Beth Symes

Tel: 416.920.6179

Beth Symes

I have practiced as a sole practitioner, in a small firm, a large firm, as Chair of a tribunal, and now as a partner in a litigation boutique, working on some of the most challenging and important public law cases in our community.

I am dedicated to equity within the profession, affordable high quality legal services for the public. Equity, excellence and affordability can be achieved while ensuring that our members are financially vibrant.

The profession has changed: more than 50% of new lawyers are women and more than 20% are racialized It is exciting that lawyers now more closely reflects the community they serve. But the profession does not provide equal opportunities for all.

Young women lawyers are leaving the practice in large numbers. Although most new graduates begin their legal careers in similar positions, five years after their call, there is a significant gap in where lawyers practice and what they earn. After 15 years, women earn 27% less than white men and racialized lawyers earn 38% less. This gap is significant and troubling. In addition, racialized lawyers are over represented in the discipline process. These are challenges which the Law Society and the profession must address.

We share a common vision of an excellent, strong and inclusive bar.

To govern in the public interest, Convocation must represent the diversity in the professions: men, women, racialized lawyers and lawyers with disabilities.

I have focused my past eight years at the Law Society on equity, discipline and money, key issues for self regulation. If I am re-elected as a Bencher, I will work hard on behalf of the entire profession. I will contribute my experience, my vision of equity, and my goal of excellence.


Partner, Symes & Street
Called to the Bar 1978
LL.B. Queen’s University
Practices administrative law, civil litigation, labour law and equality rights

Order of Canada December 2010
LEAF Founder’s Award 2010
WLAO President’s Award 2004
Gordon Henderson Lecturer in Human Rights 2003
Law Society Medal 1996

First Chair, Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal

Lectured Trial Advocacy, Economic Regulation and Constitutional Litigation

Elected Bencher 2003
Served as VC Proceedings Authorization Committee , Chair Audit Committee, VC Finance, member of Compensation, Equity, Tribunals Committees and Co-Chair of the Return to Practice Working Group

1st VP Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice

Founder of Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund
Founder of Feminist History Society
Founder of Society of Adjudicators and Regulators


     Beth Symes          Carol Street          Ben Millard         William McNair