Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum Toronto 2018 - Speakers October 18 2018, Vantage Venues, Toronto






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Speakers at the Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum for 2018 included:

Kara Beitel

Kara Beitel

senior counsel and director
BMO Financial

Kara Beitel is senior litigation counsel at the Bank of Montreal, responsible for managing Canadian litigation – including employment matters, class actions, and regulatory proceedings – for capital markets, technology & operations and corporate areas. In addition to her Canadian litigation portfolio, Kara is responsible for managing some U.S. securities class actions. Kara is an executive member of the Association of Corporate Counsel Securities Law Committee.

Wendy Berman

Wendy Berman partner
Cassels Brock & Blackwell

Wendy Berman, head of the securities litigation and white collar crime and regulatory response groups at Cassels Brock & Blackwell, has extensive experience in complex cross-border commercial and securities-related litigation, often involving parallel regulatory, criminal and class action proceedings. Wendy has represented public companies, directors and officers in some of Canada’s largest investigations and proceedings involving disclosure violations, insider trading and other fraud-related allegations, corruption, shareholders’ remedies, litigation aspects of proxy contests, take-over bids and other acquisitions, corporate governance and securities class actions.

Wendy is recognized as one of Canada’s leading securities and class action litigators by Chambers, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, the Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada, and Best Lawyers.

Melanie Baird

Melanie Baird partner
Lenczner Slaght

Melanie Baird is a partner at Lenczner Slaght. Melanie’s diverse commercial litigation practice encompasses intellectual property, insurance, professional liability, class actions, product liability and technology. She has appeared before all levels of the Ontario and Federal Courts. Melanie has significant experience with complex patent trials in the pharmaceutical industry and acted as counsel on the first biologic patent trial and the first biosimilar patent trial in Canada. Melanie also has broad experience in the software, high-tech and social media spaces, dealing with commercial, patent, trademark, copyright and licensing disputes. Melanie also leverages her diverse experience in a wide range of commercial litigation fields to provide unique insight and bring strategic depth to her insurance practice. In 2017, she was named the “Canadian Rising Star” by LMG Life Sciences and has been listed on Benchmark's "Under 40 Hotlist" for several years.

Martha Binks

Martha Binks general counsel, director of legal services
Allstate Insurance Co of Canada

Martha Binks is General Counsel of Allstate Canada and Director of legal services. She built and managed the current department since arriving in 2003. She manages outside counsel and handles a wide variety of legal matters, from regulatory and compliance, board governance, contract negotiations, risk management, privacy, and cyber risk.

Before Allstate, she was a partner at a Bay Street boutique litigation law firm, and had been in private practice for 16 years handling personal injury, medical malpractice, product, CGL and professional liability matters, attending at trials at the Superior Court and in the Court of Appeal.

Martha was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1987. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1985, and obtained her undergraduate degree in Economics from Queen’s University.

She has been on the Board of Directors or is otherwise involved with a number of not for profit organizations such as The Ontario Bar Assistance Program and a mentor with the Ontario Bar Association.

Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown managing editor
Canadian Lawyer InHouse and Law Times

Jennifer Brown is managing editor of Canadian Lawyer InHouse and Law Times. She has been a business journalist and editor for more than 15 years and has covered the legal sector for seven years. As managing editor of Canadian Lawyer InHouse she presides over the annual General Counsel Roundtable and Innovatio Awards for innovation in-house. She was also a newspaper reporter for 10 years covering courts, municipal government, health care and education.

Heather Crawford

Heather Crawford general counsel and chief compliance officer
Fengate Capital Management

Heather Crawford joined Fengate in 2014 and is responsible for general and corporate compliance matters while assisting in all aspects of the investment process. She has extensive experience in analyzing, structuring, negotiating and closing sophisticated transactions, as well as providing oversight and guidance on complex legal matters involving multiple parties. Prior to joining Fengate, Heather spent nearly eight years in private practice at Torys before she transitioned to the role of General Counsel at Clairvest Group, where she was responsible for the design and management of corporate governance policies and protocols to ensure adherence to compliance and best practices.

