Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2014

Common Law is pleased to announce that Karen Restoule (’12), May Cheng (’91), Hugh Verrier (’81), and Myles Kirvan (’79) will be inducted into the Common Law Honour Society at the annual Homecoming Gala Dinner on September 20, 2014.  

These four individuals have used their legal education as a foundation for the achievement of great success in their chosen professions.  They join a distinguished list of prior inductees, which can be viewed here.

Karen Rosa Maria Restoule, J.D. 2012

Karen Restoule is a graduate of the Juris Doctor program, and is a social innovator who has worked towards the advancement of the rights of Indigenous citizens and communities for over 10 years. She currently oversees the Justice sector at the Chiefs of Ontario, leading a breadth of initiatives and legal efforts to bring justice to the 133 First Nations in Ontario.

During her time at the Law School, Ms. Restoule served as President of the Aboriginal Law Students Association for two consecutive terms and partnered with other student groups to foster an environment of respect and reconciliation. Following graduation she volunteered with Canadian Lawyers abroad where she successfully developed and delivered the first pilot of Dare to Dream , a justice education and mentoring program that engages Aboriginal youth and lawyers and law students. 

More recently, Ms. Restoule has been working in her free time to establish Stronger Voices, a non-profit initiative to encourage civic engagement and open dialogue among First Nation communities on the role of the First Nation citizens in federal, provincial, and municipal politics.

May M. Cheng, LL.B. 1991

May Cheng graduated from the French Common Law Program in 1991 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1993. She is currently a senior partner and Chair of the Intellectual Property Group at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s Toronto office.  She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Intellectual Property Journal published by Federated Press and is recognized as an “IP Star 2014” by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine.

Ms. Cheng has played a leadership and fundraising role in seeking to right injustices using the legal system and grass roots support.  As President and National Spokesperson for the Chinese Canadian National Council(CCNC) in 2000, she helped initiate a class action to seek redress for the Chinese Head Tax, raising awareness and public support for redress, that eventually culminated in an apology and redress from the Federal Government in 2006.  Ms. Cheng’s work for the Chinese community has extended beyond the CCNC, and includes fundraising for the Asian Community Aids Services and the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care.  

In 2010, Ms. Cheng began working with “the equality effect”, which seeks to advance the equality rights of women and girls in Africa by bringing innovative legal challenges seeking to recognize and enforce their rights.  She has been instrumental in helping the equality effect raise much needed capital for its international legal work, through hosting fundraising events, networking and championing the “160 Girls” for multi-year sponsorship by law firms.

Hugh Verrier, LL.B. 1981

Hugh Verrier is the Chairman of White & Case LLP, where he directs the Firm’s strategy operations around the world.  He is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading international project finance lawyers, and has been described in Chambers Global Directory as “a wise man and a gifted manager.”

After completing his LL.B. with the University of Ottawa in 1981, Mr.Verrier earned his LL.M. at Harvard Law School in 1982. He then clerked with Justice Bertha Wilson at the Supreme Court of Canada from 1982-1983. He has been called to the New York State Bar, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Verrier became a partner at White & Case, one of the world’s leading global law firms, in 1994. He was elected to the Firm’s global management in 2004 and has been Chairman of the Firm since 2007. He has spent most of his career overseas in Indonesia, Turkey and Russia, where his practice was focused on the development of natural resources.

Under Mr. Verrier’s leadership, White & Case has expanded its global reach and increased its global revenues to more than $1 billion, ranking it in the first tier of global law firms.  The list of accolades earned by the firm under Mr. Verrier’s leadership includes American Lawyer’s Top US Law Firm in 2011, the Most Innovative US Firm in Europe in 2012, and a spot among the Top 5 Global Law Firms, also in 2012.

Myles J. Kirvan, LL.B. 1979

Myles Kirvan was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1981 after completing his legal studies at the University of Ottawa (LL.B. 1979). From 2010 to 2012 he served as Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada.  He currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute on Governance.

Mr. Kirvan has had a long and distinguished career in public service, beginning in 1991 when he served as General Counsel in the Department of Justice, Federal-Provincial Relations Office. He went on to serve the Department of Justice in various other capacities including Senior Advisor to the Associate Deputy Minister, Public Law; General Counsel, Dispute Resolution Services; Senior General Counsel, Legal Services, Health Canada; and from 2003-2007, Assistant Deputy Minister, Business and Regulatory Law.  From 2007 to 2010 he served as Associate Deputy Minister of 
Public Safety. 

Prior to joining the Public Service of Canada, Mr. Kirvan served as an advisor to various Ministers. He served as Legislative Assistant to the Solicitor General of Canada; Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of National Revenue; Judicial Affairs Advisor and then Chief of Staff for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. In 1993, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.

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