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Kevin Westell

Q&A, Forty Under 40 Winner 2020; Managing partner, Pender Litigation, Age 39

Q&A with Troy Abromaitis, Forty Under 40 Winner 2020; Director of development, Bucci Developments, Age 37

Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?

My parents – without a doubt, the hardest working people that I’ve ever known.  

What is your guilty pleasure?

I have a bad habit of buying more books than I’ll ever have time to read. 

What is the best book you would recommend?

When it comes to fiction, my all-time favourite is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. Right now, I’m tackling Where Law Ends by prosecutor Andrew Weissmann and can’t put it down.

Now that you’re entering your 40s, what goals have you set for yourself?

My chief goal is to continue to pursue excellence in the practice of law. 

Choose one of these five childhood career dreams: Rock star, star athlete, prime minister, astronaut, detective.

Star athlete. The closest I came was journeyman Canadian collegiate basketball player. 

Name your happiest place.

It’s any place where I get to spend time with my favourite people: my fiancé, Andrea, and my six-year-old, Walter. 

What was your toughest business or professional decision?

After articling, I had an opportunity to take a full-time position with the Ministry of the Attorney General. It was tough to say ‘No’ to the job security and benefits that come with a government gig. I decided to bet on myself and work as a sole practitioner. 

Advice you would give your 20-year-old self?

Keep showing up and working hard and keep treating people with kindness and respect. The rest will take care of itself.

What is your best habit?

I get up very early and get to work. That quiet time in the office before the phone starts ringing and my colleagues arrive is when I am most calm and most productive. 

Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.

I am a Winnipeg Jets fan.

Best piece of advice ever received?

Don’t take anything personally and don’t rely on unrealistic expectations of others. Be accountable to yourself.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

It’s the ongoing opportunity to work alongside my brilliant and dedicated colleagues at Pender Litigation.