ASAP Featured young litigator

Roberto Aburto

Featured Young Litigator

Roberto AburtoRoberto Aburto – Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP

Roberto Aburto is an Associate in Gowlings’ Ottawa office. Roberto graduated from the joint JD/LLB program, earning a Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law in 2009 and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law in 2010.

Roberto was called to the bar to practice law in the province of Ontario in 2011. Roberto practices municipal and land use planning law as well as commercial litigation. His commercial litigation practice touches on construction law, commercial disputes, insurance law, mortgage enforcement, transportation law, environmental law and defence of regulated health professionals.

Roberto is an executive member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Municipal Section, and an active member of the Ontario Expropriation Association. Roberto also sits on the Board of the Lifesaving Society – Ontario Branch, a continuation of his lifelong involvement in swimming, lifeguarding and drowning prevention.

In his spare time, Roberto enjoys being active. At his recent wedding, he and his wife arrived at the ceremony on horseback!


Maria Abdoullaeva

Featured Young Litigator

Maria Abdoullaeva – Monaghan Reain Lui Taylor LLPMaria AbdoullaevaMaria Abdoullaeva is an associate at Monaghan Reain Lui Taylor LLP.

Maria graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Juris Doctor in 2011 and was called to the bar in 2012.

Prior to her call to the bar, Maria articled with the Department of Justice in Ottawa and volunteered with Community Legal Services in London, conducting tax appeals before the Tax Court of Canada and criminal trials at the Ontario Court of Justice, respectively.

In her short career Maria has acquired a wide-range of experience in civil litigation. She has appeared on matters in the Superior Court of Justice and successfully defended an appeal before the Ontario Court of Appeal in her first year of practice.

Maria’s practice has focused on defending insurance companies on first and third party claims. She is a member of the Canadian Defence Lawyers, the Ontario Bar Association, the Advocates Society, and Young Women in Law.

Before attending law school, Maria received a Bachelor of Science, with a Specialized Honours in Biochemistry in 2008. She is an avid long distance runner, having completed several marathons.

Read Marias’ blog post

Brent Kettles

Featured Young Litigator

Brent Kettles – Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP

Brent KettlesBrent Kettles is an associate at Lenczner Slaght.

Brent’s growing litigation practice includes advocacy in public and administrative law, employment law, commercial litigation, and professional regulation. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Court and various administrative tribunals. Before joining Lenczner Slaght, he clerked at the Court of Appeal for Ontario, where he worked on civil, administrative, constitutional and criminal law appeals. Brent has also worked at a leading national law firm and spent a summer at a management-side employment law firm.

Brent is an adjunct professor of Statutory Interpretation at Osgoode Hall Law School and is a coach of Osgoode’s Gale Cup moot team. At law school, he was selected as Dean’s Fellow in criminal and property law and has served on the Senate at both the University of Calgary and York University. In 2010, Brent won the course prize in Trial Practice.

An avid participant in mooting and debating at law school, Brent won the Gale Cup Moot, represented Canada at the Commonwealth Law Moot in Hyderabad, India, and placed ninth at the World Universities Debating Championship in Botswana.


Michael Fenrick

Featured Young Litigator

Michael Fenrick – Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP

michael fenrickMichael Fenrick is an associate at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP. He has a broad litigation practice, routinely acting in significant civil litigation matters in areas as diverse as defamation, shareholder disputes, franchise disputes, class actions, and employment law. He also has a very substantial public law practice, regularly acting in constitutional, administrative, labour and other proceedings. Michael is frequently appellate counsel.

In addition to his busy practice, Michael is very involved in the Toronto legal community. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Toronto teaching constitutional law and beginning this Fall he will be teaching Charter litigation at Osgoode Hall Law School. He is on the executive of the Ontario Bar Association’s Constitutional, Human Rights and Civil Liberties section. Before joining Paliare Roland, Michael was Law Clerk to the Honourable Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada and was awarded the gold medal at Dalhousie Law School.

Read Michaels blog post

Amy Grenon

Featured Young Litigator

Amy Grenon – Norton Rose Fulbright

Amy Grenon Norton RoseAmy Grenon is a lawyer in the Toronto office of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP with a practice that focuses on complex patent and trade-mark litigation. Amy is also a registered trade-mark agent.

Amy has particular experience in matters involving the innovative pharmaceutical industry, including infringement, validity, and damages actions as well as proceedings under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations and judicial reviews. Amy’s trade-mark experience includes advocating before the court and specialized tribunals as well as advising clients on portfolio strategy and management. Amy has appeared as counsel in matters before the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, and the Trade-marks Opposition Board. Amy is a regular contributor to NRFC’s Pharma in Brief bulletins discussing IP and regulatory decisions and developments.

