2016 Rising Stars Award Winners


Martha MacDonald, Torys LLP

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Martha MacDonald has practised tax controversy and litigation exclusively since her 2005 call to the Bar. She trained under industry leaders at a previous firm before becoming a partner in 2014. In 2015, she was recruited to lead and grow tax litigation at Torys. That year she won a significant motion for two ConocoPhillips subsidiaries on the scope of discovery in cross-border transfer-pricing cases and argued a GST test case for Great-West Life, affecting a dozen appeals. She has attracted litigation mandates from BMO and Canada Life Group Insurance. As a junior, Martha acted on landmark cases, including the leading case on the interpretation of Canada’s modern transfer-pricing regime for General Electric. While at law school, Martha volunteered at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva and for a refugee legal aid clinic in Cairo.

Mariana MacIntosh, Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan

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Mariana MacIntosh is a Senior Legal Counsel at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, nominated by McCarthy Tétrault LLP and endorsed by Stikeman Elliott LLP and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. She consistently exhibits talent, communication skills, maturity and legal and practical understanding beyond her years. In the face of the pension industry’s increasing regulatory challenges, she has consistently achieved creative legal solutions. Examples include a collaborative and creative solution in a transaction that resulted in long-term savings to the fund of hundreds of millions of dollars and providing critical support in the implementation of changes to OTPP’s funding policy for the long-term sustainability of the plan, requiring a deep understanding of complex actuarial principles. Mariana has volunteered with the Mothercraft Society, Roots of Empathy, Toronto Distress Centres, Pro Bono Law Ontario and the Unaccompanied Minors Project.

Susan E. Marsh, Morneau Shepell Ltd.

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Susan Marsh is General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Risk Officer at Morneau Shepell. She is responsible for managing a legal team of four lawyers and one assistant; leading and overseeing mergers and acquisitions, litigation management and compliance, privacy and security matters; creating and leading the enterprise risk-management program, business continuity and crisis management and insurance portfolio; maintaining all corporate licences, permits and registrations; ensuring compliance with securities and exchange regulatory requirements;and acting as a strategic and tactical legal advisor to the board; and the overall management of effective board and shareholder meetings. Through her activities at Morneau Shepell, Susan supports the Kakuma project, including running half-marathons each year. Kakuma is a partnership between Morneau and the United Nations refugee agency supporting girls’ education in Kenya.

Graeme Martindale, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Graeme Martindale practises in securities and capital markets, corporate finance, M&A and corporate law, focusing on mining. He has worked on some of the largest deals in the Canadian market and played a lead role in Northern Property REIT’s $840-million acquisition of True North REIT, one of the largest residential REIT transactions in Canadian history, involving counsel in eight provinces and two territories across multiple practice areas; a company-saving transaction for an international copper-mining client, involving corporate-securities, financial services, employment, tax and environmental lawyers in Canada and US; the $470-million acquisition of Lumina Copper by First Quantum Minerals; and the $1.5-billion acquisition of Minefinders by Pan American Silver. Graeme is pro bono counsel to Whistler Adaptive Sports Program Society, providing athletic programs for those with physical or cognitive disabilities.

Laurent Massam, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP

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Laurent Massam has been involved in large, complex IP and commercial litigations for some of the firm’s largest clients. He is regularly sought out for leading roles by both IP and advocacy teams. Laurent assisted greatly in the transition of corporate counsel at BASF when the client contact moved on. He has become a trusted IP litigator on a full range of complex subject matters, from trademarks and domain names to copyright, board matters and patents. He is known for his sound litigation instincts, negotiation skills and an ability to analyze IP matters and complex commercial issues. He has been selected for the firm’s Emerging Opportunities Think Tank. Laurent has provided pro bono legal advice through Pro Bono Law Ontario and Lawyers for Aboriginal Arts. For two years he has headed the firm’s IP pro bono team.