Helen Daley

Helen Daley head of litigation
Sun Life Financial

Helen Daley is currently head of litigation at Sun Life Financial. Prior to this, she has acted as trial and appellate counsel in numerous reported commercial cases including contractual disputes, corporate reorganizations, director and officer liability issues, securities litigation, shareholder disputes, oppression remedy cases. Helen specializes in securities litigation, including civil and class actions as well as the conduct and defence of regulatory prosecutions before the Ontario Securities Commission, the Mutual Funds Dealers Association of Canada, the Investment Industry Regulating Organization of Canada and other industry regulators. She conducts the defence of professional liability claims and has acted as counsel on a provincial public inquiry.

Helen has taught at Osgoode Hall Law School, The Advocates’ Society and the Law Society of Upper Canada. She is adjunct professor of Civil Procedure at Queen’s University Faculty of Law. She has written and spoken on the reform of securities governance in Canada, commercial and securities fraud, the defence of directors’ and officers’ liability claims and a multitude of trial advocacy and civil procedure related topics. Helen is a member of the Securities Industry Association as well as a Board member of The Advocates’ Society.

Bianca De Paolis

Bianca De Paolis deputy chief compliance officer
Chubb Insurance Company of Canada

Bianca De Paolis is the deputy chief compliance officer for Chubb North America. Bianca has over 15 years’ experience in the insurance industry and has held several management roles within Claims and Compliance. Bianca’s current responsibilities include oversight and management of the North America compliance monitoring and testing team for Chubb. Previously, Bianca held the position of chief compliance officer, privacy officer, complaints officer and chief anti-money laundering officer for Chubb Canada. Prior to joining Chubb, Bianca was with the US-based title insurance company, Stewart Title.

Bianca was called to the bar in Ontario in 2002 and has an LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School and an M.B.A. from the Rotman School of Management.

Delbie Desharnais

Delbie Desharnais associate general counsel, litigation

Delbie Desharnais is associate general counsel at Telus Communications where she acts as head of the litigation team. Her team is responsible for all of Telus’ commercial litigation matters across the country and Delbie is managing many signification litigation matters including class actions.

She won the Litigation Management, large departments Innovatio Award in 2017 and was a finalist in the Litigation Management Category for the 2017 Canadian General Counsel Awards.

Prior to joining Telus in 2011, Delbie was a litigator in private practice with a Montreal law firm for 10 years. She completed her B.C.L. and LL.B. degrees at McGill Law School.

Among other volunteer endeavors, Delbie is a Telus Wise Ambassador volunteering her time to host internet and smartphone safety sessions in the community.

Sivan Fox

Sivan Fox VP legal and corporate secretary
Dundee Corporation

Sivan Fox has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services, resources (mining, oil and gas) and real estate sectors. She is an experienced, results oriented executive responsible for providing strategic legal and business advice to Dundee Corporation and affiliated public, private and institutional entities. Since joining Dundee Corporation in 2006, Sivan has taken on roles of increasing responsibility within the Dundee group of companies. As general counsel and corporate secretary, she advises senior management, boards of directors and special committees on strategic initiatives, and provides oversight to a myriad of private and public subsidiary and portfolio companies, including cross border transactions. Sivan brings a strong focus on corporate governance and risk management, as well as specific expertise relating to finance and M&A transactions, operating in regulated sectors, executive compensation and trademark matters.

Prior to joining Dundee, Sivan practiced corporate and securities law for 10 years at Osler. Sivan was the recipient of the Canadian General Counsel Award (National Post/ ZSA) in 2016.

