Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

June 18, 2010 17:06 ET

Media Release: The Law Society Honours the Best of the Profession

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 18, 2010) - The Law Society of Upper Canada presented awards to ten lawyers during a special ceremony at Convocation Hall at Osgoode Hall on June 17, 2010. The Law Society Medal, the Lincoln Alexander Award and the Laura Legge Award were presented by Treasurer W. A. Derry Millar to lawyers who represent the highest level of achievement and commitment to serving society and the profession.

Established in 1985, the Law Society Medal is presented annually to outstanding Ontario lawyers whose service reflects the highest ideals of the profession. The award is given for outstanding service, whether in a particular area of practice, in the academic sector, or in some other professional capacity.

This year's Law Society Medal recipients are: Mary Elizabeth Atcheson, R. Douglas Elliott, Robert W. Hubbard, Horace Krever, Q.C., M. Virginia MacLean, Q.C., Terrence O'Sullivan, John M. Rosen and Harvey T. Strosberg, Q.C.

The Lincoln Alexander Award was created in 2002 in honour of former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Member of Parliament, and 2002 Law Society Medal recipient the Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, P.C., C.C., O. Ont., Q.C., in recognition of his dedication to the people of Ontario and the legal community. The award is presented to an Ontario lawyer who has demonstrated a commitment to the public and its well-being through community service. This year's recipient of the Lincoln Alexander Award is Aly N. Alibhai.

The Laura Legge Award recognizes an Ontario woman lawyer who has exemplified leadership within the profession. The award was established in 2007 in honour of Laura Legge, O. Ont., Q.C., the first woman elected as a bencher of the Law Society and the first woman to serve as its Treasurer. This year's recipient is Crocetta (Chris) Gruppuso.

At the ceremony held at Osgoode Hall, Treasurer Derry Millar said, "In honouring these lawyers we are not only recognizing the contributions they have made to the profession but we are identifying them as role models to other members and reaffirming the public's confidence in our profession. We have a responsibility to promote the values and traditions upon which the legal profession was built. These awards are a way of doing this."

The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and efficient manner.

For more information about the Law Society, visit our website at:

Biographical information is attached to this media advisory. Longer biographies are available on the Law Society website:


2010 Law Society Medal Recipients

Mary Elizabeth Atcheson, Toronto, called to the Bar of Ontario in 1980.
 Beth Atcheson is a dedicated volunteer for feminist, human rights and philanthropic causes. A solicitor with a focus on the regulation of financial institutions, Ms. Atcheson has divided her career between private practice and public service. She was one of the original authors of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women report, Women and Legal Action, and is a past board member of Imagine Canada. Ms. Atcheson is a principal founder of and activist within the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, a founder of the Feminist History Society, and a mentor to young women in the legal profession.

R. Douglas Elliott, Toronto, called to the Bar of Ontario in 1984.
Douglas Elliott is a committed advocate for human rights, and has taken on a number of high-profile cases during his career. He has played a leadership role in some of Canada's most significant class actions, as well as landmark constitutional, government liability and health law cases with national impact, especially on HIV, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. Most notable may be the Reference Re: Same Sex Marriage Reference in the Supreme Court of Canada which led to the legislation permitting same-sex marriage, and the Hislop case, a successful class action for Canadian Pension Plan survivor benefits in same-sex relationships.

Robert W. Hubbard, Toronto, called to the Bar of Ontario in 1977.
Robert Hubbard has made a significant contribution to the development of Canadian criminal and constitutional law. He joined the Department of Justice in 1977 as counsel in the Prosecution Section. From 1986 to 2006, he was the co-ordinator of Criminal Appeals for the Ontario Regional Office. Presently, he is counsel with the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario, Crown Law Criminal. He has argued approximately 200 appeals on behalf of the Attorneys General of Canada and Ontario. Also a highly regarded educator and author, he is nationally recognized as an expert in wiretap issues.

