2011 Fredericton Encaenia - Ceremony C

Hunter, Lawson

Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)

Orator: Mason, Gordon


to be Doctor of Laws

Lawson Hunter is one of Canada’s pre-eminent competition lawyers. He grew up in Florenceville, N.B., and graduated with a mathematics degree from UNB in 1967. In his senior year he was president of the Student's Representative Council and valedictorian. He then enrolled in law and became a member of the board of the Canadian Union of Students. On campus he was a leader in the lobby for co-op housing which eventually led to the construction of Magee and MacLeod Houses. He was also front and centre in what became known as the Strax Affair, as students here joined in the unrest which was sweeping North American campuses, seeking more say in the running of universities. After graduating with a law degree in 1970, he continued on to Harvard to complete a master of laws degree the following year.

Lawson then joined the federal Department of Justice where, over the next 13 years, he assumed increasingly responsible positions, eventually becoming Deputy Minister of Industry and Canada’s senior civil servant in charge of competition policy and enforcement. He is considered to be the primary author of Canada's Competition Act which became law in 1986. After leaving the federal government, he entered private practice, first with Fraser and Beatty and then with Stikeman Elliot. From 2003 to 2008, he was executive vice-president and chief corporate officer of Bell Canada and BCE, returning to Stikeman Elliot in 2008.

Lawson advises a wide range of Canadian and multinational corporations on aspects of federal regulatory law and policy, with particular expertise in mergers and acquisitions. He was on the Roster of Candidates to serve on bi-national panels of NAFTA, and has served as a director of major telecommunications and IT companies. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Columbia Institute for Tele-information of Columbia University in New York. He has lectured at both UNB and the University of Toronto.

Lawson has served the law profession as chair or member of many advisory boards and committees. He has a lengthy list of publications, is editor-in-chief of two law journals, and has been an active speaker and panelist. However he has equally supported a host of organizations outside his professional life. He was chair of the Ottawa Art Gallery, a director of The Canadian Stage Company and has demonstrated strong commitment to higher education. He has donated to both Carleton and Harvard Universities, and has been a particularly effective supporter of UNB. He has contributed to the Beaverbrook Scholars Fund, The Law Heritage Fund, the Futures Fund and both the Maggie Jean Chestnut Residence and Renaissance College. As a patron of the Heritage Campaign and a cabinet member of the Forging Our Futures effort he was an effective fund raiser as well.

Consistently ranked in national and international surveys as one of Canada’s and the world’s leading counsels on regulatory matters, Lawson exemplifies what UNB tries to produce in all its graduates: personal integrity, high achievement and a commitment to better one’s community and the world at large. It is our distinct pleasure to award him this honorary degree today.

by Gordon Mason, University Orator

From: Honoris Causa - UA Case 70, Box 4

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