September 20, 2017

Canadian Lawyer InHouse Announces Fourth Annual Innovatio Awards

Award recognizes exceptional in-house counsel and business practises in 11 categories

TORONTO – Thomson Reuters Canadian Lawyer InHouse, the first Canadian magazine focused on corporate counsel and senior business executives, today announced its 2017 Innovatio Award recipients. The Canadian Lawyer InHouse Innovatio Awards honour individuals and teams from legal departments within Canadian non-profit, business and public sector organizations, for their creative, efficient and effective approaches to meeting the needs of their internal and external clients.

“In today’s increasingly complex business, legal and regulatory environments, we see in-house legal departments of all sizes and in all sectors embracing innovation and improving the way they practise to better serve the needs of their organizations,” said Jennifer Brown, managing editor, Thomson Reuters Canadian Lawyer InHouse. “This year, and for the first time, we have specifically recognized public sector in-house lawyers and the unique challenges they face. It is an honour to recognize these individuals and law departments for their excellence in supporting their organizations, advancing the profession and inspiring the legal community.”

The 2017 Canadian Lawyer InHouse Innovatio Award recipients are:

Innovation of the Year

Toronto District School Board


Nissan Canada, Fernando Garcia, General Counsel, Small Department

Metrolinx, Mary Martin, General Counsel, Large Department

Toronto District School Board, Leola Pon, Acting General Counsel, Public Sector

Tomorrow’s Leaders

TD Bank, Brooke Hales, Counsel, Large Department

Litigation Management

TELUS, Delbie Desharnais, Associate General Counsel, Large Department


ATS Automation, Elliot Burger, Director Global Trade Compliance & Legal Counsel

Small Department

BMO Financial Group, Eric Moss, SVP DGC, Compliance, Large Department

Law Department Leadership

Alterna Savings and Bank, Alena Thouin, General Counsel, Small Department

Avigilon, Joel Schuster, Chief Legal Officer, SVP and Corporate Secretary, Large Department

Port of Prince Rupert, Andrew Mayer, VP Commercial & Regulatory Affairs & GC, Public Sector

Risk Management

Golder Associates, Tony Linardi, General Counsel, Small Department

BMO Financial Group, Jane Waechter, Chair, Litigation Practice Management Group

Cancer Care Ontario, Erica Zarkovich, General Counsel, Privacy, Public Sector

Law Department Management

Husky Injection Mouldings, Michael McKendry, General Counsel, and Richard J. Musgrave, Global Director, Legal & Intellectual Property, Attorney-at-Law, Small Department

Toronto District School Board, Leola Pon, Acting General Counsel, Public Sector


Canopy Growth Corporation, Phil Shaer, GC and VP, HR, Small Department

Enbridge, Bob Rooney, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Large Department

Working with External Counsel

Spin Master, Chris Harrs, EVP, GC and Secretary, Small Department

Honourees were peer-nominated and finalists were selected by a venerated panel of judges consisting of senior in-house counsel from 11 Canadian organizations. Canadian Lawyer InHouse Innovatio Award honourees represent the best practises of in-house departments across Canada. Winners were announced during an award ceremony in Toronto. To read profiles about the Innovatio Award honourees visit

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Gretchen DeSutter
Thomson Reuters
+1 612 226 5087