Canadian Lawyer

September 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 21 of 51

20 Law Society of Ontario. One of the biggest challenges, he says, is budget and funding cuts and "limited access to resources to be able to better serve the community." Yet Kamal has established a volunteer group, Hamilton Lawyers Feed the Hungry, to serve up healthy meals to 100 children and youth and is a volunteer at a Men's Live-in Addiction Treatment Centre, providing support and resources for men overcoming alcohol and drug addiction. "There are no points of demarcation. I work in all areas of my life to make the world a better place than when I got here." Finding affordable housing solutions, fighting for diversity and inclusion Chinelo Meg Egbunonu is another Top Most Influential winner who manages to pack her day with meaningful work and volunteer activities. She is finance transac- tions counsel at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, where she advises on deal structuring towards providing afford- able housing solutions for Canadians. Outside of work, she supports women's empowerment in society, volunteers with organizations to promote the advance- ment of Black lawyers (especially women), and advocates through her blog on societal issues such as workplace bias and racism. As a foreign-trained Black female lawyer and first-generation immigrant, Egbu- nonu says she found it "pretty challenging" getting into the legal practice community in Canada. One problem was the "inadequacy of networks for lawyers like me, and the existence of prejudices regarding the non- Canadian legal experience of foreign-trained lawyers." She aims to show that "the experi- ence a lot of us foreign-trained lawyers bring MORE PRAISE FOR THE TOP MOST INFLUENTIAL "One of the challenges I encountered was the inadequacy of networks for lawyers like me, and the existence of prejudices regarding the non- Canadian legal experience of foreign- trained lawyers." Chinelo Meg Egbunonu, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Avnish Nanda has achieved major victories for clients in public interest cases and set important precedents in Alberta courts. Even when he loses in court, he finds a way to win. Catherine Chow is a legal scholar with humble curiosity and dedication to life-long learning. She is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on legal geography and commercial property rights. Fannie Lafontaine's analysis on genocide, as well as her impactful reports and interventions, are having huge impacts on the narrative surrounding the First Nations' human rights violations in Canada. Janani Shanmuganathan is such a role model for racialized women lawyers, using her voice to better our profession while being a very talented litigator working on top cases. Matthijs van Gaalen saw from the very beginning of his career that complex lending transactions could be fruitfully modelled in software. Navin Joneja is a formidable legal mind with a deep understanding of competition and foreign investment law. Pierre Hamel has been a key player in defending the interests of entrepreneurs in Quebec; he has worked tirelessly to support them during the pandemic, advancing legislation on prompt payments. TOP 25 MOST INFLUENTIAL LAWYERS 2021 SPECIAL REPORT

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