2012 Precedent Setter Award Winner: Anne Benedetti

Introducing Anne Benedetti, a lawyer who stands out

Anne Benedetti
The Team Player

  • Partner, Municipal Law at Goodmans LLP
  • Called to the bar in 2004
  • Led a team of public sector parties through the development of two phases of the West Don Lands
  • Successfully helped the Banting family protect its farmstead at the Conservation Review Board
  • Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada board member
  • Completed a BCL (a master’s equivalent) at the University of Oxford

Facilitating a conference call between an array of individuals representing the disparate goals of three levels of bureaucracy might sound like a nightmare, but for Anne Benedetti, negotiating with all the parties involved in the Waterfront Toronto revitalization project was a chance to shine.

“I had a special fondness for trying to guess the voices of all 20 or so people as they would join the large conference calls,” says the Goodmans partner in municipal planning and land use. “By the end I think I could recognize everyone just by how they said hello.”

Her colleagues say her contrasting qualities — she’s competitive but compassionate, fierce but supportive — help her guide many a tense and complicated negotiation to an amicable conclusion.

Benedetti is humble about her accomplishments at the negotiating table, but bursts with pride at her personal passions. Her desk is covered in photos of her smiling wife Alison and giggling one-year-old son Alex. On the walls hang framed varsity letters — souvenirs of her illustrious seven-year career on the Canadian national lacrosse team.

Although she no longer plays competitively, Benedetti does work in sports arbitration, and also organizes the annual Goodmans women’s basketball tournament. Another project: Benedetti helped spearhead Random Acts of Goodness, an initiative to build camaraderie through pay-it-forward acts of kindness at her firm.

The petite 35-year-old has earned a well-deserved reputation as a smart-as-a-whip but egoless problem solver and all around team player, and yet she still manages to maintain a charming modesty that is anything but false. “I never even thought I’d be a lawyer,” says Benedetti with a smile. “Prime ministers go to law school.”