658 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
committed to the University of British Columbia Allan McEachern
Advanced Trial Advocacy course, including as its adjunct professor and
chair from 2010 to 2015.
Mark was trained by Bill Berardino, Q.C., a great mentor and friend long
after Mark outgrew the title of “junior”. Mark brought much of what he
learned from Bill to his own mentoring and leadership at Fasken. He was an
exemplar for all and a mentor to many. His own “juniors” over the years,
who owe him so much, include Jenny Francis, Andrew Nathanson, Mark
Pontin, Michael Parrish, Bridget Gilbride and Gavin Cameron.
Mark credited Bill for much of his success, but Bill would tell you that
Mark was a natural from the start, with talents and abilities that could not
be taught. Bill and Mark had much fun together but were not always
aligned. Mark often told the story of the day he called on Bill to help convince
a client to settle a case. Bill went quickly off script, declaring an injustice
afoot and telling the client that if he had “fire in his belly”, Bill and Mark
would take the case all the way to the end. Those who have heard Bill make
such speeches over the years will know what the client decided to do in the
moment. Fortunately, however, sanity eventually prevailed, and Mark’s
prudent settlement was achieved.
Mark would go on to fight many injustices in the future, with a level of
commitment and passion that was rarely matched. In one particularly hardfought
case, the opposing party made it a condition of settlement that Mark
could never act against him on anything ever again.
On Mark’s death in March from glioblastoma, Bill wrote to Shelagh about
the kind of lawyer Mark was:
What I say now is entirely true, and not in any way overstated. During
the past 15 years, Mark’s professional place has been as part of a very
small group of barristers, considered coast to coast, to be Canada’s very
best. And of all in that small and special grouping, Mark stood apart from
all the rest. Mark was different. None of the others approached their cases
quite like he did. The reason? I believe it was Mark’s strength of mind.
Once there, once he assumed the responsibility, his commitment was
overpowering—he was immovable. He would not permit any force whatsoever,
from whatever source, to interfere in any way with his selfimposed
singularity of purpose, to see the case right the way through as
he saw it should be. With Mark in this, there was no compromise. And
that is the way it was!
His professional style was all his own and of his own making. He was a
pragmatic and realistic dealer in the facts. On legal principles he was
very much driven by his own ideas of fairness and logic, and to this he
brought the highest degree of academic intelligence. He was competitive,
tough, unyielding, and as stubborn as the case demanded, and he
revelled in the diverse people and gamesmanship that are so much a
part of litigious disputes.