disputes for resource clients, major property and development disputes and financial services clients. She is a go-to litigator for several major clients. Her successes, including numerous settlements, often go unreported but clients extol her intelligence, work ethic, communication and litigation skills, judgment and strategic vision. On a recent successful litigation for a Fortune 500 client, a colleague from another firm commended her for her sharp analytical skills and her coordination of a legal team from four separate firms. She regularly participates in RFPs, mentors colleagues on business development opportunities and has played an important role in the firm’s 2011 merger.

Nikki Charlton, Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP

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Nikki Charlton first joined the firm as a summer articling student in 2002, where she was pulled into a high-stakes divorce case. It quickly became apparent that Nikki would be instrumental in developing a distinguished matrimonial law group at Farris. She offers services from either a collaborative or litigation approach, depending on client needs. Her practice primarily focuses on complex property division and support, guardianship and mobility disputes. She’s an exceptional litigator and astute dealmaker, who is effective at keeping high-profile clients’ business out of the news and finding tax-effective solutions to settlements involving complex corporate structures and trusts. Serving on the board of the BC Collaborative Roster Society, she was instrumental in developing a pro bono collaborative project for parties going through separation who cannot afford lawyers.

Conor Chell, Suncor Energy Inc

Conor Chell handles some of Suncor’s most complex safety, environmental and regulatory issues, dealing with virtually all compliance matters and regulatory investigations. He frequently addresses matters of compliance with environmental operating approvals, groundwater and surface water monitoring, reclamation and conservation of land and emissions regulations. He works with Suncor’s regulatory approvals group in developing strategy and drafting applications for some of the largest energy projects in Canada. During a very tragic year for Suncor in 2014, Conor was responsible for leading internal investigations into four fatalities and several serious workplace injuries to determine causes and establish corrective actions. Outside work, he acts as a golf coach for Calgary Special Olympics, organizes an annual Christmas toy drive for Ronald McDonald House and has volunteered as a law lecturer at the University of Calgary.

Jonathan Cullen, Pfizer Canada Inc.

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Jonathan Cullen is Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Pfizer Canada, with litigation responsibilities over more than 25 different products with combined sales and exposure of more than $1 billion. Recent matters have included defending a challenge to the Viagra patent before the Supreme Court of Canada; defending the Celebrex patent at the Federal Court of Appeal; and defending Lipitor against a class action in Canada. His deal-making responsibilities include leading negotiations for exclusive commercialization rights to Monofer in Canada and acting as lead Canadian counsel in the spin-off of Zoetis Canada, a veterinary drug company with global revenues of $4.3 billion in 2012. In honour of his son, Tristan, Jon volunteers at Montreal Children’s Hospital and serves on the board of West Island Association.