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Stephanie Willson
Stephanie Willson How to pronounce this name. (she, her, hers) Chief Client Relations & Marketing Officer | Toronto

About Stephanie

Stephanie is a high-impact leader who has worked in law firm environments for more than 20 years. As head of the Client Relations & Marketing department at Blakes, Stephanie is responsible for the development and implementation of the Firm's strategic business development and marketing plan. She leads a robust national team of talented marketing and business development professionals. She also co-leads the client-feedback program to ensure that the Firm continually adapts to and exceeds client expectations.

Stephanie has in-depth knowledge of the Canadian and international legal markets. She is known for taking a strategic and holistic approach to aligning with key business priorities and working effectively with business leaders. She also has been instrumental in designing, developing and leading a wide spectrum of change initiatives over the course of her career.

Before joining Blakes, Stephanie was chief of professional resources at another national law firm, where she was a member of the firm's leadership team. She was also responsible for talent development of all legal professionals, including managing the development of the firm's income partner group.

Awards & Recognition

Stephanie was named one of the top 100 "Women Worth Watching" by Profiles in Diversity Journal in 2015 and a top leader in Canadian human resources by Human Resources Director magazine. She was also the recipient of the inaugural Richard Pearson Award presented by U.S.-based Professional Development Consortium for innovation, a demonstrated commitment to teaching and mentoring, and a passionate commitment to learning and development. She has also received several academic awards.

Professional Activities

Stephanie is currently an active member of two CMO roundtables and a member of the Legal Marketing Association. She has been involved in a number of leadership roles in the legal community, including as a member of the Legal Futures Education Committee created by the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) to examine the future of legal education in Canada. From 2003 to 2008, she was a member of the CBA's Subcommittee on Diversity and Equity, which established benchmarks, templates and a guide to assist firms in their advancement on diversity and equity issues.

In addition, Stephanie was a founding member of the Legal Talent Leadership Forum, aimed at advancing talent in large law firms globally. She also acted as an adviser to the Rotman School of Management's Leadership for Women Lawyers for eight years.

Stephanie is the secretary of the board of the not-for-profit Food for Life.


Certified Human Resources Leader, Human Resource Professionals Association of Ontario – 2014
Advanced Program in HR Management and CHRP Designation, Joseph P. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto – 2001
Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 1993
LLB, Queen's University – 1991
BA (Class 1 Standing), Queen's University – 1988

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