The Circuit: Precedent Setter Awards 2017

Precedent Setter Awards 2017


What: Precedent Setter Awards 2017
Where: The Spoke Club, 600 King St. W.
When: June 13, 2017


No event brings us as much pleasure as our annual celebration of the winners of the Precedent Setter Awards.

More than 120 lawyers and guests came out to the Spoke Club in downtown Toronto to honour this year’s winners. It’s a chance for the legal community in Toronto to congratulate and mingle with all six winners, who, in their first 10 years of practice, are doing cutting-edge legal work and improving the profession.

And this year’s celebration was particularly special, as 2017 marks an important milestone for the magazine: its 10th anniversary. “When I look back on the past decade, I’m most proud of nights like this,” said Precedent’s publisher and editor Melissa Kluger, in her remarks at the event, “when we celebrate law’s true trailblazers, who reflect the diverse fabric of the profession.”

Congratulations again to all our winners:

Konata Lake

Konata Lake
Associate, Torys LLP
Read Konata’s profile

Clara Pham

Clara Pham
Director of Tax, Restaurant Brands International Corporation
Read Clara’s profile

Justin Safeyeni

Justin Safayeni
Associate, Stockwoods LLP
Read Justin’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaneka Taylor

Shaneka Taylor
Associate, Boghosian + Allen LLP
Read Shaneka’s profile

Glenford Jameson

Glenford Jameson
Principal, G. S. Jameson & Company
Read Glenford’s profile

Emily Lam

Emily Lam
Partner, Greenwood Lam LLP
Read Emily’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We’d also like to thank the sponsors of the 2017 Precedent Setter Awards.

Presenting sponsor
:
RainMaker Group

 

 

Event sponsors:

5ive15ifteen Photo Irwin LawLaurel HillRyerson LPPLawyers Financial Osgoode Professional Development

 

 

 

 


Event photography by 5ive15ifteen Studio

Winners’ portraits by Lorne Bridgman

The 2017 Precedent Setter Awards

 

Staircase at the Aga Khan MuseumWant to know how to spot a first-rate lawyer? Well, there are three easy giveaways. One, they’ve mastered their field of law, with a track record to prove it. Two, they offer time to organizations that help the community. And three, they can’t help but look fierce against the crisp, awe-inspiring backdrop of the Aga Khan Museum.

Okay, so maybe the judges of this year’s Precedent Setter Awards didn’t consider that last one in their deliberations. But the first two were definitely on their minds. See below to meet six outstanding lawyers, all in their first 10 years of practice, looking pretty damn determined at one of Toronto’s architectural wonders.

 

 

 


The Winners

Konata Lake

Konata Lake
Associate, Torys LLP
Read Konata’s profile

Clara Pham

Clara Pham
Director of Tax, Restaurant Brands International Corporation
Read Clara’s profile

Justin Safeyeni

Justin Safayeni
Associate, Stockwoods LLP
Read Justin’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaneka Taylor

Shaneka Taylor
Associate, Boghosian + Allen LLP
Read Shaneka’s profile

Glenford Jameson

Glenford Jameson
Principal, G. S. Jameson & Company
Read Glenford’s profile

Emily Lam

Emily Lam
Partner, Greenwood Lam LLP
Read Emily’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Judges

Katherine Hensel, Founder, Hensel Barristers

Leila Rafi, Partner, McMillan LLP

Paul Jonathan Saguil, Associate VP, TD Bank

Brendan Wong, Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP


Behind-the-scenes photos

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

017 Precedent Setter Awards - Behind-the-scenes photo shoot


Precedent Summer 2017 IssueThis story is from our Summer 2017 issue.

 

 

 


Photography by Lorne Bridgman, hair and makeup by Shawna Lee, shot on location at the Aga Khan Museum.

Precedent Setter Awards 2017: Justin Safayeni

Justin Safayeni

Associate, Stockwoods LLP
Called to the bar in 2010

“It was terrifying,” says Justin Safayeni, of his first appearance at the Supreme Court of Canada. He was a third-year lawyer at Stockwoods LLP, 29 years of age, when Amnesty International, who he’d done work for two years earlier, hired him to argue on their behalf as an intervener in a major Indigenous-rights case.

Justin Safayeni

Back in 1983, the Province of British Columbia allowed a lumber company to clear-cut trees on the historical land of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation. And a lawsuit against the government had wound its way through the courts over three decades. By the time Safayeni came on board, it was at the Supreme Court. He spent months preparing for his oral arguments. In the end, the court ruled the Tsilhqot’in First Nation had Aboriginal rights to the land, so the province had no authority to grant the clear-cutting permit. Safayeni had won.

It was a dream case. “When you have a client that cares deeply about an important issue, it gets you passionate,” says the 33-year-old. “That’s what you’re a litigator for: to go and fight.” His passion paid off. “He loves the law,” says Luisa Ritacca, a partner at Stockwoods. “He also grasps its significance for vulnerable Canadians.”

The B.C. case cemented Safayeni’s place as an emerging litigator in Toronto. His caseload is broad. He’s defended the CBC in libel lawsuits and worked with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, prosecuting athletes who test positive for banned substances.

When Safayeni isn’t poring over cases, he’s spending time with his family. He and his wife, Sarah Vincent, have a two-year-old son, Oscar. “I’m home from work at 6:30 every night to have dinner with him. Hanging out with him is a great way to recharge.”


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


Photography by Lorne Bridgman, hair and makeup by Shawna Lee, shot on location at the Aga Khan Museum.