2017 Rising Stars Award Winners


William T. Cahill, Cox & Palmer

William Cahill has an active practice in the areas of mining, corporate finance, commercial real estate, and fisheries & marine law. He represents both private and public mining companies in a wide range of areas, including asset acquisition, M&A and financing, and has clients trading on exchanges in Canada, the US and the UK. In addition, Cahill advises financial institutions and corporate borrowers on financings and secured transactions; and represents financial institutions on security enforcement, debt collections and judgment enforcement. Through his past leadership of the Maritime Law Section of the CBA, Cahill has taken an active role provincially and nationally on legislative and law reform issues, particularly in the area of fisheries. Practising in a province that still relies heavily on the sea as a way of life, Cahill uses his network to attract new clients and business.

Michelle Chaisson, Ryerson University

Michelle Chaisson is Senior Legal Counsel and Assistant Secretary at Ryerson University. She is responsible for providing strategic and business advice in corporate/commercial law, procurement, infrastructure, privacy, IT, copyright, CASL compliance and marketing. She provides advice and support to the Board of Governors Secretariat on governance and Board matters and acts in a managerial role, through supervision of junior legal and administrative staff. Since 2013, Michelle has volunteered her time with Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto (RMHCT) and she was elected to its Board in January 2017. She has served on its Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee and the Young Professionals Committee (YPC). Chaisson was instrumental in conceptualizing and implementing a marquee fundraising event for young professionals to increase their awareness of RMHCT. “The House Party” continues as the biggest annual fundraiser for the YPC.

Gerald Chan, Stockwoods LLP

Gerald Chan is a partner at Stockwoods LLP where he defends white-collar and regulatory prosecutions. For the past two years, Chan has led the defence of Uber partners in Toronto and surrounding jurisdictions. In Toronto, he successfully obtained the withdrawal of all charges in “Project Snowball,” the high-profile police sting operation that resulted in charges under the Highway Traffic Act. And in London, Hamilton, Kitchener and the Niagara Region, Chan obtained the withdrawal/stay of all charges against Uber partners. Chan also serves on the Litigation Committee of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, which manages the CLA’s interventions in cases of importance to the defence Bar. And he is one of two co-editors of For the Defence, the journal of the CLA.

Shantona Chaudhury, Pape Barristers Professional Corporation

Shantona Chaudhury is a partner at Pape Barristers. In less than eight years, she has appeared in 30 reported cases (including 23 at the Ontario Court of Appeal and one at the Supreme Court of Canada). She is Co-Executive Director of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, a national non-profit providing pro bono advocacy training to counsel appearing before the SCC through moot sessions with a panel of distinguished advocates. Chaudhury is also actively involved in Pro Bono Ontario: participating in Law Help Ontario; as amicus curiae for civil motions at the ONCA, SCC Leave to Appeal Assistance Program. Pape Barristers is a counsel practice and thus visibility before the profession is critical. To this end, Chaudhury puts enormous effort into speaking and publishing. She speaks at half a dozen CLEs or more each year and is a judge at the Laskin Moot.

Michael Crichton, Gowling WLG

Michael Crichton is a partner in Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP and the Canadian leader of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation & Strategy Group. His domestic and international clients consist of companies engaged in a wide range of technologies, including mechanical, electrical, computer hardware and software, manufacturing/fabrication, communications and related technologies. He has taught IP litigation and patent law as a volunteer Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa since 2009, and is a member of the Court Practice Committee for the CBA. Crichton chairs the Ottawa chapter of the Licensing Executives Society (LES), organizing local educational and networking events. He is also an executive member for LES’s Young Members Congress (mentorship Co-chair). Annually, Crichton is Gowling WLG’s motionball (Special Olympics) team leader. He is also a long-time Director for the National Capital Division Freestyle Ski Association and is a volunteer coach for the Ottawa Internationals Soccer Club.