The Circuit: Precedent Setter Awards 2016


What: Precedent Setter Awards 2016
Where: The Spoke Club, 600 King St. W.
When: June 20, 2016


It’s always one of Precedent’s proudest moments — our annual event to celebrate the winners of the Precedent Setter Awards.

And last week, more than 120 lawyers and guests gathered came out to the Spoke Club in downtown Toronto to honour this year’s winners. It’s the sole chance for the legal community in Toronto to congratulate and mingle with all six winners, who, in their first 10 years of practice, are remaking the profession for the better.

“Each year, we receive so many nominations for this award,” said Precedent’s publisher and editor Melissa Kluger. “And from those nominations, we look for lawyers who’ve done outstanding legal work and been active members of their community.”

This year’s winners definitely delivered: they all boast wicked-smart legal minds that have thrust their careers into overdrive.

Congratulations again to all our winners:

Lawyer Tanya Walker of Walker Law Professional Corporation

Tanya Walker
Founder, Walker Law Professional Corporation
Read Tanya’s profile

Lawyer Solomon Friedman of Edelson Clifford D'Angelo Friedman Barristers LLP

Solomon Friedman
Partner, Edelson Clifford D’Angelo Friedman Barristers LLP
Read Solomon’s profile

Lawyer Peter Aprile of Counter Tax Law

Peter Aprile
Founder, Counter Tax Lawyers
Read Peter’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawyer Jacqueline Swaisland of Lorne Waldman Professional Corporation

Jacqueline Swaisland
Associate, Lorne Waldman Professional Corporation
Read Jacqueline’s profile

Lawyer Suhuyini Abudalai of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Suhuyini Abudulai Associate, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Read Suhuyini’s profile

Lawyer Sunil Gurmukh of the Ontario Human Rights Commission

Sunil Gurmukh
Counsel, Ontario Human Rights Commission
Read Sunil’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’d like to extend a big thank-you to our presenting sponsor RainMaker Group and our event sponsors Clear Concept, Deloitte and Laurel Hill Advisory Group.


Event photography by Yvonne Bambrick

Winners’ portraits by Ian Patterson

The 2016 Precedent Setter Awards

Precedent Setter Awards 2016

One has sparked a tech revolution in tax law. Another has brought free legal help to hundreds of refugees. And one more kick-started his career by defending gun owners. The winners of this year’s Precedent Setter Awards are a varied bunch. But they all have this: wicked-smart legal minds that have thrust their careers into overdrive. And with an eye to community work, these lawyers are remaking the profession for the better. All in their first 10 years of practice.

Which is why, for their photo shoot, we took them out for brunch at Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie, perhaps the most stunning restaurant in the Distillery District. With its legit Parisian cuisine and elegant design, we could think of no better place to pamper lawyers who deserve a hard-won break.

May we proudly present the lawyers to watch in 2016.


The Winners

Lawyer Tanya Walker of Walker Law Professional Corporation

Tanya Walker
Founder, Walker Law Professional Corporation
Read Tanya’s profile

Lawyer Solomon Friedman of Edelson Clifford D'Angelo Friedman Barristers LLP

Solomon Friedman
Partner, Edelson Clifford D’Angelo Friedman Barristers LLP
Read Solomon’s profile

Lawyer Peter Aprile of Counter Tax Law

Peter Aprile
Founder, Counter Tax Lawyers
Read Peter’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawyer Jacqueline Swaisland of Lorne Waldman Professional Corporation

Jacqueline Swaisland
Associate, Lorne Waldman Professional Corporation
Read Jacqueline’s profile

Lawyer Suhuyini Abudalai of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Suhuyini Abudulai Associate, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Read Suhuyini’s profile

Lawyer Sunil Gurmukh of the Ontario Human Rights Commission

Sunil Gurmukh
Counsel, Ontario Human Rights Commission
Read Sunil’s profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Judges

Scott Hutchison, Partner, Henein Hutchison LLP

Lena Koke, Co-Founder, Axess Law

Isfahan Merali, Counsel, Consent and Capacity Board and Bencher, The Law Society of Upper Canada

Jason Woycheshyn, Partner, Bennett Jones LLP


Behind-the-scenes photos

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

Precedent Setter Awards 2016 - photo shoot


Photography Ian Patterson, hair and makeup by Jessica Haisinger, shot on location at Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie

Precedent Setter Awards 2016: Sunil Gurmukh

Sunil Gurmukh

Counsel, Ontario Human Rights Commission
Called to the bar in 2009

In 2010, the year after Sunil Gurmukh was called to the bar, a devastating case landed on his desk. Black teenager. Male. Arrested three years earlier. Tasered twice by police. The teen had filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. And the African Canadian Legal Clinic, where Gurmukh was working, had agreed to represent him. “Nothing is more passionate,” says Gurmukh, “than holding the hands of a young black man and his mother while they tell you about how, while in handcuffs, he was tasered twice.”

As a law student, he never felt a calling to any practice area. But after working on a few cases like this one, he knew: it was human-rights work. By 2011, Gurmukh had moved to the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC). The next year, he married his wife, Monica, and now, at 33 years old, he’s the key lawyer in the OHRC’s campaign against the police’s use of racial profiling and carding. “He’s very calm, thoughtful and persuasive under pressure,” says Renu Mandhane, the OHRC’s chief commissioner. “I’m so glad he’s on our team.”

Lawyer, Sunil Gurmukh, Ontario Human Rights CommissionOutside the courtroom, Gurmukh often meets with advocacy groups in Toronto’s black communities to find out what’s happening on the ground with respect to racial profiling and the police. He also provides free legal education to racialized youth. These are fitting tasks for an easy-mannered lawyer who can warmly introduce himself to every person in a room.

Though he’s never been on the receiving end of police misconduct, the work can hit close to home for Gurmukh, the son of Indian immigrants. “I’m racialized, so I can sympathize,” he says. “The colour of your skin isn’t something you can change.” The work can be wearing. “I’ve seen some changes, but I want to be clear: there’s a long way to go.”

 

 


Precedent Setter Awards 2016Don’t forget to read about our other amazing winners.

 

 


Photography by Ian Patterson, hair and makeup by Jessica Haisinger, shot on location at Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie.