OBA Award of Excellence in Trusts and Estates Law


2021 Award Recipient

Debra Stephens

Debra Stephens
Counsel, Tupman & Bloom LLP

The OBA's Trusts & Estates Law Section is pleased to announce Debra Stephens as the recipient of its 2021 OBA Award of Excellence in Trusts and Estates Law.

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About the Award

The Award for Excellence in Trusts and Estates was created to recognize exceptional contributions and/or achievements by members of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) to the area of wills, trusts and estates.

 

The number of award(s) to be presented annually will not normally exceed one. If in the opinion of the Nominating Committee, there is no appropriate candidate in a given year, no award will be presented.

Nomination Procedure

Any member of the Trusts and Estates Section of OBA in good standing is eligible to nominate a candidate by submission in writing, together with a curriculum vitae outlining the nominee's qualifications. The nominator must indicate that the candidate has been advised of the nomination prior to the nomination deadline and has consented thereto. The Award will be presented at the Section’s Annual Year-End dinner in June of each year.

Nominations shall be solicited:

  • by a call for Nominations to the Section membership
  • through members of the Executive of the Trusts and Estates Section
  • through members of the trusts and estates bar throughout Ontario

Criteria for Selection

The recipient shall demonstrate leadership in the trusts and estates bar through knowledge, experience, skill, commitment, passion and strength of character, plus all or some of the following:

  • Academic excellence through teaching at the Bar Admission Course, lecturing at a law school, participation in continuing legal education and/or academic writing. 
  • Participation in OBA Trusts and Estates Section Executive or the Law Society of Ontario on wills, trust and estates matters.
  • Contribution as counsel or as a judge to the development of wills, trusts and estates law, and wills, trusts and estates legislative framework.

Eligibility

Any Trusts and Estates Section member of OBA in good standing, including former members of the section who have retired or been appointed to the bench, but not including current officers of the Executive of the Trusts and Estates Section or the Executive of the OBA.

Presentation

The award will be presented at an Awards Dinner on a date to be determined by the Section Executive.

Conflicts of Interest

If any member of the Nominating Committee practices at the same firm as any of the nominees, that member must declare a conflict and will be replaced by another member of the Executive of the Trusts and Estates Section to be selected by Chair of the Section.  For greater certainty, a member of the Section Executive who practices at the same firm as any of the nominees is not prevented from participating in the consultation process referred to above.

Selection Process

A Committee consisting of the Past Chair, the Chair and one member of the Executive of the Trust and Estates Section (that member to be selected by the Executive of the Trusts and Estates Section, with a vote to be taken if there is more than one candidate) shall be formed each year at the Executive’s first meeting following its election.  At least one member of the Nominating Committee must practice outside of Toronto.

Award

The Recipient will receive a plaque and a donation will be made on the recipient’s behalf to a charity of his or her choice.  The permanent trophy is to be displayed at OBA.  A host award with the names of all recipients is located at OBA Conference Centre.

Additional Information

Deborah Brewster
Sections/PD Co-ordinator
(800) 668-8900 or (416) 869-1047 x 399
dbrewster@oba.org

Past Recipients

Past recipient winners of the OBA Award of Excellence in Trusts and Estates Law include:

  • 2020 - Jan Goddard
  • 2019 - Albert H. Oosterhoff
  • 2018 - Margaret Rintoul
  • 2017 - The Honourable Maurice Cullity
  • 2016 - Clare Sullivan
  • 2015 - Liza Sheard
  • 2014 - Archie Rabinowitz
  • 2013 - Margaret O'Sullivan
  • 2012 - The Honourable Susan Greer
  • 2011 -  Mary MacGregor
  • 2010 - Hilary Laidlaw
  • 2009 - Timothy Youdan
  • 2008 - Barry S. Corbin, Toronto
  • 2007 - Brian A. Schnurr, Toronto
  • 2006 - M. Elena Hoffstein, Toronto
  • 2005 - Rodney Hull, Q.C., Toronto
  • 2004 - William P.G. Allen,  Toronto 
  • 2003 - Malcolm S. Archibald, Q.C.,  Toronto
  • 2002 - Joint Recipients - Wolfe D. Goodman, Q.C., Toronto & Donna C. Cappon, Ottawa