Harrison Pensa partners, lawyers, management and staff are thrilled to announce that firm founder, Claude Pensa, will be inducted to the Junior Achievement London Business Hall of Fame to honour his lifetime contributions to our community.
“Through his vision, citizenship, mentorship, business acumen, entrepreneurial spirit and gifts of time and treasures, Claude has had an indelible impact on London”, says Adam Jean, Chief Operating Office at Harrison Pensa. “His remarkable accomplishments through his life, career and in his service to our community are renowned. He has worked to protect human rights, has dedicated himself to helping the community’s most vulnerable and has been a leader in the practice of law. His rich and complex legacy includes a commitment to social justice and to mentoring others in the firm that bears his name. We are delighted to see Claude honoured in this way.”
“Junior Achievement is an extraordinary organization that supports our budding generation of young leaders. I am pleased, honored and humbled to accept this induction to the London & District Business Hall of Fame and to join past recipients and many dear friends who I have admired and respected. A very special thanks to the nominating and judging committees for selecting me. I look forward to supporting and celebrating London’s young leaders and entrepreneurs.” – Claude Pensa
Learn more about Junior Achievement London and District Hall of Fame.
About Claude M.V. Pensa Q.C., LSM
Since Claude Pensa was called to the bar in 1956, his contributions to the legal profession and his home community of London, Ontario, have been significant. In 1962, he started Giffen Pensa with Jim Giffen. Claude then went on to form Pensa and Associates in 1985, and Harrison Pensa in 1999, following a merger with Harrison Elwood. Harrison Pensa has since become one of Southwestern Ontario’s foremost full-service law firms, serving clients across Canada and around the world with a team of over 60 talented lawyers and litigators supported by over 100 staff.
In 1995, Pensa was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, which recognizes the best of the courtroom bars in the United States and Canada. Only those who have distinguished themselves in trial practice for at least 15 years are chosen. Inductees must demonstrate that they are skilled trial lawyers who are recognized by judges and practitioners as the very best in their province, and also as persons whose ethics, moral standards, collegiality, and community standing are exemplary. In 2007, Pensa received the Law Society Medal from The Law Society of Upper Canada, which recognizes outstanding service within the profession. This honour, which is awarded to few, was bestowed on Pensa in recognition of his devotion to professional duties.
A highly respected mediator and arbitrator, Pensa has represented clients in the field of litigation and appeared in trial courts, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. Before retiring from Harrison Pensa in January 2014, Pensa was Dean of the London and Middlesex Bar. He also served as counsel to the firm, including mentoring and advising his students and colleagues.
In 2003, Pensa and his wife, Elaine, founded London Lawyers Feed the Hungry. The organization, supported by a diverse group of committed volunteers within the bar, has provided more than $25,000 annually to many of London’s emergency meal programs.
As a proud Londoner, Pensa has served his community throughout his life. Pensa was Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Western Ontario from 1991 to 1993 and was a board member of the Biotech London Council, the Heart Fund, C.N.I.B. and Regina Mundi College. Extremely passionate about politics, Pensa acted as campaign chair for various candidates for public office. He supported and fundraised for many organizations, including the Grand Theatre, The Boys and Girls Club of London and the United Way of London and Middlesex.
Now retired, Pensa spends time with his four children and 9 grandchildren, and continues his passion for painting and writing while also continuing to play an active role in community-building and mentorship.
Educational Credits and Honours:
• Bachelor of Arts, University of Western Ontario, 1952
• Bachelor of Laws, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1956
• Appointed Queen’s Counsel, 1976
• Inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, 1995
• Doctor of Laws (Hon.), University of Western Ontario, 1998
• Appointed to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, 1998
• Awarded the Dr. Ivan Smith Award, Western University, 2002
• Awarded the Law Society Medal, The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2007
About Junior Achievement
Since 1963, Junior Achievement London and District has been delivering programs to youth in London, Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, Huron, and Perth counties. Junior Achievement London and District has over 400 active volunteers who mentor youth, providing them with hands-on experiential skills development in business, reaching more than 6500 children and youth per year.
Adam Jean, Chief Operating Officer
Harrison Pensa LLP