By Neil Armstrong TORONTO: Frank Walwyn, named in the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada as one of Canada’s top lawyers in the area of corporate and commercial litigation, is among the recipients of the Vice Chancellor’s Award at the University of the West Indies (UWI) 3rd Annual Benefit Gala in Toronto in March. Walwyn, born in St. Kitts and Nevis, is a partner at WeirFoulds LLP, one of the oldest law firms in Canada. He is frequently consulted and appears as a counsel on complex litigation matters in Canada and the Caribbean. He is a member of the Bars of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, and Antigua and Barbuda. He is honoured and humbled by the award from the UWI which is a very important and well-recognized institution in the Caribbean and throughout the world. “It is more a feeling of humility than a feeling of honour because I look around at the other recipients in the various categories and I realize that they are so accomplished, they’ve done so many good things that I’m in the very best of company,” says Walwyn who immigrated to Canada with his parents and siblings at the age of six. Many of his cases have led to important or precedent-setting judgments, including judgments in the areas of venue selection, constitutional rights and freedoms, the court’s injunction to grant relief involving foreign elements, and electronic discovery. views “There is always a view that you cannot let your family, your parents’ expectations down. You cannot sell them short and you cannot sell your community short,” says Walwyn about being recognized as one of the top commercial lawyers in Canada. He also attributes his success to being associated with a law firm that prides itself on excellence and which makes sure that all of its lawyers — associates or partners — embody professional excellence. Walwyn studied criminology and philosophy at the University of Toronto, business administration at Ryerson University, and pursued law at Queen’s University. He has been named one of Ryerson University’s Alumni Achievement Award recipients for 2012. Although he has succeeded in his career, he is determined to give back to the community. “It has always been instilled in all the children in my family a view that we should help others as much as possible. It comes from my parents. I am sure that it is grounded, both in their character, in their moral values and in their religious values,” says Walwyn. As a partner at a Bay St. law firm he is in a position to give back and he does so through professional activities and community activities such as speaking on diverse topics at schools and universities. Very often he speaks about the challenges of being an immigrant in a new community and the ways that one can succeed and leverage one’s history and background to an advantage to become successful in Canada. He is a sought-after speaker in Canada and the Caribbean on varied legal topics such as emerging legal issues relating to the use of electronic documents and social media in business. Walwyn is a board member and the immediate past president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, a member of the International Training Committee of The Advocates’ Society, and a member of the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee for appointments to the Ontario Provincial Court. He is also an honorary member of COMBAR, a specialist bar association in London, England comprised of barristers who specialize in commercial law, and a director of Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO), a legal clinic specializing in public legal education for low income and other disadvantaged groups. The UWI 3rdAnnual Benefit Gala will take place on March 10 at the Four Seasons Hotel. The 2012 Luminary Award recipients are: Zanana Akande, the first black woman elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and the first woman to serve as a cabinet minister in Canada; Malcolm Gladwell, an extraordinary journalist, speaker and author of international bestsellers and Artis Lane, an award-winning Canadian sculptor and painter. The Vice Chancellor’s Award recipients are: Dr. Pamela Da Camara, former chief & medical director of Laboratory Medicine at Toronto East General and medical laboratory pioneer; Dr. Tony MacFarlane, internal medicine and cultural philanthropist; Lloyd G. Seivright, president of the Supreme Council of Independent United Order of Solomon Inc. Canada, a not-for-profit, charitable and fraternal organization and education advocate; Howard Shearer, president and CEO of Hitachi Canada Ltd (HCL); and Suresh Sookoo, Chief Executive Officer of RBC’s Caribbean Banking. The University Health Network, which includes Toronto General Hospital, oronto Western Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, will receive the Chancellor’s Award. It is being honoured as an outstanding institution that facilitates post-graduate training for several UWI medical students in Canada, and for providing exceptional care to its ommunities. Under the patronage of G. Raymond Chang, a director of CI Financial and Chancellor of Ryerson University, the gala is an evening of celebration, embracing Canada’s rich diversity while raising funds to benefit students through the UWI Scholarship Fund and the UWI Haitian Initiative.