William Chalmers, a 30-year veteran of Hughes Amys LLP, will take up a new role on the bench, the Minister of Justice said in a Jan. 31 announcement.
Chalmers, a managing partner at Hughes Amys LLP for the past 12 years, has been appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti said. The appointment replaces supernumerary judge, Justice Susanne Goodman, the announcement said.
Chalmers, best known as an insurance defence lawyer, recently worked on the case Mori-Vines Inc. et al v. Northbridge General Insurance Corporation, 2017 ONSC 5718, a dispute over whether the insurance policy for a vineyard’s grape vines covered a lawsuit in British Columbia. Lametti’s announcement said Chalmers worked on over 1,000 insurance disputes, on top of his previous work in family, criminal, commercial litigation and administrative law. Within the insurance realm, Chalmers worked on arson and fraud, personal injury, product liability, class actions and insurance coverage, Lametti’s statement said.
Jennifer Pereira, partner at Robertson Stromberg LLP in Saskatoon, Sask., worked with Chalmers through The ARC Group, a collection of law firms across Canada, primarily in the insurance industry, that gathered for marketing and seminars. Pereira is the current president of the organisation while Chalmers is a past president.
Pereira says Chalmers has served as a mentor, especially for lawyers in western Canada, and has been generous in connecting them to insurance contacts both in Canada and the U.K.
“I always thought he was willing to share his expertise and knowledge with others, and certainly I appreciated it. I just think with that kind of temperament, he will be a great addition to Ontario Superior Court,” she says.
Lametti’s announcement also highlighted Chalmer’s management at Hughes Amys LLP, noting that during his tenure the firm has become “a culturally diverse firm where the majority of the lawyers are women.”
“Bill is an exceptional lawyer and leader, who has great intelligence and insight. It was a privilege to have been his partner, and a pleasure to have practised with him. He will make an excellent Superior Court Justice,” said Michael Teitelbaum, a partner at Hughes Amys LLP in Toronto, in a statement to Legal Feeds.
Alongside Chalmers, Lametti also announced the appointment of Shaun O'Brien, General Counsel and as a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto.
O'Brien, executive director at Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), has worked on several recent cases that have appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, including Gillian Frank, et al. v. Attorney General of Canada, which dealt with voting rights of Canadians living abroad, and R v Gagnon, which focused on a military official accused of sexually assaulting a co-worker. O'Brien also acted in R v Barton on the death of Cindy Gladue.
Before joining LEAF in April 2018, O’Brien was a partner at Cavalluzzo LLP.
“LEAF is very grateful to her for all her service,”