Lawyer Tanya Walker

2016 Precedent Setter Award Winner: Tanya Walker

Meet the lawyer who's set to become the first black female bencher in Toronto's history
Lawyer Tanya Walker

Tanya Walker

Founder, Walker Law Professional Corporation
Called to the bar in 2006

Of all places, lawyers John Campion and Tanya Walker met in Saturday morning spin class. “If I’m not working, I’m there,” jokes Walker, the 38-year-old founder of her own Toronto-based commercial-litigation firm. When Campion, a four-time bencher at the Law Society of Upper Canada, met her, he saw “an opportunity to encourage a brilliant, worldly and diverse lawyer to run for bencher.”

Lawyer Tanya Walker of Walker Law Professional Corporation Walker is just that. After announcing (at four!) to her Jamaican immigrant parents her plan to be a lawyer like Clair Huxtable, Walker earned a business degree at McMaster University and then attended law school at Osgoode Hall. “We didn’t have deep pockets, but my parents did give me the push to work hard.” She resolved to graduate with minimal debt and own a home within two years — she did, and now shares a Harbourfront condo with her ever-supportive fiancé, Daniel. “It must be so tough to be with someone as busy as me,” she laughs, casually counting her hours — 70 to 80 a week — on perfectly manicured purple nails.

Running her own firm, which specializes in commercial litigation, for five years is all-absorbing, but balance has always been important. In her student years, she spent months backpacking through Europe. Even now, she says, “I organize my time very well and try to take a break every four months.” Walker has visited 40 countries.

The next chapter of her career will be historic. On Campion’s advice, she ran for bencher last spring — and though she came up just short, she is expected to become one this June when the current treasurer’s term ends, creating an opening in the bencher ranks. This will make Walker the first black woman to be one of the Toronto benchers in the Law Society’s 219-year history. “In a way, I can’t believe it,” she says, wiping away tears. “It really warms my heart that so many people believe in me.”

Precedent Setter Awards 2016Don’t forget to read about our other amazing winners.



Photography by Ian Patterson, hair and makeup by Jessica Haisinger, shot on location at Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie.