2017 Rising Stars Award Winners


Chris Armstrong, Goodmans LLP

Chris Armstrong is a Goodmans LLP partner, practising in the areas of restructuring, commercial insolvency, M&A and corporate law. His practice has included acting for debtors, court-appointed officers, bondholders, purchasers and other participants in a number of complex cross-border and Canadian restructurings, including Nortel Networks, Crystallex International Corp., Tervita Corp., Horsehead Holding Corp., Smurfit-Stone, Northstar Aerospace and Eddie Bauer, as well as acting on behalf of purchasers and vendors in a number of receivership sales. For the past eight and a half years, Armstrong has played an integral role in the Nortel proceedings. Armstrong is an Adjunct Professor at Western Law School, teaching the advanced restructuring course. He received in 2016 the USC Teaching Honour Roll Award of Excellence. In 2014, he received the Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving and the St. John Ambulance Lifesaving Award for assisting and resuscitating a cottage neighbour during a near-drowning incident.

Alexandre-Philippe Avard, Dentons Canada LLP

Alexandre-Philippe Avard joined Dentons in 2012. His practice is focused on commercial litigation and Aboriginal law. He has been involved, either as lead or supporting counsel, in complex and high-profile cases, including Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v. Enbridge Pipelines, 2017 SCC 41. He was a key member of the team representing Enbridge before the SCC in proceedings where Chippewas of the Thames First Nation challenged the legality of the National Energy Board’s approval of a pipeline project. The upcoming judgment will likely be a landmark decision on the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal peoples. Fully committed to being paperless, Avard created databases of documents and precedents relevant to his practice. He consistently works with litigation software and uses electronic devices in court appearances and client meetings. In addition, Avard is part of Dentons’ National E-Discovery committee, identifying best practices and technologies, and providing training to litigation lawyers and paralegals.

Annie Bernard, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l.

Annie Bernard’s construction law practice is multifaceted and includes contract drafting, project management, contract disputes, construction liens, Public Private Partnerships, Building Authority licensing, construction defects, procurement advice, delay claims, product liability, claim bonds, international infrastructure projects with an emphasis on Africa and international arbitration. Bernard has been a Director of the Théâtre Le Clou for eight years. She has also been instrumental in creating “Le Cube,” an international research and creation centre for theatre devoted to youth. She is involved in the Fasken “F3 ‒ Forces Féminines Fasken” group and is the co-founder of the Fasken Construction Committee, which has organized in the past two years a seminar held in Montréal and Québec for clients and potential clients. She has been President of the Construction and Infrastructure Law committee of the Canadian Bar Association ‒ Québec region for the past two years. She is also secretary of the Board of the Project Management Institute (PMI-Montreal) since 2013.

Erin Best, Stewart McKelvey

Erin Best is a litigator and head of the Stewart McKelvey Newfoundland and Labrador litigation group. She has appeared before all levels of court in NL representing over a dozen regional, national and multinational insurance clients, municipalities and construction clients. She regularly acts in complex and multi-party cases. As an intellectual property lawyer and trade-mark agent, Best has worked with her clients to develop and execute their brand and franchising strategies. In her role as an officer of the CBA National IP Section, she has been heavily involved in consultations on the Copyright Act and Trade-marks Act and regulations, including co-chairing the CBA submission on the overhaul of the Copyright Act in 2012. As Vice-Chair of the East Coast Music Association, Best helped implement diversity and equality policies for musicians in Atlantic Canada.

Simon Bieber, Wardle Daley Bernstein Bieber LLP

Simon Bieber has been with Wardle Daley Bernstein Bieber LLP since July 2010 and is now the managing partner of the firm. He is currently lead counsel defending a multi-million-dollar price-fixing class action. He acted for the former Chief Financial Officer of Sino-Forest Corp. in both class action and regulatory proceedings. Bieber was one of the first counsel to join the Litigation Assistance Program that provided pro bono representation to respondents before the Ontario Securities Commission: he acted for approximately 10 unrepresented litigants in the span of a year. Bieber is also involved with the Advocates Society and he regularly speaks at conferences hosted by the Law Society of Upper Canada, the American Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association and the Advocates Society. In the past year, Simon has presented in Bogota, Colombia, about litigation risks arising from North American companies engaging in mergers or acquisitions with South American companies.