June 2017

The Case for Change: Is the Canadian Legal Profession Facing a Diversity Deficit?

11:30am-1:45pm | The Hilton Toronto - 145 Richmond St. W., Toronto

Much progress has been made over the last century, but in 2017 the Canadian legal landscape still doesn’t reflect the diversity of most Canadian communities. Join a panel of experts for a frank discussion about which efforts are working, which are not and what’s at risk if we don’t address the shortfall.

Guests will be encouraged to share their ideas with fellow attendees. 
A part of the agenda will be reserved for this purpose, and each table will be assigned a discussion facilitator.

Registration opens at 11:30 a.m., lunch will be served at 11:45 am. Panel discussion to follow.

- Charlene Theodore LL.B., Counsel Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) and Treasurer of the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers

- Bindu Cudjoe, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer at BMO Financial Group

- Godyne Sibay, Managing Partner, Ontario Region, McCarthy Tétrault LLP

- Kevin B. Coon, Managing Partner, Baker McKenzie Toronto

- Raj Anand, Partner, WeirFoulds, Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada

Julia Shin Doi, Ryerson’s General Counsel and Secretary of the Board of Governors. Founding member of the Korean Canadian Lawyers Association and the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, co-founded the Roundtable of Diversity Association

Andrew Alleyne, Fasken Martineau 
Awi Sinha, McCarthys
Brendan Wong, BLG, president, Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers
Donna Walwyn, Baker McKenzie
Fernando Garcia, Nissan Canada
Hafeez Amarshi, Department of Justice, South Asian Bar Association
Jolie Lin, BMO Financial Group
Lai-King Hum, chair, Roundtable of Diversity Associations
May Cheng, Osler
Shawn Richard, president, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers

- Lunch will be served -

Member price:
Individual seat: $89 +HST
Table (seats 10): $800 +HST

Regular price:
Individual seat: $110 +HST
Table (seats 10): $990 +HST

- For information about accessibility, please email merpaw@economicclub.ca
- Dietary restriction notes and meal requests must be submitted to merpaw@economicclub.ca no later than June 15.

Bindu Cudjoe

Deputy General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer
BMO Financial Group

Bindu Cudjoe

Bindu Cudjoe is Vice President, Deputy General Counsel - T&O Legal and Chief Knowledge Officer of the legal, compliance and security groups at BMO Financial Group (BMO). She is be accountable for managing legal and regulatory risk relating to technology, procurement, outsourcing, intellectual property and enterprise brand, marketing and social media. Additionally, she is responsible for knowledge management, including board and senior management reporting, project management, records and information management, centralized litigation support (e-discovery and legal holds), internal knowledge-sharing systems, and internal professional development programs.

Bindu was most recently Deputy General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer, accountable for the groups’ operations including human resources, real estate, financial performance, strategic initiatives and the outside counsel management programs. Bindu started at BMO as Senior Counsel in the Canadian Personal & Commercial legal team and then lead the BMO Capital Markets Corporate Banking legal team. Prior to joining BMO in 2012, she was a partner in McMillan LLP's Financial Services group and is an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall law school at York University.

Bindu is active in her local community as a director and secretary of the Oakville Community Foundation and is involved in the school council of Emily Carr Public School (where her 3 kids attend) where she was chair from 2012-2016. She is also active in the legal community as a director of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto and an executive member of Women General Counsel Canada.

Bindu is a frequent speaker, panellist and writer on topics of innovation, diversity & inclusion and women in the legal profession. Bindu was recognized in 2016 as one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer Magazine and was a 2014 recipient of the Lexpert Magazine Rising Star award and the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto’s 2014 Legal Excellence Award.

Charlene Theodore

Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA)

Charlene Theodore

A graduate of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, Charlene Theodore is a lawyer with a background in public policy and government relations. As Counsel for the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, she advises the management and staff on the impact of legislative and regulatory changes in the education sector and provides legal assistance to teachers who are disabled or injured at work. Ms. Theodore also advises on issues related to benefits and pensions.

Ms. Theodore is Treasurer of both the Ontario Bar Association (Oba) and the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, as well as Past Chair of the OBA Equality Committee. She speaks frequently on issues related to race, diversity, and gender.

