About Us

We are a small firm by choice, that provides a wide range of legal advice on business and corporate law matters, with a specific focus on insurance and reinsurance, corporate governance and law firm professional liability risk management issues.

We work closely with other risk management specialists to provide innovative corporate governance and law firm professional liability audits to banks, insurance companies and large law firms.

Our clients include private corporations, professional associations, insurers and reinsurers headquartered in Canada and abroad, insurance pools, insurance distributors (including agents, brokers, retailers and professional associations), banks and large law firms.

Why Us

Our goal is to become a trusted legal advisor to our clients.  How?  By taking the time to understand our clients’ businesses so that we can provide timely and relevant legal advice during the early stages of important business decisions.  By developing a deep knowledge of specific industries, such as the insurance and reinsurance industry and large law firms.  By not taking on too much work, so that we are able to respond quickly to client needs and by keeping our overheads low so that we can provide cost effective legal advice.

Lawyers and Staff

John L. Walker

John L. Walker

Partner Learn More
Sean G. Sorensen

Sean G. Sorensen

Partner Learn More
Alana V. Scotchmer

Alana V. Scotchmer

Associate Learn More
Roisin Hutchinson

Roisin Hutchinson

Associate Learn More
Albana Musta

Albana Musta

Associate Learn More
Linda Shapland

Linda Shapland

Law Clerk Learn More
Mary Hopla

Mary Hopla

Executive Assistant Learn More
John L. Walker

John L. Walker

Partner Learn More
Sean G. Sorensen

Sean G. Sorensen

Partner Learn More
Alana V. Scotchmer

Alana V. Scotchmer

Associate Learn More
Roisin Hutchinson

Roisin Hutchinson

Associate Learn More
Albana Musta

Albana Musta

Associate Learn More
Linda Shapland

Linda Shapland

Law Clerk Learn More
Mary Hopla

Mary Hopla

Executive Assistant Learn More

Mary Hopla, Executive Assistant

About

Mary provides administrative and secretarial services to our lawyers.

Mary has been at the firm since it opened, and it is Mary’s friendly voice that you usually first hear when calling our office.

John L. Walker, Partner

Career

John is a founding partner of Walker Sorensen LLP. Prior to founding the firm, he was the Insurance Group Practice Leader at one of Canada’s national law firms.

John’s primary practice is providing advice to clients on business, insurance and reinsurance matters. He advises insurers, reinsurers, fraternal societies, banks and insurance intermediaries on regulatory compliance, strategic initiatives, obtaining approvals and orders from Canadian federal and provincial insurance regulators and negotiating insurance distribution agreements.

John’s current practice also focuses on risk management of law firms, in the course of which he conducts professional liability risk management audits for major Canadian law firms.

Recent Experience

Law Firm Risk Management
    • Conducting professional liability risk management audits for major Canadian law firms
    • Developing on-line professional liability risk management audit surveys for law firms
    • Developing an on-line professional liability risk management course for lawyers
Insurance and Reinsurance Companies
  • Advising various insurers on regulatory compliance with federal and provincial insurance legislation
  • Obtaining various approvals and orders from OSFI for domestic and foreign insurers and reinsurers
  • Advising fraternal insurers on strategic initiatives and modernizing their corporate governance
  • Completing a variety of compliance reviews and surveys for insurers
Agents and Brokers
  • Negotiating distribution agreements with insurers
  • Advising various agents and brokers on regulatory compliance with provincial and territorial insurance legislation
Banks
  • Acting for various banks in negotiating insurance distribution agreements with insurers
  • Advising various banks on compliance with the Insurance Business Regulations under the Bank Act
Professional Associations
  • Acting for various professional associations in negotiating insurance distribution agreements with insurers
Insurance
  • Monitoring the claims run-off general liability and professional liability portfolios
  • Drafting insurance policies
  • Coverage reviews and analysis
Reinsurance
  • Drafting reinsurance treaty wording templates
  • Reviewing and drafting reinsurance contracts
  • Reviewing and drafting commutation agreements
  • Monitoring the run-off of a portfolio of assumed reinsurance
  • Coverage reviews and analysis, particularly of historical reinsurance treaties

Education and Professional Associations

  • BA and LLB from the University of Toronto
  • Called to the Ontario bar in 1987
  • Member of the Canadian Bar Association
  • Member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario

Directorships

  • Member of the Board of Directors and the Conduct Review Committee of Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada
  • Member of the Board of Directors and Conduct Review Committee of MIC Insurance Company Canada

Professional Recognitions

  • Recognized as a leading practitioner in Who’s Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance 2015
  • Recognized by Lexpert as a Repeatedly Recommended Practitioner – Financial Institutions Regulation – Ontario

Outside Interests

  • Keen golfer – member of The Weston Golf and Country Club, Toronto

Linda Shapland, Law Clerk

Career

Linda is an experienced law clerk who assists counsel with insurance licensing matters with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions of Canada and the provincial/territorial insurance regulators. Linda also attends to corporate filings for OBCA and CBCA companies and to matters related to the registration of companies extra-provincially. Prior to joining the firm, Linda was a Securities Law Clerk at the firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP.

