How do we achieve a justice system that provides equal and fair representation without discrimination, especially for Black people and people of colour? Some might say that one way to get to a just society is through diverse and dedicated lawyers working at their best.
In this episode, we hear from Charlene Theodore, in-house counsel at the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, and the Ontario Bar Association's first Black president (and first "pandemic" president too!). Charlene candidly discusses her experiences as a Black female lawyer in Canada and sheds light on her forward thinking initiatives "Work that Works" and "Not Another Decade," aimed at reimagining workplaces from an equity and diversity framework.
"...The status quo of not being racist means that it is just accepted that we are able to practice in this profession, as Black lawyers, [but] we are unable to have our choice of opportunities. Whatever metric you're looking at, whether it's by partnership, whether in-house, whether it's by management success [...] whether it is access to funding and financing in terms of Black businesses – it's clear that the world is not okay with that, and so we shouldn't be."
— Charlene Theodore, in-house counsel, Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association; president, Ontario Bar Association
You are listening to "Diversonomics", a Gowling WLG podcast Episode 3 Season 5
Roberto: Welcome to Diversonomics, the podcast about diversity and inclusion from Gowling WLG. I'm your co-host, Roberto Aburto, coming to you from our Gowling WLG home office in my basement. For today we're going to do a land acknowledgement for the Ottawa area where I'm located. We recognize that Ottawa is located on unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation. We extend our respect to all First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for their valuable past and present contributions to this land.
Cindy: Hi everyone, I'm your co-host Cindy Kou in my Toronto quote/unquote office. Today's special guest and I are coming to you from the traditional territory of many Nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit. How are you doing today, Roberto?
Roberto: I'm excited. I'm happy that we're including land acknowledgements into the podcast. I think that's a really nice addition and I really appreciated that suggestion from Brad Regehr. I think it's a nice touch. What do you think, Cindy?
Cindy: Totally agree. I think it's an excellent opportunity for each of us to learn what it means to give a land acknowledgement and do some research about how to do a land acknowledgement and to do it respectfully and sincerely so it's been a great learning opportunity.
Roberto: Yeah, and if listeners do have feedback we're happy to receive it and engage in the discussion. As a settler that's how I learn so I really appreciate that and really excited to see that development. I'm also excited to introduce today's guest. But first, as a special shout out to anyone tuning in for the first time, welcome. A friendly reminder that our previous episodes can be found at gowlingwlg.com/diversonomics or on iTunes. Ontario lawyers you can get your EDI credits just for listening.
Cindy: This season we're using our platform to shine a light on systemic racism in Canada, specifically anti-black and anti-indigenous racism. These are huge and complex topics and we hope that our short conversations can serve as springboards for listeners to start or to continue doing the work of breaking down systemic racism. Joining us today is Charlene Theodore, the President of the OBA, and in house counsel at the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association in Toronto. Welcome, Charlene. I'll pass it over to Roberto to introduce you.
Roberto: I love introducing amazing people and so this is another keen opportunity. Charlene is a workplace lawyer with a background of public policy and government relations and currently serves as in house counsel to one of Ontario's largest Teachers Association. One of Canadian Lawyers Top 25 of Most Influential Lawyers of 2020, she is known for tackling some of the most challenging issues facing the Bar and the justice system, as well as bringing about positive change throughout the profession for women and people of colour. Charlene is the OBA's first black President and tenth female President in the OBA's 113 year history. She's also a member and former director of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, has embraced her role in improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the justice sector and beyond. Her groundbreaking initiative, Not Another Decade, is focused on moving the dial on equality for black and indigenous people and people of colour. She is also committed to working with lawyers and law firms, to reimagine workplaces, through her Work That Works initiative. Building productive, profitable healthy and inclusive work environments for all lawyers. She likes to say, "Our best chance for a just society is diverse and dedicated lawyers working at their best." Welcome to the show, Charlene. We're so happy you can join us. Going to pass it over to you. Would you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
