2017 Rising Stars Award Winners


Michelle D. MacGillivray, Miller Thomson LLP

Michelle MacGillivray is a labour and employment lawyer advising federally and provincially regulated employers in the public and private sectors on a broad spectrum of labour, employment and human-rights matters. MacGillivray also regularly represents employers before arbitrators, mediators, administrative tribunals and courts, and advises on issues arising from corporate reorganizations, restructurings, and mergers and acquisitions. MacGillivray is a member of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario, the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers, and the Society for Human Resources Management. She writes extensively, having been invited to contribute to an authoritative text for US practitioners on Canadian Labour and Employment Law and, most recently, with respect to emerging issues such as the Police Record Checks Reform Act and its implications for employers in the education, not-for-profit and property-management fields, among others.

Martha Martindale, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Martha Martindale is a partner in the Financial Services Group at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. She joined Osler in October 2016 and in that short time has participated in significant transactions and the growth of the firm’s Vancouver office. In addition to speaking and writing papers about the Personal Property Security Act (PPSA), she teaches a Bar admission course on the PPSA and is a former President of the Canadian Bar Association’s banking subsection. Martindale is active in the Women Lawyers Forum Mentoring Program. She is currently Treasurer and a Director (2014 to present) of The Arbutus Club. She sat on the Board of the Big Sisters of the BC Lower Mainland from December 2012 to April 2015 and has acted as a judging panelist for the Association of Women in Finance PEAK Awards.

Frank Mathieu, Stikeman Elliott LLP

Frank Mathieu is a partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP where he is a member of the firm’s Tax Group. His expertise extends from the tax aspects of M&A to corporate reorganizations and restructurings and complex financings. He has extensive expertise in advising foreign private-equity funds in relation to their Canadian investments, allowing him to leverage his strong educational background in both Canadian and American tax law. This background also allows him to design more comprehensive solutions that address the clients’ Canadian tax objectives, while also being mindful of the likely US tax implications. Mathieu is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Famijeunes Foundation. Famijeune’s mission is to provide support to families in some of Montréal’s poorer neighborhoods, and to equip parents to manage their households, their lives and to attain socio-economic integration.

David R. McKinnon, Bennett Jones LLP

David R. McKinnon is a litigator at Bennett Jones LLP, focused on resolving complex commercial, energy, shareholder, franchise and IP disputes. McKinnon regularly appears as counsel before all levels of court in Alberta and in international and domestic arbitration proceedings. For example, he successfully defended a three-week trial of a $10-million copyright, breach of confidence and conversion claim by a plaintiff geophysical data company (Geophysical Service Incorporated v. 612469 Alberta Limited (CalWest Printing & Reproductions), 2016 ABQB 356). The trial was heard concurrently with a common-issues trial, case-managed by the Chief Justice, involving 23 Alberta actions, 13 law firms, 37 defendants (three of whom McKinnon acts for) and claims in the hundreds of millions of dollars (Geophysical Service Incorporated v. EnCana Corporation, 2016 ABQB 230). The Court of Appeal agreed (2017 ABCA 125). The plaintiff has sought leave to appeal to the SCC. McKinnon is Chair of the governance committee of EducationMatters, a charitable trust that funds innovative enhancement programs to enrich the learning experiences of Calgary students. He is also on the auction committee of UNICEF Water for Life, the third-largest North American fundraiser to provide life-saving clean, safe drinking water and sanitation to children.

Ryan Morris, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Ryan Morris is a litigator at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Currently he is the lead counsel defending six class actions in Ontario. He serves as a mentor to law students at the University of Toronto and teaches the Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop at Osgoode Hall Law School. He is involved with The Advocates’ Society, having been on its Young Advocates’ Standing Committee and Conduct and Practices Committee. He is also a regular speaker and panelist at The Advocates’ Society’s education programs. Morris represented the late artist Haydn Davies pro bono, suing Lambton College for breach of moral rights for the destruction of Davies’ sculpture installation entitled Homage. The case garnered significant press, resulted in the endowment of the Haydn Davies scholarship at OCAD University, and was the subject of a play (also called Homage) that was presented at Toronto’s Luminato Festival.