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: Omo Akintan

Omo Akintan

Counsel, City of Toronto
Called to the bar in 2005
Law school: University of Toronto

Omo Akintan moved to Toronto from Nigeria almost two decades ago — and she can still remember how hard it was to be an outsider in Canada. In time, though, Akintan found her place. At 36, she is a top labour lawyer at the City of Toronto and, alongside her partner Jean Carter, has two young children. But she knows it’s still hard for people on the margins to find a sense of belonging. Which is why, in the past 20 years, Akintan has worked tirelessly to build communities for people who sit on the fringes of the social fabric.

Omo AkintanIn law school at the University of Toronto, for instance, Akintan co-founded Students of Law for the Advancement of Minorities. A few years later, she launched a running group for members of the black gay community — a demographic she found to be notably absent from running events across the city. (Now in its 10th year, the group attracts close to 40 runners every spring.) And, this February, she organized a Family Day event — featuring steel-pan drums and board games — that drew more than 50 families of colour, affording young black children an occasion to see families that look like their own. “If something is keeping me up at night,” says Akintan, “and I can do something about it, then I will.”

In conversation, Akintan is warm and deeply solicitous, smiling constantly and listening intently. Today, she works out of a paper-strewn office in Metro Hall, where she represents the City — including bureaucrats, the police and the fire department — when it faces internal complaints.

“I can be really frank,” she says of her in-house role and the close relationship she has with the City. “When I think we’ve done something wrong, I can say, ‘You know what? We’ve dropped the ball here.’” She also gets to be an activist at work. Last year, she helped overhaul the City’s human- rights policy, and this summer she’ll organize events for Pride Week. Looking back on almost a decade in the public sector, Akintan remarks: “It’s been a great fit.”


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