Michael Fenrick // Precedent Setter Awards 2019

Michael Fenrick
Meet the litigator who dedicates countless hours to high-profile pro bono cases

By Katherine Laidlaw

On Wednesday May 29th, 2019

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Michael Fenrick

Partner, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Called to the bar in 2009

Michael Fenrick doesn’t need a megaphone to amplify his clients’ voices. He’s more than capable of doing that with the law. As a commercial litigator at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, he dedicates hundreds of hours each year to precedent-setting pro bono work.

Michael Fenrick

He’s acted for sex workers, trans people and people living with substance-abuse problems. “I’ve done a lot of work for people who are among our most vulnerable,” says the 40-year-old. In one recent case, he persuaded the Ontario government to eliminate a rule that  prevented alcoholics from holding a spot on the organ-transplant list if they’re struggling to stay sober. He’s currently co-counsel on a case that, if successful, would force Google to de-index search results that contain information that is outdated, incorrect or personally sensitive. “Michael’s commitment to advancing the human and legal rights of others is extraordinary,” says Megan Shortreed, a partner at Paliare Roland.

“He’s always been driven to use the law as a vehicle for social change.” Fenrick has overcome adversity in his own life, too. He has no central vision in his right eye and very low vision overall. As a result, he increases the font size on documents he’s reading on his iPad and optimizes the lighting on his computer screens. He also has to make every oral argument without notes. Without the technological advances of the past 15 years, he’s not sure how he’d be able to practise law at all.

When he’s not doing battle in court, Fenrick is at home with his wife, Eden Kaill, and their 11-year-old daughter, or volunteering with the Liberal Party of Canada. “I don’t watch sports,” he says. “Federal political parties, those are my teams.” Like his clients, they’re lucky to have him.


Don’t forget to read about our other amazing winners.


This story is from our Summer 2019 Issue.


Photography by Luis Mora, hair and makeup by Michelle Calleja.