Every year, the Trusts and Estates Section of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) presents the Award of Excellence to recognize exceptional contributions and/or achievements by members of the OBA to the area of wills, trusts and estates. The criteria for the Award of Excellence are as follows: the recipient shall demonstrate leadership in the trusts and estates bar through knowledge, experience, skill, commitment, passion and strength of character, plus all or some of the following: academic excellence through teaching at the Bar Admission Course, lecturing at a law school, participation in continuing legal education and/or academic writing; participation in OBA Trusts and Estates Section Executive or the Law Society of Upper Canada on wills, trust and estates matters; and, contribution as counsel or as a judge to the development of wills, trusts and estates law, and wills, trusts and estates legislative framework.
As Melanie Yach, outgoing Chair of the Trusts and Estates Section, noted in her introductory remarks in presenting this prestigious award to Margaret at the annual Awards Dinner, over the course of her 30 year career, Margaret has made a significant impact on the field of trusts and estates law, and is a leader in the trusts and estates practice area – locally, nationally and internationally. Melanie noted that in addition to being a founding member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (Canada), Margaret served as Deputy Chair of STEP Canada and on the Board of Directors, initiated STEP Inside and was Chair of its Editorial Board. She is also currently Deputy Chair of STEP Worldwide, and a member of the Board of Directors and Council, and for many years chaired its Professional Standards Committee which culminated in an updated Code of Professional Conduct, and she is a past-chair of the OBA Trusts and Estates Section. Melanie also highlighted Margaret’s commitment to legislative reform, both as Chair of the STEP National Steering Committee on Trust Law Reform and Co-Chair of the STEP Canada Trust Law Symposium held in 2007, which was a catalyst to the new draft Uniform Trustee Act which has recently been proposed by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada.
Melanie also highlighted that Margaret is known as a clear and thoughtful communicator, has been a frequent speaker at, and conference organizer for, various professional organizations including STEP, the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations, The Law Society of Upper Canada and The International Bar Association, and has written extensively in the area of trusts and estates law.
Melanie quoted loosely from one of the many nominations she received for the award: “Margaret is a consummate professional; she is kind, courteous and forthright”.
A short video of the awards events is available on our website here. You can also see a photo gallery of the evening here.
All of Margaret’s colleagues at O’Sullivan Estate Lawyers are proud of this honour and heartily concur with the many superlative remarks made about Margaret at the Awards Dinner, and offer our enthusiastic congratulations to her on this well-deserved achievement!
– Susannah B. Roth
Look for our next blog on the enforceability of marriage contracts.
The comments offered in this article are meant to be general in nature, are limited to the law of Ontario, Canada, and are not intended to provide legal or tax advice on any individual situation. Before taking any action involving your individual situation, you should seek legal advice to ensure it is appropriate to your personal circumstances.