Charlene: Well, thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so happy to be here and I'm especially happy to be here having this conversation. I think it's great that you all have used your platform this year to shine a light on systemic racism in Canada, and I like that you frame it as systemic racism in Canada, because I think what I try and do is to connect the broader issues in our Canadian democracy to the role that lawyers play. I really feel that it is critical, like I say, best chance for a just society is diverse and dedicated lawyers working at their best. A diverse Bar, having equal access to opportunity for success and to build their careers. I think that one of the things I tried to do is make the connection to, again, moving the dial on inclusion and diversity and the way that we work in our own industry and making that connection to the impact that lawyers have on the broader society as a whole. Thank you for highlighting that point as well. For a bit about myself, I am a, as you said, a lawyer. I consider myself a workplace lawyer. I've worked on both sides of the aisle and my role right now requires me to do that simultaneously. OECTA is one of the Province's largest Teachers Associations and so if you've been reading the news this year, or even in 2019, from bargaining to the pandemic we've been extremely busy. So I'm extremely proud to represent that organization. But OECTA itself is an employer. I sit on the management team and I provide legal advice to management. We are also concerned with our own employees and our own staff and the work environment that we're creating for them to excel and do their best to serve the teachers of Ontario. Outside of work, I am a first generation Canadian, born to parents that came from the Caribbean. Came over in the 70's. Born in Toronto, raised in Brampton. Back home in Toronto for the past few decades. I love the city. I love being engaged in my community and in the Bar as well. Love cooking, love food and wine and these are all things that I've been able to indulge in a lot over the pandemic.
Roberto: Yeah, 2020's been quite a year.
Charlene: I've got lots of time to cook all those recipes ...
Roberto: Yeah, seriously. Well, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Congratulations on your historic Presidency and thank you for your continued service to the Bar. 2020 has been a really challenging year for everyone in a lot of ways and we recognize that there have been many traumatic and high profile events involving black communities across North America. You have hit the ground sprinting as the OBA President with anti-racism programming starting right from the beginning of your Presidency. What's it been like to assume the Presidency this year?
Charlene: Well, you know, I am the OBA's first pandemic President so it's been different. But one thing I will say about the OBA is that they have been, I think, at the forefront of the push for innovation in our sector and so when it came time to pivot they were really ready to do so, not just within the organization and itself or its staff, but we brought the justice system along with us. So we've played a critical role in getting the courts online in advocating for each e-transactions that didn't exist before and being able to have virtual board rooms and meeting rooms. So we were really ready to serve the community even though now of this was expected. In terms of the anti-racism piece, I've been involved in the OBA for some time now, and while I recognize that 2020 has been a really challenging year it is also true that people are waking up to challenges that the black community, whether they work in law or not, have been going through for some time. My plan for the Presidency, it came about quite organically. There wasn't really market research or things like that. It came about from my lived experience and the work that I have been doing and the work that my colleagues have appreciated before. When you're talking about anti-racism and workplace law, the way that I combine that is really about changed management and reimagining workplace, through and equity and diversity framework. So my Work That Works initiative was already preplanned and what I really wanted to do is to provide the tools and the education and other resources to really build workplaces that work for the lawyers inside them and the clients that rely on them. Really again to provide advice on how lawyer, law firm owners and lawyers who are employers of other lawyers, can create spaces where everybody has equal access of opportunity to shine and build great careers. Workplaces that are, on one hand profitable but meaningful and that harvest the power of technology and innovation, but also the power of humanity and all the diverse voices that you can bring to the table. So like many other things, when the pandemic came it just really provided, I think, a bigger platform and I think more of an urgency, from what I'm hearing from our stakeholders, for this kind of advice because we're all reimagining the way that we work and the environments that we work in because of this pandemic and the remote work that we are now kind of all forced to do. If we're reimagining workplaces anyway I think people want to really turn the dial and get it right from an equity and diversity framework. Again, these are my ideas but these issues that the profession has identified and has been working on for some time. I have felt that there's been a lot of support. It's been well received and it almost feels like a team effort. I'm the President but we have a number of stakeholders, partner firms of all sizes, and we're all trying to get to the same place together. I'm happy to have the platform to take the lead on that issue. When it comes to the, you mentioned the groundbreaking and thank you, initiative Not Another Decade, I think it comes from the same organic place. One thing I've noticed in my time as a lawyer, and my time specifically with the OBA, is the Presidential term is 1 year but the OBA was founded in 1907, I think at a time where a year term made sense. But the power that the OBA has and the place that we have within the legal community, Presidents now are dealing with very, very complex issues. My predecessor, Colin Stevenson, his mandate was innovation