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Gowling’s Earnshaw elected president of Federation of Law Societies of Canada

Monday, November 19, 2018 @ 12:00 PM | By John Chunn


The Federation of Law Societies of Canada announced that Ross Earnshaw of Kitchener, Ont., has been elected president for 2018-2019. He is a partner in the Waterloo Region and Hamilton offices of Gowling WLG.

He studied at Osgoode Hall, obtaining his law degree in 1977, and was called to the Ontario bar in 1979. He has appeared as counsel before all levels of courts in Canada, as well as before numerous administrative tribunals.  

Earnshaw was nominated by the Law Society of Ontario as the Ontario representative to the Council of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada in 2016.

He has also served as a bencher of the Law Society of Ontario since 2012, chairing or serving on several committees and task forces. He also sits on the board of LibraryCo, which oversees the Ontario county courthouse library system, and recently completed a three-year term on the board of the Law Foundation of Ontario, a non-profit organization that works to improves access to legal services for people in all regions of the province.

“It is a great honour and privilege for me to lead the federation during the coming year,” said Earnshaw. “Although the organization is always dynamic and evolving, we are entering a year of change and renewal, with half of our council members new in their positions. I look forward to working collaboratively with them and with all the stakeholders of the federation as we continue to pursue our strategic priorities.”

Those priorities, the federation president said, includes compliance and education programs for anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules. “Another priority is the federation’s review of how internationally trained lawyers are assessed through the National Committee on Accreditation,” Earnshaw added, “and the federation’s national role in reconciliation through our TRC Calls to Action Advisory Committee.”

Beyond the courtroom, Earnshaw has a degree in music from what is now called Western University and a degree in science from York University. He also knows the value of harmony, as he sings in an a cappella choir called St. George Pro Musica.