Grace Westcott, Barrister and Solicitor

Glasses on tablePROFESSIONAL PROFILE

Grace Westcott attended the University of Toronto, receiving her BA with great distinction in 1981, and her LLB with honours in the same year. She obtained her LLM from Columbia University School of Law in the City of New York in 1984, where she studied intellectual property, First Amendment theory and legal philosophy. Ms. Westcott was called to the Ontario Bar in 1983.

Ms. Westcott has a commercial law practice focusing on copyright, media and the cultural industries. She has acted for a number of trade associations, collectives and organizations in those industries, as well as for a corporate and individual clientele with a particular focus on publishing and electronic media. Her background includes extensive experience in corporate practice.

She has acted since 1996 on the executive of the Canadian Copyright Institute, on whose behalf she has been heavily involved in the process of copyright reform and member education. She is the author of numerous articles on copyright matters and is the editor of a reporting service on Canadian copyright reform. Prior to commencing her own practice, Ms. Westcott was a partner in the law firm of Cassels Brock & Blackwell. Her background includes extensive experience in general corporate practice. Ms. Westcott writes and speaks frequently on copyright matters.

Outside the law, Ms. Westcott is the chair of the Toronto Legacy Project which, partnership with Heritage Toronto, launched a plaque program in 2009 to mark the places where Toronto’s most accomplished in the fields of arts, science, and thought, lived and worked. She has served for many years on the board of the Canadian Centre for Diversity, a leading provider of programs and educational strategies that promote the value of a diverse and inclusive society free from prejudice and discrimination. She has acted on the PEN Canada National Affairs Committee since 2011. She is a member of the Quadrangle Society of Massey College.

Her interests include flute, travel, tennis, theatre, biking, bridge and the pursuit of a hopelessly grand ambition to read the entire canon of western literature.

Ms. Westcott is married and has four children.

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See also: Publications


Professional Associations

Grace Westcott is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association, the International Artistic and Literary Association (ALAI) and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, where she serves on the Copyright Technical Committee. She is a past member of the executive of the Media and Communications Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association.


Legal Employment

1996–Present: In legal practice as a sole practitioner under the firm name Grace Westcott, Barrister & Solicitor, focusing on copyright, media and entertainment law. Acting for various Canadian trade associations and organizations in the cultural industries, as well as for a private clientele.

1988–1995: Associate/Partner/Consulting Partner at Cassels, Brock & Blackwell, Barristers and Solicitors, Toronto. Practised corporate and commercial law, including entertainment contract work, mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructuring. Seconded as corporate counsel to the Ontario Ministry of Health, Legal Services Branch, January to June, 1992.

1986–1988: Associate, Blake, Cassels & Graydon, Barristers and Solicitors, Toronto. Corporate and commercial law including commercial real estate development and financing.

1984–1985: Associate, McCarthy Tétrault (then McCarthy & McCarthy), Barristers and Solicitors, Toronto. Practicing communications and entertainment law within the Corporate and Commercial Department.

1983–1984: Associate, Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt, Barristers and Solicitors, Toronto. Legal Research Department. (Leave of absence taken for LL.M. program at Columbia).

1981–1982: Articles of Clerkship at Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt.


Education

Columbia University School of Law, New York, N.Y. Fall 1983 to May 1984, LL.M. Emphasis on constitutional law and intellectual property.

Law Society of Upper Canada. Bar Admission Course, September 1982 to February 1983. Admitted to Ontario Bar April 1983.

University of Toronto Law School. Fall 1978 to Spring 1981. LL.B. achieved with Honours (top 10% of class). University of Toronto Law Review Editorial Board, Associate Editor.

University of Toronto, Victoria College. Political Science and Economics, January 1977 to August 1978. (Accepted into law school after two years undergraduate study). B.A achieved with Great Distinction in 1981. (Completed concurrently with LL.B.).

University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y. Flute Major. September 1976 to December 1976. Dean's Honour List.