Law Times

July 11, 2016

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Follow LAW TIMES on BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times E ver since she was a little girl, Tan- ya Walker wanted to be a lawyer. The commercial litigator is now set to become the first black female bencher elected to represent To- ronto at the Law Society of Upper Canada. Walker was born in Toronto, but she grew up in Ajax, Ont., the daughter of Ja- maican immigrants. Called to the bar in 2006, after gradu- ating from Osgoode Hall Law School, Walker worked at two different down- town firms before deciding to start her own firm, Walker Law Professional Cor- poration, in 2010. She quickly worked off her student debt and bought a condominium down- town within just two years of being called to the bar — something she says took a lot of determination and hard work. The 38-year-old says she inherited her work ethic from her family. The wall behind Walker's computer monitor in her downtown office is pep- pered with inspirational quotes about perseverance by an array of athletes and politicians — from Winston Churchill and Colin Powell to Serena Williams and Bruce Lee. "Quotes are very motivating, especially if I have to come into the office at six or seven o'clock on a Saturday or Sunday," she says. "I look at these quotes and these very successful people and think to myself, you just have to work hard. It drives you." When she was a young girl, Walker always admired television character law- yers, such as Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show. "I like that she appeared to be humble, well poised, very family oriented . . . I could see a part of myself in her or something I wanted to be in the future," she says. Walker says the ability to help people drew her to law and that her affinity for business as well as her commerce degree from McMaster University pushed her towards commercial litigation. "I think it's just a wonderful way to use the knowledge you have to help other people," she says. Walker will not officially assume her role as bencher until Convocation recon- venes at the end of the summer. Walker came in 22nd place in the bencher's election in Toronto with 2,871 votes. Members elect 20 members from inside Toronto in each election and 20 from other regions. Walker became next in line to become Patent firms' trademark fight results in tie BY MICHAEL MCKIERNAN For Law Times A tug of war over one of the best-known names in the Canadian patent world has ended in a tie after pat- ent agency Sim & McBurney agreed to drop its trademark infringement claim against the upstart Aird & McBurney LP last week. Sim & McBurney, a 46-year-old affiliate of intellectual property law boutique Sim Ashton & McKay LLP, launched the lawsuit shortly after Aird & McBurney began op- erating in April with three partners who had defected from the older firm, claiming the name infringed on its trademarks and was causing confusion with its services. The action also targeted the new firm's affiliate law firm, Toronto full-service outfit Aird & Berlis LLP, as well as Sim & McBurney's own founding partner, Peter Mc- Burney, a registered patent agent and elder statesman in the Cana- dian intellectual property field. McBurney, now in his 80s, re- tired from the Sim & McBurney partnership in 1999, but he stayed on in a senior consultant role, be- fore cutting ties at the end of 2015 and jumping ship to take a job with the same title at Aird & McBurney. In a further blow to Sim & Mc- Burney, on June 20, Ontario Supe- rior Court Justice Sean Dunphy disqualified its lawyers of choice at Gowling WLG because the dis- sident partners had previously shopped themselves around to that firm before finally landing at Aird & Berlis. On July 5, with new counsel in place, Sim & McBurney moved to dismiss all its claims on consent after reaching a settlement that will see both parties continue under the same names. Tom Curry, Sim & McBurney's new lawyer, says his clients are "very pleased" to have reached a "satisfactory resolution." "They are happy to have this behind them and resolved so that everybody can go on as they did before without the issues in the litigation hanging over them," says Curry, a partner at litigation bou- tique Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP. Jeffrey Kaufman, who argued the disqualification motion for Aird & McBurney and the other defen- dants, says his clients were also "very satisfied" with the result. He says it was surprising that such a typical lateral move got so contentious. "This sort of thing happens ev- ery day," Kaufman says. According to Dunphy's deci- sion, events were set in motion last summer when Timothy Lowman, a lawyer who was partner in both Sim firms, approached Gowlings on behalf of himself and three pat- ent agent partners at Sim & Mc- OSC WHISTLEBLOWER Proposed rules criticized by Law Society P3 TERRORISM LIABILITY Victims can sue for assets P7 FOCUS ON Legal Specialists & Boutiques P8 See Name, page 2 See Bencher, page 2 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 27, No.23 July 11, 2016 L AW TIMES C O V E R I N G O N T A R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W . L A W T I M E S N E W S . C O M Tanya Walker will officially assume her role as Law Society of Upper Canada bencher when Convocation reconvenes at the end of the summer. Photo: Robin Kuniski Commercial litigator makes history in new role First black female bencher elected in Toronto TORONTO | BARRIE | HAMILTON | KITCHENER 1-866-685-3311 | cLeish Orlando_LT_Jan_20_14.indd 1 14-01-15 3:15 PM When you're working, we're working. End-To-End Legal Marketing Solutions. Visit Untitled-2 1 2016-07-06 9:07 AM

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