and these are complex issues that require a lot of consensus building and cannot be achieved in a year. So our past Presidents are all very active and what I wanted to do, if I was going to talk about these complex issues, talking about legal workplaces and talking about the role of lawyers in safeguarding and really being the vanguards of our justice system, as far as equality and discrimination is concerned, I'm a realist. You can't get that done in the year. The professions been working on it for quite some time. But Not Another Decade, the best way I thought to leave a legacy and to ensure that we had one continuous focus, and that focus continued beyond my Presidency, is with Not Another Decade. So the way that that's structured is, of course it's my initiative for my Presidency, but the OBA has made an organizational commitment to work with and lead our partners for the next decade in really turning the dial on some of these issues that we've been grappling in our profession, as far as justice sector, for some time. Even when I'm gone, and I'm a past President, what we're going to be doing is taking one key performance indicator a year. Whether it be workplaces, innovation, over-representation in the justice system for black and indigenous people, mental health issues within the justice system. We're going to be taking one issue a year for the next 10 years, and really encouraging our profession to put a collective focus on moving the dial on that, with the end result hopefully being that our justice sector and our profession looks substantially different 10 years from now than it does today in 2020. I think the reason why I called it Not Another Decade is we've all seen the headlines this summer. You can pick up a newspaper or magazine or legal journal and we're reading headlines that could have come from, quite frankly, the 80's, 90's, 70's and there are, in spite of all our very, very hard and admirable work, there are still some issues as a profession that we have yet to really tackle in a way that we as lawyers are satisfied with. I think by having this decade long focus it's really going to keep our eye on the ball and it's an ambitious plan but it's an achievable plan. I really look forward to celebrating with everybody in 2030 when we see some results and we see the improvements that we've made to our Bar.
Cindy: I also look forward to celebrating with you in 2030. That's an amazingly ambitious and admirable plan. Charlene, you mentioned being the first pandemic President of the OBA. I'm curious if you feel any special pressures or opportunities as the first black woman pandemic President of the OBA?
Charlene: Like I said before, Work That Works, and, Not Another Decade, are not new ideas. They are thing that I've been working on, whether it's through OBA or the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers or advocacy in general, for quite some time and the coincidence in the timing of my Presidency and the reimagining of workplaces and our justice sector as whole that has emerged from the tragic circumstances of racial unrest this summer and COVID-19, it really just gives rise to, I'll call it a powerful, responsibility that I don't intend to ignore and really an opportunity that I don't intend to waste.
Roberto: What are lawyer's roles in addressing systemic racism in Canada?
Charlene: You know, lawyers have been the foundation of every major game that has shaped the world we live in today. Whether it's equal pay, which we're still working on, gay marriage and rights associated with liberties and freedoms, whether they be in the labour context or the criminal context. Even with respect to corporate law. I think people tend to associate these big games and responsibilities with things like criminal law and labour law, but even with respect to corporate law, banking law, all of the games that lawyers have made, in terms of our work for our client and our advocacy to our governments and our courts, really shaped the society that we're in. Because our work can be client focused and transactional sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture and the role that we really have shaping society. I think that, first off, everybody has a role to play in creating the society that we want to live. Lawyers, we're kind of a special group of people. We have the ability to look at systems and spot the gaps and spot the inequities and spot the inefficiencies. So I see lawyers as really the vanguards of our justice sector. That is what we do best. We can look at something and say, "This is not working." We can make eloquent arguments for and against and we have. There is a ton of great ideas about how to make our justice system better. I think, while we may not all agree on how to get there, I know that there is a common ground in saying that we will not be happy or complacent with our justice system until everybody has equal, fair representation without discrimination, at every point in the justice sector no matter who they are. I think that once we recognize that systemic racism has also played a role in shaping our justice sector, I think it's our responsibility to really just do what we do best, and continue to look and be engaged and know that our work is not just a job, we have a role in shaping this system that affects people's lives. I am just so privileged to be in a position where, again with Not Another Decade, I can have this coalition of people who are all working for the same goal and really keep our eyes on the ball, so that some of the issues that we've identified where the solutions have maybe alluded us for so long, we can really again just take a focused look over a set, that extended period of time, to make improvements for the betterment of the profession and society.
