Stuart Blake and Sofia Mirza appointed King’s Counsel

Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced that Stuart Blake and Sofia Mirza have been appointed King’s Counsel. The honorary title recognizes extraordinary contributions to the practise of law.

To be appointed King’s Counsel, a lawyer must have held a practising certificate for a minimum of 10 years, demonstrated outstanding practice as a lawyer, and contributed to the development of the legal profession. The title is given to a lawyer by the lieutenant-governor in council based on recommendations made by the minister of justice following consultation with an advisory council.

The advisory committee is chaired by Justice Diana Cameron of the Manitoba Court of Appeal and includes representatives from the Law Society of Manitoba, the Manitoba Bar Association and public representatives.

Stuart is the CEO & Managing Partner of Fillmore Riley LLP. Recognized as one of Canada’s foremost insurance lawyers, Stuart draws on his 30 years of experience and his in-depth understanding of insurance law to represent Canadian- and international-based insurers as defence, subrogation and coverage counsel.

Stuart’s profound commitment to community service was recognized by his receipt of the Manitoba Bar Association Community Service Award. Stuart is currently a member of CancerCare Manitoba Foundation’s (CCMB) Board of Directors. He annually leads Fillmore Riley’s participation in CCMB’s flagship fundraiser, Challenge for Life, resulting in almost $450,000 raised for cancer research and patient care over the last decade. He has also served as president of the Winnipeg Humane Society and campaign chair of the Canadian Blood Services Cord Blood Campaign.

Stuart became a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of North America’s premier legal industry associations, in 2021.

When Sofia was a first-year associate, she established the firm's immigration law practice. More recently, she developed a niche in Professional Sports & Entertainment law. Held in high regard by her clients and peers, Sofia advises on all aspects of global mobility and immigration law matters. One of her main areas of focus is acting as legal counsel to several professional sports leagues and professional sports clubs, including securing work authorizations for sports athletes, coaches and consultants.

Sofia has a long history of contributing to the development of immigration law and diversity in the legal community. She was the first visibly ethnic president of the Manitoba Bar Association and has volunteered for over a decade as an elected executive member of the National Immigration Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association. She has won numerous awards for her contributions to diversity, communications and law, including the Canadian Bar Association's Immigration Law Section Volunteer Appreciation Award in 2020.

Committed to giving back to the community, she serves on the United Way of Winnipeg Board, the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba, the International Shotokan Karate Federation of Canada Board and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Board. The Chamber awarded Sofia the Director of the Year Award for her outstanding volunteer contributions in 2021-2022.