Karen E. Hennessey Partner Head - Corporate Group

Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 2005 - Ontario

Primary phone: +1 613-783-8804

Fax: +1 613-788-3581

Email: karen.hennessey@gowlingwlg.com

Download vCard

Primary office:  Ottawa

Karen E. Hennessey

Karen Hennessey is a partner in Gowling WLG's Ottawa office and leader of the firm's Canadian Corporate practice group.

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’s expertise in corporate law is recognized by Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2018 in three separate categories: Corporate Commercial, Corporate Mid-Market and Mergers & Acquisitions.

In recognition of her steadfast dedication to clients, in-depth legal expertise 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.

Karen is very active in the Ottawa community. She is currently a board member of the Ottawa Ronald McDonald House and the Hnatyshyn Foundation. 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 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:
  • 2018

  • 2017

  • 2016

  • 2015

    • Rankings & Awards
      December 2015
      Lexpert's "Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40"
  • 2014

    • Community
      October 2014
      Hnatyshyn Foundation, Corporate Secretary and Board Member
    • Rankings & Awards
      July 2014
      Ottawa Business Journal/Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Forty Under 40 Award winner
  • 2013

    • Community
      November 2013
      Ronald McDonald House, Ottawa, Board Member
  • 2010

    • Community
      November 2010
      Christmas Cheer Foundation, Corporate Secretary and Board Member
  • 2007

    • Community
      October 2007
      H'Art of Ottawa, Board Member
  • 2006

    • Community
      City View Curling Club, Board of Directors
  • 2005

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Ontario
  • 2004

    • Education
      University of Windsor, LLB
  • 2001

    • Education
      Carleton University, BA, Psychology
  • 2000

    • Education
      Seneca College (Court and Tribunal Agent Diploma)
  • 1998

    • Education
      Carleton University, BA, Hons., Sociology and Law


  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Law Society of Upper Canada