At Council last week, Mississauga City Solicitor, Mary Ellen Bench was presented with the Ontario Bar Association’s (OBA) Tom Marshall Award of Excellence for Public Sector Lawyers. This award recognizes the outstanding achievement of public sector lawyers practising in Ontario.
“It is always a pleasure to see City staff recognized for their outstanding work, dedication and service,” said Janice Baker, City Manager and CAO. “As City Solicitor, Mary Ellen has provided the City with 14 years of sound counsel and guidance. Her professionalism and experience makes her the ideal recipient for this prestigious award.”
Bench is one of a small group of public sector employees and the first at the City to win this award.
Now in its ninth year, the award is open to a lawyer, an OBA member, currently or formerly practising in the province of Ontario in the public sector and working, or having worked, for any level of government; crown corporation; legal aid office or clinic; public statutory body; or board, agency or commission.
Bench was one of the first lawyers in Canada to be certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in Municipal Law. In 2008, she received the designation of Local Government Fellows from the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA). Additionally in 2012, she also received the IMLA’s Bruce A. Noble Award. Called to the bar in 1986, Bench has spent most of her career in municipal law, practising at the City of Toronto before coming to Mississauga and in private practice before then.
For more information about the award, please visit: oba.org.
The nominator does not have to be an OBA member; however, three OBA members must support the nomination. Nominators must attach a brief statement outlining their reasons for nominating the candidate, including any press clippings and any other relevant information. Candidates must provide a resume and contact information for three references who can speak to whether the candidate meets the criteria for receiving the award.
The recipient of the Award shall be chosen from candidates submitted by the Nomination Committee to the Executive of the Public Sector Lawyers Section by a majority vote of the Executive at a regular meeting or a special meeting called for that purpose.