Every year on International Women’s Day Singleton Reynolds profiles a prominent female member of our firm. This year we are honoured to feature named partner Sharon Vogel, one of Canada’s top construction lawyers.

Sharon Vogel said she was going to be a lawyer when she was young – and she delivered. However, her friends in law school would not have predicted Bay Street or that she would end up as a construction lawyer; the most likely predication was that she would land at an NGO somewhere. Sharon, though, decided to give private practice a shot, and ended up inspired by the passion and generosity of the incredible lawyers who interviewed her and who she then worked with. “If this kind of person can practice at a law firm,” Sharon thought “I can too.”

During her articles Sharon met Ken Scott and Bruce Reynolds. Ken had a caring and charismatic personality combined with a razor sharp skill set. Sharon remembers Ken as one of the best cross-examiners she has ever seen, as well as one of the kindest people she has known. Ken took Sharon under his wing and she worked alongside him until he retired on the last day of a long trial they ran together. Bruce Reynolds was also a critical mentor to Sharon, and he was extraordinarily generous in training her and sharing his vast knowledge of construction law. Ken and Bruce’s mentorship and others on their team led her to a rich and fulfilling career helping her clients solve their fascinating problems.

Sharon and Ken appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada together on the Guarantee Co. of North America v. Gordon Capital Corp case while Sharon was eight months pregnant, and Sharon laughingly remembers having to jam into the tiny benches. She also glows at how much fun she had with the case: the complex legal issues, the opportunity to argue in front of the Supreme Court of Canada, observing the “battle of the titans” between Ken and opposing counsel Tom Heintzman.

Today Sharon is a titan herself, and she credits her mentors, her clients, and her “dream team” of Singleton Reynolds partners and associates for the joy she has found in her career. Sharon’s untraditional career made room for all of the things she cares about in her life: not only incredible litigation success, but also academia, writing, mentorship, and family. Her accomplishments include co-authoring with Bruce Reynolds the pre-eminent textbook A Guide to Canadian Construction Insurance Law while on sabbatical in New Zealand, working part-time while she and her husband tag-teamed raising their small children, and recently helping to found the Toronto office of Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP, where Sharon’s name features prominently on the wall.

The early days of Singleton Reynolds were giddy with excitement and enthusiasm for the new venture, and full of pride at joining a group of incredible partners with which to build something new – and remarkable. Today the lawyers at Singleton Reynolds – junior and senior – look to and call on Sharon for her advice, guidance and wisdom as Sharon passes on the legacy of mentorship that shaped her career. The strength of the incredible construction litigation team in Toronto can be attributed to that legacy as passed on by Bruce, Sharon, and now the newest Singleton Reynolds partners.

Sharon’s advice for all young lawyers is to do what they love, find the mentors and champions who will support and encourage them, and to build and sustain the relationships that will bring meaning and joy to their practice of law.

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