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Leila Rafi and Andrew Stead named as Winners of Lexpert’s Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40

News Nov 8, 2018

McMillan LLP is pleased to announce that Toronto Capital Markets lawyer Leila Rafi and Calgary Litigation lawyer Andrew Stead were recognized as leading lawyers in Canada under the age of 40 in Lexpert’s Rising Stars 2018.

Both lawyers accepted their awards at the Lexpert Rising Stars Awards Gala, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto and will be featured in the November/December issue of Lexpert magazine along with the full list of winners.

For the full list of winners visit the 2018 Lexpert Rising Stars here.

The Lexpert Rising Stars awards recognize Leading Lawyers Under 40 from law firms and in-house counsel who are leading lawyers in the Canadian legal community. Finalists are nominated by their peers on criteria such as leadership, professional achievements, business acumen, adaptability, teamwork and interpersonal skills.

Toronto lawyer Leila Rafi has recently been co-lead Canadian securities counsel to a company (which has most of its assets and a majority of its D&Os in Canada) going public in Hong Kong and dealing with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada, On the complex transactions she has worked on in her career, including the Eco Oro proxy fight and the Aurora CanniMed hostile take-over bid, she has managed many lawyers (from a variety of industry areas and practice groups) under very stressful and tight deadlines in the public eye.

“We congratulate Leila on this significant achievement. Leila’s intellect and strong work ethic have been recognized in the legal community for years as well as her broad range of skills and unique experience in corporate and securities law matters. She is a thoughtful lawyer who has focused on investment funds, professional excellence and client service. She has also made significant contributions through her writing and speaking engagements, including teaching, on varied topics. She is certainly an ideal recipient for this award,” said Paul Davis, the national leader of the firm’s Capital Markets and M&A Group.  “Leila is a valued member of our National team and a dedicated mentor to many of our young lawyers. We are honoured that she has been recognized by her peers for this award.”

In Calgary, Andrew Stead leads the firm’s litigation team and he is working with a committee of other equity partners and an independent office advisory board to develop and implement a strategic plan to grow the office. Andrew’s importance to the firm was shown by his becoming one of the youngest non-equity partners and then equity partners admitted. Being a team player, he prioritizes mentorship, and has been a repeated nominee for McMillan’s Cheryl Stacey Mentorship Award. As a leader, Andrew builds inclusive teams and provides each member with the support and guidance to help them succeed.

Scott Schotanus, President & CEO, Universal Ford Lincoln Ltd,  who works with Andrew on Universal’s legal predicaments says Andrew brings forth intelligence, smart wit, and an amazing ability to rapidly get to the bottom of complicated matters while creating a course of action that aligns his client’s best legal outcome with a nod to their best financial result.

“Once strategy has been decided upon, these plans have always been executed efficiently and successfully.  In fact, I often joke that Andrew’s 2:00 AM emails can wait till the morning, but secretly I sleep better knowing that Andrew is working diligently on my file while opposing counsel is catching some shut eye at home,” Schotanus said. “Andrew embodies what any client would want in legal counsel – he is hard-working, intelligent, decisive, shrewd and most importantly he knows that the client-attorney relationship is the most important part of being on a winning team.”

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