An Exemplary Advocate: Guy Pratte Receives 2019 Law Society Medal

Posted: 05/17/2019

Guy PratteCalled to the Ontario Bar in 1984, and the Quebec Bar in 2002, Guy Pratte is an exemplary advocate and generous contributor to his community.

Guy is a partner in Borden Ladner Gervais’s (BLG’s) Litigation and Arbitration Groups, and he is the Leader of the Appellate Advocacy Group. He is recognized as one of Canada’s leading bilingual lawyers. In addition, he is considered a leader in access to justice and pro bono services. He is currently Chair of Pro Bono Ontario and a founding member of Pro Bono Quebec and BLG’s national pro bono program.

Guy takes great pride in teaching the next generation of lawyers and has taught at several law schools across Canada. He is Treasurer of The Advocates’ Society, a member of the Supreme Court of Canada Advocacy Institute, and Vice-President of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies.

Guy is one of this year’s recipients of the Law Society Medal which is awarded to Ontario lawyers who have made a significant contribution to the profession.

What does this award mean to you?

It was completely unexpected. To be recognized by one’s peers of course is flattering, but also very humbling. For one realizes that one’s achievements are for the most part the product of the mentoring and help that others have generously proffered over many years.

What drives you (or has driven you) in your legal career?

An almost innate passion for advocacy and the consequent obligation to practice that craft as well as possible given my limited talents.

What piece of advice do you have for new legal professionals beginning their career?

To be allowed to practice law is a privilege that carries with it more than just the obligation to act competently in the best interest of one’s client. It entails the obligation to give back to the society which law serves and protects, whether that be by way of teaching, providing pro bono services, or serving in myriad of charitable organizations.

The Law Society Medal is given for outstanding service within the profession, whether in the area of practice, in the academic sphere, or in some other professional capacity where the service is in accordance with the highest ideals of the legal profession. It may be awarded for devotion to professional duties over a long term or for a single outstanding act of service.

This year, 12 outstanding members of the legal professions will be honoured with Law Society awards on May 22nd.