Arden Furlotte

Arden Furlotte VP legal and corporate secretary

Arden Furlotte is vice-president & corporate secretary with SNC-Lavalin. She has more than 30 years of experience as a practicing attorney, 20 of which were in private practice in the field of commercial litigation, corporate, M&A and securities law with, among others, Stikeman Elliott in Montreal. As Corporate Secretary to the board of SNC-Lavalin she advises the board of directors and its committees on governance matters and on corporate/commercial and securities issues including legislative changes, that may have an impact on the company. She is a member of the Senior Management Committee, manages a team of 11 professionals located in Canada and the UK, responsible for the management of the company’s 600 subsidiaries, and provides legal support on all corporate reorganizations, finance and securities transactions, tax planning structures and consolidations, oversight of the company’s worldwide trademark portfolio, and the commercial needs of the company’s Corporate group.

Nicole Henderson

Nicole Henderson partner
Blake Cassels & Graydon

Nicole Henderson is a partner in the Blakes litigation & dispute resolution group. Her practice focuses on class actions and other complex disputes, with a focus on cybersecurity and product liability. She also practices public law, including constitutional, administrative, regulatory and freedom of information matters.

In her cybersecurity practice, Nicole frequently advises organizations dealing with a data breach or information security incident, including addressing litigation risk and responding to investigations by law enforcement or regulators. She also represents defendants in privacy class actions and regulatory investigations arising out of cybersecurity incidents.

Nicole has appeared as counsel at all levels of court in Ontario, representing clients across a range of industries, including leading manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceutical medicines and heavy equipment.

Prior to joining Blakes, Nicole clerked at the Federal Court of Appeal.

Elspeth Hagan

Elspeth Hagan general counsel
McCain Foods

Elspeth Hagan is General Counsel, Global Compliance with McCain Foods Limited, with global responsibility for compliance, competition, anti-corruption, information governance and privacy. She has managed a variety of data protection compliance programs and issues in the global and European context. Until recently she had responsibility for legal and compliance issues at McCain in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. While accountable for this high-growth and diverse region, she led an array of matters across many cultures, languages and time-zones.

Prior to joining McCain, Elspeth handled a variety of complex matters in the energy, industrial and health-care sectors of the global engineering firm Siemens. She also practiced in a national law firm in Toronto and with a leading Atlantic Canadian law firm.

Elspeth has a JD from Osgoode Hall and completed graduate work at the University of Toronto. She has lived and worked in a number of countries on three continents. She is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and the New Brunswick Law Society.

Monique Jilesen

Monique Jilesen partner
Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin

Monique Jilesen, partner at Lenczner Slaght, is an exemplary advocate whom clients turn to for their toughest commercial disputes. She has led complex proceedings from inception through trial in various areas of commercial litigation. She focuses on class actions, contract and shareholder disputes, civil fraud cases, injunctions, bankruptcy and insolvency matters, and securities and derivatives cases. She has an enviable record of success at trial in bet-the-company disputes. In 2017, she received the prestigious Douglas K. Laidlaw Medal for Excellence in Advocacy. Monique is also the inaugural Chair on the Advocates’ Society’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group.

Paula Kargas

Paula Kargas VP, claim manager - financial lines
Chubb Insurance Company of Canada

Paula Kargas, VP, claim leader at Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, leads a team of eleven examiners in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver who handle all lines of Financial Lines business, which includes D&O, transactional risk, cyber, crime, employment, media and financial institutions E&O. Prior to her management role, Paula spent many years as a claims examiner, working with our insureds and brokers to resolve high severity D&O, EPL and E&O claims against public and private companies.

Paula is a champion for early career development and is currently an executive member of Chubb’s IMPACT group, a forum to assist female employees navigate and expand their careers. She is also taking part in a speed mentoring exercise with junior lawyers at downtown firms to perfect the art of a business “pitch”.

Prior to joining Chubb, she was an E&O examiner at an insurer in New York City and practiced law at a medical malpractice firm. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Paula graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Fordham University and obtained her law degree from Touro Law School.

