Canadian Lawyer

September 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 31 of 51

TOP 25 MOST INFLUENTIAL SPECIAL REPORT 30 HUMAN RIGHTS, ADVOCACY AND CRIMINAL MICHAEL SPRATT Ottawa Partner, Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP Michael Spratt is a criminal litigator who has defended a wide array of criminal law cases before all levels of court and who is especially adept at winning over juries. Spratt goes out of his way to assist and to support his clients, many of whom are persons of diminished means, and he frequently participates in litigation on a pro bono basis. He often appears before the House of Commons and before the Senate to offer expert evidence on criminal legislation and policy. He has received a Senate 150th Anniversary Medal for his assistance in drafting complex laws and policies. He previously served as director of the Criminal Lawyers' Association. His commentary and criticism are well regarded in both the legal and political spheres, and his magazine articles have been quoted on the floor of the House of Commons. He co-hosts an award- winning legal and political podcast and is also an award-winning blogger. His posts on social media have sparked much discussion. HUMAN RIGHTS, ADVOCACY AND CRIMINAL AUDREY BOCTOR Montreal Partner, IMK s.e.n.c.r.l./LLP Audrey Boctor, president of the Canadian Bar Association's Quebec division, puts societal change at the forefront of her legal vocation. As a litigator, Boctor had a hand in numerous complex public and commercial law cases in Canada, including the following: Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65, the administrative law trilogy where she served as amicus curiae to the Supreme Court of Canada; International Air Transport Association v. Instrubel, N.V., 2019 SCC 61, where she obtained a seizure before judgment of $90 million; Procureure generale du Quebec v. Du, 2019 QCCA 2076, where she represented immigrants challenging the decisions of the Minister of Immigration regarding on-the-spot language testing; the LGBT Purge class action, where she acted as lead counsel in Quebec with respect to the administration of the settlement reached; and R. v. Bird, 2019 SCC 7, where she served as intervenor. With CBA-Quebec, she helped organize a conference honouring the 25th anniversary of the Touchstone Report on gender equality in the profession and led the association in denouncing Quebec's Bill 21, which imposes a ban on religious symbols. HUMAN RIGHTS, ADVOCACY AND CRIMINAL ANGELA BESPFLUG Vancouver Associate Counsel, Murphy Battista LLP Angela Bespflug is a well-respected class action lawyer who has assisted in winning settlements amounting to $800 million in total. Bespflug was lead counsel in Tiller v. Canada, 2020 FC 321, a national class action on behalf of about 41,000 women alleging that they had experienced discrimination, harassment or sexual assault while working or volunteering with the RCMP in non-member roles. The settlement reached in this case, which spanned 45 years, was $100 million, estimated. This case is also significant for its implications on the use of class actions to address systemic sexual misconduct and for its value to sexual misconduct victims who do not have the resources required for individual litigation. Bespflug also acted as class counsel in the Sixties Scoop class action, the Indigenous Boarding Homes class action and the Indigenous Hospitals class action. For her involvement in these high-profile and historically important class proceedings, she has been recognized by the Federal Court as a leading practitioner in the area of class actions.

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