2017 Rising Stars Award Winners


Jessica Kearsey

Jessica Kearsey is a labour arbitration practitioner in public-sector labour arbitration, particularly in police and health-care labour relations. She has provided strategic advice and problem-solving skills in developing strong union management relationships. She has been involved, either leading or supporting, local interest arbitration in multiple sectors. And Kearsey has participated as adjunct faculty at Osgoode Hall (Labour Arbitration). She coaches competitive mooters and in particular was a mentor to the MDC Moot team at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Rebecca Kennedy, Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP

Rebecca Kennedy is a partner at Thornton Grout Finnigan, advising clients on bankruptcy, insolvency and corporate restructuring matters. She has represented lenders, debtors, receivers, trustees, inspectors, court-appointed monitors and DIP financiers in regional, national and cross-border insolvencies. Kennedy became a partner at TGF in 2017. Her notable work includes acting for the Trustees of the UK Pension Plan and the UK Pension Protection Fund in pursuing a $3-billion claim in the global restructuring proceedings of Nortel Networks and its subsidiaries, and in the allocation of its global proceeds of sale. Through this mandate, Kennedy deposed witnesses around the world and actively participated in the first ever cross-border insolvency trial in Toronto and Delaware. Rebecca is a co-chair of the Association for Corporate Growth’s Young Professional Program, and was a panelist on Developments in Insolvency Law at the Insolvency Institute (OBA).

Jean-Claude Killey, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP

Jean-Claude Killey is a partner at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, practising litigation and arbitration. Among his cases, he acted for Cogeco Data Services Inc. in its successful defence of a specific performance claim relating to a massive network-building project, at both the arbitration and appeal levels (TDSB et al. v. Cogeco, 2017 ONSC 3718). His nominator, Robert Centa, writes: “He has extensive experience acting in departing-lawyer matters and law firm break-ups. His success in these matters can be measured by the notable absence of reported decisions: his reported cases show his ability to persuade clients to take positions that will prevail in court, but he is also an able negotiator with success in resolving cases outside of court.” He is a Director of Homes First, a charity that owns and/or manages 16 properties in Toronto providing housing and support services to Toronto’s most difficult to house population.