Mary Ellen Bench, recently retired as the City of Mississauga’s City Solicitor, was recognized by the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) with its 2019 OBA Award of Excellence in Municipal Law.
The award was presented at the Royal Canadian Military Institute and recognizes any single or combination of the following outstanding achievements:
• Proven skills and expertise in the provision of legal services, including written and oral advocacy, legal advice, negotiation skills, and alternative dispute resolution;
• Characteristically exhibits the highest degrees of professionalism, integrity and civility;
• Significant contributions in the area of legal education or professional development;
• Contribution to the community through pro bono activities, or other projects or initiatives;
• Leadership in the municipal bar through the sharing of knowledge, experience, skill, commitment, and by acting as a role model and mentor to new members of the profession and to his or her peers;
• Enhancing the practice of municipal law in the Province of Ontario;
• And/or Contribution to the development of municipal-related policies, procedures, practice and legislation in the Province of Ontario.
Mary Ellen is the first recipient from the public sector to receive the award, instated in 2005, for her outstanding work in municipal law while at the City of Mississauga.
“This recognition is the result of the many opportunities the City of Mississauga afforded me to develop both as a lawyer and a leader,” said Mary Ellen Bench. “It was an honour and a privilege to be part of the City of Mississauga’s Legal Services for 18 years and work alongside such a dedicated and committed staff team and leadership team while helping the City grow into a thriving urban centre.”