Cindy: Let's switch gears just a little. Charlene, can you please tell us about the OBA's mandate and what role you see the OBA playing in addressing systemic racism in Canada?
Charlene: I think that by really kind of reimagining what a Presidential mandate means. I think that the OBA in taking on Not Another Decade and taking on that commitment, not for my Presidency but for the next 10 years, what they have done is they have committed as an organization to be not just a leader but a partner in the advances that lawyers have been fighting, collectively, to achieve. I think OBA is perfectly situated for that because we have a big tent. We are known for really bringing people together and working with stakeholders and justice to get things said. I think that we're positioned to kind of set those goals, set those challenges every year, measure our success and really celebrate our success. I hope that not just Work That Works and Not Another Decade is a chapter of the OBA's history that will really put the profession further along on the right road because I think what's recognized, not just by myself but at an organizational level of the OBA, is that we are really at the crossroads, at the intersection of a younger, diverse workforce with different dreams and plans for their future and their work and how it affects society and traditional board room culture that has worked very well for a long time, and that has gotten us some of the results that we see today. but that we all know now that has left many people out of what I'd like to say is the advancement equation. I'm proud that not only that I have this platform but that after my term is over that there is an organizational commitment to make the change that we outlined in Not Another Decade.
Cindy: Charlene, you mentioned the advancement equation. Can you tell us more about what that means?
Charlene: Yeah. I think, for me, what the advancement equation means is there is a traditional path to success and leadership in law that doesn't take into account everyone that has contributions to make. So for example, the engagement, retention and advancement of women is something that we have been working on for decades within our profession. We have obviously made lots of key strides, where that's concerned, in terms of women in leadership, women and men who want to be involved in engaged parents and still want to pursue a career, but again what we're waking up to now is when we have been talking about women in these discussions that we've been having for some time, we haven't talked about it in intersectional manner. Some of the benefits that have been borne out of the female and gender inclusion initiatives haven't necessarily benefitted women of colour, specifically. There's a stat that I hear quite often that women of colour, and black women specifically, are over mentored and under sponsored. So I think when we're talking about the advancement equation we are talking about not just generic categories. How can we have more women in leadership? But we have to talk specifically about women of colour and how their needs may be different and how all of our progress in the initiatives to generate that progress may not be servicing them. We also need to talk about initiatives in terms of inclusion that have wholesale left some sectors of our legal community out of the equation. That could be indigenous lawyers, disabled lawyers and things of that nature.
Roberto: You've had a lot of experience in leadership roles in organizations where black people have not been, or are not, well represented. I imagine that navigating a growing support in spaces like that presents unique challenges. You've sort of spoken to it a little bit but what do you wish leaders of institutions could have done, or could do, differently to be more inclusive?
Charlene: I think in terms of my career path and leadership roles I've had as a black woman, before my legal career and during my legal career, so what I've seen is a shift. I think at the early stages you get very used to being the only one. The only one and being treated as exceptional. When it comes to that concept in a workplace it is not a compliment. I'm exceptional for so many reasons but not exceptional because you have conscious or unconscious biases about my race, my gender and my people that lead you to think that you're exceptional because you are not like them. From that shift, as the profession moved more towards talking about diversity and inclusion, what I saw as a shift to, again, a lot of talks, a lot of conferences many of which I've spoken at about how to tackle these issues. Again, while we have made progress we also have to, I think, be clear about the lack of meaningful follow through after the conference. What are you actually go back to your office and do? So I think that what this summer has shown us is that we have to have another shift. From the training and the workshops are just a piece of it. I think people are realizing that now. What I think is needed, specifically in workplaces, whether they be in legal workplaces or in other sectors, is really change management with an equity and diversity lens. I think that is critical from the perspective of racism, anti-black racism specifically, and from our changing place of work. If we're going to have conversations about innovation and the future of work let's get it right and let's have the real conversation about what work means and who are we allowing into our work spaces. Who are we allowing into our work spaces? Who are we allowing to advance in our work spaces? What really is the lived experience of all of our employees?
