The Law Society’s general counsel has mastered the art of swordplay // Secret Life

“You have to patiently observe your opponents and wait for them to give you an opening”

By Christina Gonzales

On Tuesday December 4th, 2018


Elliot Spears
The Law Society of Ontario

When Elliot Spears took up fencing, one year ago, she took an immediate liking to the uniform: an all-white getup that consists of a jacket, gloves, pants, shoes and, of course, an intimidating steel-mesh mask. “I grew up training to be a ballet dancer and I always enjoyed the costumes,” says the general counsel at the Law Society of Ontario. “I don’t think I ever lost that part of my personality. I even love my barrister robes.”

But don’t think that she was drawn to fencing for the attire alone. “I was looking for a sport that was outside my comfort zone and, at the same time, would challenge me to learn something new,” says Spears. Her training regimen has been intense: she practises twice a week for two-and-a-half hours (under the guidance of a coach) at Metro Blades, a downtown Toronto fencing club. And this fall, she started to compete in tournaments at the club.

That’s when she discovered a surprising parallel between fencing and litigation. “They’re both mind games,” she says. “You have to patiently observe your opponents and wait for them to give you an opening. Only then can you strike.”


This story is from our Winter 2018 Issue.

Photography by Daniel Ehrenworth, makeup by Michelle Calleja