Canadian ADR Pioneer Claude Thomson

Claude R. Thomson

With great sadness we learned of the passing on November 24, 2010 of Claude R. Thomson, age 77, who was a pioneer in Alternative Dispute Resolution.  Claude was President of the Canadian Bar Association 1984-85 and also served as President of the International Bar Association from 1993 to 1994. In 1985 he was awarded the World Lawyer Award from the World Peace Through Law Centre.  At a Convocation in 2005, Claude Thomson was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by the Law Society of Upper Canada. He was a great teacher and advocate for Arbitration and a leader in its practice. I (Murray Miskin) learned much from Claude personally from discussions, and through speeches I attended and articles that he wrote about the arbitration process that greatly assisted in the development of my arbitration course.  I did not know him well enough to know that he was an avid fisherman (like myself). He was a kind and gentle man who  will be greatly missed.  Claude was one of the first leading Canadian ADR practitioners to support a process combining mediation with arbitration known as Med/Arb believing it could be done in a fair way with appropriate safeguards. Claude practiced law with the Fasken’s firm and in his later days worked as an Arbitrator and Mediator with ADR Chambers.

The following is the text of the Globe and Mail’s death notice:

Saturday November 27, 2010

September 30th, 1933 ­ November 24th, 2010 Strong and loving husband and father ­ respected lawyer ­ master of the spoken word ­ Claude Thomson, QC, died peacefully early Tuesday morning, November 24th, 2010 while closely surrounded by his family. Grief weighs heavily upon the heart of his adoring wife of 52 years and best friend in life, Rosemary, and his five children and their spouses, Marguerite Thomson and Robert Ribarich, Brendan and Casey Thomson, Christopher and Helen Thomson, Kelley Thomson and Michael Tidy and Campbell Thomson and Gail Nielsen, as well as Claude’s sister, Lucille and Geoff Campey of Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. Grandad will also be missed by his eleven grandchildren, Alexa Reigh, Matthew, McKenzie, Cole, Kennedy, Devon, Angela, Connor, Laura, Elijah and Jonah. Claude graduated from Osgoode Hall in 1958 and practiced for many years as a senior litigation lawyer and partner with Fasken Martineau. Past president of both the Canadian and International Bar Associations, Claude also became a Chartered Arbitrator and practiced arbitration with passion until the final days of his life. Claude received numerous honours including The World Lawyer Award and a Doctor of Laws from the Law Society of Upper Canada. He was profoundly respected by his peers and his presence in the legal community of Toronto will be missed. Claude knew what it meant to truly live a fulfilled and joyful life. A man of deep faith, Claude was honoured to be appointed a Knight of the Sovereign and Military Order of Malta. He loved to fly fish and his adventurous spirit led Claude on many a fishing and nature voyage around the globe. A friend to everyone he met, it was Claude’s gentle way to extend kindness to anyone, any where, when he saw there was a need. His wisdom, compassionate heart and warm smile will be missed dearly by all who knew him. Friends may call at the TRULL ‘NORTH TORONTO’ FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CENTRE, 2704 Yonge St. (5 blocks south of Lawrence Ave.) on Monday from 2-4 pm and from 6-9 pm. A Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday at BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH (Yonge St. south of Lawrence Ave.) at 11:00 o’clock. In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations may be made to the Daily Bread Food Bank. (191 New Toronto St. Toronto, On. M8V2E7, 416-203-0050.) On line condolences may be made at CLAUDE RENWICK THOMSON, Q.C.

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