Cindy: Jumping off that let's talk about going beyond inclusivity. There's a lot of recognition bubbling up, especially after this summer, that it's not enough just to be not racist and that in fact we have to be shifting our mindset to be anti-racist. I'm curious if you have advice for leaders and organizations to make that shift and to be intersectional about doing it.
Charlene: I think that's a great question. So a couple things. What happened this summer, again I may have said this before but it bears repeating, it is not an uprising and a backlash against inequality and anti-black racism specifically. In Ontario, in Toronto, or in Canada or North America, it is a global uprising against inequality in general and anti-black racism specifically. I think what that shows us is that the status quo is we need more than the status quo. If the status quo before was not being racist and some of I think allottable equality, diversity and inclusion issues that we've taken on as a profession, what this summer tells us is that that's not the full sentence. That is the start of the story. It is not the complete thread and we need to get about the business, as a profession, of finishing that story and doing all of the work. If the status quo of not being racist means that it is just accepted that we are able to practice in this profession, as black lawyers, we are unable to have our choice of opportunities. Whatever metric you're looking at, whether it's by partnership, whether in house, it's by management success, whether it is on boards, whether it is access to funding and financing in terms of black businesses, it's clear that the world is not okay with that and so we shouldn't be. I think that's what really represents the shift from not being racist to being anti-racist. I don't expect and I'm not under any illusions that it is a challenging road to traverse to get to that point. But again that's why I'm here. That's why the OBA is here. There are people that have been doing this work for a very, very, very long time and it's not supposed to be easy. It's supposed to be difficult and it's supposed to be challenging but the rewards, the rewards, which I can only even begin to imagine are so, so, so immense. They're good for workplaces. They're good for business. They're good for clients. They're good for associates. They're good for innovation. They're good for our profession. I think there still is work to do and it is a road that still needs to be travelled and I think it's our imperative, right now, that we take that journey together.
Roberto: We've heard some people say that a barrier of speaking out or taking action is fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. What response do you have for people or organizations with these concerns?
Charlene: My response would be, "Yeah. I love that you're being realistic and I want you to continue with that and manage your expectations and prepare your team and prepare everybody that's doing this work." It's a phenomena I've seen time and time and time again that where, I think it's one of the pain points in doing this work, when we have to have difficult conversations and people get their back up or they feel uncomfortable or they feel accused or they feel like the work that they haven't done isn't valued or that their true intentions aren't being conveyed or understood or acknowledged. My answer is, "Of course. That's how this happens. That's how you get to the other side." My only answer is I think I would be doing everyone a disservice to say that you're never going to say or do the wrong thing. I think my best answer is it's not a barrier. It's part of the process. It's how you get there. You know? I think that the best thing you can do is to set up systems where you acknowledge that that's going to happen and you set up institutions and systems were people can have those difficult conversations but also maybe blow off steam or heal from those conversations. There is an organization that I was invited to speak at that did this so, so, so brilliantly. A lot of people talk and issue statements and press releases and videos about their intent and the beginning of their journey and a lot of people issued the same kind of media about the end of their journey. You know, this is how we've done with women. This is what we're doing with our diversity program. This is who we are partnering with to mentor young black students but I don't see anybody talking, in a public way, about we're in the middle of this and we're doing our very best. This one organization, a major Canadian bank, released a video about this is what our experience is like on our journey and they had frank conversations and open conversations about you know what? It's tough but we're committed to this and we're a team and we're all on the same page and we're getting forward in this goal together. I wish more people would do that. I hope I influence to do that because I think it's a pain point that stops advancement. If you are engaging in your own form of change management with an equity framework, and it doesn't need to, it doesn't need to, you can prepare for that. You can manage expectations around that.
Cindy: Absolutely. Preparing for that discomfort and managing it is part of the process.
Charlene: Yeah. Yeah.
Cindy: So let's talk about turning good intentions into action. Do you have a call to action for our listeners today, Charlene?
