The Circuit: Precedent Setter Awards 2015


What: Precedent Setter Awards 2015
Where: Spin Toronto, 461 King St. W.
When: June 9, 2015


Last week, more than 150 lawyers and guests gathered to recognize this year’s Precedent Setter Award winners. Held at downtown ping-pong bar Spin Toronto (the same place where we held this year’s photo shoot), our annual event brought guests together to mingle and meet our winners, who, in their first 10 years of practice, are at the top of their game.

During the evening, Melissa Kluger, publisher and editor of Precedent, presented the winners with their award. This year, we decided to put a spin (no pun intended) on traditional awards and presented each winner with a ping-pong paddle featuring their photo from the magazine.

We’d like to extend a big thank-you to our presenting sponsor RainMaker Group and our event sponsors Laurel Hill Advisory Group, Alexa Translations, Flex Legal Network and the Project Gallery.

Congratulations once again to all our winners:

Aida Shahbazi

Aida Shahbazi
Senior Counsel, BMO Financial Group
Read Aida’s profile

Patric Senson

Patric Senson
Associate, Phillips Gill LLP
Read Patric’s profile

Omo Akintan

Omo Akintan
Counsel, City of Toronto
Read Omo’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Jonathan Saguil

Paul Jonathan Saguil
Counsel, TD Bank Financial Group
Read Paul’s profile

Jason Woycheshyn

Jason Woycheshyn
Partner, Bennett Jones LLP
Read Jason’s profile

Lisa Feldstein

Lisa Feldstein
Founder, Lisa Feldstein Law Office
Read Lisa’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Event photography by Yvonne Bambrick

Winners’ portraits by Jaime Hogge

The Precedent Setter Awards 2015

Every year, Precedent seeks out and celebrates the most outstanding lawyers in their first 10 years of practice who are excelling in their careers and contributing to our community with their ideas, work and achievements.

From a record number of nominations, six winners have risen to the top — six hardworking, trailblazing, communityminded lawyers who, in their first 10 years of practice, are already proving themselves to be the next leaders of the profession.

With all that trailblazing and hard work, we thought our winners deserved to have a little fun. So, for their victory photoshoot, we took them to play a few rounds at Toronto ping-pong bar Spin. Turns out, they are not only winners, but good sports as well.

May we proudly present the lawyers to watch in 2015.


The Winners

Aida Shahbazi

Aida Shahbazi
Senior Counsel, BMO Financial Group
Read Aida’s profile

Patric Senson

Patric Senson
Associate, Phillips Gill LLP
Read Patric’s profile

Omo Akintan

Omo Akintan
Counsel, City of Toronto
Read Omo’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Jonathan Saguil

Paul Jonathan Saguil
Counsel, TD Bank Financial Group
Read Paul’s profile

Jason Woycheshyn

Jason Woycheshyn
Partner, Bennett Jones LLP
Read Jason’s profile

Lisa Feldstein

Lisa Feldstein
Founder, Lisa Feldstein Law Office
Read Lisa’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Judges

Afshan Ali, Senior Counsel, CIBC

David Bronskill, Partner, Goodmans LLP

Shantona Chaudhury, Associate, Pape Barristers

Ryan Edmonds, Owner, Ryan Edmonds Workplace Counsel


Web bonus

Check out our behind-the-scenes photos from our photo shoot with the winners!


Party photos

On June 9, lawyers and guests gathered to celebrate this year’s winners. Check out our party photos.


Photography by Jaime Hogge, Hair and makeup by Shawna Lee, Shot on location at Spin Toronto

Precedent Setter Awards 2015: Aida Shahbazi

Aida Shahbazi

Senior counsel, BMO Financial Group
Called to the bar in 2009
Law school: Osgoode Hall

Scarcely two years after joining BMO’s law group, Aida Shahbazi found herself seconded to a five-person team leading an internal branding transformation meant to reach the bank’s 46,000 employees. It was a tall assignment, one that drew less on Shahbazi’s legal skills than her grasp of marketing and social media. “It was interesting to take off the legal hat,” says the 33-year-old, who grew up in Windsor, Ont.

Shahbazi joined BMO in 2012 as a securities lawyer after a stint at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. Soon she made her way onto teams dealing with investor relations, social media governance and other marketingrelated projects. The bank then recognized Shahbazi with an award reserved for the top two percent of its employees. And, in May, BMO named her the Canadian regulatory liaison between Canada’s financial regulator and the bank. “It’s a stretch opportunity,” she says. “Every ounce of ability that I have, I need to bring to this job. It’s a role where there’s almost no margin for error.”

Aida ShahbaziSince she was 18, Shahbazi has been an energetic fundraiser for the United Way. Her work began when the charity placed her on the board of a non-profit in Windsor that advocates for seniors and people with disabilities. In 2013, she came up with a three-year plan to increase United Way donations from Toronto associates at large Bay Street firms, who were lagging behind partners. Shahbazi recruited 30 associates from those firms and trained them to spearhead more effective fundraising drives at their offices. Her work helped reverse a downward trend in donations from associates.

Shahbazi’s desire to help others is rooted in the deep gratitude she has for the friends and mentors who, over the years, have supported her career. “The opportunities I’ve received in my life have made me what I am today,” she reflects. “It’s important to me that others have that opportunity.”

 

 

 

 


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

 

 


Photography by Jaime Hogge; Hair and makeup by Shawna Lee; Shot on location at Spin Toronto