Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

December 11, 2014 13:51 ET

Designation of Queen's Counsel: Government Honours Lawyers who Have Demonstrated Exemplary Service to the Canadian Justice System Through Their Work in the Federal Public Service

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 11, 2014) - Department of Justice

Today, the Government of Canada recognized seven lawyers in the federal public service as Queen's Counsel (Q.C.). Formally styled "Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law," the federal Q.C. honours lawyers who demonstrate exemplary service to the Canadian justice system.

The individuals receiving this honour are members of the federal public service who have demonstrated leadership in their professional lives, raised esteem for the legal profession, and made outstanding contributions to the development of the law.

Quick Facts

- The individuals were designated as federal Q.C.s by the Governor-in-Council, upon recommendation of the Minister of Justice with the assistance of an advisory committee.

- Individuals were identified and considered according to a number of factors, including their contributions to the development of the law, leadership in their professional and personal lives which has raised esteem for the legal profession, and professional integrity and character.

- The Q.C.s are being conferred on the anniversary of the Statute of Westminster becoming law on December 11, 1931. The Statute of Westminster granted Canada, and the other Commonwealth Dominions, greater legal and foreign policy autonomy.


"Our Government is pleased to recognize the exemplary public service of those receiving this esteemed Queen's Counsel designation today - they reflect the highest standards of the legal profession in the public service. An effective justice system is a cornerstone of our democracy, and we commend our public service lawyers for embarking on a role so vitally dedicated to civil service."

Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

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Robert Frater, Senior General Counsel, Office of the Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice

Mr. Frater has had a long and distinguished career, demonstrating exceptional leadership, both inside and outside the Department. He has been counsel for the federal Crown before the Supreme Court of Canada on more than 50 cases, including such notable cases as the Senate Reference, the Securities Regulator reference and the Harkat security certificate case, among many others. His expert legal knowledge is apparent in his multiple publications and lectures on a variety of topics, including criminal law, constitutional law and advocacy.

Colonel Vihar Joshi, Deputy Judge Advocate General, Administrative Law, Canadian Armed Forces

Colonel Joshi is Canada's leading authority on military administrative law. Throughout his career, he has been involved in such key files as the drafting of the Anti-Terrorism Act (2001) and the Canadian Armed Forces' first pension plan for Reserve Force personnel. He has also made important contributions as a legal adviser on operational matters, including in Haiti, Bosnia and Afghanistan, for which he received honour and recognition (Meritorious Service Medal in 2010, Officer of the Order of Military Merit in 2014).

Guy Laurin, Senior General Counsel, Legislative Services, Department of Justice

Mr. Laurin has dealt with some of the most complex and difficult legislative files for more than 32 years. He revolutionized legislative drafting by developing a method that gave true meaning to co-drafting and even opened up the drafting process to sponsoring officials, thereby making drafting more efficient. He also played a key role in the development of software and numerous other tools to aid his colleagues in their work.

Liliana Pecorilli-Longo, Senior General Counsel, Legal Services of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Justice

Ms. Pecorilli-Longo has been with the Department of Justice for 31 years, after a brief period in private practice, and has provided exceptional service in a variety of different capacities. She worked as a prosecutor in a regional office, where her main areas of practice were regulatory and criminal law, including extradition and organized crime. At Headquarters, shehe also developed a national strategy for drug prosecutions and key policy involving money laundering legislation and cases. She has been head of the legal services units, with a general practice involving Crown law, at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the RCMP. She is also a leader within the Department of Justice in a number of capacities - serving, for example, as Chair of the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunities for Women.

Croft Michaelson, Senior General Counsel, Ontario Regional Office, Public Prosecution Service of Canada

Mr. Michaelson has worked as a Crown Prosecutor for most of his career since his call to the bar in 1988, distinguishing himself at all levels of court. Since late 2008, his practice has been primarily focused on terrorism cases, including the "Toronto 18" terrorism case and Khawaja. He has been involved as a prosecutor and director in senior management within the Public Prosecution Service of Canada in a range of cases, including federal drug cases, money laundering investigations, and proceeds of crime investigations.

William F. Pentney, Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada, Department of Justice

Mr. Pentney was appointed Deputy Minister of Justice in November 2012. Mr. Pentney has demonstrated outstanding and inspiring leadership in his numerous positions within the public service, both within the Department of Justice and during his tenures at the Privy Council Office and National Defence. His high level of professional integrity, outstanding intellect and analytical abilities have been demonstrated in multiple high-level files, including commissions of inquiry and the hostage-taking of Robert Fowler and Louis Guay. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Mr. Pentney was a professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa and then Director of Legal Services at the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Dale Yurka, Senior General Counsel, Ontario Regional Office, Department of Justice

Ms. Yurka has represented the Attorney General of Canada in all levels of court in complex, multi-million dollar files. She is an inspiring role model as a litigator, public servant and mentor to junior counsel. She is committed to professional learning both at the regional and national levels and is involved in organizing and presenting at conferences for both public and private sector lawyers. Her areas of litigation include tax law, Aboriginal law, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, pensions and benefits, class actions, and commercial disputes.

Contact Information

  • Clarissa Lamb
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Justice

    Media Relations Office
    Department of Justice