The 2024 Toronto Lawyers Association Awards Gala

At the event, Toronto’s top lawyers emphasized the importance of kindness and civility in the profession

On February 29, close to 320 members of the legal community packed into Ricarda’s for the 2024 Toronto Lawyers Association Awards Gala. The organization’s marquee event celebrates distinguished lawyers at all stages of their careers.

During the awards presentation, the Honourable Gloria Epstein received the TLA Award of Distinction, in recognition of her storied career as both a litigator and judge. Rebecca Durcan, the co-managing partner at Steinecke Maciura LeBlanc, received the Honsberger Award for her accomplished advocacy in the area of professional regulation. And Jessica Brant, an associate at Benmor Family Law Group who has worked tirelessly to advance the rights of Indigenous people in the justice system, received the TLA Emerging Excellence Award. For the first time since the establishment of the Emerging Excellence Award, in 2020, all three award winners were women.

Ricarda’s proved to be the perfect venue for the celebration. At the cocktail reception, the beautifully lit space reflected the excitement of the partygoers. When accepting each award, the recipients had an opportunity to address the audience. A unifying theme of the speeches was the importance of kindness and compassion in the practice of law. The winners made it clear that taking a human-centred approach to the law has been key to their success.

“Every year, the TLA’s Awards Gala exceeds all of our expectations, and this year was no exception,” says Joan Rataic-Lang, the TLA’s executive director. “Congratulations to all three of our incredible award winners!”

The 2024 Toronto Lawyers Association Awards Gala

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Photography by Brian Simon.