In recognition of their tremendous achievements as young members of the legal community, Gowlings partners Shelagh Carnegie and Wendy Wagner have been named among Lexpert’s "Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40" for 2013.
Selected by an advisory board of distinguished leaders from the Canadian legal world, Rising Stars honourees were recognized for their outstanding leadership, legal and business talents, and contributions to their organization’s overall success at a gala event on Nov. 4.
“It goes without saying that we’re extremely fortunate to have Shelagh and Wendy on our team,” says Scott Jolliffe, Gowlings chair and CEO. “What they’ve accomplished at this relatively early stage in their careers is incredibly impressive. Wendy and Shelagh represent the very best Gowlings has to offer, and exemplify our proud tradition of delivering creative, effective solutions to our clients.”
Carnegie, a Toronto-based partner in Gowlings’ Intellectual Property Group, is described by her peers as an “incomparable asset” to the firm who expertly manages the Canadian trademark needs of a variety of high-profile clients.
Applying an innovative approach to her practice, Carnegie is known for customizing her services to meet the unique needs of each individual client. This includes leading firm efforts to develop alternate fee arrangements and reporting efficiencies, which have garnered glowing feedback from clients and colleagues. Comments listed in her nomination included:
“Shelagh maximizes the value she provides — and minimizes costs incurred … We wouldn’t go anywhere else for our intellectual property work.”
“Shelagh knows that you can’t treat any two clients alike. Clients love her for making their jobs easier. In adapting and creating positive change, she is a real leader.”
In between managing her practice and her family responsibilities as a mother to two young girls, Carnegie dedicates much of her time to community work. She provides pro bono legal advice to Food Banks Canada and a variety of other groups, participates in fundraising activities for several charities, and is an active volunteer member of MARQUES, the Association of European Trade Mark Owners.
A partner in Gowlings’ Ottawa office, Wagner serves as leader of the firm’s Defence, Security & Aerospace and Transportation and Logistics sector groups. Specializing in international trade law as well as defamation and media law, she has appeared before all levels of court to represent numerous prestigious clients and is recognized by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading professional in both practice areas.
Clients appreciate Wagner’s unwavering commitment to building strong relationships and delivering excellent service. Feedback provided in her nomination included:
“Wendy is the person we approach with the most challenging matters. In our office, ‘call Wendy’ is shorthand for ‘let’s get the answer and let’s get it quickly.’”
“Wendy has been extremely smart, fearless, and passionate while maintaining the objectivity and distance needed to help us avoid expensive legal action. She recognizes the reality of our business.”
Wagner also makes it a priority to support initiatives within her community. She devotes countless hours to pro bono causes (which include acting for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in a recent Supreme Court of Canada intervention), created and teaches a University of Ottawa course on defamation and media law, and serves as vice-chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s International Law Section. She is also a board member and legal adviser to Run Ottawa and has competed in 15 marathons.
Gowlings congratulates Shelagh, Wendy and all the other winners on this great honour. A complete list of this year’s Rising Stars is included in the November/December issue of Lexpert magazine.