SEPTEMBER 25 & 26, 2019



5:30 - 7:00 PM | RECEPTION
Omni King Edward Hotel
37 King Street East, Toronto, ON M5C 1E9


Keynote Speaker: Ambassador Gary Doer

Gary Doer was the 23rd Canadian Ambassador to the United States and the former premier of Manitoba.

Mr. Doer won three consecutive elections as Premier of Manitoba. In 2005, he was named by Business Week magazine as one of the top 20 international leaders on climate change. His government introduced balanced budgets during each of his ten years in office. As Premier, he led strategic investments in health care, education and infrastructure.

Mr. Doer was appointed as Canada’s Ambassador to the United States in 2009. During his six year tenure, he worked with leaders in both Canada and the US at the state and federal level to ensure Canada’s entry into the Trans-Pacific-Partnership and helped to negotiate a presidential permit for the construction of the Detroit Windsor Bridge. Mr. Doer worked to have hydro-electric power recognized as renewable energy in the US and assisted in ushering in a new cooperative approach to regulatory reform. As Canada’s chief advocate in the US, Mr. Doer garnered support for harmonizing light vehicle emission standards and, as part of the Beyond the Border Action Plan, was directly involved in the signing of the border pre¬clearance agreement in 2015, which enables the legitimate flow of trade and travel between Canada and the US.

Currently, Mr. Doer is a Canadian member of the Trilateral Commission and serves as Co-Chair of the Wilson Centre’s Canada Institute, a non-partisan public policy forum focused on Canada-U.S. relations. In addition, he is a director of several other leading Canadian corporations, including Air Canada and Power Corporation.


Plenary/Roundtable Discussion Sessions (including breakfast, lunch and breaks) 
Omni King Edward Hotel
37 King Street East, Toronto, ON M5C 1E9

Plenary/Roundtable Sessions - The session outlines set out below will serve as themes for discussion. General Counsel participants and senior practitioners will share their experience

in counseling management in the current context of intense public scrutiny, concerns about “brand” and reputation, as well as the risk of corporate and personal legal exposure.

Our linked themes in 2019 will be Risk Management and Crisis Management.

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” – Mike Tyson

Following our very successful approach in 2018, each roundtable will consider a different factual scenario reflecting practical issues GC’s are called-on to address every day. In the first roundtable session, participants will discuss and outline proactive risk mitigation strategies relevant to the fact scenario. In the second roundtable session, using the same fact scenario, participants will pivot the discussion to focus on the steps necessary to manage the crisis that has materialized. Just as the discussions from the first session help set-up a discussion in the second, the learnings from the crisis management session reinforce the risk mitigation steps discussed in the first. (2019 fact scenarios are different than the ones discussed in 2018!)

Roundtable fact scenarios have been prepared around diverse themes including:

1. Supply Chain Risks

2. Cybersecurity-data breach

3. Sustainable Finance

4. International challenges

5. Workplace Freedom of expression issues

6. Managing growth

7. Operating in Climate change sensitive environments

8. We will remain flexible in order to react to a real-life crisis



General Counsel play an important role in risk management and our advice is most valuable when not limited to purely legal risks and issues. This roundtable session aims to stimulate discussion which reflects the real-world perspectives of General Counsel from a range of different organizations. Taking as a starting point the issue of defining and carving out an appropriate role (“not too big, not too small”) in risk preparedness planning, the discussion will flow into areas such as helping to build management “buy-in” for proactive risk preparedness planning, working with cross-functional risk management teams and sharing of best practices in proactive risk management.





Using the same fact scenario participants will pivot their focus to addressing the crisis that results from occurrence of the “worst-case”. To put it another way, the organization has been “punched in the mouth” – now what? What should the General Counsel’s role be in dealing with the fallout? What types of steps should the organization as a whole, and the Legal team more specifically, take to minimize the impact of the crisis? How should the organization repair and rebuild its image, reputation and relations with its stakeholders? And, ultimately, what best practices and tips can we benefit from so that General Counsel continue to be seen as valuable contributors in the vortex of a crisis?

Roundtable Discussion Leaders:

Shelley Babin, General Counsel, Ontario Power Generation

Kevin Coon, Managing Partner, Baker McKenzie

Cathy Beagan Flood, Partner, Blake Cassels & Graydon

Sheldon Freeman, Partner, Goodmans

Kaleb Honsberger, General Counsel, Roots Corp

Bassem Shakeel, VP & Corporate Secretary, Magna International

Julia Shin Doi, General Counsel, Ryerson University

Anne Ristic, Co-Managing Partner, Toronto, Stikeman Elliott

Jane Shapiro, SVP, Hill + Knowlton Strategies Canada

12:30-1:45 PM | LUNCH



From the perspective of his broad background as an in-house counsel with responsibilities including corporate governance, executive compensation, public company compliance and enterprise risk management, Bassem Shakeel of Magna International will moderate this discussion. This is an in-camera opportunity for those in attendance to raise any issues they wish for discussion with their peers. Experience tells us that there will be no shortage of questions and topics for consideration.

Some suggested topics include:

1. Managing the legal functions in times of organizational stress, rapid growth and economic challenge

2. Structuring relations with outside counsel to achieve maximum value for the organization

3. Cultivating an effective professional network to reinforce your importance within an organization

Moderator – Bassem Shakeel, VP & Corporate Secretary, Magna International

The programme will end at approximately 3:30 PM.