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Four Blakes Partners Named 2022 Lexpert Rising Stars

November 23, 2022

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes) is pleased to announce that four Blakes partners are winners of the 2022 Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 award. Iris Antonios, Chris Burr, Laura Cundari and Auriol Marasco were recognized for their outstanding careers and contributions to the legal industry.

Blakes congratulates these accomplished young lawyers for their hard work, dedication to our clients and remarkable achievements throughout their careers.

Iris Antonios has a broad-based commercial litigation and arbitration practice. She advises clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, agri-business, pension plans, construction and resource extraction. Iris’s experience includes representing Canadian investors in international investor-state and commercial arbitrations and advising clients on investment protection agreements. Internally at Blakes, she acts as a mentor to associates and is a member of the Firm’s Associate Committee. Outside the Firm, Iris co-founded a Toronto-based affinity network for Middle Eastern-Canadian women lawyers.

Chris Burr's practice focuses on corporate restructuring, insolvency litigation and debt enforcement. He regularly acts for secured creditors, court-appointed officers, debtor companies and other stakeholders in multiparty insolvency matters, with significant experience as counsel to lenders and other creditors in complex debt restructurings. Chris frequently speaks at industry conferences on insolvency, secured financing, structured financing and construction law. He also regularly guest lectures at law schools across Ontario on insolvency and secured transactions. Chris is an active participant in the Firm’s charitable initiatives and regularly assists pro bono clients with financing and debt matters.

Laura Cundari is recognized as a leader in the arbitration community, acting as counsel on multiple high-value complex arbitrations relating to major projects in a variety of sectors, as well as commercial disputes. She is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and currently sits on the boards of the Vancouver International Arbitration Centre and CanArbWeek. She also co-leads the North American Group of the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center, is co-chair of ’the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution’s Canada Advisory Board and is a member of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution’s’ Canada Advisory Committee. Laura is active as an advocate for childhood cancer and the arts and currently serves as president and chair of the board of directors of Ballet BC.

Auriol Marasco’s practice focuses principally on aviation commercial and regulatory matters, including matters relating to aircraft finance and repossessions, aviation M&A, airline restructuring and insolvency, and airline licensing. She is co-chair of the Drones group and has assisted both established and start-up companies with regulatory matters relating to the operation and certification of remotely piloted aircraft systems. As a licensed commercial multi-IFLR (instrument flight rules) pilot, Auriol is heavily involved in the aviation industry. She is chair of the Aviation Working Group – Canada Contact Group and the Canadian Bar Association Air and Space Law Section and is a member of Women in Aviation and Women in Aerospace. Auriol is also chair of the board of directors for Hope Air, a not-for-profit organization that provides air transportation for Canadians requiring access to medical resources. 

The annual Lexpert Rising Stars awards are presented to lawyers from law firms and in-house counsel, aged 40 or under, who are up-and-coming in the Canadian legal community. Lexpert selects the winners based on their outstanding legal work, client service strategy, community involvement, contribution to organizational success and their professional awards and accolades.

Congratulations to this year’s winners and finalists.