Focus On

Lawyers among Canada’s Most Powerful Women

Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 1:02 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

When the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) revealed the list of winners of the 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards, the legal profession was well represented.

Norie Campbell is group head and general chief general counsel of the TD Bank Group and leads a team of more than 2,300 professionals. She also chairs the bank’s women in leadership committee.

Nadia Petrolito is vice-president, general counsel and chief communications officer with L'Oréal Canada. In addition to being in charge of legal affairs and corporate communications, she heads the corporate social responsibility program, Sharing Beauty With All. Petrolito is a member of L’Oréal Canada’s executive committee.

Joanna Rotenberg, who holds a joint juris doctor/master of business administration degree, is group head, BMO Wealth Managment, BMO Financial Group and helps shape the organization’s strategy.

Caroline Zayid is a partner and national litigation practice group leader at McCarthy Tétrault LLP and specializes in the areas of product liability litigation, class actions, public law litigation and professional liability. WXN noted that Zayid “acted on behalf of the Canadian Human Rights Commission in the first successful prosecution of a case concerning promotion of hatred on the Internet.”

Sharon C. Geraghty is a partner at Torys LLP. She specializes in areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and securities law and has handled both domestic and cross-border acquisitions, takeovers and amalgamations.

Janet Grove is the managing partner, Vancouver, with Norton Rose Fulbright. Her fields of expertise are the technology (IT, telecommunications, clean-tech) and health sciences sectors.

Claire M.C. Kennedy is a partner in the corporate tax and transfer pricing group at Bennett Jones LLP and assists clients with corporate tax and transfer pricing issues and disputes with the Canada Revenue Agency. She serves on the executive of the International Fiscal Association’s Canadian branch and is an officer of the International Bar Association’s taxes committee.

Valerie Mann is a partner at Lawson Lundell LLP and works in mergers and acquisitions, technology and corporate law. She is chair of the firm’s technology law group and co-chair of its mergers and acquisitions practice group.

Lisa Munro is an executive committee member and managing partner in the Toronto office of Lerners Toronto LLP. She is the only woman on the firm’s executive committee, which reviews and approves budgets, sets compensation and establishes firm-wide initiatives. During her tenure, the Toronto office achieved gender parity among its partners.

Patricia Olasker is a senior partner with Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. She specializes in mergers and acquisitions. Olasker represented McKesson Corporation in its $3 billion acquisition of Rexall and Rexall Pharma Plus. She is also the founder of the Toronto legal community charity event AIDSbeat.

Melinda Park is a partner and chair of the board of the Calgary office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP as well as being chair of BLG’s audit committee and the regional group representative for the general business practice area. She practises securities and corporate law.

Carol Derk is a partner in the Toronto office and national leader of the derivatives group (which she founded) at BLG. She works with clients and regulators to find ways to bring new investment products to Canada.

Cheryl V. Reicin is a partner and co-head of the life sciences practice at Torys LLP. Her practice deals with biotechnology, medical devices and health information issues as well as representing private equity, venture capital funds and investment banks. She also has international clients in the U.S. and Israel looking for assistance creating growth strategies and sourcing capital.

Manuelle Oudar is president and chief executive officer with the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), a public sector organization in Quebec — the only one to be headed by a woman — that ensures the occupational safety and rights of workers. She has worked in the public sector as a lawyer, a director of litigation and a deputy minister and was instrumental in the adoption of a number of legal reforms in the areas of pay equity and rights and freedoms.  

Lisa Philipps is the provost and a professor at Osgoode Hall where she leads the senior academic administrative team in academic planning, institutional change management, and resource and enrolment planning. She is a member of the Provincial Judges Pension Board.

Laurel C. Broten is president and chief executive office of the Crown corporation Nova Scotia Business Inc., but in the past she has served as a lawyer, a public policy expert and a senior Ontario cabinet minister. Nova Scotia Business is responsible for export development, business and film financing and attracting investment to the province.

Nancy Hill is a founding partner with patent and trademark agents Hill & Schumacher Professional Corp. She holds both legal and engineering degrees and has managed intellectual property rights for clients around the world. Hill worked to include sexual harassment as part of the definition of professional misconduct in the Ontario Professional Engineers Act.

Samantha Horn is a partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP where she practises corporate, commercial, mergers and acquisitions and private equity law. She is a member of management committee of the firm’s Toronto office and formerly served as co-head of the mergers and acquisitions and private equity group.

Dale Ponder is managing partner and chief executive officer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. She specializes in corporate law and mergers and acquisitions and has clients in the financial services, mining, consumer and pension plan sectors. Ponder sits on the firm’s executive committee.

Shannon Rogers is president and chief legal officer at Global Relay, a cloud technology and enterprise information archiving, compliance messaging and e-discovery company. She was a business and securities lawyer before joining Global Relay.