TORONTO – September 20, 2010 – The Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) will host a reception on September 23, 2010, to toast its members who have achieved partnership status at Toronto’s largest corporate firms.
“We have emerged as leading members of the legal community in a broad spectrum of practice areas,” said CABL president Frank Walwyn. “CABL is recognizing those members who have become Bay Street partners since, historically, we have been under-represented in some of the country’s largest business law firms. The toast is not simply an acknowledgment of past achievements, but focuses on showcasing the progress that has been made, and continues to be made, through excellence, hard work and perseverance.”
In 2001, Mr. Walwyn became a partner of WeirFoulds LLP.
The toastmaster for the event is Michael St. Patrick Baxter, a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Covington & Burling LLP. Baxter. A Canadian, he is recognized as one of America’s leading bankruptcy attorneys and is head of the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association.  Mr. Baxter is also renowned for his 1998 article “Black Bay Street Lawyers and Other Oxymora,” published in the Canadian Business Law Journal, which reflected on his experiences trying to secure an associate position on Bay Street during the 1980s, and where he noted the virtual absence of black partners at Bay Street firms.
Seventeen honourees, and members of the judiciary, dignitaries, a number of in-house counsel, law firm managing partners and other CABL members are expected to attend the reception hosted by Blakes.
Rob Granatstein, Blakes National Managing Partner said “Diversity is a core value at our Firm.  Blakes is proud to support an organization dedicated to enhancing diversity and inclusiveness in the legal profession.”
CABL also announced that the honourees will be making a donation to the Michael Kelly Memorial Award, in support of a black law student entering his/her first year of law school at the University of Toronto. The Award recognizes commitment to community, academic excellence and financial need.

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