Eight Nova Scotia nominees for Canadian Lawyer Top 25 Most Influential survey

"The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society is leading Canada in regulatory innovation," Canadian Lawyer magazine proclaims in its Top 25 Most Influential survey.

Darrel Pink, the Society's executive director, is among eight Nova Scotia nominees in the survey this year. His nomination information continues: "The NSBS has begun pilot projects to test compliance regulation, the creation of ethical infrastructure for legal service providers and the direct regulation of those providers (i.e., law firms), among other innovations and changes. No other law society has undertaken such comprehensive and significant regulatory reform. Pink has helped frame and drive the change forward within Nova Scotia, and he has also demonstrated national leadership on these matters."

It’s the eighth annual such survey by the magazine, and it aims to recognize lawyers and judges who “have power and influence the laws, justice system and legal profession in Canada and abroad today.”

Voting ends Wednesday, June 14: https://lnkd.in/dQtVxSp

Other Nova Scotia nominees
The Nova Scotia nominees are listed below, with the accompanying descriptions.


Darrel Pink, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (see description above)

The Honourable Michael MacDonald, Chief Justice of Nova Scotia: A few years ago, with the support of the Canadian Bar Association – Nova Scotia Branch and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, he asked several Halifax law firms to consider providing lawyers to staff a free legal clinic at the law courts. He then invited students from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University to help with the administrative details and observe the lawyers in action. In 2016 alone, lawyers provided 137 one-hour sessions with self-represented litigants. In February, he announced it's expanding into Sydney. The Nova Scotia judiciary has also approved numerous recommendations to enhance diversity on the bench. Those recommendations came at the request of the chief justices and chief judges, led by Chief Justice MacDonald.

Ron MacDonald QC, Director, Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team: MacDonald is currently serving as chairman of the panel hearing the longest-running and perhaps most high-profile discipline case held by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. SiRT is similar to the SIU in Ontario, a civilian-run agency responsible for the independent investigation of serious incidents involving all police in our province. He has developed a team that has handled every manner of investigation, earning the confidence of the public and the police, while at the same time avoiding any negative reactions to the work of the team. On several occasions, he has been asked to lead investigations in other provinces as well, including Manitoba, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador. He's in the news a lot recently for SiRT.


David Fraser, Privacy lawyer, McInnes Cooper, Halifax: In the human rights judicial review, Reed v. Nova Scotia (Human Rights Commission), which Fraser handled on a pro bono basis, he challenged the N.S. Human Rights Commission’s authority to refuse to accept and process a complaint of discrimination. The Human Rights Commission twice refused to accept the complaint. Fraser successfully argued that the complainants had a right to be heard, and on March 28, the N.S. Supreme Court granted the pro bono judicial review. Fraser regularly advises vendors and customers on implementing cloud computing projects. He also helps American and multinational businesses, including Google, to address Canadian privacy law issues. Fraser often provides informed commentary on privacy and technology law issues to a range of media outlets, including CBC’s The National, CTV National News, CBC Radio, the National Post, Lawyer’s Weekly, Canadian Lawyer, and the Halifax Chronicle Herald. Fraser also teaches Internet and media law, law and technology, and law and policy for electronic commerce at Dalhousie University, and he serves on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology.


Shawna Hoyte QC, Staff lawyer, Dalhousie Legal Aid Service​: Creative and zealous advocate bringing issues of race and culture competency to the courtroom. Work with NGOs and grassroots organizations is far-reaching. Work with Canadian Judicial Institute is specific to race, law and judging in family court matters. She holds the Queen's Counsel designation in Nova Scotia, the Distinguished Service Award for the Canadian Association of Social Workers (2016) and is currently pursuing a Ph. D. in epigenetics and intergenerational trauma specific to child welfare and criminal law. She is scheduled to present a paper at the National Organization of Forensic Social Work in Boston, Mass. in July 2017.

Wayne MacKay QC, Professor of Law; Yogis & Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law, Schulich School of Law: Most recently MacKay represented Canada at the UNESCO International Symposium on School Violence and Bullying in Seoul, South Korea in January 2017. He's interviewed for a lot of news stories. Wayne is a respected professor, a noted speaker, a sought-after consultant by governments both provincially and federally.

The Honourable Pamela Williams, Chief Judge of the Provincial and Family Courts of Nova Scotia, Halifax: Also presiding judge in Nova Scotia’s mental health court, Williams spearheaded an initiative to help veterans in trouble with the law. The Veterans Justice Outreach initiative is the first project of its kind in Canada. The goal of the initiative is to better identify, track and explore alternatives to incarceration. A successful implementation in Nova Scotia will allow Veterans Affairs Canada to pursue similar partnerships in provinces and territories across the country. The idea and the impetus came from Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire.


Michelle Awad QC, Partner, McInnes Cooper LLP, Halifax: Awad was named Benchmark’s Atlantic Litigator of the Year for 2017. She has also been named a Benchmark Canada Top 25 Women in Litigation again in 2016. Awad has spearheaded many high calibre professional development opportunities for advocates — most recently the first Atlantic Women in Litigation Conference which was sold-out, and is expected to be a recurring event.