Deirdre MacLeod

Deirdre MacLeod acting general counsel

Deirdre MacLeod is the acting general counsel at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She supports senior management, the business, and risk management with sensitive client and firm issues, litigation, and employment law matters. While her practice focuses mainly on civil litigation and she also assists with regulatory investigations, complaints to professional bodies and law enforcement enquiries. Prior to joining PwC, Deirdre was general counsel at a large North American facility services company and was in private practice at a large Bay Street firm. She graduated from Queen’s University Law School.

Laura McLaren

Laura McLaren director, global anti-corruption
BMO Financial Group

Laura McLaren is the Director of Global Anti-Corruption at BMO Financial Group, where she is responsible for the enterprise program to manage bribery and corruption risk. Prior to this role, Laura was Senior Litigation Counsel for BMO Capital Markets, advising on litigation and regulatory enforcement matters involving the Capital Markets business. Prior to joining BMO in 2012, Laura practiced for nine years at Clifford Chance in New York City, where she specialized in securities class action defense and international regulatory investigations. Laura is called to the Bars of New York and Ontario.

Judy Naiberg

Judy Naiberg VP legal and business affairs
Sony Music

Judy Naiberg leads the legal and business affairs department of the Canadian affiliate of Sony Music Entertainment. As a member of the executive team, she is a key advisor to the president in the development of company strategy. She provides guidance across all business units, in Canada and abroad, on a wide variety of issues including content acquisition, licensing, marketing, sales, digital distribution, transactional matters and litigation. Judy works closely with Canada’s recording industry association, Music Canada, to advocate for legislative reform and changes in public policy in an effort to curtail piracy and promote Canada’s legitimate music market. She is a member of the board of directors of Re:Sound Music Licensing, the Canadian not-for-profit agency dedicated to securing, enforcing and distributing fair compensation for artists and record companies for their performance rights.

Prior to joining Sony, Judy was a commercial and medical malpractice litigation lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto. Judy obtained her BA with distinction from McGill University, her LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School, and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1994. She is a mentor and frequent lecturer on a variety of matters including commercial drafting, entertainment law and women in leadership roles. She is a member of the steering committee of the Ryerson Law Practice Program (LPP) and created and co-taught the LPP’s In-House Counsel Intensive Course.

Joanne Nardi

Joanne Nardi director, global IP
Molson Coors Brewing Company

Joanne Nardi is the director of global intellectual property for Molson Coors Brewing Company and is responsible for the intellectual property portfolio of Molson Coors and its subsidiary businesses worldwide.

Joanne graduated from York University with a B.A. in Political Science, and is a registered trade-mark agent in Canada and the United States. She is a Fellow of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC), where she is currently a member of Council. She is also a member of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and has served on several of its committees, including information resources, and in-house practitioners.

Leola Pon

Leola Pon general counsel
Toronto District School Board

Leola Pon is general counsel for the Toronto District School Board, the largest school board in Canada. She leads a team of lawyers and staff who provide strategic legal advice on a wide range of legal matters for the TDSB. Before joining the TDSB, Leola worked at the law firm of Hicks Morley as a labour and employment lawyer, and at the University of Toronto in various legal and non-legal roles.

In 2017, Leola and the TDSB Legal Services team received three Canadian Lawyer InHouse Magazine Innovatio Awards, including the Innovation of the Year award. Leola was called to the Bar in 2006 following a career in public sector human resources and labour relations.

Geneviève Prévost

Geneviève Prévost manager, global IP
Molson Coors Brewing Company

Geneviève Prévost is the manager of global intellectual property for Molson Coors Brewing Company and is responsible for the intellectual property portfolio of Molson Coors and its subsidiary businesses worldwide.

Prior to joining Molson Coors, Geneviève practiced trademark law, both prosecution and litigation, for over 15 years with Smart & Biggar. She graduated from Concordia University with a B.Sc. in Chemistry, obtained her LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the bar in Ontario in 1998. She is also a registered trademark agent in Canada.

