The Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section, is proud of all its graduates: they go on to illustrious careers in law and in a host of other fields. Some of these graduates excel to an extraordinary degree and each year, the Section awards the Order of Merit to graduates who are genuine leaders in their respective fields and help raise the Section’s profile.
The recipients of the Order of Merit for 2019 are:
Kevin Gilmore earned his licentiate in law, cum laude, from the Civil Law Section in 1986 before earning a JD, magna cum laude, from the Common Law Section the following year. He also holds a diploma in finance from the University of Chicago.
He began his career as a lawyer with Martineau Walker in Montreal and then practiced law as an associate with Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles before joining the ranks of The Walt Disney Company. In 1991, he led Disney’s strategy team and negotiations in the Anaheim Mighty Ducks’ pursuit of a National Hockey League (NHL) franchise.
From 1996 to 1998, he was vice-president of corporate affairs for Anaheim Sports Inc., which owned both the Mighty Ducks and Anaheim Angels Baseball Club (Major League Baseball). In addition to being responsible for the legal aspects of both teams and of the Anaheim stadium, he was in charge of negotiating broadcast and sponsorship agreements, licenses, and player contracts for both these professional sports teams.
In 1998, he launched the Professional Sports Advisors Group, a consulting firm with clients from three major North American professional sports leagues (NHL, MLB and NFL).
From 1999 to 2006, he was vice-president of hockey operations and assistant general manager for the Los Angeles Kings, as well as general manager and governor of the Kings’ farm team, the Manchester Monarchs.
From 2006 to 2009, he was senior vice-president of corporate development and strategic planning for the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), where he was responsible for developing and implementing AEG’s Asia strategy, including joint ventures to develop sports and entertainment infrastructure in Shanghai and Guangzhou, China, along with a major sports arena in Beijing.
He returned to Montreal in 2011 to manage corporate partnerships, sales, and marketing for the Montreal Canadiens (Groupe CH). He oversaw several Groupe CH projects, including the renewal of the team’s broadcasting rights, the creation of the 24CH weekly documentary series, and the Club 1909 loyalty program, as well as the construction of two Canadiens-branded condo towers in downtown Montreal, south of the business district.
Since 2016, Kevin Gilmore has provided consultancy services for sports, media, and entertainment organizations throughout North America as a founder of 4Sport Consulting. He is also on the boards of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
In January 2019, when he became president and CEO of Montreal Impact (Major League Soccer) and the Saputo stadium, he stated that his first priority was to make the Impact an exemplary professional sports team.
Marie-Hélène Lajoie earned a licentiate in civil law in 1994 and has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1995. During her time as a
student in the Civil Law Section, she won two awards: the prize for the top academic average in 1992 and top student in the moot court program in 1993.
Marie-Hélène Lajoie began her career by teaching courses through the continuing education branch of the Barreau du Québec. From 1995 to 2000, she worked as a lawyer, first with the firm of Bédard Saucier avocats, and then with Bédard Saucier Lajoie avocats. During this time, she also returned to the Civil Law Section as a lecturer from 1995 to 2001. In this position, she provided applied training to third-year students participating in various mooting competitions.
She then began a distinguished career in municipal politics in Gatineau, assuming positions of increasing responsibility. First, she served as general counsel for the cities of Aylmer and Gatineau from 2000 to 2002, culminating with the amalgamation of Aylmer, Gatineau, Hull, and Masson Angers to form the current City of Gatineau in 2002. She then was named head of legal services and general counsel for Gatineau, serving from 2002 to 2004.
During the following three years, she was deputy chief administrative officer for the city, after which she served as acting chief administrative officer in 2007 and 2008.
In 2008, she became assistant director general of local services for the City of Gatineau, a position she held until 2013, when she became that city’s chief administrative officer, the first woman to occupy this key position in any of the top ten cities in Quebec.
A member of the board of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators since 2011, she became the first woman to chair the association in 2016.
In addition to professional excellence, Marie-Hélène Lajoie has shown leadership and commitment to her community. Since 2010, she has been a board member of Gatineau’s health and social services centre (CSSS Gatineau) and of CSSS Gatineau’s charitable foundation, and has chaired the CSSS’s public advisory committee. From 1995 to 2007, she sat on a number of other boards and committees, including the organizing committee for the 1999-2000 Pierre Basile Mignault mooting competition.
According to Gatineau’s current mayor, “she is probably the only chief administrative officer of a major city in Quebec, and even in Canada, to have led an organization through three major natural disasters in three years: the floods of 2017 and 2019, along with the tornado of September 2018.” Thanks to her leadership, the City of Gatineau responded effectively to these disasters and its emergency services now serve as an example for cities across Canada.
Naiomi Walquan Metallic
Naiomi Metallic hails from the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation located on the Gaspé coast of Québec, known as the Gespegewagi district of Mi’kma’k. She is an assistant professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where she also holds the Chancellor’s Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy. She is also a member of the board of advisors of Ryerson University’s Yellowhead Institute, which focuses on First Nations governance.
Naiomi Metallic is a graduate of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law’s national program (LLL), which she completed in 2006, summa cum laude. She also won one of two Right Honourable Brian Dickson prizes, which are awarded to the two students receiving the highest marks in the final year of the national program. Previous to her studies at uOttawa, she graduated from Dalhousie University with an undergraduate degree in English and philosophy, which earned her a spot on the Dean’s List, and was awarded a bachelor’s degree in law from Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law (2002 to 2005). She also holds an LLM from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.
During her time at the university, Naiomi Metallic first worked as a student researcher with Dalhousie University’s employment equity services (2001 to 2005) and in 2003 as a research assistant to Professor Archie Kaiser in a course on mental health. In 2005-2006, she served as a research assistant for Professor Anne-Françoise Debruche (Civil Law Section) on a project involving the European Court of Human Rights.
In 2006-2007, she was a law clerk to the Honorable Michel Bastarache of the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2008, she was recruited by the Halifax law firm Burchells LLP, where she served as an associate from 2008 to 2016, and where she still serves a counsel.
Over the years, Professor Metallic has distinguished herself as a member of the Federal Court of Canada’s Indigenous Bar Association-Aboriginal Law Bar Liaison Committee and as a member of the Association des juristes d’expression française de la Nouvelle-Écosse, a Nova Scotian association of French-language law professionals. She is also a member of the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Policing on Indigenous Communities, and sits on the board of the Indigenous Bar Association.
In 2018, Naiomi Metallic was named to the “Best lawyer in Canada” list for her work in Aboriginal law. Also that year she received the Dalhousie Law Alumni Teaching Award and the Dalhousie Law Student Society award for excellence in teaching. Again in 2018, she was named to Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers list.
As a specialist in constitutional law, administrative law, and equality rights, Naiomi Metallic is convinced that law can be harnessed to promote the well-being of Indigenous peoples and help bridge the gap between communities to further the reconciliation process.
Dean Marie-Eve Sylvestre of the Civil Law Section stated: “I am very proud to highlight the exceptional careers of these three alumni of the Civil Law Section. As leaders in fields as wide-ranging as professional sports, municipal administration, and academia and indigenous affairs, their professional achievements inspire our students and beautifully illustrate the variety of career paths open to our graduates. Congratulations to our three recipients!”
To learn more about the Order of Merit, including the nomination process, check the Order of Merit page on our website (in French).