Godyne Sibay

Managing Partner, Ontario Region
McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Godyne Sibay

Godyne Sibay is McCarthy Tétrault's Regional Managing Partner for Ontario and is a partner in the firm's Real Property, Project Development and Infrastructure Group in Toronto. She also was on the Firm’s governing Board of Partners for six years. She has extensive experience in project development, public-private partnerships, public procurement and real estate including acquisition, disposition, leasing and construction matters. Significant landmark infrastructure and development projects across Canada include numerous PPP and other projects involving hospitals, power, transportation, universities, hotels, forensic facilities, police facilities, condominium, commercial, mixed use and professional sport facilities. Godyne is consistently recognized for her experience in leading legal directories including in the most recent editions of Chambers Global and Chambers Canada for Projects: PPP and Infrastructure, and further recognized in Chambers Canada for Real Estate – Ontario and the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. She is also featured consistently in the Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law.

As driven as she has been in her career in law, Godyne is equally passionate about making a difference in the business community and in the community at-large. She has given her time and commitment to a number of programs and organizations, including the Toronto chapter of Women in Infrastructure, where she is a founding member and currently sits on the Steering Committee. She was a Co-Chair of the Urban Land Institute’s Women’s Leadership Initiative in Toronto and is currently a member of the Advisory Board and ULI Women’s Leadership Champion. She was also the 2013 and 2014 co-chair of the United Way’s Women Gaining Ground Initiative and a member of the Campaign Cabinet. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum. She was featured in Lexpert® magazine and the National Post in 2003 as one of the top 15 up and coming women lawyers in Canada and, in 2011, Godyne was selected as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). This award recognizes the highest achieving women in private, public and not-for-profit work and she currently sits on WXN’s Advisory Board.

Godyne is also a member of the Canadian Council on Public–Private Partnerships, Canadian Association of University Solicitors, Toronto CREW (Toronto Commercial Real Estate Women) and the Urban Land Institute. She has also served as a panelist and speaker at various industry seminars including the International Council of Shopping Centres, Federated Press and CREW Network conferences. She was a two time recipient of the prestigious NNCREW International Networking Award. She has co-authored a chapter on “Outbound Investments – Canada” in Rechtshandbuch Immobilien-Investitionen.

Ms. Sibay received her BSc in 1980 from the University of Toronto and her LLB in 1983 from the University of Ottawa. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1985.

Julia Shin Doi

General Counsel
Ryerson University, and Secretary of the Board of Governors.

Julia Shin Doi

Julia Shin Doi is General Counsel and Secretary of the Board of Governors of Ryerson University. As an Executive Group member, she is responsible for providing legal and governance advice and has operational responsibility for access to information, privacy and records management. Julia is also a member of the Board of Directors of Ryerson Futures Inc. and the national Board of Directors of Canadian Universities Reciprocal Insurance Exchange (CURIE).

Julia has taught legal seminars for Ryerson University’s Law Centre and advises Ryerson’s Law Practice Program. She is an Executive in Residence for the Certified In-House Counsel - Canada designation offered by the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Julia is a past adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where she taught from 2001 to 2013. She is the past director of the Osgoode Business Clinic, past instructor of Legal Drafting, past assistant director of the LLM in Business Law and past instructor of Osgoode Professional Development's Commercial Legal Drafting Workshop. She currently teaches contract drafting and practice skills to lawyers.

Julia is the co-author of the leading Canadian text on drafting boilerplate contract clauses, Behind and Beyond Boilerplate: Drafting Commercial Agreements. She has also published and presented in the areas of licensing, securing copyright and privacy law. She serves on the judging panel for Canadian Lawyer InHouse Magazine Innovatio Awards.

An active member of her community and the legal profession, Julia serves on the Board of Directors of the Korean Canadian Arirang Age Friendly Community Centre. Julia is past Chair of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association of Ontario. She is past president of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers and a founding member of the Korean Canadian Lawyers Association. She co-founded the Roundtable of Diversity Associations which brings together diverse professional associations, founded the Women’s General Counsel Group of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario to support senior women in law, and established the Law Practice Program Corporate Counsel Advisory Board.

