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

Toronto articling students feed the hungry

Last week, articling students from Dentons served dinner to more than 200 in-need Toronto residents as part of the Lawyers Feed the Hungry (LFH) program, run by LSUC.

Dentons also sponsored the meal to help support the financially overburdened program.

The firm’s 14-person articling class, bedecked in white aprons and latex gloves, poured coffee and served sausages in the LSUC cafeteria. Later in the evening, after the cafeteria had been cleaned, the program’s more seasoned volunteers served the students themselves. 

“This is going to change the way we do this,” said David Bronskill, LFH veteran of 13 years and a partner at Goodmans LLP. While law firms often sponsor LFH meals, this is the first time a firm has turned the dinner into a social event.

The program now serves upwards of 100,000 meals a year, and at more than $4 a head, the expense is becoming unsustainable.

The law society hopes that Dentons, as one of Canada’s top law firms, will inspire others to become more involved too.  

Amanda Ross, Wednesday night’s volunteer coordinator, and Sara Lefton, assistant director of student programs at Dentons, together created the event. By the end of the night, the two ladies looked pleased with the result.

Though the room was unusually full of volunteers and thin on guests — diners are called guests and it’s very important to the organizers that they’re treated like guests in a home — the atmosphere was one of positivity and energy.

In the end, the students came away with a great experience, a sense of satisfaction, and a good meal.

Not only was it gratifying, says Mark Cavdar, an articling student at Dentons, “it [was] actually fun.”

Photo courtesy of the Law Society of Upper Canada