One of Canada’s leading personal injury lawyers, William “Bill” Morris’s brilliant legal mind led the firm for almost 60 years. He always fought with integrity and for the fair representation of his clients. Throughout his life, he passionately advocated, at every level of court in Canada, on behalf of those who could not advocate for themselves. He built a reputation for consistently taking on the difficult or risky cases where settlements were not guaranteed, and clients desperately needed proper representation.
As a trailblazer in the Ontario legal community, William Morris pioneered many innovative practices including being the first personal injury lawyer to hire full-time, regulated health professionals to assist in the management of the medical aspects of the client’s case. Bill was also part of cases that dramatically altered the legal landscape through several high-profile litigations. He never shied away from controversy and was not afraid of defying societal and legal conventions. True to his roots and preferring to make his clients comfortable, Bill is fondly remembered for his open tie and his trademark steel-toed work boots.
Throughout his career, Bill was recognized for his accomplishments. He became the 2006 recipient of the Emelius Irving Award, given by the Hamilton Law Association in recognition of distinguished service to the legal community. Bill was rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale Hubbell®, a peer rating that ranks an individual at the highest level of professional excellence. In 2012, he received the John F. Evans Award of Community Distinction and in 2013, the Governor General of Canada presented Bill with a Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal honouring significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. He has also been named to Hamilton’s Gallery of Distinction in recognition of his lasting contributions to the city of Hamilton and became certified as a Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Greatly loved and respected by peers, colleagues, clients and the Bench, he was a mentor and teacher to many lawyers. Bill has served as President of the Hamilton Law Association, President of the Hamilton Medical-Legal Society, President of the Hamilton Jewish Federation Canada, President of the League for Human Rights of B’nai B’rith Canada, President of B’nai B’rith Canada and Vice-President of B’nai B’rith International. In addition, he has served the public in many executive and member capacities.
Bill was also a great man full of spirit and zest for life. He was a mentor and philanthropist. Bill’s love for his family and the Jewish community was paramount. His generosity knew no bounds.
Bill Morris, our friend, mentor, and leader passed away peacefully on the evening of April 23rd, 2019. He impacted the lives of many, and his influence and legacy will be cherished and remembered.
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Mar 14, 1985