2017 Zenith Award Winners

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Cynthia Kuehl, Lerners LLP

Cynthia Kuehl is deputy leader of the health law group. As former head of the appeals group, Cynthia increased the firm’s profile in this highly specialized area. She maintains a highprofile trial and appeals practice, including as trial counsel in Moore v. Getahun et al., a case that caused appellate review of expert evidence. She’s also built a diverse commercial practice and regularly appears at every level of Ontario court, at arbitrations, mediations, professional and regulatory tribunals and inquiries, and has been counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada and Federal Court of Appeal on pro bono interventions. She has managed to balance raising a family with building and maintaining a demanding litigation practice and is often sought out as mentor. Cynthia has been recognized by various publications for the last four years for her work in health and commercial litigation and was previously named Lawyer of the Year for health care law in Toronto.

Christine La Fleur, Accenture Legal Group - North America

Christine La Fleur is currently Manager, Legal Counsel at Accenture Inc. and was formerly Senior Counsel at DuPont Canada, where she was the legal lead for IT, sourcing and governmental relations. At DuPont, Christine led implementation of changes to a supply-chain model to meet complex new regulations. Over the course of 90 days, her project team successfully implemented a revamped supply chain. Under her own initiative, she developed and led several training seminars for new business procedures, communicating complex legal issues to employees and mitigating risk for DuPont. Christine is respected as a leader by the legal community at large. Upon invitation from Federated Press and The Canadian Institute, she has lectured on matters of anti-corruption compliance and best practices for in-house teams at seminars in 2014 and 2015.

Jaimie Lickers, Gowling WLG

This year, Jaimie Lickers became the first Indigenous female partner in the firm. In 2015, Jaimie appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada on a landmark Aboriginal law case, Daniels v. Canada, and also secured major victories in Federal Court regarding the establishment of the Qalipu First Nation, garnering national media attention in Howse v. Canada and Foster v. Canada. In 2016, Jaimie represented the Chiefs of Ontario at the Supreme Court of Canada on a landmark Aboriginal law case dealing with the obligations of administrative boards in consulting with Aboriginal groups. She also represented a female Aboriginal client on the issue of Indigenous cultures with single-naming traditions. As a result of Jaimie’s advocacy, the Vital Statistics Act was amended, allowing for the birth registration of a child with a single name.

Brenda MacDonald, Ontario Power Generation

Brenda MacDonald has 22 years of demonstrated leadership as strategic legal and business counsel. Brenda is recognized for building and leading high-performing legal teams, with proven leadership experience in a broad scope of matters. She ensures her team has the necessary tools to advance their careers, including facilitating mentor-mentee relationships, leadership courses and executive coaching. She’s a conscientious mentor to her team, assisting them in reaching senior positions. Brenda is an executive member of OPG’s women’s caucus and has continuously challenged the status quo at OPG, positively influencing policies on the advancement of women. She is board secretary of the Association of Corporate Counsel (Ontario chapter), promoting diversity, women’s programming and networking opportunities. Brenda is a recipient of the Bell Canada President’s Award for 2001, 2006 and 2007.

Sheila MacPherson, Lawson Lundell LLP

Sheila MacPherson and Tamela Coates are partners in the Lawson Lundell’s Yellowknife and Calgary offices, respectively, who have led, implemented and fostered the advancement of women in law. Their work includes: facilitating the use of practice-management coaches in the areas of leadership for women, efficiency, organization and timekeeping; supporting the adoption of flexible work arrangements and parental leaves for both male and female lawyers; participating in the Justicia Project to promote the retention and advancement of women in private practice; and a teamwork approach to files, particularly as initiated by Sheila in Yellowknife, allowing lawyers to enjoy more time off. With Sheila’s and Tamela’s leadership, the firm anticipates female partnership will reach 50 per cent by the end of 2017, and they have been recognized by nearly two dozen national, provincial and local awards.