Recent Experience

  • Provincial/territorial licensing of an insurance company
  • Withdrawal of insurer licences of a foreign insurance company across Canada
  • Obtaining insurance licences for agents/brokers across Canada
  • Extra-provincial company registrations across Canada
  • Obtaining RIBO insurance broker licences for brokerage firms
  • Corporate filings under the OBCA and CBCA
  • Filings under the PPSA

Education

  • Certificate of Accounting / Finance from Ryerson University
  • Completed corporate and securities courses at the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario

Roisin Hutchinson, Associate

Career

Roisin is an associate with Walker Sorensen LLP. Her practice focuses on corporate and commercial law, with an emphasis on legal and regulatory matters affecting domestic and foreign insurance companies and insurance and reinsurance contracts.

Roisin has experience assisting senior counsel and advising clients on a broad range of transactions, corporate and regulatory matters including private and public debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance matters and corporate reorganizations.

Roisin was called to the Alberta Bar in 2013 and to the Ontario Bar in 2015 and is a member of the Law Society of Alberta and of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Prior to attending law school at the University of Calgary, Roisin obtained her sommelier certification through the International Sommelier Guild and practiced as a sommelier for five years.

Recent Experience

  • Advising National managing general agent with respect to regulatory, commercial and corporate matters
  • Representing private enterprises and principal stakeholders in corporate restructuring and purchase and sale transactions
  • Advising not for profit corporations in respect of regulatory, commercial and corporate matters
  • Advising global reinsurance company in respect of regulatory compliance matters, commercial and corporate matters

Education & Professional Associations

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Calgary, 2001
  • Juris Doctor, University of Calgary, 2012
  • Member of the Canadian Bar Association
  • Member of the Toronto Lawyer’s Association
  • Member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario

Alana V. Scotchmer, Associate

Career

Alana joined Walker Sorensen LLP in November 2014. Her practice focuses on advising financial institutions and other corporations in the areas of insurance and reinsurance, corporate and commercial law and financing transactions. Prior to joining the firm, Alana acted as a business restructuring consultant and practiced law at a boutique insolvency and restructuring firm, through which she has solved problems facing a wide variety of businesses across a number of industries.

Recent Experience

  • Acting for clients in connection with corporate and commercial matters including commercial agreements, private mergers and acquisitions, corporate financings and reorganizations
  • Advising a Canadian insurance company on a number of regulatory compliance and corporate governance issues
  • Representing lenders and financial institutions with respect to a variety of secured transactions, including in respect of priority and enforcement issues
  • Advising all manner of stakeholders in reorganizations under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Canada Business Corporations Act
  • Acting for various parties to litigation in several complex commercial disputes, appearing before all levels of the Court in Ontario

Education & Professional Associations

  • Called to the Bar of Ontario in 2010
  • Member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario
  • Certificate in Pension Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2012
  • Juris Doctor, the University of Western Ontario, 2009
  • Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, Victoria College, 2006

Professional Involvement

  • Member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association and the Ukrainian Canadian Bar Association
  • Former member of the board of directors of the IWIRC Ontario Network
  • Former researcher for Professor Richard McLaren at the University of Western Ontario in the areas of secured transactions, commercial reorganization, alternative dispute resolution and sports arbitration
  • Top Oralist, Osgoode Cup National Undergraduate Mooting Competition

Albana Musta, Associate

Career

Albana is an internationally trained lawyer. She joined Walker Sorensen LLP as a student at law in 2014. After graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration, she attended the University of Tirana (Albania) to obtain her law degree. Albana emigrated to Canada with her family in 2009. She was admitted to the LLM (Canadian Common Law) Program at Osgoode Hall Law School in 2014, while fulfilling at the same time the educational requirements of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (National Committee on Accreditation) to become a qualified lawyer in Ontario. After her call to the Bar, she became an associate with the firm.

Recent Experience

  • Reviewing and summarizing corporate documentation (e.g., corporate minute books, contracts, files maintained by government or administrative bodies)
  • Identifying and advising client in corporate law and insurance regulatory matters
  • Conducting research on substantive and procedural issues related to corporate matters and insurance regulation in Canada
  • Interpreting results of research and reporting results of research to lawyers orally and/or in writing
  • Using transactional checklists (e.g., due diligence checklist, closing agenda) and preparing drafts of relevant transactional documents (e.g., closing agenda, resolutions, receipts, requisition letters, purchase agreements, promissory notes, shareholders agreements, reporting letters) and participating in transaction’s closings

Education & Professional Associations

  • Called to the Bar in Ontario in January 2017
  • LLM (Canadian Common Law), Osgoode Hall Law School, 2015
  • Law Degree, University of Tirana Albania, 2009
  • Bachelor in Business Administration, University of Tirana Albania, 2005
  • Member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Law Association

Sean G. Sorensen, Partner

Career

In April, 2007, Sean entered into partnership with John Walker to form Walker Sorensen LLP. Prior to that Sean was a partner in the Business Law Group of McCarthy Tétrault LLP. Sean articled with McCarthy Tétrault LLP, and continued with that firm until leaving in 2007 to form Walker Sorensen. Before he began to practice law, Sean worked for one of Canada’s large national railways where he gained valuable insight into the management and operation of a large, complex organization. Sean’s practice focuses on financial services, regulatory advice and general corporate commercial law, including corporate finance and private mergers and acquistions.

