Canadian Lawyer

September 2019

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 52 of 55

CAREER PATH PEOPLE 53 On a year off from Harvard Law School, Reicin does an articled clerkship with Chaim Herzog, Israel's sixth president. "It was great timing; I was lucky enough to be exposed to the early days of the Israeli tech industries. Outside of Silicone Valley it's the most prolific per capita of any country in the world, and I was there at the beginning of it. I liked seeing the entrepreneurial spirit and decided I wanted to work with Israeli tech companies." Having married a Canadian, Reicin commutes between Toronto and NYC until Torys opens a U.S. office and she joins as partner intending to develop a life sciences practice. "No lawyer in Canada had a full-time life sciences practice, let alone a cross-border one. It was built from scratch. When I came here from the U.S., most of my clients followed me. With the internet it didn't matter where you were; clients just wanted the expertise." Reicin worked on Wall Street in a world of hostile takeovers before finding what will prove to become her real passion. "It was intellectually challenging and interesting but not fulfilling; then a biotech client appeared and I put my hand up. No one knew what it was. I felt it was so exciting; like it was going to change the world — the client was developing a cancer therapy and needed a lot of help." 1987 LEARNS MANAGEMENT THINKING LIKE AN ENTREPRENEUR Cheryl Reicin has always loved taking a calculated risk and had an eye for a fertile greenfield industry Having done work in the field of medical cannabis since arriving in Canada, Reicin is well placed when it becomes a major industry and founds a cannabis practice at Torys. "I've always thought it's a good business plan to get into a new area that has complex and varying legal needs that are not readily available. We were well positioned because we had been working on the medical side for a good 10 years before anyone else had." 2014 GETS IN AT THE RIGHT TIME When she starts Genesis: UJA Federation's Centre for Jewish Innovation, Reicin sets her sights on helping the next generation. "Mentoring is invaluable to those starting out. I asked very busy and successful people to be mentors, and to my surprise, practically everyone said yes. I thought that would have a real impact on the next generation. Reicin's life sciences work results in referrals from others in the field and, realizing that she requires input from different disciplines, she starts the first cross-departmental life sciences group. "[Bio-tech] was still a fledgling industry; this was all new — people thought I was crazy to focus on this one small sector. Little by little, we started growing it; by the late '90s, I was chairing an 85-lawyer group — the largest life sciences group in the U.S." 2011 FOUNDS GENESIS early '90s STARTS LIFE SCIENCES GROUP Being included in WXN's Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women — which she has now been awarded three times — was important to Reicin not for the glory but for the access it afforded her. "It's nice to get the recognition, and it was great to meet the fantastic women [who were included in the 100]; it opened more doors and allowed me to meet people who wanted to be involved in mentoring and other charitable pursuits." 2013 IS NAMED IN TOP 100 1983 WORKS IN ISRAEL 2005 COMES TO CANADA "I'm in a rush to have an impact — we're only on this planet for a limited time."

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