Our Judges

Final Bench Judges

  • Photo of Suzanne Côté Suzanne Côté
  • Photo of Mary Gleason Mary Gleason
  • Photo of Katherine van Rensburg Katherine van Rensburg

Suzanne Côté


The Honourable Suzanne Côté was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on December 1, 2014.

Before her appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada, Justice Côté was a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where she was head of the Montréal office’s litigation group. Before joining Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, Justice Côté had practised for 23 years at Stikeman Elliott, where she was also head of the Montréal office’s litigation group. She specialized in complex civil and commercial litigation, including cases involving manufacturer’s liability, class actions, shareholder disputes and public law.

Before she started working for major law firms, Justice Côté practised for approximately 8 years in the Gaspé Peninsula, where she had been born.

Justice Côté received the Advocatus Emeritus distinction from the Barreau du Québec in 2011. In addition, she has been a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 2005.

Justice Côté’s competence as a litigator was recognized on many occasions, including in the following publications: Best Lawyers in Canada (2014) — Corporate and Commercial Litigation and Class Action Litigation; Benchmark Litigation Canada (2014) — Litigation Star (Quebec); BTI Client Service All-Star (2011); The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (2014) — Litigation - Corporate Commercial; The Lexpert Guide to the Leading Canada/US Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada (2012) — Corporate Commercial; The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2014) — Litigation - Corporate Commercial (Most Frequently Recommended), Litigation - Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, Class Actions, Litigation - Public Law, Litigation - Securities; Lexpert Special Edition - Canada’s Leading Litigation Lawyers (2012); Chambers Global guide of the world’s leading business lawyers (2014) — Dispute Resolution (Quebec); Le monde juridique (2008) — named litigator of the year; and Lexpert (September 2003), in which Justice Côté was named in a feature article on Canada’s 25 best lawyers.

 Justice Côté argued cases in various trial courts, as well as in the Quebec Court of Appeal, the Federal Courts and the Supreme Court of Canada. She had received an LL.B. from Université Laval before being called to the Quebec Bar in 1981.

Justice Côté has taught evidence and litigation at the École du Barreau du Québec, and has also lectured at the Université du Québec à Rimouski and at the Université de Montréal. She has also contributed for many years to the organization of the annual Coupe Guy-Guérin trial advocacy competition, a provincial competition that leads to participation in the Sopinka Cup. Finally, she has given many lectures relating to various areas of the law.

Justice Côté has been a member of the board of directors of the Fondation Jean Duceppe and has also worked for years with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. 

Originally from the Gaspésie, Justice Côté was a member of the board of directors of the Société d’histoire de la Gaspésie and president of both the Gaspé Chamber of Commerce and the Chambre de Commerce de la Gaspésie.

Mary Gleason


Justice Gleason was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, lived most of her youth in Calgary, Alberta, and pursued her university studies in Ottawa and Halifax. She obtained a B.A. (Honours) in History (summa cum laude) from the University of Ottawa in 1981 and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Dalhousie University in 1984.

Justice Gleason was appointed a judge of the Federal Court and an ex-officio member of the Federal Court of Appeal on December 15, 2011. She was appointed a judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court on March 7, 2013 and a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal on June 19, 2015.

Prior to her appointment, Justice Gleason was a senior partner with Norton Rose, LLP (formerly Ogilvy Renault, LLP) and practiced labour and employment law in Ottawa with that firm for nearly 26 years. She held a number of management positions within her firm, including that of co-managing partner of its Ottawa office and Ottawa Chair of its Employment and Labour Group. She was recognized as a leading labour and employment practitioner by Best Lawyers in Canada, L’Expert, PLC Which Lawyer?, Guide to the World’s Leading Labour and Employment Lawyers, and Canadian HR Reporter’s Canada’s Employment Law Directory.

Justice Gleason frequently guest lectured at the University of Ottawa and taught a course in employment law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa. She has written numerous articles and regularly presented papers to conferences hosted by a variety of organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Refugee Lawyers’ Association, the Advocates’ Society, the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals, the Law Society of Upper Canada, Insight, Lancaster House, the Council of Industrial Relations Executives of the Conference Board of Canada and the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE), an association of Canadian management-side labour and employment practitioners. Justice Gleason was a founding member and past president of CACE. She also was active in the Canadian Bar Association and the Ottawa Human Resource Professionals’ Association, where she held the portfolio of Government Affairs Liaison on its Board of Directors for a number of years.

Prior to her appointment to the Federal Court, Justice Gleason was a member of the Canada Industrial Relations Board’s Client Consultation Committee and the Federal Court Labour Law, Human Rights, Privacy and Access Review Liaison Group. She now co-chairs this Liaison Group and is a member of the Federal Courts Rules Committee.

Katherine van Rensburg


Justice Katherine van Rensburg was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in October 2013.  Prior to her appointment to this court she had served on the Superior Court of Justice in the Central West Region since November 2006.  As a trial judge, Justice van Rensburg was chambered in Brampton, and presided over criminal, family and civil law matters. She also served on the Divisional Court.

Justice van Rensburg was an associate lawyer and then a partner at the Toronto law firm Smith Lyons LLP, and she became a partner in Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP with the merger of the two firms in 2001.  She practised civil litigation and environmental law, having been certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in each.

Justice van Rensburg is a graduate of the University of Toronto (B.A.), Queen's University (LL.B.) and Cambridge University (LL.M.).  She spent her articling year as law clerk for the Honourable Justice Wm. McIntyre at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Semi-Final Judges

  • Julie Abouchar – Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP
  • Charles Birchall – Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP
  • Richard Butler – Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP
  • Jerry DeMarco – Associate Chair of the Conservation Review Board (CRB) and the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT)
  • Ramani Nadarajah – CELA/Moot Committee Member
  • Chris Tollefson – University of Victoria, Faculty of Law/Moot Committee Member

Preliminary Round Judges


  • Nicholas Adamson – Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP)
  • Adam Chamberlain – Gowling WLG
  • Jack Coop – Jack D. Coop Professional Corporation
  • Rosalind Cooper – Fasken
  • Harry Dahme – Gowling WLG
  • Jennifer Danahy – Gowling WLG
  • Albert Engel – Fogler, Rubinoff LLP
  • Jennifer Fairfax – Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
  • Tammy Farber – Miller Thomson LLP
  • Jamie Flagal – Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP)
  • Michael Fortier – Torys LLP
  • John Georgakopoulos – Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP
  • Gabrielle Kramer – Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)
  • Paul Manning – Manning Environmental Law
  • Bruce McMeekin – Bruce McMeekin Law
  • Danielle Meuleman – Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP)
  • Lynn Mitchell – Lynn Mitchell Law
  • Natalie Mullins – Gowling WLG
  • Harry Poch
  • Sarah Powell – Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (Davies)
  • Jacquelyn Stevens – Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP
  • Hugh Wilkins – Member of Environmental Review Tribunal