Exemplary Behaviour // Editor’s Note

Ian Binnie, awards ceremonies and Precedent's new national student magazine

By Melissa Kluger

On Friday June 15th, 2012

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 There has never been a better time to be Ian Binnie.

Everywhere I turn, this recently “retired” Supreme Court judge is there, often being feted with awards and celebrated for his amazingly long list of accomplishments.

Just weeks after I saw him graciously accept the Toronto Lawyers Association’s Award of Distinction, it was announced that the renowned jurist and former top Bay Street litigator is joining Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP and will also be working at Arbitration Place as a resident arbitrator. As I read extensive coverage of the Charter’s 30th anniversary, I noted that Binnie’s important decisions on the protection of journalists’ confidential sources and on what counts as a violation against unreasonable search and seizure kept getting mentioned as cases that had a tremendous impact on our rights and freedoms.

Then I had the pleasure of watching Binnie debate the merits of arbitration at the opening of Arbitration Place earlier this month. I watched him humourously make his case against Lenczner Slaght litigator Will McDowell (who argued in favour of courtroom litigation, dropping wisecracks about 393 University) before another retired Supreme Court justice, Frank Iacobucci — who’s also still clearly in his prime.

And here in the pages of the summer issue of Precedent, Binnie manages to make multiple appearances: he comments on an ambitious new firm started by a former clerk (“Breaking the Mould”), participates in an expert interview for The Charter Project’s website (“The Constitution Will Be Televised”) and even pops up in our Summary of Events (p 14).

Binnie overload? Or just a clear message that this is a man at the pinnacle of an exceptional legal career at age 73?

In this issue of Precedent, our feature story on the winners of our Precedent Setter Awards highlights six outstanding lawyers whose careers are just taking off. It was tough to choose these individuals from our large stack of inspiring nominees, but when you read what they’ve done in fewer than 10 years of practice, I know you’ll agree that our winners represent the best of the next generation of lawyers.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with an amazing team on this project. A big thank you to the writers, editors and designers who put together a final product that is as exceptional as the subjects themselves. And a special shout out to photographer Daniel Ehrenworth for making our lawyers truly shine (and for taking my photo while we were at it — see right).

Congratulations to all of our winners. I am very proud to be profiling you in these pages and I wish you all careers of Binnie-like proportions.


With so many ambitious people and projects around us, we couldn’t help but be inspired to make a bold move of our own. I’m pleased to announce that this fall Precedent will be launching a national student magazine. The student supplement that has run in our fall issue for the past few years has become so successful that it’s time to give it a space of its own. We’ll be launching on campuses across Canada this September and throwing parties as we go. We can’t wait.

Melissa Kluger
Publisher & Editor / [email protected]