Horace Krever, Q.C., Toronto, called to the Bar of Ontario in 1956.
Former Justice Horace Krever has had a distinguished career as a lawyer, academic and judge. He was a professor of law at the Universities of Toronto and Western Ontario. In 1975, he was appointed to the Ontario High Court of Justice and in 1986 to the Ontario Court of Appeal where he served until his retirement in 1999. He was the royal commissioner on several major issues, including the famous inquiry into Canada's blood supply system from 1993-1997. Former Justice Krever has also made a valuable contribution to legal history, serving on the board of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History.

M. Virginia MacLean, Q.C., Oakville, called to the Bar of Ontario in 1969.
A certified specialist in municipal law, Virginia McLean is a sole practitioner who has represented clients before tribunals, all levels of Ontario courts and the Federal Court. She is also recognized for her volunteerism within the profession: she is a past president of the Ontario Bar Association, and received the OBA's Award for Volunteerism in 2006. She has also served on many Canadian Bar Association committees and is a past president of the Women's Law Association of Ontario. She is currently the president of Lawyers Aid Canada and a director of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History.

Terrence O'Sullivan, Toronto, called to the Bar of Ontario in 1973.
Terrence O'Sullivan is one of Canada's pre-eminent civil litigation counsel. He has played an active role in civil justice reform, chairing The Advocates' Society's Committees on Contingency Fees and Class Action Reform, and serving as the society's president. He also served as the senior bar representative on the Ontario Civil Justice Review Task Force, and as chair of the Joint Committee on Court Reform. In his community, Mr. O'Sullivan has devoted many hours to serving on the boards of Women's College Hospital and Sunnybrook Hospital.

John M. Rosen, Toronto, called to the Bar of Ontario in 1970.
In more than 40 years of practice as a trial and appellate advocate, John Rosen has demonstrated his fearlessness in the defence of his clients, and his fairness and civility in his dealing with other lawyers, the courts and the public. By routinely representing some of the most notorious clients in the most difficult cases, he demonstrates his passion for the pursuit of justice. Mr. Rosen's dedication to the law is also reflected by his continuing participation in legal education seminars and programs as a lecturer and panellist, and as a provider of pro bono and legal aid services to indigent people.

Harvey T. Strosberg, Q.C., Windsor, called to the Bar of Ontario in 1971.
Harvey Strosberg is known for his imaginative and inspired leadership, and is recognized as one of Canada's leading counsel. He was elected as a Law Society bencher in 1987, 1991 and 1995. He served as Law Society Treasurer from June 1997 to June 1999. He was the primary author of the Insurance Task Force Report to Convocation which provided a blueprint for retiring the Law Society's insurance deficit in 1994. He also played a pivotal role in helping to make the Law Society's successful Feed the Hungry Program a reality.

2010 Lincoln Alexander Award

Aly N. Alibhai, Ottawa, called to the Bar of Ontario 1992.
Aly N. Alibhai has a long and rich history of community and public service to advance the well-being of others. He has worked for a host of causes and serves as a director on several boards, including Legal Aid Ontario where he advocates for access to justice. In addition to providing dedicated service to his community, Mr. Alibhai has volunteered to help alleviate poverty in the developing world with organizations such as the Aga Khan Foundation Canada. He is currently senior counsel and director in the International Legal Programs Section of the Department of Justice Canada.

2010 Laura Legge Award

Crocetta (Chris) Gruppuso, Toronto, called to the Bar of Ontario in 1992.
Highly respected by Crowns, defence counsel and judges alike, Chris Gruppuso is renowned for her exceptional leadership and mentorship abilities. As a team leader with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, she consistently provides a positive learning experience for numerous junior counsel, helping to build a solid foundation for their legal careers. Ms. Gruppuso helped to forge a collegial, professional and productive environment through leadership by example during a difficult period of change at the Old City Hall federal Crown's office. Her colleagues consider her a true leader in fostering and upholding the highest standards of the profession.

Contact Information

  • For additional information or for photos of the event,
    please contact: Law Society of Upper Canada
    Manager Communications
    Jane Withey
    416 947 7625
    Law Society of Upper Canada
    Susan Tonkin
    Communications Advisor
    416 947 7605