Christopher established ZSA (Zarak, Sweeney & Associates) Legal Recruitment, now Canada’s largest and only national legal recruitment firm, in 1997. ZSA also controls ZSA-X, a boutique financial services recruitment firm; LexLocom, a contract legal services firm; and ZSA Accounting. In addition to being CEO of ZSA, Christopher also exclusively recruits Partners and General Counsel.
Born in Montreal, Christopher attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from McGill University and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. Called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1990, Christopher briefly practised in Vancouver before moving to London, England. There he secured a Graduate Business Degree from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a Masters in British Imperial History from London University. Christopher practised law in London before becoming a legal recruiter with QD (Quarry Dougall), then the pre-eminent global legal recruitment firm based in London.
Christopher founded both the Canadian (CGCA) and Quebec General Counsel Awards (PCJQ) to bring deserved attention to the senior in-house legal community. Christopher has written and spoken widely on the topic of legal recruitment, firm development and career strategy.
Christopher has a passion for history and in 2002 initiated the “Re-Trial of Louis Riel”, a nationally-televised mock trial featuring, amongst others, Eddie Greenspan, Alan Lenczner, and Guy Bertrand. Christopher is a Board Member of the Vimy Foundation, a charity dedicated toward ensuring Canadians remember and honour their First World War efforts and sacrifice. With the Vimy Foundation he initiated the Vimy Pin campaign, whose goal it is to have all Canadians wear a memorial pin each April 9, and the Vimy Ridge Pilgrimage Medal campaign dedicated to saluting Canadians who visit the Vimy Memorial in France. In 2010, Christopher was awarded the Minister of Veteran’s Affairs Commendation for his efforts in raising awareness for the accomplishments of Canada’s Veterans and in 2012 Christopher was presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Christopher is also a Board Member of the Shakespeare Globe Company of Canada, on the Advisory Committee of the Cundill Prize for History at McGill University, and is an active member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) and the Albany Club. Christopher is married with three children, enjoys travelling; skiing; spending time at his cottage in the Laurentians; the “Habs”; history; politics; and wine.
President & CEO | Virgin Mobile Canada
'I was extremely impressed with the quality and speed of service we received from ZSA in assisting our search for our V.P. General Counsel position. Warren Bongard and Christopher Sweeney were quick to understand and access our needs and culture. They presented us an excellent pool of accomplished, top quality candidates from which to choose. They were prompt, responsive and highly professional. They added significant value to our search efforts. I would highly recommend the services of ZSA to any firm or company looking to attract high quality legal talent.'
'Throughout our seven-year history with ZSA, they have proven a valuable partner time and again. In particular, I am pleased with the excellent service we receive from Warren Bongard, Christopher Sweeney and others at ZSA. Their dedication to our relationship is impressive, their knowledge of the Canadian legal scene is excellent and the candidates they bring match what we are looking for. I highly recommend ZSA.'
Emily is a senior consultant with nearly 10 years of recruiting experience. She works on placing lawyers of all levels in law firms and in-house counsel positions, including General Counsel roles.
Originally from New Brunswick, Emily obtained both her law and political science degrees from Dalhousie University. She articled with the Halifax office of McInnes Cooper and was called to both the Nova Scotia and Ontario Bars in 2003 before joining ZSA in January 2004.
Emily strives to be active in the legal community by conducting workshops, speaking at seminars, appearing on panels, attending conferences and networking events and writing articles. She has been published in the Law Times and writes a regular feature entitled "8 Questions" for the ZSA website, which profiles top practitioners. Emily is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association, and the Women’s Law Association of Ontario.
In her spare time, Emily enjoys travelling and spending time with her husband and 2 young children. She is also currently President of the Board of Directors of Life-Bridge Child Care.
Commercial Counsel & Local Compliance Officer I Trench Limited (a Siemens Company)
“Emily is perfect for her role as recruiter - she's very personable and professional, and knows the legal industry extremely well. While I was transitioning from private practice to in-house, Emily spent a great deal of time helping me, not only through the initial candidate assessments and interviews, but through the entire transition into my new position. Emily followed up with me on a regular basis to see how I was fitting in and how I liked the role. She is highly skilled at matching her candidates with the best position suited to their skills, personality, and goals. I strongly recommend Emily as a recruiter, to anyone looking to make the same jump from private legal practise to an in-house counsel role.”
