by Barry Cahill, Independent Scholar. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 2000.
Barry Cahill’s study of the life of James McGregor Stewart adds an exciting new dimension to Canadian legal biography. James McGregor Stewart (1889-1955) was a towering figure in Canada’s inter-war legal and business establishments. The foremost Canadian corporation lawyer of his day, head of an elite Halifax law firm, President of the Canadian Bar Association, and a dollar-a-year man in wartime Ottawa, he was both an intimate adviser to some of Canada’s most important corporate leaders and himself one of our most illustrious businessmen. No lawyer, before or since, has enjoyed such prestige or exercised more behind-the-scenes power both within and outside the Atlantic region; in his time he was the only Maritime lawyer fully accepted by every branch of the Canadian establishment. In the absence of very many personal or legal records, Barry Cahill has carried out imaginative and comprehensive research in a wide range of existing sources. Demonstrating exemplary scholarship, good literary sense and sound judgment, he has brought to life the remarkable story of a man who overcame many challenges to become one of the leading Canadian lawyers of his day. This is compelling reading. We are grateful to Barry Cahill for his sustained efforts and dedication in probing the often obscure depths of a corporate law practice to bring to life the story of a fascinating Canadian lawyer.