Scott Jolliffe wins 2016 Lexpert Zenith Award for contributions to diversity and inclusion

21 June 2016

Scott Jolliffe, head of international development and past chair and CEO at Gowling WLG Canada, has been named among the winners of the 2016 Lexpert Zenith Awards.

The Lexpert Zenith Awards celebrate those who have demonstrated excellence, action and thought leadership in ways that have advanced diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and society.

Leading the way in legal diversityA tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion, Jolliffe has spearheaded a range of initiatives both inside and outside of Gowling WLG. As the founding chair of Gowling WLG Canada's Diversity & Inclusion Council, he led the development of a firm-wide diversity & inclusion strategy, and helped Gowling WLG become one of the first law firms in Canada to conduct a diversity and inclusion self-identification census.

Jolliffe has also advocated for greater diversity across the firm's senior leadership. During his tenure as chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Council, Gowling WLG's partnership elected its first female managing partner at the national level, and today, over half of the firm's Canadian offices are led by female managing partners.

"Scott has been a true champion for diversity and inclusion," said Peter Lukasiewicz, CEO of Gowling WLG Canada. "Diversity - in our people, in our views and in our ideas - makes us stronger, and ultimately, allows us to deliver the best possible service to our clients in Canada and around the world. Thanks to leaders like Scott and the other Lexpert Zenith Award recipients, real change is being made in our profession."

Under Jolliffe's leadership, Gowling WLG:

  • Was among the founding members of the Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network, a group of Canadian law firms that work together to promote diversity and encourage a culture of inclusion in the legal profession
  • Became the first law firm to join the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program, an initiative of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and the world's only corporate responsibility assurance program for Aboriginal relations
  • Became an official partner of Pride at Work Canada, a national organization that brings together leading Canadian employers aiming to realize fully inclusive workplaces for their lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified (LGBT) employees
  • Contributed to the Legal Leaders for Diversity (LLD) Trust Fund, which offers annual scholarships to young people with disabilities who are pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies in law

"Making progress in diversity and inclusion takes the unwavering commitment of an entire community," said Scott Jolliffe. "We are very fortunate at Gowling WLG to share a strong commitment to diversity at every level of the firm, and I accept this award on behalf of all my friends and colleagues."

To honour Jolliffe's accomplishments, Gowling WLG recently created the Gowling WLG-Scott Jolliffe Program to Promote Diversity within Leadership. Working closely with Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusion, the firm will provide training sessions for women and visible minority lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, and lawyers from the LGBTQ+ communities. The program, which will launch later this year, aims to transform law firm leadership over the next decade.

The complete list of this year's Lexpert Zenith Award winners can be found in the June issue of Lexpert magazine.

From left: Peter Lukasiewicz, Faithe Holder, Marva Bethune, Roberto Aburto, Scott Jolliffe, Neena Gupta, Susan Clarke