John Clifford Honoured with Out On Bay Street Professional Leadership Award  

news & knowledge 

August 25, 2016

Rankings and recognition

McMillan is proud to announce that John Clifford has been selected by Out On Bay Street as a recipient of a 2016 Professional Leadership Award. The Award is one of the “Leaders To Be Proud Of” recognitions that Out On Bay Street makes each year. It recognizes exemplary achievement and/or community service within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally (LGBTQA+) community by experienced senior professionals who have shown exceptional ability and a strong track record of leadership, professional excellence and vision, innovation and/or entrepreneurial spirit, and who are publicly recognized as a role-model for the LGBTQAQ+ community.

John is a Partner and National Group Coordinator of McMillan’s Business Law Group. He is recognized internationally as a leading Merger & Acquisition lawyer and competition law expert by many of the world’s leading peer-reviewed directories. 

John’s contributions to the LGBTQA+ and legal communities are many. He was a founding member of McMillan’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee and he was the main driver behind the founding of Fierté McMillan Pride, the firm’s affinity group for LGBTQ lawyers. John also was actively involved in the creation and operation of the Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network (LFDIN), which is comprised of Canada’s leading law firms working collectively to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

Leveraging his large U.S. practice, John has been an active member of the American Bar Association (ABA)’s Business Law Section, where he has several leadership roles. He currently chairs the Section’s LGBTQ Involvement Subcommittee, which promotes inclusion of LGBTQ attorneys within the Section, diversity of Section membership and seeks to raise awareness of issues affecting LGBTQ lawyers. He also is the Section’s liaison to the ABA’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee, which leads the ABA’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and full and equal participation by LGBTQ persons in the ABA, the legal profession and society.

Outside of the legal profession, John has been involved in a number of initiatives that look to promote the LGBTQ community. In 2007, John founded exeQutive, which he continues to lead ( exeQutive is devoted to promoting, supporting and strengthening the careers and businesses of Toronto-based LGBTQ executives, professionals, and business and community leaders. In 2014, John played a key leadership role in the proudTOvote campaign. proudTOvote was formed to mobilize members of the LGBTQ community to participate and vote in the 2014 Toronto municipal election. proudTOvote was not affiliated with any mayoral campaign. Rather, it merely wanted Toronto to have a mayor the LGBTQ community and its allies could be proud of and who would be proud of the community.

John will be recognized at the Leaders To Be Proud Of Awards gala on Thursday, September 15th in downtown Toronto.

About Out On Bay Street

Out On Bay Street facilitates the professional development of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Ally students as they transition from school to career in order to build a national network within the LGBTQA+ community. To learn more, please visit