Q&A: Noella Milne, Lawyer

Good morning #bossyones! It's time for another Q&A. Today we're talking to Noella Milne, a Senior Partner with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP who practices in the Corporate Real Estate area. Noella is recognized in the 2016 edition of Chamber’s Global – The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and the Guide to The World’s Leading Women in Business Law.

Noella is the Chair of the Board of UNICEF Canada, a Director of St. Michael’s Hospital, the Chair of the George Brown College Foundation, a Member of the Order of Ontario Advisory Council and an Honourary Life Director of the Canadian Club of Toronto.

Noella was appointed to the Order of Ontario and has been honoured by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, has received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Children’s Aid Foundation.

Born in Mumbai, India, Noella is the mother of three children. She holds an LLB from the University of Toronto. In addition to her many achievements, Noella is unfailingly friendly and encouraging to young women starting their careers. 

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Describe your ideal career in five words.

Freedom from boredom, autonomy, intellectually challenging, soul rewarding.

Describe your professional style.

Relaxed, friendly, reassuring, confident without arrogance.

What is your go-to work outfit?

Silk slip sleeveless dress – in different solid though vibrant colours, very plain with comfortable, shapely black sweater in the winter, and black short shapely jacket in summer.

What is your favourite item from your work wardrobe?

My pearl necklace with emeralds and blue stones that I picked up in an antique store in Turkey.

What is one trend that you consider inappropriate for work?

Very high stilettos.

Does it bother you when people use gendered terms like "bossy", "cute", "feisty" and "high-strung" to describe women?

Absolutely, but luckily as you get more senior people don’t dare use those terms with you (at least not to your face!!)

If you could go back to the beginning of your career and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

It’s boring but true.  Do your homework up front.  Put in the time to learn the essentials of your area of practice (and the other practice areas that intersect with yours)  – because in the end, there are (sadly) no short cuts to becoming an excellent practitioner.

Who is your icon?

My icon is Angela Merkel.  Style Icon, none – I don’t have time to worry about what is in style – I have my own personal sense of style, and I don’t really care, or know, if it is “in style”!!

What is the last book you read?

A friend of mine gave me this book called “Crow Lake” (Mary Lawson) and I loved it.

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A huge thank you to Noella Milne for meeting with me and answering my questions! Don't forget to click the "like" button and subscribe if you enjoyed this post. Do you want to be featured in a Q&A or do you know someone who would be perfect for this series? Let me know at thebossyonemail@gmail.com! 

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