Faculty of Law

Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law

CLCW co-chair wins Ryan Alumni Award

Photo by Teddy Melvin

Hugh Christie, Law ’81, receives the 2011 H.R.S. Ryan Alumni Award from Dean’s Council Chair David Allgood, Law ’74, on May 4 in Toronto.

Hugh Christie, Law ‘81 (Artsci ‘78), has received the 2011 H.R.S. Ryan Alumni Award for his significant contributions to the Law Faculty, University and legal profession. The award, presented at the annual law alumni celebration in Toronto on May 4, honours the late Professor Stuart Ryan.

“This is a remarkably flattering award to receive,” Christie said, “all the more so because it is associated with Stuart Ryan, who was such a wonderful person. I thank Queen’s University and Queen’s Law on behalf of all of us who were given the legal skills that we have and, perhaps even more importantly, for our sense of public service and collegiality. I remember Professor Ryan encouraging our class to do work that was important, and not merely remunerative. This award speaks to those priorities.”

David Allgood, Law ’74, Chair of the Dean’s Council, which selects the recipient, extolled Christie’s many accomplishments and his “tremendous involvement in life at Queen’s.” Christie leads a distinguished employment law practice at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, where he has spent his entire career and is a partner. A past head of the firm’s Employment and Labour Law National Practice Group and current head of the Toronto Group, he has argued before courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court of Canada and both Canada’s and Ontario’s labour relations boards. This year, he represented the interests of Canadian employers at a UN agency as a member of the Canadian delegation to the International Labour Organization.

An AMS Tricolour Award winner and the only student to have ever been elected both Rector and AMS President, he continued after graduation to serve Queen’s on the University Council, as Alumni Association President, and as a Trustee (1991-2007). For these contributions, he added a Herbert J. Hamilton Award, Toronto Branch Award and Distinguished Service Award.

Christie’s most recent involvement with his alma mater is serving as co-chair (with Jeffrey Sack) of the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace (CLCW), which was launched in November 2010 to provide an intellectual home for the Canadian labour and employment law community. An enthusiastic spokesperson for the CLCW, he helped recruit an outstanding group of Advisory Committee members and has provided valuable advice on the Centre’s strategic plan, fundraising strategy, and its first public activities – the April 29th labour arbitration workshop in Toronto and June 13th videoconferenced workshop on the Fraser decision – both of which received national media attention.

It’s been wonderful,” Dean Bill Flanagan said in his address, “to see how everyone in the field is thrilled to see this initiative at Queen’s. Hugh’s been a great help in that.”