The John P. Nelligan Award for Excellence in Advocacy


Formerly known as the Ottawa Honouree Dinner, the John P. Nelligan Award for Excellence in Advocacy was established in 2016 to celebrate and acknowledge the outstanding contributions of John P. Nelligan, Q.C., LSM, long-time member and the first Ottawa President of The Advocates’ Society.

Throughout his career, John Nelligan exemplified excellence and an unwavering commitment to advocacy. He held numerous leadership positions in the legal community, and for decades was a committed mentor and teacher of advocacy.

This annual award is presented to an advocate who exemplifies excellence in advocacy and meets the following criteria:
  • Practises advocacy in Ottawa or the surrounding region
  • Has clearly demonstrated distinction as counsel, having made a significant contribution to the profession of law and to the well-being of the community at large
  • Has been a dedicated and active member of The Advocates’ Society
  • Is a current member of The Advocates’ Society and in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario

We are now accepting nominations for the 2020  John P. Nelligan Award. Please fill out the following nomination form and attach the nominee's C.V. and up to two (2) letters of support (to a maximum of two [2] pages).

2020 Recipient
Congratulations to Richard G. Dearden, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, recipient of the 2020 The John P. Nelligan Award for Excellence in Advocacy.
Richard G. Dearden

The award will be presented at The John P. Nelligan Award for Excellence in Advocacy Dinner on January 28, 2021 in Ottawa.

Past Recipients
1995 – John P. Nelligan, Q.C., LSM
2002 – F. Allan Huckabone, Q.C.
2004 – Wayne B. Spooner, Q.C. & David Sgayias, Q.C.
2005 – M. James O’Grady, Q.C.
2006 – Greg P. Kelly, Q.C.
2007 – Janice B. Payne
2008 – B. Donald Rasmussen
2009 – Bruce Carr-Harris, LSM
2010 – Brian A. Crane, Q.C.
2011 – Donald B. Bayne
2012 – Robert E. Houston, Q.C.
2013 – Barbara A. McIsaac, Q.C.
2014 - Jacques A. Emond
2015 - Bryan A. Carroll
2016 - Mary Jane Binks, Q.C.
2017 - Allan R. O'Brien
2018 - Peter Hagen
2019 - William J. Sammon
2020 - Richard G. Dearden