LLD Honoree: Janet E. Stewart, QC, OOnt.
Called to the Bar with honours in 1969, Janet Elizabeth Stewart, QC, OOnt., obtained her LLB from Osgoode Hall (1967) where she also won the Gurston Allen Prize in Conflict of Laws. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto (Trinity College; 1964) and was awarded the Governor-General’s Bronze Medal. She will receive an Honorary LLD from the Law Society of Upper Canada in London, on June 18, 2015.
After articling at what was then Fraser & Beatty in Toronto, she applied to be Samuel Lerner’s junior at Lerners LLP, joining the firm as an associate in 1969. She became a partner in 1972. In the ensuing years Stewart established herself as a prominent lawyer in commercial and estate law, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1985.
From 1991 to 2007, Stewart served as Lerners’ managing partner and, through her leadership, grew the firm from 25 lawyers to more than 100. She has been a respected mentor to lawyers within the firm and in the legal community. Still with Lerners, Stewart recently completed 45 years with the firm.
Stewart has been recognized with numerous awards, including induction into the Order of Ontario (2009) for her work in advocating for the advancement of women in law and for her compassion and commitment to philanthropic activities. She is also the recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award (2013), the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013) and the Law Society Medal (2001).
Stewart was also one of the founders of Big Sisters in London, in 1974, and served on its board for 25 years.