LLD Honoree: Sheila Block
Sheila Block has established herself as one of Canada’s most highly regarded lawyers, appearing as counsel before all levels of court in Canada and before international arbitrations and tribunals. She will receive an Honorary LLD from the Law Society of Upper Canada on June 24, 2015, in Toronto.
She is a partner and a senior trial and appellate counsel at Torys LLP in Toronto where she has a broad civil litigation practice. She is chair of Torys’ litigation and dispute resolution practice and a former chair of Torys’ Executive Committee.
An advocacy instructor dedicated to teaching in Canada and around the world, Block has trained advocates for the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal in Rwanda and the Special Court in Sierra Leone.
In 2012, Toronto Life magazine put Block on its list of ‘50 Most Influential in Toronto’ and she was recently recognized as the ‘2015 Corporate and Commercial Litigation Lawyer of the Year in Toronto’ by Best Lawyers. She has been on the peer-review list as one of the best lawyers in Canada consecutively since 2009. In addition, since 2008, Block has been on the Chambers Global: World’s Leading Lawyers for Business – The Client’s Guide for dispute resolution, and since 2014, for class action. (Chambers & Partners)
Called to the Bar in 1974, Block earned her LLB with gold medal distinction from the University of Ottawa (1972) and her BA with honours from the Carleton University (1969) and the University of Toronto (1965-68).
She has received the Laidlaw Medal for Advocacy (1999), the Law Society Medal (2006), The Advocates’ Society Medal (2008), the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Civil Litigation (2006) and the University of Ottawa Meritas Tabaret Award for Alumni Achievement (2012).
A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (1991) and of the International Society of Barristers (1992), she received an honorary LLD from the University of Ottawa in 2014.
Block serves as a trustee on the board of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy (Geneva), president of The Harold G. Fox Education Fund and as chair of the Touching Tiny Lives Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports children and families struggling to cope with the impact of HIV/AIDS in rural Lesotho.