Meet the Slate!

    These 22 lawyers ran on a platform to eliminate the compelled Statement of Principles, known as StopSOP. They were elected with top votes from across the province and will serve the profession as benchers until 2023.

    Their campaign was organized and led by the StopSOP Team, which included these non-bencher lawyers and paralegals and many others who helped in various capacities:

    Lisa Bildy
    Bruce Pardy
    Michael Menear
    Donald Kilpatrick
    Bilal Bhatti
    Sadie Etemad
    Ian Wilkinson

    Graham Stephenson LL.P.

    After nearly 3 decades in big law and big business I have chosen to practice in my home community, providing strategic corporate/commercial advice out of a two-partner law office in Burlington. Some ideas I will bring to the role of bencher follow.

    1.              Use new technology to multiply the number of articling jobs

    In the building in which I practice, there are 3 law offices. Our practices are distinct: intellectual property, family law and corporate/commercial. None of these is large enough to afford an articling student. But the LSO could enable the three firms in the building to share one on a mutually beneficial and rotational basis, by using a web-based facility or app that would track the student’s assignments and time, among other things. It would not need to be a big software development project; indeed, I am surprised this has not been developed yet.

    2.              Statement of Principles

    When I first heard about the mandated Statement of Principles, I was bewildered; how could a group of lawyers-- who must understand inalienable rights such as freedom of speech, and its corollaries freedom from compelled speech and thought-- arrive at a conclusion that they could take away our licenses to practice, if we did not say that we believe what they believe. Where did they think they got the right to do that? The law can tell me what not to do. No one should be allowed to type thoughts into my head. We need to ‘stand up for freedom as in the olden times’.

    3.              Do we need to have the best wine cellar, 615 employees and run an insurance operation that perhaps could be outsourced?

    There certainly appears to be an empire-building element to the operations of the Law Society.  Organizations that have de facto taxing power, when left unmanaged, will grow.  Mission creep is like a law of organizational physics. From the limited public information, it appears we are supporting an organization that employs 615 employees. Headcount is a useful metric to track, and we should expect the Benchers to be doing that.

    Award-winning Business Law lawyer with Executive Management experience

    Professional History

    • Partner Graham Stephenson 2018 to present
    • Senior Partner at Gowling WLG 1995-2018
    • President Westinghouse Canada 1991-1995
    • General Counsel Westinghouse Canada 1983-1991


    • 2015 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient for service to industry
    • 2011 Distinguished Hamilton Citizen of the Year
    • Sir James Dunn Scholar


    • 1982 Called to the Ontario Bar
    • 1980 LL.B. Osgoode