Recent Experience

  • Advising insurers and insurance agents/brokers concerning insurance regulatory matters
  • Acting for purchasers and vendors in connection with the purchase and sale of businesses
  • Advising a foreign bank in connection with the establishment of a new Canadian bank subsidiary
  • Advising corporate borrowers on private placements involving lenders across Canada
  • Advising on various forms of commercial agreements, including shareholder agreements, partnership agreements, supply agreements, and transition services agreements
  • Advising on the incorporation and establishment of a securities broker dealer and the registration of the firm’s investment representatives and registered representatives
  • Advising foreign corporations in connection with the establishment of new business or branch operations in Canada
  • Member of the Board of Directors of a number of closely held corporations

Education & Professional Associations

  • B. Comm, MBA and LLB from the University of Windsor
  • Called to the bar in Ontario in 1999
  • Member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario
  • Member of the Canadian Bar Association
  • Member of the Institute of Corporate Directors

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended Practitioner – Financial Institutions Regulation – Ontario

Outside Interests

  • Avid novice sailor and member of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club

Areas of Expertise

Business Law

  • General business law advice
  • Corporate reorganizations
  • Incorporations
Read More..

Insurance & Reinsurance Law

  • Licensing new insurers/reinsurers & agents/brokers
  • Compliance with insurance legislation and OSFI requirements
  • Analysis and drafting of insurance and reinsurance contracts
Read More..

Corporate Governance

  • Compliance with OSFI’s Corporate Governance Guideline
  • Corporate governance surveys
  • Conducting effectiveness assessments for board of directors
Read More..

Law Firm Risk Management

  • Professional liability risk management audits
  • Drafting risk management policies for law firms
  • Professional liability and risk management surveys
Read More..

 

Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance

  • Assisting financial institutions in understanding their compliance requirements under OSFI’s Corporate Governance Guideline
  • Conducting governance surveys at board and enterprise-wide levels
  • Conducting audits of the corporate governance practices of organizations
  • Conducting effectiveness assessments for boards of directors
  • Providing general advice on suitable governance practices which are tailored to the nature, size and complexity of an organization

Law Firm Risk Management

  • Professional liability risk management audits of law firms
  • Drafting professional liability risk management policies and procedures for insurers and law firms
  • On-line law firm professional liability risk management audit surveys
  • On-line law firm professional liability risk management courses

Business Law

  • General business law advice including reviewing, drafting and negotiating:
    • purchase and sale agreements
    • private investment agreements
    • shareholders’ agreements
    • distribution agreements
  • Corporate reorganizations
  • Incorporations
  • Minute book maintenance, including regulatory filings
  • Extra-provincial corporation registrations

Insurance and Reinsurance

Insurance Companies

  • Incorporating and licensing new insurers
  • Registering and licensing branches of foreign insurers
  • Regulatory compliance with the Insurance Companies Act and OSFI requirements
  • Demutualizations (life and property and casualty)
  • Insurance M&A transactions
  • Assumption reinsurance agreements
  • Renewal referral agreements

Agents and Brokers

  • Licensing agents and brokers
  • Regulatory compliance with insurance legislation
  • Negotiating agent and broker agreements with insurers

Banks

  • Compliance with the Insurance Business Regulations under the Bank Act
  • Drafting and negotiating insurance distribution agreements with insurers

Associations

  • Drafting and negotiating insurance distribution agreements with insurers and brokers

Insurance

  • Coverage analysis
  • Drafting insurance policies

Reinsurance

  • Drafting and negotiating reinsurance treaties
  • Drafting and negotiating commutation agreements
  • Coverage analysis
  • Claims handling audits for reinsurers
  • Audits of ceded and assumed reinsurance portfolios

Clients

Our clients include corporations, insurers and reinsurers headquartered in Canada and abroad, insurance pools and insurance distributors, including agents, brokers, retailers and professional organizations.

The following are some of our key clients who have kindly permitted us to include their names on our website.

 

  • Alternative Risk Services
  • The AXIS Group of Insurance Companies
  • The Bank of Nova Scotia
  • Canadian Lawyers Liability Assurance Society
  • Canadian Tire Financial Services
  • The Empire Life Insurance Company
  • Groupama International
  • Market Regulation Services Inc.
  • Munich Reinsurance Company, Canada Branch
  • National Truck League
  • Nuclear Insurance Association of Canada
  • PPI Financial Group
  • Scotia Insurance (Barbados) Limited
  • Unum Group

News & Publications

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