Karen E. Hennessey

Karen Hennessey is a partner in the business law group in Gowling WLG's Ottawa office.

Karen regularly provides advice to clients with respect to structuring, organizing and reorganizing their business, and in planning for and implementing the client's growth (or exit) strategies through M&A transactions. Karen's clients appreciate her practical approach to legal service delivery and rely on her to be a trusted adviser who handles their day-to-day legal needs, as well as a "legal quarterback," managing and coordinating the work of specialists when needed. She also acts as outside general counsel for a number of public and private sector entities.

Karen is recognized by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in three separate categories: Corporate Commercial, Corporate Mid-Market and Mergers & Acquisitions.

In recognition of her steadfast dedication to clients, in-depth legal knowledge and longstanding involvement with local charity groups, Karen was recognized as one of Lexpert's "Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40" in 2015. In spring 2014, she was also recognized by the Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce as a "Forty Under 40" award winner for her notable accomplishments as a leader in business and the community.

In April 2018, Karen was named "Businesswoman of the Year" in the Professional Category by the Women's Business Network in Ottawa as a recognition of her business acumen, outstanding leadership and community engagement. In 2021, Karen was recognized by the Canadian Law Awards with an Excellence Award as a Female Trailblazer.

Karen is very active in the Ottawa community. She is currently vice chair of the Ottawa Ronald McDonald House. She is also an active member of the City View Curling Club and served on the Club's board of directors from 2006-2008. She also served on the board of directors of the Hnatyshyn Foundation from 2013 to 2019, the Christmas Cheer Foundation from 2010 to 2015 and on the board of directors of H'Art of Ottawa from 2007 to 2009.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:


  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Law Society of Ontario