2010 Precedent Setter Award Winner: Mitch Frazer

Introducing Mitch Frazer, a lawyer who stands out

Mitch Frazer: the rainmaker
Partner, Pensions & Employment, Torys LLP
Called to the bar 2001

  • Major player on numerous international deals, including Thomson Corporation’s $7.75-billion sale of Thomson Learning’s higher education assets
  • Adjunct professor, Osgoode and U of T law faculties
  • Past president, UWO Law Alumni Association
  • Board member, Ontario Science Centre, North York General Hospital Foundation
  • Authoring two books on pensions law

Mitch Frazer - 2010 Precedent Setter Award winner / Photo by Margaret Mulligan

It’s the last session of the day at a seminar for pension administrators. The air in the hotel ballroom is hot and stale and presenters Mitch Frazer and Ari Kaplan have just discovered PowerPoint isn’t working. Still, the two don’t disappoint. Afterward, an analyst with the Treasury Board shakes their hands, saying “You make pensions sound fun.”

To Frazer, they are. As the head of the Pensions and Benefits practice group at Torys, Frazer’s infectious enthusiasm — and track record on over a dozen billion-dollar deals — has new clients lining up.

In the hotel lobby Frazer runs into Ingrid Perry, former president of the North York General Hospital Foundation Board on which he sits, giving her a big hug. He excuses himself for a daily call from his wife, Leslie, but soon he’s gushing “Hey Joshy!” to their their two-year-old son.

Then it’s back to the office to prepare for his alma mater’s golden anniversary fundraiser, which he is chairing. It’s a sea of purple ties, clinking glasses and loud chatter among the 450 paying alumni, double that of any previous Western Law reunion. UWO Law Dean Ian Holloway credits Frazer’s Midas touch. For the Bay Street lawyer himself, it’s all in a day’s work.

Mitch’s 5 Ways to the Top

1. Choose the path less followed. It will usually be more interesting and generally provide more opportunity.

2. Find things that you enjoy doing and do them repeatedly and consistently (until you get really good at them).

3. Find a work environment that is supportive and will give you the opportunity to shine (I know that this is easier said then done, but be persistent).

4. Exercise and eat healthy when possible!

5. Make a difference. Give back to your community and help others. (See Tip #2.)