New Federation President is ready to meet challenge of change

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is pleased to announce that Thomas G. Conway has been elected President for 2014-2015. Mr. Conway is a partner at Conway Baxter Wilson LLP in Ottawa, where his practice is in civil and commercial litigation. He received his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa in 1987 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1989.

“The Federation’s role and responsibilities have evolved very rapidly over the last decade” says the new Federation President. “Now, the profession is also undergoing very profound changes the likes of which none of us can recall having seen before. Legal education is also undergoing significant and profound change, and the regulatory world is not immune to the changes in the profession we regulate.”

The Federation, Mr. Conway notes, has met the challenges of change before. “When you look at the distance that we have covered in the last ten years, you get a better perspective as to where we are in our development as a federation. Ten years ago there was no such thing as a national mobility agreement, or a National Requirement. There was no CanLII, and there was no model code of conduct.”

These are all major accomplishments, the Federation President notes, that are the result of consultation and collaboration with Canada’s law societies.

Mr. Conway was appointed a Council member by the Law Society of Upper Canada in November 2007, and has served on the Federation Executive as Vice-President. He was a member of the Federation’s Task Force on the Common Law Degree and chair of the Implementation Committee. He has also been a member of the Federation’s Litigation Committee that advises Council and the law societies on Federation interventions before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Prior to becoming President of the Federation, Mr. Conway served two terms as Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), the most senior position of the largest law society in Canada. He has served on a number of committees and was co-chair of the Retention of Women in Private Practice Working Group, which developed ground-breaking initiatives to support women in the legal profession. He also served as chair of the LSUC Professional Development and Competence Committee, chair of the society’s Inter-Jurisdictional Mobility Committee and chair of the LSUC Articling Task Force.

Mr. Conway was also an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa from 2005 to 2009.