OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 11, 2013) - Today, the Government of Canada recognized seven lawyers in the federal public service as Queen's Counsel (QC). Formally styled "Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law," the federal QC honours lawyers who demonstrate exemplary service to the Canadian justice system.

The individuals receiving this honour, also known as "taking silk", are members of the federal public service who have demonstrated great skill in oral and written advocacy, acuity and learning in legal policy development, and wise counsel in service to the Canadian Crown.

The QCs are being conferred on the anniversary of the signing of the Statute of Westminster, which took place on December 11, 1931. The Statute of Westminster was ratified by the British Parliament and granted the Dominions greater legal and foreign policy autonomy.

"It is fitting that the honour of Queen's Counsel is being bestowed on the anniversary of the signing of the Statute of Westminster and at the end of the diamond jubilee anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's coronation," said Peter MacKay, P.C. Q.C., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. "The people receiving this designation today have conducted themselves in the finest traditions of the legal profession, and the Government is pleased to recognize their exemplary service within the public service."

The individuals were designated as federal QCs by the Governor-in-Council, upon recommendation of the Minister of Justice with the assistance of a Department of Justice advisory committee chaired by the Deputy Minister of Justice. Individuals were identified and considered according to a number of factors, including the length of service as members in good standing of provincial bar associations, their contributions to the development of the law, and leadership in their professional and personal lives which has raised esteem for the legal profession.

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Simon Fothergill

Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Legislation and House Planning, and Machinery of Government) and Counsel, Privy Council Office

Simon Fothergill joined the Department of Justice in 1991 as a student-at-law in the Edmonton Regional Office. From 1992 to 2001 he practiced civil and criminal litigation with the Department in Whitehorse and Vancouver. He then spent approximately two years as Director of Legal Operations with the Privy Council Office before resuming his litigation practice with the Civil Litigation Section in Ottawa. Simon was assigned to the Deputy Minister's Office from 2007 to 2009. He returned to the Litigation Branch as Deputy Assistant Deputy Attorney General, and also assumed the role of the Department's National Security Coordinator. He was Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Litigation from 2010-2013 before returning to the Privy Council Office as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Legislation and House Planning, and Machinery of Government) and Counsel, Privy Council Office. Mr. Fothergill has appeared at all levels of court. He holds a degree in philosophy from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and a degree in law from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Colonel P.K. Gleeson

Deputy Judge Advocate General Operations, Military Justice and Administrative Law, Department of National Defence

Colonel Gleeson was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. His involvement through secondary school with Air Cadets sparked his interest in a military career, and upon graduation from high school in 1980 he was accepted into the Regular Officer Training Plan. He attended le Collège Militaire Royal de Saint-Jean, graduating with a degree in Business Administration in 1985. After graduation he served in Shearwater, Nova Scotia, and Kingston, Ontario, as an administration officer before entering law school under the Military Legal Training Plan in 1990. He received his LL.B. from the University of New Brunswick in 1993. Colonel Gleeson completed his articles in Fredericton with the law firm of Hanson and Hashey and was admitted to the Law Society of New Brunswick in 1994. After spending two years in Halifax as an assistant Deputy Judge Advocate and prosecutor, Colonel Gleeson was promoted to Major and posted to Ottawa in 1996, where he gained experience in the fields of administrative and operational law. He also served as a member of the National Defence Act Amendment Team, developing and implementing significant reforms to the National Defence Act. In 2000, Colonel Gleeson was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and assumed the position of Director of Law, Military Justice Policy and Research. He also served as the Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate General prior to being posted to Montreal as the Assistant Judge Advocate General, Eastern Region in 2003.

