Kathleen Ryan, Q.C. wins 2017 WILL Award for leadership in the legal profession

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP congratulates Kathleen Ryan, Q.C. on being named a winner of the Women in Law Leadership (WILL) Awards in the category of Leadership in the Profession - Broader Roles.

Now in its seventh year, the WILL Awards celebrates female members of the Alberta Bar who have shown extraordinary leadership in furthering the practice of law and have served as a positive role model in the legal community.

A member of the Alberta Bar for 25 years, Kathleen is a senior litigator with extensive experience appearing in all levels of courts in the province of Alberta. She has built a nationally recognized practice which focuses on catastrophic injury litigation, professional malpractice, employment litigation and commercial litigation. Kathleen was recognized in 2013 as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women Executive Network.

A testament to her acumen and dedication to the profession, Kathleen is honoured to have been twice elected by her peers as a Bencher of the Law Society of Alberta, the regulatory body which enforces the high standards of professional and ethical conduct for lawyers in Alberta. She has devoted countless volunteer hours in service to the profession and the public in governance and regulation of the over 9,000 practising lawyers in the province of Alberta. Kathleen is also a current member of the Law Society's Executive Committee and is currently serving on seven additional committees in furtherance of the Law Society's objectives as a model regulator.

“Kathleen is an exemplary role model who leads by example,” said Robert Seidel, Q.C., Canada Managing Partner. “Through her integrity, generosity and unwavering commitment, she has made an indelible impact on our firm, the profession and her community on multiple fronts. Her mentorship and vocal advocacy for the advancement of women have shaped many developing careers. We are thrilled that she has been given this much deserved honour.”

Kathleen has been a dedicated fundraiser in the legal sector for the Annual Sign of Hope Campaign for almost 20 years. She has also been actively involved in various leadership capacities with the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association, the Women's Legal Forum, and the St. Thomas More Lawyers' Guild. Outside of the legal community, Kathleen has been an enthusiastic champion of youth sports, serving as the president of the Edmonton Ringette Club since 2013, and a board member for years before that.

“I could never have received this humbling recognition without the firm’s support throughout my 19 years here," Kathleen said. "From supporting my Bencher commitment to our shared belief in the business case for women in legal leadership, the firm and my colleagues have been absolutely extraordinary.”

Kathleen and Kevin York, her husband of 22 years, are proud parents of four amazing children, ages 20, 17, 14 and 12. Kathleen is grateful for their love and support, noting, “I know well that none of this is possible without Kevin's steady support. This acknowledgment highlights that a reverse-traditional family work/home life arrangement can not only succeed, but flourish.”

Kathleen will be honoured at the WILL Awards Dinner on November 9, 2017 at the Westin Calgary.