Gowling WLG partners Sandra Barton, John Callaghan, Rodney Northey and Peter Snell have been named among the winners of the 2018 Lexpert Zenith Awards.
Presented yesterday evening at a gala dinner in Toronto, this year's awards celebrate "mid-career excellence in the legal profession."
All the winners below are widely regarded as leaders in their respective fields and are regularly distinguished by the top legal publications and ranking organizations, including the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.
Sandra Barton oversees a wide-ranging practice that encompasses complex commercial and civil litigation, class action defence, product and professional liability defence, defamation and - in her capacity as a registered trademark agent - trademark and copyright disputes.
A sought-after trial advocacy instructor, Barton has trained lawyers across North America in a range of trial and appellate skills. She is an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and an instructor in its annual Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop for lawyers across Canada. Barton is also a visiting instructor at the University of Notre Dame and regularly trains lawyers for The Advocates' Society.
John E. Callaghan
A past leader of Gowling WLG's Commercial Litigation Group in Canada, John Callaghan manages a broad practice in civil and commercial litigation and regulatory offence work. He regularly acts for large corporations, financial institutions, governments and regulated industries on a diverse range of matters, including with respect to contract, environmental, election, corporate, competition and constitutional law, as well as statutory interpretation and class actions.
Callaghan serves as an elected bencher within the Law Society of Ontario, a role that finds him contributing to policy and determining other matters related to the governance of Ontario's legal professionals - including the adjudication of professional misconduct allegations. He also currently chairs the Law Society's Government and Public Affairs Committee.
Rod Northey is the leader of Gowling WLG's Canadian Environmental Law Group. Certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a Specialist in Environmental Law, Northey has more than 28 years of experience in the field. With a practice focused largely on environmental approvals, hearings and appeals, he has advised on environmental assessment strategies at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.
Between 2004 and 2006, Northey served on an Ontario Ministry of the Environment panel responsible for improving provincial environmental assessment processes for green projects in the energy, transportation and waste sectors. More recently, Northey served on a four-person expert panel assembled by the federal minister of environment and climate change to review and recommend improvements to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
Peter Snell is co-leader of Gowling WLG's national Franchise Group. Widely regarded as the leading franchise lawyer in Western Canada, Snell devotes his practice to matters related to domestic and international franchising, licensing, product distribution, business law and intellectual property law.
In 2015, Snell was appointed to a four-year term as the Canadian Franchise Association's General Counsel - a position that finds him actively involved with significant government advocacy initiatives and potential law reforms. He frequently edits and writes for franchise publications, both in Canada and abroad, and in 2017 he co-edited and co-authored the second edition of the ABA Forum on Franchising publication Fundamentals of Franchising - Canada.