Legal Legacy

Susan Marie Gibson


Susan Gibson led the way for the advancement of the rights of women in the legal profession.  Having graduated with Arts and Law degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, she was the first woman to serve as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, was the first woman to be named a partner at Soloway Wright LLP, and blazed a trail for the many women who followed her.

As a child of the prairies and of earnest CCF’ers, she had a Western forthrightness of character and speech.  Yet, she was a person of many complementary qualities: she could be both simple and subtle; blunt and compassionate; realistic and imaginative; serious and full of fun.  Susan was a very well-respected partner at Soloway Wright LLP, which was not necessarily an easy feat in law partnerships of the era. She played a major role in making the law firm an enjoyable place to work. As a managing partner, she was open-minded, and she listened to and considered all others’ points of view. She was a moral compass of the firm, demanding the highest degree of competence from all firm lawyers and the highest standard of ethical practice.  Susan had many excellent qualities that made her an unparalleled lawyer and a wonderful friend and colleague.  She was simply a first-rate lawyer who could simplify the most complex of legal issues.

She was a woman both lovable and formidable in all she said and did.  A lover of classical music, a member of the Ottawa Choral Society for over 30 years, an enthusiastic bridge player, belonging to clubs in both Ottawa and Florida and an avid golfer who played at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club and travelled the world with her husband, Dennis, playing as many golf courses and visiting as many wineries as possible, Susan passed away on September 05, 2021. We certainly do miss her.