Claude Joyal

Senior General Counsel, (Quebec Regional Office), Department of Justice

Claude Joyal is a litigator at the Quebec Regional Office of the Department of Justice. Over the years, he has developed an expertise in freedom of expression, linguistic minority rights, and constitutional law and has appeared before various courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Joyal was a law instructor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (1992-1995 and 1998). He taught civil and administrative law at the École du Barreau du Québec (1977-1988), he created a civil, criminal and administrative advocacy skills course and taught the course "Représentation" (1988-1989). He was vice-chair of the Professional Training Committee (1990-1991) and a member of the assessment subcommittee of the École du Barreau (1997-1999). He was a member of the subcommittee on equivalency for lawyers from abroad (1998-2007). He gave a number of presentations at the Congrès du Barreau (2006), at the Association du Jeune Barreau de Montréal, at the Colloque sur les recours collectifs (2008), among others, and also participated in the Journées Strasbourgeoises (1988 and 1992). He was awarded the Medal of the Bar of Paris for placing first in the Quebec Bar exams (1977). Generous with his advice and his time, he is a mentor to his colleagues. He was also the treasurer of the Institut international de droit d'expression française (1999-2003).

Urszula Kaczmarczyk

Senior General Counsel, Ontario Regional Office, Department of Justice

Urszula Kaczmarczyk received her LL.B. from Queen's University in 1982. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1984, and worked as a law clerk to the Supreme Court of Ontario from 1984-1985. She began her career with the Department of Justice in Toronto in 1985 as a research lawyer, but quickly became a civil litigator. From 1992 to 1996 she was the Head of the Immigration Group in the Ontario Regional Office. She was the first Director of the Immigration Law Section in 1996, a position which she held until 2007. Urszula is currently Senior General Counsel in the Immigration Law Division at the Ontario Regional Office. That Division now numbers over 85 lawyers who represent the federal government in litigation arising out of immigration, refugee and security matters before all levels of courts. She herself handles appellate and Supreme Court of Canada cases. Most notably, she appeared before the Supreme Court on behalf of the Government of Canada in cases including Pushpanathan, Baker, Suresh, Ahani, Agraira, Lovelace, Almrei in the Charkaoui trilogy, Khosa, Mavi and most recently Harkat. She was involved in the design and implementation of the Government of Canada's new security certificate legislation in 2008.

Sandra Phillips

Associate Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Tax Assessments, Department of Justice

Sandra Phillips has been Associate Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Tax Assessments, for the Tax Law Services Portfolio since October 2005. She is responsible for managing the law in tax assessment matters on a national basis. She also supports the Assistant Deputy Attorney General in the overall strategic and operational leadership and management of the Portfolio. Prior to 2005, Sandra held various positions in the Portfolio, including Director of the Ottawa Tax Law Services Section, Senior Counsel (Manager) of the HQ Civil Litigation Team, counsel in the Canada Revenue Agency Legal Services Unit, where she worked on the legislation that created the Canada Revenue Agency, and counsel in the Ottawa Tax Law Services Section, where she appeared before the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Courts and the Supreme Court of Canada. Sandra joined the Department of Justice in 1984 and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. She has been a member of the Bench and Bar Committee since 2007 and has attended the meetings of the Tax Court of Canada Rules Committee on behalf of the ADAG since 2010.

Donald K. Piragoff

Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Justice

Donald K. Piragoff, B.A. LL.B., LL.M., became Senior Assistant Deputy Minister in October 2006. He was educated at the Universities of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Toronto, where he obtained Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Law and Masters of Law degrees. He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1979. He joined the Department of Justice in 1981. During his career with the Department, he has worked on various criminal law-related legislative and policy initiatives, both national and international. Internationally, he has represented Canada at the G8, Council of Europe, Commonwealth, Organization of American States, and the United Nations, as well as other international meetings. He has taught at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, Toronto, and at the Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, and has authored a book on Similar Fact Evidence and several publications.

Brian J. Saunders

Director of Public Prosecutions, Public Prosecution Service of Canada

Brian Saunders is Canada's Director of Public Prosecutions. Since the creation in 2006 of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), he has overseen the establishment and development of the PPSC as an independent prosecution authority, with a mandate to prosecute cases under federal law and to provide legal advice to investigative agencies. Mr. Saunders is co-president of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Heads of Prosecutions Committee, which brings together the leaders of Canada's prosecution services to promote assistance and cooperation. Mr. Saunders is co-author of Federal Courts Practice, an annual publication since 1988, and of the Annotated Crown Liability and Proceedings Act 1995. Mr. Saunders has a B.A. and an LL.B. from the University of Alberta and an LL.M. and a Diploma in Legal Studies from Cambridge University. He is a member of the Bar of Ontario.

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