Dale Ponder named Canadian Legal Leader of the Year; Osler shortlisted for 3 Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards 2018

Michael Fekete

Dec. 11, 2018

Osler National Co-Chair Dale Ponder, centre, receives her Canadian Legal Leader of the Year award at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards 2018. (Photo courtesy of Sonia Bjorkquist)

Osler is proud to announce that Dale Ponder, Osler’s National Co-Chair, has been named Canadian Legal Leader of the Year at this year’s Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards. This award highlights legal leaders who are driving change within their organizations and redefining the firms’ purpose and strategy in the light of emerging economic and political challenges in the region. Among other initiatives, The Financial Times highlighted Dale’s continued commitment to women with the establishment of the Osler Women Lawyers Network to encourage and support the advancement of women through events, informal mentoring and coaching, pro bono and volunteer initiatives, business development opportunities and new recruitment programs. In addition, Dale was also recognized for her forward-thinking, firm-wide policies on diversity and inclusion.

We are also thrilled to announce that Osler was shortlisted for three other coveted awards, including:

  • Most Innovative Law Firm in Canada
  • Innovation in Legal Expertise - Canada
  • Innovation in the Business of Law - Canada

Osler was recognized for its Osler Works suite of self-help tools, aimed at reducing clients' reliance on external counsel. The tools include a guide providing actionable legal advice for conducting business in Canada, merger notifications, and Osler Code Detect, a web application that scans code to identify open source licences that pose the highest risk to a business. For Osler, the introduction of this suite of self-help tools allows the firm to tangibly demonstrate its commitment to innovation and to the development of alternative service delivery models that benefit clients’ businesses, and their bottom line. 

Michael Fekete, Osler’s National Innovation Leader, tells the Financial Times that tools like this show “the market that we are serious about innovation. Our focus has been on driving down the cost of traditional legal services.”

Osler was also highly commended for our work relating to the change in regulations which affected the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), the not-for-profit body in charge of the assessment and classification of all properties in Ontario. Osler and MPAC collaborated to leverage Osler’s extensive precedents, firm best practices, litigation expertise and Lean Six Sigma certification to develop an appeals process map, checklists, decision trees, precedents and templates to optimize efficiency and consistency through the initial stages of the MPAC appeals process. Instead of providing legal advice on individual appeals or larger complex litigation matters, Osler embraced the opportunity to partner with its client by offering MPAC the benefit of its experience in dealing with high volume litigation coupled with process engineering expertise.

Now in its ninth year of publication and covering the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, the FT North America Innovative Lawyers Report has become one of the top legal rankings. Based on extensive research in partnership with RSG Consulting, interviews and client feedback, the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards recognize extraordinary lawyers and firms who are working to change the practice of law and add transformative value to business and society. To read more information on these awards, please click here and here.