Lindsay Scott

Precedent Setter Awards 2020: Lindsay Scott

Meet the litigator who uses her power to confront injustice
Lindsay Scott

Lindsay Scott

Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Called to the bar in 2011

Lindsay Scott rushed to the principal’s office. It was her first year of high school, in Burlington, Ont., and she was carrying a page from a classmate’s yearbook, on which another student had written a racist poem. Scott, whose heritage is a mix of Irish, black and Indigenous, was one of the few racialized students at the school. After a year of hearing racist jokes and taunts, she finally had evidence of the toxic culture. But nothing happened: no suspensions, no consequences. Instead, Scott switched schools.

Lindsay ScottToday, she is a partner at Paliare Roland, one of the top litigation boutiques in Toronto. “I had very little power back then,” says the 35-year-old. “I have much more agency now.”

From the outset of her career, Scott has used that power to confront injustice. As an articling student and a junior associate, she played a key role in a historic trial that ultimately forced the federal government to accept legal responsibility for Métis and non-status Indigenous people. “She’s wise beyond her years,” says Andrew Lokan, a partner at Paliare Roland who was co-counsel on the case alongside Joseph Magnet, a law professor at the University of Ottawa. “She had an instinctive grasp of the importance of the evidence, of what would play well in court, of what kinds of material made for an effective cross-examination.”

Her typical caseload consists of commercial and employment litigation. This work has taken her to the highest courts in the land, including the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal.

In 2017, Scott co-founded the Group of Racialized Ontario Women Litigators, also known as GROWL. More than 100 members support one another through networking events, panel discussions and client referrals. “There are challenges to being a racialized woman litigator that other lawyers wouldn’t face and may not understand,” says Scott. “We wanted a place where everyone would get it.”

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

This story is from our Summer 2020 Issue.

Photography by Steph Martyniuk; set design by James Reiger; hair and makeup by Michelle Calleja.