Okay this isn’t about the law of work actually, but it is about the spouse of a Law of Work blogger. My spouse (May Cheng), actually. We first met at the British Columbia Call to Bar ceremony for out of province lawyers back in the late 1990’s. I was a D, she was a C, and we ended up sitting beside each other. We actually worked together briefly at a labour law firm in Vancouver (along with my colleague here at York, Professor Sara Slinn), before she shifted full time into Intellectual Property. So there is a labour law connection after all!
May is being inducted into the University of Ottawa Common Law Honour Society this fall, joining former inductees such as Allan Rock, Michel Bastarache, John Manley, Dalton McGuinty, Howard Hampton, Louise Charron, David Scott, and others.
Here is May’s bio from the U Ottawa announcement page (with my update based on her 2016 move to Osler’s):
May Cheng graduated from the French Common Law Program in 1991 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1993. She is currently a senior partner in Osler’s IP group in Toronto
and Chair of the Intellectual Property Group at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s Toronto office. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Intellectual Property Journal published by Federated Press and is recognized as an “IP Star 2014” by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine.
Ms. Cheng has played a leadership and fundraising role in seeking to right injustices using the legal system and grass roots support. As President and National Spokesperson for the Chinese Canadian National Council(CCNC) in 2000, she helped initiate a class action to seek redress for the Chinese Head Tax, raising awareness and public support for redress, that eventually culminated in an apology and redress from the Federal Government in 2006. Ms. Cheng’s work for the Chinese community has extended beyond the CCNC, and includes fundraising for the Asian Community Aids Services and the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care.
In 2010, Ms. Cheng began working with “the equality effect”, which seeks to advance the equality rights of women and girls in Africa by bringing innovative legal challenges seeking to recognize and enforce their rights. She has been instrumental in helping the equality effect raise much needed capital for its international legal work, through hosting fundraising events, networking and championing the “160 Girls” for multi-year sponsorship by law firms.
By the way, the ‘160 Girls’ lawsuit was successful! A Kenyan court ruled that the police and Kenyan government had systematically failed to investigate and prosecute men who were raping young girls. We are all very proud of her around the house.