2015 Rising Stars Award Winners


Laurie Duke, Torys LLP

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Laurie Duke practises corporate law with an emphasis on private equity and M&A. She is qualified in both New York and Ontario and has deep M&A experience in both jurisdictions. She advises private-equity and pension clients in domestic and international investment, M&A and divestiture transactions, as well as public and private acquisitions in a variety of industries. Her recent matters include TorQuest, et al., in the acquisition of A&B Rail Services; Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in its coinvestment in 24 Hour Fitness USA; and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in its proposed ₤1.1-billion investment with Hutchison Whampoa to acquire an interest in a UK telecom operator. Laurie is active in Women in Private Equity and she taught a session on “Negotiating the Fundamentals” as part of Osgoode’s M&A Skills Boot Camp.

Sebastian Elawny, Dentons Canada LLP

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Sebastian Elawny’s broad tax practice involves planning, negotiation and execution of domestic and crossborder mergers and acquisitions for public and private corporations. He advises clients on the income tax aspects of domestic and cross-border corporate finance, securitization, tax-dispute resolution and flow-throughshare financings. Sebastian has acted on a number of major deals, including Capital Power Income L.P.’s $1.1-billion acquisition by Atlantic Power Corporation; HRT Participações em Petróleo S.A.’s $700-million acquisition of UNX Energy Corp.; Shaw Communications Inc.’s $300-million rate-reset, preferred-share offering, its $400-million senior note offering and a $900-million senior note offering; and the $8.27-billion acquisition of Addax Petroleum by Sinopec. Sebastian is a board member of 100 Men Who Give a Damn, an organization that raised more than $50,000 for local charities by its first anniversary.

Allyson Fischer, Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP

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Allyson Fischer combines outstanding legal skills with a practical approach to litigation, representing clients in complex, high-stakes disputes. During a major strike at Coca-Cola in 2013 she led a legal team in obtaining a province-wide injunction to control blockading at several locations. During the Vale mining strike she obtained an injunction limiting picketers; and she was recently retained as lead counsel by the Globe and Mail to advise on contingency planning and coordinate injunction proceedings in a labour dispute. She also successfully enforced a departed employee’s fiduciary duties, obtaining a significant damage award even though he did not solicit clients. Allyson helped establish a litigation training session for approximately 50 of the firm’s associates and she is Co-chair of the 2016 Corporate State Summit conference on women in business.

Robert Fonn, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

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Robert Fonn’s practice focuses on corporate finance and M&A mandates for a broad range of public and private companies, investment dealers and private equity and venture capital investors across diverse industries (including technology, media, financial services and real estate). He also advises on securities compliance and corporate governance matters and counsels corporations in all aspects of corporate and commercial activity, including listings and dealings with provincial securities commissions. He is frequently retained on northbound cross-border corporate-finance and M&A mandates, such as: representing Innodata in its acquisition of MediaMiser; and Kaufman Financial Group on various Canadian acquisitions. Robert has judged the annual Davies Corporate/Securities Law Moot for many years and he is a longstanding leader in the Shaw Festival’s largest annual fundraising event, the Shaw Boxing Evening.

Jonas Gifford, Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh

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Jonas Gifford’s practice has ranged widely across highly contested litigation, patent drafting, prosecution in complex technological fields and virtually all areas of intellectual property. While focusing on patent matters, he has also demonstrated considerable acumen in litigating disputes, including helping to set precedent for quantification of damages in intellectual property infringement. Clients frequently seek his patent expertise in wide-ranging fields from aerospace and medical imaging to sporting equipment. He has a comprehensive knowledge of patent practices and procedures in Canada and key foreign jurisdictions. Jonas has taught patent law at the University of Victoria and frequently writes articles to update the broader IP community on patent law. He works to settle contentious matters and advance clients’ interests as efficiently and effectively as possible.