Charlene: Yeah, I sure do. I think that one of the things that your listeners should do, after listening to this podcast, is to number one, do some self-reflection. I think it is important if you want to make change in your own organizations to be intentional about it and to set goals and to hold yourself accountable to those goals that you've set. I think one of the first things I always say is, where do you want to make change within your organization? Where do you really want to move the dial? Is it with indigenous lawyers? Is it with women of colour? Is it about using your role as a firm or legal department to help widen and improve the pipeline for more diverse lawyers to get into the profession? Number two, get in touch with the OBA. We are working with our partner firms and stakeholders to really focus this year on helping them put their, whether it's diversity plans or action plans, sustainability plans, change management, we're working with them to put those into place to help them make sure that they are set up for success and to take measurable and substantive action to create the change that they want in their work environments. We would love to partner with you to help you on the road to your success.
Roberto: Well, we certainly all have some work to do after this conversation. Charlene, thanks so much for joining us today. We look forward to supporting the OBA's Not Another Decade and Work That Works initiatives and all the best for the rest of your Presidency.
Charlene: Thank you so much. Keep up this amazing work with the podcast. These conversations are, first of all, they're fun. It's what I like to do. Talk about the stuff I like to talk about but I think they're also critical. Each one of these conversations from this podcast, as a whole, as a small piece of our profession doing the work that it needs it do to get to where we want to go. Thank you for including me and keep it going. I know I'll be listening.
Cindy: Thank you for taking the time to do the work with us and with our listeners. I'm leaving this conversation with my heart full. So thank you so much. For our listeners if you ever have any questions, comments or ideas for topics and guests, please look us up at gowlingwlg.com/diversonomics and get in touch with us. We'd love to hear from you.
Roberto: Also make sure to check out the show notes for this episode at diversonomics.com. Last, but not least, make sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify so you don't ever miss an episode and while you're at it leave us a review. Let us know what you think. You can also follow me on Twitter @robaburto. Charlene, anything you'd like to plug?
Charlene: Yeah. I'm really, really excited to share with your listeners that I have started a podcast of my own and it is called Work That Works. I think that what I do, and what the OBA does best, is really provide people with the education and the tools to make the changes that they want to make in their respective workplaces. So Work That Works is going to do just that. We're going to be talking from people within the legal industry, and even outside the legal industry, who have had success at really moving the dial and creating transformative and inclusive workplaces. The way that I like to learn is I love to hear other people's stories to really get, not just for the enjoyment of hearing their own stories, but to get the template. What's the cheat code? How did you do that and how can I apply that to my own work environment? So that's what I really set out to do with the podcast. There'll be a podcast with accompanying resources and tools. Again it's called Work That Works. I'm so excited for everybody to listen to it and, as well as your podcast, you can find it wherever you listen. If you want to continue the conversation you can follow me on Twitter @charleneyyz and you can follow the Ontario Bar Association on Twitter @obalawyers.
Cindy: Thank you, Charlene. I know I'm super excited to get those cheat codes from the Work That Works podcast. As usual you can also follow me on Twitter @ckoutweets.
Roberto: Diversonomics was presented to you by Gowling WLG and produced by Rachael Reid and edited by Matt Rideout. I also do want to send a big thank you to Cindy who has carried a lot of the load this season making sure ... and 2020 has been a bit of a rollercoaster on my end so I do want to send a big, big thank you to Cindy for carrying a lot of the load and making sure that there is continued seasons of Diversonomics. Thank you everyone for listening.
This program will count for up to 30 minutes of EDI Professionalism credit toward the mandatory CPD requirements of the Law Society of Ontario.
This organization has been approved as an Accredited Provider of Professionalism Content by the Law Society of Ontario.
Roberto Aburto is a partner in Gowling WLG's Ottawa office, practising in municipal law and civil litigation, with a focus on real estate disputes, land use planning law and commercial litigation.
He is also an active member in the swimming and lifesaving community, serving on the board of directors for the Lifesaving Society (Ontario Branch) as the corporate secretary/legal adviser, and on the Lifesaving Society (National Branch) National Team Selection Committee for Lifesaving Sport.
He is also co-chair of Gowling WLG's Diversity and Inclusion Council and is committed to promoting these principles.
Cindy Kou is a business law associate. She assists clients in a broad range of industries with corporate, commercial, and regulatory matters. She also regularly advises on technology law matters.
Cindy holds degrees in Common Law and Civil Law from McGill University and has worked in both common and civil law jurisdictions in Canada and abroad. She speaks French and Mandarin.
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