Dear colleagues, friends, and supporters,
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that our esteemed colleague and leader, Raymond Wagner KC, has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.
Established in 1999, the Distinguished Service Award is a testament to remarkable individuals who have made substantial contributions to their community, the legal profession, and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. The Distinguished Service Award Committee meticulously reviewed nominations, considering factors such as integrity, professional achievements, service to the legal profession, and a commitment to reform.
Ray has always been a beacon of excellence in our legal community, and his recognition with this distinguished award is well-deserved.
In his words, “I am honored to have been considered for this prestigious award and humbled by having been chosen.”
Ray’s journey has taken him across the country, building relationships with lawyers in various jurisdictions. He frequently emphasizes the exceptional camaraderie and competence of our fellow practitioners here in Nova Scotia, highlighting the privilege of practicing in such an environment.
As lawyers, we often underestimate the profound impact we have on individuals and society at large, regardless of the scale of the cases we handle. Ray’s wisdom reminds us that we play an essential role in nurturing a compassionate and caring community.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Ray’s nominator and all those who dedicated their time to put forward his name for this distinguished award.
Furthermore, we wish to acknowledge and thank all the individuals who have placed their trust in Ray over the years as he passionately represented their interests.
Raymond Wagner KC, the founder and principal of Wagners, has devoted his career to advocating for plaintiffs in personal injury, medical malpractice, and class action litigation. His legal journey began at Dalhousie Law School in 1979, and he was called to the bar of Nova Scotia in 1980.
Ray is renowned for his compassion, candor, and practical advice, placing significant emphasis on delivering timely and equitable resolutions for his clients. He has consistently pushed the boundaries, litigating complex and novel issues in the realm of medical negligence and class action work, always striving to advance the cause of justice for injured plaintiffs.
His extensive involvement in the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society demonstrates his commitment to making meaningful contributions to the legal profession. He has been an active member of various committees and has organized crucial legal conferences.
Ray’s dedication to advancing the interests of plaintiffs led him to co-found the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association (APTLA) in 2001, fostering collaboration and organization among plaintiffs’ lawyers in the Atlantic Provinces. He is a past president of APTLA and continues to provide invaluable support to the association.
Over the years, Ray has garnered numerous accolades and acknowledgments, the most recent being his induction as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (2021). He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and has received several prestigious awards for his dedication to plaintiffs’ advocacy.
His commitment to justice and reform has not gone unnoticed. Ray’s efforts have earned him recognition in peer review publications like Lexpert and Best Lawyers, and his impact on personal injury, medical malpractice, and class action law remains immeasurable.
At Wagners, we have consistently strived to be a leading Personal Injury Boutique Firm, receiving accolades such as the Excellence Award for Atlantic Canada Law Firm of the Year in 2020 and 2021. Our lawyers have been consistently recognized as Leading Practitioners in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.
Ray’s support for the Restorative Research, Innovation & Education Lab (RRIELab) at Dalhousie University showcases his dedication to transforming justice practices and making a profound impact on communities, institutions, and organizations across Canada.
We are particularly proud of Ray’s embrace of restorative justice principles in his class action work, notably the 2014 landmark settlement for institutional racism, which ultimately led to the first Canadian restorative public inquiry. His recent achievement in securing a historic $900 million settlement for survivors of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces, coupled with a restorative justice, policy-focused element, is testament to his unwavering commitment to justice.
Beyond his legal career, Ray has quietly supported various community organizations close to his heart, including the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia, the Mulgrave Park Caring and Learning Centre, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Halifax, Feed Nova Scotia, March of Dimes, Nature Conservatory, Ecojustice, Symphany Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Art Gallery. His dedication to coaching soccer for 36 years, spanning all age groups, reflects his broader commitment to community development.
In building the law firm of Wagners, Ray has consciously paved the way for new and historically underrepresented individuals in the legal profession. His legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire future generations of legal professionals.
We extend our warmest congratulations to Ray Wagner KC for this well-deserved recognition. His tireless dedication to justice, reform, and community welfare is a testament to the core values of Wagners, and we are incredibly proud to have him as a part of our team.