MLA Awards

The MLA recognizes its members with four awards: Distinguished Service, Access to Justice, Rising Star, and Philanthropy.

Congratulations to the 2022 MLA Awards Recipients!

Thank you to our members for nominating and voting for the 2022 Middlesex Law Association Awards. The Awards Committee was impressed by the number of exceptional nominees and the outstanding talent of the Middlesex bar.  

Mana Khami from Harrison Pensa Lawyers LLP is this year’s recipient of the Award for Philanthropy, which recognizes exceptional contributions and/or dedication by MLA members to the community by supporting not-for-profit organizations and/or performing charitable services.

Salim Khot from Salim J. Khot Legal Professional Corporation is this year’s recipient of the Award for Access to Justice, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to providing commendable legal services to those in need through Legal Aid Ontario or through pro bono legal services and/or offered academic contributions pertaining to the study of legal aid and/or created innovative measures or built links between lawyers and community organizations/advocates to promote better access to justice in Middlesex County.

Samantha Puchala from Conron Law Professional Corporation is this year’s recipient of the Rising Star Award, which recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in the practice of law, who advances the ideals of the profession, demonstrating community involvement, and have been practicing for less than 10 years.

Marie Tukara from Siskinds LLP is this year’s recipient of the MLA Award for Distinguished Service, which recognizes exceptional career contributions and/or achievements by MLA members to the legal profession and/or a law-related benefit to the community including mentorship related to the profession of law and/or leadership roles in the community. Those who will receive the award will have made a significant contribution to the profession of law, whether as a solicitor in effectively performing services in that position, as a barrister in attaining an excellent reputation in the courts, as an academic, or for a single act of notable distinction and/or innovation in the practice of law that advances the ideals of the profession.

Award recipients were selected based on a combination of voting by the MLA membership and the Awards Committee’s review of the nomination forms.

The Awards were presented during the Fall Opening of the Courts Ceremony on Thursday, September 15, 2022. 

Awards Committee

Chair: Genevieve Samuels was called to the bar in 2012, exclusively practicing in family law first at Lerners LLP then as a sole proprietor at Samuels. She is the current Middlesex Family Law Association President.

Lakin Afolabi was called to the bar in 2009, and is the founding lawyer of Lakin Afolabi Law Professional Corporation practicing in criminal and quasi-criminal law.

Elena Ashford was called to the Ontario bar in 2018, and exclusively practices immigration law as an associate lawyer at Siskinds.

Ashley Caldwell was called to the bar in 2018, practicing in corporate and commercial law, with a focus on franchising, licensing, and distribution at McKenzie Lake Lawyers.

Vicki Edgar was called to the bar in 1990, and has been a partner at Cohen Highley since 1998. She practices in insurance and personal injury law, litigating at the Ontario Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada.

George Hamzo was called to the bar in 2015, and practices in business law, education law, and commercial litigation as an associate at Lerners LLP.

Elizabeth Harding practised defence-side litigation at Lerners after her call to the bar in 2018. She is currently an in-house lawyer with Intact Insurance in London.

Leslie Ibouily was called to the bar in 2021, and is a staff lawyer with the Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Project (SHIW Project) at the Elgin-Oxford Legal Clinic (EOLC) & Huron Perth Community Legal Clinic (HPLC).

Michael Lamb was called to the bar in 1986, and is a sole practitioner with an emphasis on real estate law, wills and estates. His practice also includes litigation, having appeared before the Ontario Court of Appeal, and teaching as an adjunct professor of real estate law at Western University.

Jennifer Wall was called to the bar in 2013, and is a partner and current Practice Group Leader with the family law department at Harrison Pensa. She is a Board Trustee of the Middlesex Law Association.