OBA Award of Excellence in Trusts and Estates Law

2024 Award Recipient

B McCutcheonKimberly A. Whaley
Whaley Estate Litigation Partners

The OBA’s Trusts and Estates Law Section is pleased to announce Kimberly A. Whaley as the recipient of the 2024 OBA Award of Excellence in Trusts and Estates Law.

Kimberly A. Whaley will be honoured at a dinner ceremony October 15, 2024 in Toronto. Stay tuned for the event updates.

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. Maximum two other letters of support are permitted and encouraged. The nominator must indicate that the candidate has been advised of the nomination prior to the nomination deadline and has consented thereto. 

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.


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.


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.

The number of awards to be presented annually will not exceed one.


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

Peter Guennel
OBA Section Executive Liaison
Ontario Bar Association
300-20 Toronto St. Toronto, ON M5C 2B8
Phone: (800) 668-8900 or (416) 869-1047 x 340
Email: pguennel@oba.org

Past Recipients

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

  • 2023 - Howard Black
  • 2022 - Ian Hull 
  • 2021 - Debra Stephens
  • 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, K.C., Toronto
  • 2004 - William P.G. Allen,  Toronto 
  • 2003 - Malcolm S. Archibald, K.C.,  Toronto
  • 2002 - Joint Recipients - Wolfe D. Goodman, K.C., Toronto & Donna C. Cappon, Ottawa