Aliya Ramji

Aliya Ramji senior director, legal and corporate affairs
Figure 1

Aliya Ramji is the senior director, corporate affairs and legal at Figure 1. Figure 1 is a case sharing platform for health care professionals and was one of Canada's 11 tech companies to watch in 2016. Aliya is an international lawyer who acted as legal counsel and global business unit advisor at CSA Group prior to joining Figure 1 in October 2014.

In 2016, Aliya was named one of the top 10 thirty-somethings by the Association of Corporate Counsel and was awarded the Young Alumni of Influence by the University of Toronto, University College. She has spent time lobbying the US Senate and Canadian government, making submissions on international free trade agreements and taking companies global.

Aliya has received her J.D. from Queen’s University, a LL.M. in International Legal Studies from NYU School of Law and has taught Legal Aspects of International Business and Business Law at Ryerson University for the past 4 years.

Holly Reid

Holly Reid partner
Blake Cassels & Graydon

Holly Reid is a partner in the Blakes employment & labour group. She has more than 15 years of experience as a specialist in employment law, providing timely and practical advice to clients in respect of all laws relating to workplace issues. Holly regularly advises large private and publicly listed companies on matters of significant legal and reputational importance, including the negotiation of executive contracts, transitions within executive leadership teams, class action and other risks relating to changes to compensation and benefit plans, and incidents of sexual harassment, workplace violence and bullying. She also provides advice on complex accommodation requests and disputes, and has a particular expertise in accessibility law.

A significant portion of Holly’s practice is devoted to advising on the employment and labour aspects of complex corporate transactions, including the drafting and negotiation of purchase agreements, retention and transaction bonus agreements, and commercial and employment restrictive covenant agreements.

Shara Roy

Shara Roy partner
Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin

Shara Roy, partner at Lenczner Slaght, specializes in complex, bet-the-company cases. Combining broad experience in commercial litigation, securities, insolvency, class actions, and professional negligence, with a commitment to winning, Shara is a powerful advocate. She takes complex problems, distills them to their essence and finds the path to victory. Shara is also a recognized leader in her community. In 2018, Shara co-chaired an annual event raising thousands of dollars to support the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund. Shara also co-leads our Student program and mentors younger lawyers.

Harpreet Sidhu

Harpreet Sidhu general counsel, corporate secretary, privacy officer
Pethealth, Inc.

Harpreet Sidhu is Pethealth's general counsel, corporate secretary, and privacy officer and is a member of the executive leadership team and the Governance Professionals of Canada. She advises in all areas of corporate compliance and oversees the legal affairs of the corporation, including litigation, general contracts, employment, mergers and acquisitions, and patent and trademark matters. She also manages governance and regulatory compliance for the corporation and is responsible for all in-house ethics programs, government affairs, and public policy activities on domestic and international affairs, and oversees legal operations in Canada, the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Harpreet earned her Bachelor of Laws degree from The University of Buckingham School of Law. She is affiliated with Law Help Ontario, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Ontario Bar Association, Canadian Bar Association, The Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, The Halton County Law Association, and The International Bar Association. She writes a column for the The Canadian Lawyer Magazine as an in-house counsel.

Barbara Silverberg

Barbara Silverberg head of legal
Dell Canada

Barbara Silverberg is head of legal for Dell Canada, where she is a member of the company’s senior management team, pension and ethics committees, and the executive sponsor for the company’s community involvement program. She is the lead for Dell’s global competition steering committee which determines global risk and strategy for competition law issues. She is responsible for providing advice and guidance on all legal matters for the company, and for managing and coaching the Canada legal team. Barbara is head of the Dell global competition steering committee, responsible for assessing competition law risk, and for developing and implementing worldwide risk mitigation strategies.

Ms. Silverberg joined Dell from First Capital Realty Inc., a TSX listed real estate development company, where she was Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Prior to that Ms. Silverberg was vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Labatt USA (now Anheuser Busch Inbev). She started her career in the corporate/commercial group of the Torys law firm in Toronto. She is a member of Legal Leaders for Diversity and speaks French and some Spanish.