Vice President Sales Ontario Market | Timber Block
"Emily is a very personable recruiter who understands the stress associated with job hunting and the demands of the legal profession. Whether you are looking to add a talented legal mind to your team or whether you are thinking about making a career change; I would recommend that you give Emily Lee a call first!"
Head of Legal, Corporate, and Corporate Secretary | Vale
"Emily is amazing. She is strategic and very detailed oriented. In addition - she is a wonderful person. I would highly recommend Emily."
Commercial Counsel, Health Care | Siemens Canada
"Emily is absolutely a stellar recruiter and a wonderful person. As a candidate looking to transition from the public sector to the private sector, Emily took the time to listen to me and understand my background and capabilities. Her personalized and pragmatic approach is what won me over. Emily found me the perfect legal role at Siemens Canada and guided me through the entire process. I also got to know her warm and friendly personality. For all those candidates and clients who have the good fortune of being represented by Emily, you are in the best hands."
Group Manager and Senior Counsel, Employee and Labour Relations | Target
"Of the many recruiting firms I have dealt with, ZSA has clearly proven to be an outstanding partner. I found the team to be very motivated and exceptionally driven to deliver. Emily Lee, specifically, understood our business requirements and surpassed my expectations in servicing our organization. She is very talented and an excellent resource in the recruitment field. Anyone looking to hire a legal professional should contact Emily directly."
Dan joined ZSA in 2006 after previous marketing and business development positions at Baker & McKenzie; the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association; Canada Basketball and Nike Canada. As the Director of Programming and Events at ZSA, he focuses on the creation and execution of events that bring the Canadian legal community together. Examples include the ZSA series of General Counsel Award programmes including the Canadian GC Awards; the Quebec GC Awards and the Western Canada GC Awards. He also was the co founder of the Quorum Club, an invitation only event for General Counsel now in its 14th year in Canada. In addition to those programmes Dan helps co-ordinate ZSA events with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) as well as breakfast briefings with Canadian law firms and lawyers from both the private bar and in-house bar.
Dan obtained his law degree from Osgoode Hall law School and a BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of Toronto. He was privileged to article with Mr Justice Sopinka at Stikeman Elliot Robarts and Bowman (as it then was) and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1980. In his spare time, Dan enjoys traveling on a global basis and following the fortunes of the Raptors and the Blue Jays.
W. David Jamieson | 2011 CGCA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Executive Vice President and Corporate Secretary J. D. Irving, Limited
Dan, Many thanks for all your assistance with the Canadian General Counsel Awards. You were there with support from the very first announcement through the evening and the event at the Four seasons Hotel and all proceeded smoothly. Your particular advice and direction to me was most useful and timely and is very much appreciated. The Monday night event was very impressive. It was definitely a first class operation. The whole event was professionally done, well thought out and planned, and the program and the presentations were excellent. I am greatly honored to have received the Lifetime Achievement award. The tribute video preceding my award was well done. I hope that my acceptance remarks were fitting and apropos for the award and the event. Again, thanks for your guidance and assistance.
Robert Soccio | 2011 CGCA Tomorrow’s Leader Finalist
General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Compliance Officer ArcelorMittal Dofasco
I would like to thank you for hosting the Canadian General Counsel Awards ceremony earlier this week. It was a fantastic event and everyone I had a chance to speak with thoroughly enjoyed themselves. As one of the award winners said, as general counsel we do not have many opportunities to interact with our colleagues at other companies and so I think that we all truly appreciate the opportunity you gave us to meet with the other leaders in the legal profession – I must say that to hear from David Jamieson was truly inspirational. The entire event was well organized and professional, qualities that I have come to expect from ZSA in our professional dealings and I cannot say enough about your Susan Kennedy and the support that she has given me over the years, especially with respect to rebuilding the ArcelorMittal Dofasco legal department. Again, the entire event from nomination process, to the promotional aspects, to the reception, and to the actually awards event was professionally organized and flawless in execution, which speaks to the talent of the ZSA team, and the caliber of the nominees and the other guests in attendance made it clear that this was the pre-eminent awards ceremony for general counsel in Canada – I am very pleased to have been a part of this very special event.