On June 11th, 530 in-house counsel and outside lawyers gathered for the eighth Annual Canadian General Counsel Awards (CGCA) black tie event. The CGCA was co-founded by National Post and ZSA Legal Recruitment.
The evening kicked off with the award for social responsibility. This category is especially close to our hearts because the award is co-sponsored by ACC’s Ontario Chapter and Norton Rose Canada. Deloitte & Touche LLP was named the winner and ACC Canada member Kenneth Fredeen, Deloitte’s general counsel, accepted on behalf of his department. He thanked his team, calling them “a great group of lawyers and wonderful people,” adding that, “[t]hey really drive what I do and so much of what Deloitte does in this area.”
Following the award for social responsibility was the one for deal making. This year, Robert Aziz, executive vice-president and chief legal counsel for Oxford Property Group, walked away with the honors, much to the crowd’s delight.
The winner of the Tomorrow’s Leader Award was another ACC Canada member, Jeffrey Ellis, senior vice-president, deputy general counsel and assistant corporate secretary of P&C US, BMO Financial Group. He thanked his mentor, Simon Fish, executive vice-president and general counsel of BMO Financial, and considered offering a few words of wisdom but then realized that as “tomorrow’s leader,” he wouldn’t have any real wisdom to share until … tomorrow.
Michael Medline, president of FGL Sports and executive vice president of Canadian Tire Corporation, was named winner of the business achievement category. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Douglas R. Stollery (also an ACC Canada member), first general counsel of Q.C., PCL Constructors, Inc., and one of Canada’s most experienced construction lawyers.
The final award of the night was Canadian General Counsel of the Year. Amid huge whoops of delight from her table, Melissa Kennedy, general counsel and senior vice-president of corporate affairs at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, accepted the top honors. She told the crowd she was proud, “very honored, and very humbled” at being selected.
As one of the original sponsors of the awards when it started back in 2005, ACC has a long-standing relationship with the CGCA and we were delighted to be a part of this year’s event.
For a complete list of CGA categories, winners, the award criteria and this year’s nominees, click here.