Audra Soloway

Audra Soloway partner
Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton Garrison

Audra J. Soloway is a litigation partner and co-chair of the securities litigation and enforcement group at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton Garrison. Representing public companies and/or their officers and directors, Audra focuses her practice on defense of class action and individual securities litigation, derivative litigations, corporate internal investigations, and enforcement proceedings and investigations initiated by the SEC and state regulators. She speaks and writes extensively about the federal securities laws, authoring dozens of articles and co-authoring the treatise Federal Securities Litigation: A Deskbook for the Practitioner, 3rd edition.

Audra was featured in Crain’s New York Business’ inaugural list of Leading Women Lawyers in New York City. She is recognized as a top rated securities litigation attorney in NY by Law360, Legal 500, LawDragon, and Superlawyers.

Audra co-chairs the firm’s Public Matters Committee, oversees our Community Outreach Program, and serves on the Boards of Directors of The Legal Aid Society and the City Bar Fund.

Anne Sonnen

Anne Sonnen SVP & chief compliance officer
Great-West Lifeco

Anne Sonnen, SVP and chief compliance officer, leads the second line global compliance teams for Great-West Lifeco Inc. in Canada, the United States and Europe, setting the strategic direction for the management of compliance. She leads the design, implementation and maintenance of the compliance programs, ensuring they comply with governing regulations and associated internal policies. Anne works closely with senior leaders to accelerate business and growth strategies while navigating an external environment increasingly shaped by greater regulation worldwide.

Anne served as chief compliance and chief risk officer at Capital One in Canada. Prior to that, she was at the Bank of Montreal (BMO) where she was global chief compliance officer for BMO’s wealth and asset management businesses; chief administrative officer for the Office of the General Counsel; and chief of litigation for BMO’s Canadian retail banking business. She began her career focused on litigation in the enforcement branch at the Ontario Securities Commission and in private practice. Anne received an economics degree from McGill University and completed her law degree from the University of Toronto.

Anne serves on the Board of Pro Bono Legal Ontario, the Governance Committee of the Boulevard Club, and past Cabinet Member of the United Way Greater Toronto Area Campaign.

Carla Swansburg

Carla Swansburg VP and general manager

Carla Swansburg, VP and General Manager, leads all of the Canadian operations of Epiq Systems. Epiq provides managed legal services, eDiscovery, business process outsourcing, claims management services and other support to law firms and businesses through its 80 offices worldwide.

Carla previously served as the Chief Innovation Officer for Blake, Cassels & Graydon. Prior to that, she was a commercial litigator in private practice and then as Senior Litigation Counsel at one of Canada’s largest banks. She is a Past President of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Ontario Chapter.

Carla’s experience includes leading legal project management and data analytics initiatives, developing strategic pricing arrangements and overseeing the investigation and implementation of emerging legal technologies in practice.

Carla speaks and writes regularly on topics relating to legal service delivery and technology. She has a B.A. (Theatre) from Dalhousie University and an LLB/JD from Dalhousie Law School. Carla recently obtained an MBA from the Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto).

Tamara Tomomitsu

Tamara Tomomitsu partner
Borden Ladner Gervais

Tamara Tomomitsu, partner at Borden Ladner Gervais, has a multi-disciplinary civil litigation practice which includes the defence of municipal liability claims, disability insurance claims, first and third party automobile claims, commercial liability claims and advises clients on various insurance coverage and cybersecurity issues. Tamara is the current Chair of BLG’s National Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Tamara Tomomitsu graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1998 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2000. She is a member of the Tort Trial Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association, she sits as a Vice-Chair on a number of committees including the Women Trial Lawyers, Litigation and Trial Practice and Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Committees. She is also a past Chair of the Section’s Automobile Litigation Committee.

Darlene Tonelli

Darlene Tonelli founder
Inter Alia Law

Darlene Tonelli is the founder of Inter Alia Law and co-host of the Lawyer Life Podcast. Inter Alia is an association of lawyers who specialize in providing in-house counsel services to companies in the entertainment, media and technology space.

