The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) has announced that E. Patrick Shea, a partner in Gowlings' Toronto office, is among the recipients of the 2015 Law Society Medal.
The medal - one of the highest honours awarded by the LSUC - is given to lawyers who have made significant contributions to the legal profession. Shea will receive his medal at a ceremony on May 27 in Toronto.
"Throughout his career, Patrick has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to his clients, his community and his calling," said Scott Jolliffe, Gowlings chair and CEO. "The Law Society Medal is a wonderful reflection of his devotion to upholding the highest ideals of our profession. We are immensely proud of Patrick for earning this prestigious accolade."
Shea was the driver behind the Great War Memorial Project, a powerful commemorative initiative that recognized Canadian law students who lost their lives in World War I. Following two years of intensive research by Shea, the LSUC granted honorary calls to 59 Ontario students-at-law who were killed in WWI at a special ceremony at Osgoode Hall on Nov. 10, 2014.
"Patrick's treatment of the people involved, past and present, reflects his compassion and abiding respect for soldiers and their humanity," said Colonel Dwayne Hobbs, Commander, 32 Canadian Brigade Group, 4th Canadian Division of the Canadian Army. "His Herculean efforts have resulted in another chapter being added to the stories of the soldiers' lives, a better understanding of our shared history, and renewed ties between institutions who share many values, not the least of which is our commitment to the rule of law."
In addition to the students' honorary calls, Shea also compiled a comprehensive book entitled They Shall Grow Not Old, which features detailed biographies and photos of the fallen law students. The book was presented to the students' families at the November 2014 ceremony.
As a Canadian Bar Association (CBA) member, Shea's leadership forms another essential aspect of his service to the legal profession. He is a past chair of the CBA's National Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Restructuring Section, and currently sits on the executive of the CBA's National Sections Council and Legislation and Law Reform Committee, both important and influential groups within the CBA. Shea is also heavily involved in the Ontario Bar Association, and presently serves as vice-chair of its Insolvency Law Section.
Committed to serving the legal community as well as the broader community, Shea sits on the boards of numerous charitable and not-for-profit corporations, including the Air Cadet League of Canada, the Ontario Provincial Committee, the St. John's Ambulance Council for Ontario and ACCESS Community Capital Fund. He also served as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, where he was a Captain in the Cadet Instructor Cadre.
"I'm incredibly honoured and humbled by the news that I will be receiving the Law Society Medal, and thank my family and friends for their invaluable support of my endeavours," said Shea. "I also wish to thank the families of the law students lost in WWI, who shared with me their family stories and pictures."