Amy attended law school at the University of Toronto, where she was one of two National Coordinators for Pro Bono Students Canada.

James Gibson

Featured Young Litigator

James Gibson – Borden Ladner Gervais

ASAP Reporting Services James GibsonJames Gibson is an Associate in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and practises in the areas of commercial litigation and health law.

Prior to joining BLG, James clerked for the Honourable Madame Justice Marie Deschamps of the Supreme Court of Canada.  He also worked as a program analyst with the United Nations Development Programme in Tajikistan.  James is bilingual in English and French, and would be happy to receive any comments or questions on this article.  James can be reached at, or 416.367.6238.

Read James blog post

Aris Gyamfi

Featured Young Litigator

Aris Gyamfi – Kim Orr Barristers

ASAP Young Litigator Aris Gyamfi

Aris Gyamfi is an Associate with Kim Orr Barristers with a practice focusing on class action litigation.

Aris articled with the firm and is currently counsel on class cases ranging from pharmaceutical and medical device actions to consumer protection and municipal negligence matters. She has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, and serves as Class counsel in one of the few class actions in Ontario that has successfully proceeded through a common issues trial. Aris currently represents the Class on a trial seeking aggregate assessment of damages on behalf of class members, the first of its kind in Ontario.

Prior to articling, Aris attended Osgoode Hall Law School, where she worked as the Family Law Project Coordinator through Pro Bono Students Canada. She also served as Duty Counsel with Osgoode’s Community and Legal Aid Services Program.

Aris is a regular contributor to the Kim Orr Class Action Monitor, a bi-weekly reporter that provides updates and commentary on developments in the Canadian class actions bar.

Read Aris‘s blog post

Mark Hines

Featured Young Litigator

Mark Hines – Heenan Blaikie

Mark Haines - Heenan - DecemberMark is an associate in Heenan Blaikie’s Toronto litigation group. His practice focuses on commercial, regulatory and appellate litigation, as well as arbitration. Recently, Mark has appeared as counsel in the following matters:

• Four appeals at the Court of Appeal for Ontario, including acting as lead counsel;
• Trade-mark proceedings before the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal;
• Two large trials, including a bilingual jury trial;
• Summary judgment motions, including a mini-trial;
• An application for an injunction concerning a large-scale property development;
• Motions to stay Ontario proceedings on jurisdictional grounds; and
• Associate counsel to former Associate Chief Justice of Ontario, the Honourable John W. Morden, in the Independent Civilian Review Concerning Matters Relating to the G20 Summit.
At law school, Mark was a member of Osgoode Hall’s team at the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

Read Mark’s blog post

Michael Beeforth

Featured Young Litigator

Michael Beeforth – Dentons

Beeforth_Michael bio pic_for site

Mike is an associate with Dentons’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group, where he has a growing practice in commercial, banking, securities and asset recovery litigation. In addition to his experience representing clients in all levels of court in Ontario, he is also committed to alternative dispute resolution and has represented clients in several arbitrations.

Mike has a demonstrated expertise in assisting financial institutions and investors in tracing, freezing and recovering misappropriated assets. He has assisted clients in coordinating recovery proceedings in multiple jurisdictions, including Asia, South America, the Caribbean and the UK.

Mike also has experience in securities-related aspects of banking litigation, most recently acting for a major Canadian financial institution in defending a $280 million claim brought by a former hedge fund client. He is a regular contributor to Dentons’ Securities Litigation Blog, and frequently posts articles and commentary on securities class action decisions and developments.

Read Michael‘s blog post

Vanessa Voakes

Featured Young Litigator

Vanessa Voakes – Stikeman Elliott


Vanessa Voakes joined Stikeman Elliot’s Litigation Group in 2010 after articling with the firm.  Her practice concentrates on civil and corporate commercial litigation matters, including class action litigation.  She has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Court of Appeal for Ontario and has served as co-counsel in a number of arbitration proceedings.

Vanessa is actively engaged in the legal community, serving as a member of the Young Advocates Standing Committee and the Operations, Governance & Finance Committee of the Advocates’ Society.  She is the assistant editor of the firm’s class actions law blog and is a frequent contributor to the Class Action Defence Quarterly, a Lexis Nexis publication.

Vanessa is an extremely talented advocate who is tenacious and forthright in all she does, all with a great sense of humour.

Read Vanessa‘s blog post

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