Julia has established the Office of the General Counsel and Secretary of the Board of Governors Award in Law and Business, Ted Rogers School of Management and Osgoode Hall Law School's Shin Doi and Benda, Legal Drafting Prize for students.

She has been recognized by The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Diversifying the Bar: Lawyers Make History project as an early and exceptional lawyer from a diverse community, and also by the Korean Canadian Lawyers Association and the Korean Canadian Leadership Development committee for her community leadership. In 2014, Julia was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), in recognition of her vision and leadership, management role, contribution to corporate performance, and community service. In 2015, Julia was awarded the Ontario Bar Association’s Linda Adlam Manning Award for Volunteerism in recognition of her outstanding volunteer commitment, advancement of the interests of the Ontario Bar Association’s membership, and promotion of the role of the legal profession in Ontario. In 2016, the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association awarded Julia their highest national honour, the R.V.A. Jones Award, as her career exemplifies the highest standards of service, conduct and professionalism.

Julia obtained her BA with distinction from the University of Toronto, her JD and LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School, was admitted to the Bar in Ontario in 1994, and is a registered trademark agent.

Kevin B. Coon

Baker & McKenzie LLP

Kevin B. Coon

Kevin Coon acts as counsel, and as trusted and strategic adviser to government, corporate and not-for-profit organizations, on human resource, regulatory, compliance and risk management, with emphasis on international labour standards; corporate social responsibility; ethics; codes of conduct; due diligence; human rights; workplace investigations; occupational health and safety; collective bargaining; workplace harassment; positive employee relations; local and global labour relations; government relations. Mr. Coon is certified as a specialist in Labour Law by the Law Society of Upper Canada and has been ranked as a leading management side labour and employment lawyer in Canada by Who's Who Legal: Canada 2012 and recognized by Legal 500 2015 for labour and employment.

Raj Anand


Raj Anand

Raj practises in the areas of human rights, constitutional and administrative law, labour relations, civil litigation, professional negligence and discipline. He is a former Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and presently acts for complainants and respondents in internal investigations and Ontario and federal applications. He has acted as a Board of Inquiry under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Police Services Act, as Co-Chair of the University of Toronto Tribunal and as counsel to a number of administrative tribunals. He is presently the Vice Chair of the Law Society of Upper Canada Tribunal's Hearing Division. In 2012, he was appointed as Chair of the Law Society's Working Group on Challenges faced by Racialized Lawyers and Paralegals. The Law Society adopted its final report in December 2016, setting out mandatory, voluntary, educational and policy measures to reduce systemic racism in the legal professions in Ontario.

Raj has spoken and written on diverse subjects including trial, appellate and administrative advocacy and human rights. He graduated with the Dean's Key in 1978 from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He served in 1986-1987 as a Task Force to the Ontario Government on the Law Concerning Trespass to Publicly-used Property as it Affects Youth and Minorities.

In 1997, Raj was the first recipient of The Advocates' Society Award of Justice. His experience as an adjunct professor includes "The New Administrative Law" in the LL.M. programme at Osgoode Hall Law School and "Diversity and the Legal Profession" at U of T's Faculty of Law. He has acted for a variety of parties in public interest litigation and commissions of inquiry. For seven years he was the Advocates' Society representative on the Equity Advisory Group of the Law Society. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Boards of Directors of two community clinics and Legal Aid Ontario, the Advocates' Society and Pro Bono Law Ontario, and as President of the latter organization and the University of Toronto Law Alumni Council. He is presently a member of the Board of Governors of the Law Commission of Ontario and the Equality Rights Panel of the Federal Court Challenges Programme.

In 2003, Raj received the Law Society Medal, the highest honour awarded by the governing body of the legal profession in Ontario, and in 2007, 2011 and 2015 he was elected by the profession to four-year terms as a bencher of the Law Society. In June 2007, he was awarded Professional Man of the Year by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce. In April 2008, he was appointed by the Province of Ontario as the Founding Chair of its Human Rights Legal Support Centre. In 2010 Raj received the award for Distinguished Career from the South Asian Bar Association. In 2013 he was awarded an inaugural Roy McMurtry Fellowship at Osgoode Hall Law School to teach ethics and professionalism. In 2015 he was named Constitutional Litigator in Residence at the Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights at the University of Toronto.

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