Award announcement

Precedent Setter Awards 2011: Cornell Wright

June 2, 2011
  • Partner, Corporate Law, Torys LLP
  • Called to the bar in 2002
  • Key player in some of Torys’ biggest transactions, including Thomson Corporation’s $18-billion acquisition of Reuters Group
  • Board Director, Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation
  • Winner, Ann Wilson and Rob Prichard Award for Community and Professional Service, 2009
  • Steering committee member, Law in Action Within Schools student engagement program

Cornell Wright sits amid teetering stacks of legal papers as serenely as one might rest in a Japanese rock garden.

A heavy hitter in the high-stakes world of mergers and acquisitions, 37-year-old Wright says his life follows “the ebb and flow of transactions” as though his work comes and goes softly like a summer breeze.

But the transactions Wright’s talking about are vast, multi–billion dollar affairs — the Woodbridge Company’s sale of CTV and acquisition of The Globe and Mail, for instance, or the historic formation of Thomson Reuters, Canada’s first dual-listed company.

“These deals are incredibly complicated,” Wright admits. “A lot of what we do operates at a very fast clip.” But rather than let stress overwhelm you, he says, “you just accept that as your norm.”

Wright’s “norm” is the average person’s crisis: the birth of his first child, Spencer, came just three weeks prior to closing the Thomson Reuters deal.

He made it to the hospital in time, and while the steady stream of couriers to the front desk and occasional conference calls in the bathroom “raised a few eyebrows among the nurses,” Wright says everything — both the birth and the Thomson deal — went smoothly.

Not surprising, given Wright’s Zen philosophy. “If you walked around feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, it’s an incredible burden,” he says with an easy smile. “You have to be able to adapt.”

Precedent Magazine

Launched in 2007, Precedent is Toronto’s lifestyle magazine for lawyers. We feature a lively assortment of professional news, tips, fashion advice and opinions on hot topics. Precedent is published by Law and Style Media Inc. and distributed quarterly to 15,000 lawyers in Toronto. Precedent also publishes PrecedentJD Magazine, and the Precedent A-List.

View all announcements by this firm

Precedent Magazine