Focus On

Bennett Jones partner Leon named president of American College of Trial Lawyers

Friday, October 12, 2018 @ 1:43 PM | By John Chunn

The American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), one of the premier professional organizations comprised of pre-eminent trial lawyers from the U.S. and Canada, has installed Jeffrey S. Leon, a partner with Bennett Jones LLP in Toronto, as its 69th president to lead the college during the coming year.

He is the second Canadian to serve as president. David Scott of BLG in Ottawa led the college from 2003-2004.

The college also elected four new members to its board of regents at its 68th Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The new regents, who join 11 existing regents, include Joe R. Caldwell, Jr. of Steptoe & Johnson LLP (Washington, D.C.); Sandra A. Forbes of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (Toronto); Larry H. Krantz of Krantz & Berman LLP (New York City); and Michael J. Shepard of Hogan Lovells LLP (San Francisco).

“It is a great honour to be elected president of the college and I appreciate the opportunity to serve,” said Leon. “I look forward to working with the executive committee to continue our contributions to the administration of justice in both our great countries. This includes supporting a vital trial process and creating opportunities for our fellows to provide access to justice for all Americans and Canadians through pro bono work.”

Practising for over 35 years, Leon has a general domestic, international and cross-border litigation practice with a focus on business litigation. He acts in a variety of litigation matters, including securities, commercial, corporate, class proceedings, product liability, professional negligence and health care. He has appeared before courts and arbitration tribunals both domestic and international, has extensive trial and appellate experience and also serves as a mediator and an arbitrator. He is recognized as a leading litigation lawyer by numerous legal directories and has been the recipient of various awards for his professionalism and civility and his contributions to the legal profession.

In 2013, Leon was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his achievements in law and his commitment to serving his community. In 2014 he received the prestigious Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Civil Litigation. He is also a past president of The Advocates’ Society and Pro Bono Ontario. A former law clerk to the chief justice of Ontario, he is a regular author, speaker and panellist.