James McGregor Stewart (1889-1955) was perhaps the foremost Canadian corporate lawyer of his day. He was also an appellate counsel, venture capitalist, Conservative Party fundraiser, bibliographer of Rudyard Kipling, and sometime university teacher of classics. A leader of the bar in the inter-war period, he was the first Maritimer to serve as president of the Canadian Bar Association. He distinguished himself mainly in constitutional cases before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. During his career, Stewart was also head of the leading law firm in eastern Canada (now Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales), director and vice-president of the Royal Bank of Canada, and senior counsel to the Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations.
Above all, Stewart was committed to the idea of law as a truly learned profession and to the bar as the most important legal institution. To this day, no lawyer has held such prestige and power both within and outside Atlantic Canada; in his time he was the only Maritime lawyer who gained full acceptance by every branch of the Canadian establishment.
Thematic rather that chronological in approach, this fascinating legal biography provides both a history of a uniquely Canadian career and an interpretation of its significance for Stewart's time and ours.
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About the Author
Barry Cahill is an independent scholar living in Halifax.
What People are Saying About This
'James McGregor Stewart's life was many-faceted. So is Cahill's biography. It displays an amazing breadth of scholarship on subjects ranging from law and business to religion and literature.'