Justin Kanji

Country: Canada
Sector: Law
Job title: Lawyer
Subject of study: Law
Year of graduation: 2016
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I was fortunate enough to be offered a training contract with Ropes & Gray LLP after completing my second year of law school. Ropes & Gray fully sponsored my Legal Practice Course, following which I completed my training contract, which took two years. Upon finishing this process I was called to the Bar in England & Wales and moved back to Canada, where I now practice law at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, which is one of Canada’s “Seven Sister” law firms. At Osler, my area practice is Restructuring & Insolvency law.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I have always been drawn to the field of law because of its potential to create a positive impact on individuals and society as a whole. Restructuring and insolvency law in particular was interesting to me because it offered the opportunity to solve complex problems for a broad range of stakeholders. As a restructuring lawyer, you are constantly faced with challenging situations that require wisdom, practicality, and persuasion. It is the application and development of these kinds of skills that drew me into my practice. Beyond the skills aspect, the insolvency bar in Toronto is closely knit with lawyers, bankers and Court-officers that are typically involved in restructuring files. I sit on the committee of the Turnaround Management Association where we organize events and other opportunities for professionals in the industry. Over the past few years, I have built meaningful friendships with some of the brightest and most talented people as a result of my profession, which has been one of the main highlights of my career. Finally, Osler’s restructuring and insolvency practice draws in some of the largest cases in Canada. Our team has been at the forefront of some of the most complex domestic and cross-border restructurings for some of the world’s largest companies. Just recently, we were recognized as the 2024 “Law Firm of the Year” for Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law by Best Lawyers in Canada which speaks to the caliber of work we are involved in. I am fortunate enough to act as counsel on such matters and was also selected by Best Lawyers in Canada this year as “Ones to Watch” with much credit being owed to Osler and the reputation it has developed in order to attract such prolific engagements.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

The quality of teaching and the availability of professors to take questions and discuss the subject matter was a significant highlight of my time at Exeter. The professors are knowledgeable and keen to develop every student’s ability to “think like a lawyer”.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

One of the most important skills you can learn while in law school is communication. Lawyers require a very strong degree of communication skills (both written and oral) in order to convey their arguments or draft agreements to solve complex issues.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Be teachable and moldable. Law is a very dynamic profession that requires you to be flexible, creative and empathetic to the needs of others. Clients want you to understand their business needs, but they also want you to understand them as individuals.


Similar Alumni

Tara Dunne

Trinity Chambers. I completed the Barrister training course before becoming a Family Law Paralegal in a law firm in London. I then obtained the role as a County Court Advocate, presenting oral submissions in court on a range of civil law matters.

Jasmine Murphy

Gatehouse Chambers. After leaving Exeter in 1998 I undertook Bar School part time while working part time in London as a receptionist. In 2002 I obtained a pupillage at Hardwicke Building, following which I was offered a tenancy. I have practiced there (although we changed our name to Gatehouse Chambers in 2021) ever since and specialise in personal injury and professional negligence work.