2017 Zenith Award Winners

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Antree Demakos, Legal Line

Antree Demakos has devoted her entire career to demystifying the law, directly helping millions of Canadians to obtain better access to justice. In 1993, Antree founded Pardons Canada to educate the public and assist the 12 per cent of Canadians facing employment obstacles due to past criminal records. She hired, trained and oversaw 35 employees, liaised with Canadian and American governments, successfully advocated for changes to policies that violated Charter rights, helped two million anonymous callers, cleared 250,000 criminal records, conducted 600 training sessions within the criminal justice industry and reduced the provincial recidivism rate for Pardons Canada applicants from 35 per cent to 0.03 per cent. Antree also founded Legal Line, providing free legal help to Canadians through a pre-recorded, 24-hour information telephone line, and legalline.ca. To date, Legal Line has answered 30 million inquiries.

Jeevyn Dhaliwal, Larlee Rosenburg, Barristers & Solicitors

After nearly eight years as a legal assistant, Jeevyn Dhaliwal demonstrated tenacity and motivation in pursuing a law degree at UBC. For four years, Jeevyn has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada publication as an exceptional immigration practitioner. Despite working long hours and raising a family, she acts as a role model and mentor to young female and minority lawyers in both Vancouver and Thompson Rivers University in her hometown of Kamloops. In her 18 years as a lawyer, Jeevyn has demonstrated the highest level of professional integrity and been recognized by her election to the Vancouver Bar Association Board and the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch Provincial Council. Now an elected LSBC Bencher, in 2014, she was the first South Asian lawyer elected in Vancouver County.

Frances R. Gallop, Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP

Recognized leaders in their field, Frances Gallop and Angela Rae advise and represent employers in all aspects of labour and employment law. They advise clients on issues central to the advancement of women, including human rights, accommodation, discrimination, pay equity, harassment and parental leave. Both Frances and Angela have been instrumental in changing the culture of the historically maledominated labour Bar and of their firm. Frances and Angela have consistently provided mentorship, counselling, and practice management support to women in the firm and the broader legal community. They’ve written articles and provided seminars and training programs to their clients and the legal community on discrimination, harassment, equity and human rights issues, and on recognizing and resolving cultural and systemic barriers. Both have prepared policies for clients and the firm on equity-related issues.

Navi Gill, BC Ministry of Justice

Navi Gill is Senior Crown Counsel with the BC Ministry of Justice and leader of the Hate Crime Resource Counsel. Navi was part of the northern community working project, using her litigation and dispute-resolution skills to work with Indigenous people involved in the criminal justice system, or struggling with domestic violence. She taught in the Department of Criminology at Northwest Community College, where she was an active youth mentor. Since 2004, she has pioneered revisions to witness accommodation, enabling young children to testify from outside the courtroom. She’s a champion for advancing women in law, serving on numerous boards and giving time to organizations addressing cultural and systematic barriers. A founding member of the Women in Law group at U of C Faculty of Law, she has promoted equity, diversity and access to justice.

Jennifer Gold, Wood Gold LLP

Jennifer Gold is a partner of Wood Gold LLP and practises family law and wills. Jennifer is currently a director of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, a member of the Peel Law Association, and a volunteer with the advisory working group of the Peel Region United Way. She has also formerly served on the board of the North York Women’s Shelter and now serves as a mentor to other lawyers in the family law Bar. She appears regularly in the Ontario Court of Justice, Ontario Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Appeal. In addition to extensive litigation experience, Jennifer also offers mediation and a settlement-focused approach to family law cases. By entering into partnership, Jennifer Gold and Frances Wood sought to create an alternative to the traditional law firm with a priority on work-life balance.