Inter Alia lawyers work flexibly, with a focus on designing careers for themselves that align with their interests, values, and lifestyle goals.All Inter Alia lawyers previously spent time in private practice and in-house at some of Canada’s top media, tech and entertainment companies (e.g. Microsoft, Live Nation, Universal Music, Corus, Shaw). Our clients are prominent emerging and established technology companies, concert promoters, new media producers, and creators.

Prior to founding Inter Alia, Darlene spent 8 years at Universal Music Canada, where she was most recently Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Affairs. Before that, Darlene was a lawyer at Goodmans LLP in Toronto.

Jane Waechter

Jane Waechter assistant general counsel & managing director, head of Canadian and Caribbean litigation
Royal Bank of Canada

Jane Waechter is a seasoned litigator with extensive in-house, regulatory and law firm experience. As Head of Canadian and Caribbean Litigation at Royal Bank of Canada, Jane is responsible for managing and overseeing all litigation and regulatory enforcement matters in Canada and the Caribbean. She was previously the Global Head of Capital Markets Litigation at Bank of Montreal. While working in the Enforcement Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission, Jane was lead counsel in complex precedent-setting litigation involving mutual fund market timing, asset-backed commercial paper, and the continuous disclosure obligations of public companies. She has appeared at all levels of court in Ontario and in the Supreme Court of Canada. Jane was previously a litigation partner at Gowling WLG.

Leila Wright

Leila Wright associate deputy commissioner
Competition Bureau Canada

Leila Wright is the associate deputy commissioner of competition promotion at the Competition Bureau -- an independent law enforcement agency that ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace. Leila directs the Bureau's competition advocacy, regulatory interventions, strategic policy and planning initiatives, and intergovernmental affairs.

From 2013 to 2017, Leila held a variety of increasingly senior positions at the Bureau, including A/Assistant Deputy Commissioner of International Affairs and Special Advisor to the Commissioner of Competition. Prior to joining the Public Service, Leila practised competition law and commercial litigation at Heenan Blaikie.

Leila has taught competition law classes at Ottawa University, has spoken about competition matters at numerous events, and has published a variety of articles related to competition. Leila received her J.D. from the University of Toronto, and has a B.A. in Political Studies as well as a B.Sc. in Life Sciences from Queen's University.

Jennifer Wu

Jennifer Wu partner
Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton Garrison

A partner in the litigation department at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton Garrison, Jennifer Wu focuses her practice on patent litigation matters. Jennifer frequently goes to trial, including jury and bench trials in federal district courts and trials before the International Trade Commission. She also represents clients in appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. She has litigated patents in a wide variety of technical areas, with a particular emphasis on pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Jennifer clerked for Judge Alan D. Lourie at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She received an A.B. in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University in 1999, and her J.D. in 2004 from NYU School of Law where she received the Vanderbilt Medal for Service to the Law School Community and the President’s Service Award for Leadership at New York University.

Tracy Wynne

Tracy Wynne general counsel, litigation
Canada Pacific Railway

Tracy Wynne is general counsel – litigation with Canadian Pacific Railway. She provides solution-oriented advice, business savvy risk assessments, and legal opinions to the company on a wide range of litigation matters across Canada and in the United States. Tracy manages a team of experienced litigators, develops policy and procedures for the company and oversees the company’s external counsel program. Much of her time is spent managing and engaging with external counsel across Canada on complex litigation matters and enhancing the delivery of these services to the company. She is the recipient of the Canadian General Counsel Award for Litigation Management, 2018.

Prior to joining CP in 2016, Tracy was a partner at Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb where she ran a commercial and civil litigation practice, with an emphasis on contract, partnership and shareholder disputes, director and officer liability, commercial torts, employment law and professional liability. She had substantial experience advising clients and in leading and managing large and complex litigation matters – including, the Mississauga Inquiry into Municipal Conflict of Interest and Nortel’s global insolvency proceedings.


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