Charlotte Freeman-Shaw

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Charlotte’s academic and professional career has taken many interesting twists and turns and has included history, international relations, music, law and robotics, privacy, criminal and civil law. At the moment, Charlotte has landed at a boutique litigation firm where she practices insurance defence with a core emphasis on construction law, engineers’ liability, litigation and dispute resolution. She also acts for the Toronto Wildlife Centre in estate matters. Where the path will lead next is completely unknown. This comfort with the unknown and quest for diversity in her legal practice is a direct result of her work with Ian.

Charlotte met Ian approximately half way through 1L and is proud and ever grateful to say that this was a life and career-defining moment. When they met, Charlotte was unsure as to where and how she fit with the law. After a few months into her legal studies, Charlotte felt that the more she ‘learned’, the less she knew and understood. Where would all these endless readings take her – and, where it all led, would she want to go?  

Struggling to find the magic in law, Ian’s work fascinated and inspired Charlotte. It was different, exciting and fearless – seemingly the complete opposite of her courses. Ian helped Charlotte understand that the law extends far beyond the content of any textbook and that it is a rich, multi-faceted field comprised of countless niches, angles and areas to explore. Ian’s research challenged Charlotte to think outside the box, to become comfortable with not knowing all the answers and to consider how the law – which can often seem so dry and archaic – can be used to truly inform us and help shape and evolve our perspectives, principles and policies for the better.

Although the link between Charlotte’s current practice and her work with Ian may be difficult to see, Charlotte feels the connection every day. Representing engineers can involve complex and technical fact scenarios that, prior to working with Ian, Charlotte would likely have told herself were beyond her capabilities. Researching in law & robotics provided Charlotte with a firm foundation in and level of comfort with straddling the divide between the arts and sciences. The variety of engineering disciplines and new technical principles encountered with each file is seemingly endless and Charlotte thrives on the constant flow of new information.

Balance is key to a healthy life and practice and its importance was and continues to be reaffirmed by Ian. Out of the office, Charlotte is a fan of yoga, laughter, sunshine, getting outdoors whenever and wherever she can, going to concerts, discovering new music, travelling and spending time with her loved ones.