Announcing the 2019 CCCA Award Winners

  • May 14, 2019
  • Karen Sadler

Announcing the 2019 CCCA Award Winners

A round of applause goes out to this year’s CCCA award winners! During the National Conference, members were recognized for their exceptional contributions to both the CCCA and the wider legal community.

Here’s a peek at the honourees.


Recognizes pro bono, community or corporate social responsibility efforts by CCCA members

Karen Gilmore is the Vice-President and General Counsel at Fulmer Capital Partners Inc. in Vancouver and is a dedicated volunteer in her community. Among her many roles, she’s acted as a director of the YWCA Metro Vancouver for eight years, including two years as Chair. Later, she was elected to the Board of the YWCA Canada, becoming Chair of that Board in 2018.   

Ms. Gilmore also focuses her volunteer efforts on the legal community. She recently founded the BC Chapter of Women General Counsel Canada, creating a unique system of support and mentoring for women GCs in BC. Her commitment to women and community-building is an inspiration to the profession.


Recognizes a CCCA member with less than 15 years called to the Bar who has had strong participation within the profession, especially within the CCCA and the organization they serve

Sarah Sidhu is General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Destination Canada in Vancouver. She is responsible for all legal, privacy and governance matters at the Crown corporation, including managing the relationship with the Chair and Board of Directors.

Ms. Sidhu is an expert in a wide range of jurisdictional issues, providing support and guidance to a dispersed national management team. She is also an excellent role model at work, living proof of her belief that helping others in your community strengthens your leadership and teambuilding skills.

Her volunteer activities are as impressive as her professional accomplishments. She was a long-time Board member of the United Way of the Lower Mainland and MusicFest Vancouver and is currently a Director of the Vancouver Foundation. As one of her nominators wrote, “Sarah is always thinking about community impact and what she can do to make life easier for those who are struggling.”


Recognizes an individual or group who is doing new things or doing things differently to create value on behalf of or for the benefit of a law department or organization

Monique St. Germain is the General Counsel for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) in Winnipeg. During her time there, she has created new ways for a legal department to work within a charity while staying committed to her purpose of finding legal avenues to protect children and survivors of sexual abuse. Her innovative solutions include educating colleagues outside of the legal department on the unique legal challenges facing the organization and the families they serve, developing an online educational platform for Crown Prosecutors, and normalizing the use of video victim impact statements.

As one of her nominators wrote, Ms. St. Germain “has come up with creative solutions which have allowed the organization to pursue its charitable mission to the fullest while ensuring that the organization is legally protected and compliant.”


Recognizes an individual or group who or which raises the profile of the CCCA in the professional community

Mary Ellen Bench is the City Solicitor for the City of Mississauga, leading a legal department of over 50 legal professionals. She is a powerful advocate for in-house counsel being regarded as key strategic and legal business advisors while highlighting the value of the CCCA among her fellow public sector in-house counsel.

As a member of the CCCA for over 20 years, Ms. Bench has been a frequent speaker at CCCA events and even co-chaired the 2017 CCCA National Conference. By far, her most important professional contribution has been her continued support of the CCCA’s Business Leadership Program for In-House Counsel. Since the program’s inception in 2013, Ms. Bench has been one of its key champions, providing valuable feedback during the pilot program and acting as an Executive-in-Residence for many subsequent student cohorts.


Named after the founding executive director of the CCCA, recognizing excellence in corporate counsel service and awarded to a regular member of the CCCA whose career exemplifies the highest standards of service, conduct and professionalism for corporate counsel

Dr. Paul Paton, Dean of Law and Wilbur Fee Bowker Professor of Law at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law in Edmonton, has long personified the spirit of the R.V.A. Jones Award.

For nearly two decades, Dr. Paton has been shining a light on the unique challenges faced by in-house counsel through his research, writing and speaking engagements. His work has helped inspire an overdue appreciation for the in-house profession from regulators and the rest of the legal community.

As a former in-house counsel himself, Dr. Patron has developed practical tools for his peers on navigating ethical dilemmas, including the CBA/CCCA “FAQ: Privilege and Confidentiality for In-House Counsel” has done extensive research into the duties (if any) that in-house counsel owe the general public.

As one of Dr. Paton’s nominators wrote, “I see first-hand his commitment to the corporate counsel and academic communities. No doubt his research and voice have already provided guidance and practical assistance to many lawyers.”

Karen Sadler is the Communications & Marketing Coordinator at the CCCA, currently on leave.