Honorary Colonel Renee van Kessel

Biography / June 14, 2018

Honorary Colonel Renee van Kessel is the principal of the corporate-commercial law practice van Kessel Law, based in Toronto, Ontario. With over 23 years experience in both private practice and as in-house counsel, her expertise is in business law, real estate regulatory compliance and commercial leasing, marketing, privacy, employment and procurement law.

Honorary Colonel van Kessel has provided strategic guidance and legal advice to private and public corporations, partnerships and governmental organizations in a multitude of industries and sectors. Her current clients include national and international real estate brokerages and asset managers, operators of national loyalty programs, and partnerships and businesses in a variety of sectors, from start-up ventures to established enterprises.

Prior to establishing van Kessel Law, Honorary Colonel van Kessel was in private practice for 15 years with her law school classmate at Cohen LLP, helping to grow the new firm into a thriving business over quadruple its size, with three offices in two provinces. Before entering private practice, she was in-house counsel to some of Canada’s most recognized brands, including the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), Owl Magazine and the AIR MILES® Reward Program. Renee articled at McMillan on Bay Street in Toronto.

Called to the Bar in 1995, Honorary Colonel van Kessel is a member of the Law Society of Ontario. She received her Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School, and her Bachelor of Arts Honours in Political Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston.

Honorary Colonel van Kessel was honoured to be one of only two private sector citizens to be asked to attend the National Security Programme at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, where she studied National Security and Defence Policy on a part-time basis from 2008-2012, while maintaining her law practice full time. She completed her Masters of Public Administration in June 2015 with her thesis on Water Scarcity and Conflict.

Honorary Colonel van Kessel also volunteers, advises and sits on the boards of various not-for-profit organizations, including the Canadian Forces College Foundation, Canada Company, the Canadian International Council, and the Center for Peace Through Culture.

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