United Way Halton and Hamilton is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2021 John F. Evans Award of Community Distinction to SimpsonWigle’s very own Hussein A. Hamdani!
The Sopinka United Way Legal Committee is pleased to announce Hussein A. Hamdani as this year’s recipient of the John F. Evans Community Distinction Award.
Hussein arrived as a refugee with his family from East Africa and settled in the Niagara Region. Hussein was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2002 and has since built himself as a leading practitioner in the field of business, real estate and land development.
His dedication to the profession and service to his clients and the community are exemplary. Since being called to the Bar, Hussein has worked tirelessly in the local legal community, including being a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hamilton Law Association and the Executive of the Corporate Commercial Law Committee of the HLA. His other professional endeavours include being a partner at Simpson Wigle, a trustee of the Hamilton Law Association, an instructor of business law at Wilfred Laurier University and McMaster University, legal advisor to the Small Business Enterprise Centre in Hamilton, and legal advisor to the Regional Halton Business Centre in Oakville. He has participated in several of these commitments for more than 15 years.
Over the years, he has been an active participant in the United Way Sopinka Legal Luncheon fundraising and other United Way events. Hussein has received a number of awards for his pro bono volunteer work including the 40 Under Forty Business Award and in October 2015 Urbanicity’s Magazine’s 30 most influential people in the City of Hamilton. Hussein is the only lawyer in private practice named by the magazine as a change agent. In March 2016, Hussein won the Prestigious Muslim Award of Excellence, Platinum Award for Professional Accomplishment in Community Service
Hussein has been committed to building a sense of community since leaving the University of Western Ontario in 2000. A short list of accomplishments includes being a spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Greater Hamilton; national recipient of the South Asian Bar Association Legal Excellence Award; national recipient of the Muslim Award of Excellence; member of the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security, where he advised the federal government on national security-related matters; Director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; Director of the Special Investigations Unit in Toronto; Director of the Hamdani Islamic Foundation in St. Catharines; and Founder, Chair and Director of the North American Spiritual Revival.
Hussein is married to his lovely spouse, Ayesha, and they have two boys, Zayn, who recently turned 4, and Ali, who is 3 months old. If you ever meet Hussein or see a photo, he has an infectious, endearing smile that invites a warm and engaging conversation on any topic.
He has a definite focus on newcomer communities. Ayesha and Hussein provide volunteer and pro bono private counselling to youth who have strayed towards violent radicalization or simply need a mentor in their lives.
Hussein has transitioned from refugee to prominent lawyer. His hard work in the local legal community along with his exceptional contribution to community causes, particularly his dedication to newcomers and his own cultural community, made this choice for the John F. Evans Award an easy decision. The Committee is extremely delighted to present Hussein with this award for all that he has accomplished.