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Top 10 30-Somethings Profile – Rustam “Rusty” Juma

Top Ten 30 Somethings
Recently we opened submissions for the Top 10 30-Something Awards for 2017. To inspire you to make a nomination, each Friday we’ll post a 2016 winner’s profile until submissions close on December 9, 2016. Go here to learn how to become one of ACC’s 2017 Top 10 30-Somethings.

R ustam “Rusty” Juma’s ultimate career goal is to become a global leader. And with international exposure under his belt, he is already on his way. Some of Juma’s international experiences include spending time in Vietnam where he helped public school kids develop their resumes and interview skills. “It was probably one the most worthwhile and valuable experiences of my life to be honest,” the 36-year-old reflects. After his first year of law school, he spent a summer in Afghanistan where he helped establish telecommunication laws for the fledging government. “It was truly unique. I had been given a blank canvas,” he remembers. Later in law school at Western, he spent a semester in India to understand other aspects of international law. “The evolution of technology law under the Indian legal system was surprisingly similar [compared to North America],” he says.

Last year, Juma and three teammates placed first in an international, weeklong negotiation competition organized by Deloitte. Over 1,000 senior managers from the United States, Canada, and India participated.

Working as an in-house lawyer for Deloitte is unique. Each country has its own partners and partnership structure but all member firms have similar business lines. Deloitte is a professional services firm that provides audit, tax, financial advisory, and enterprise risk services, as well as management and technology consulting services to its clients. Deloitte in Canada has revenues in excess of CAD$2 billion and close to 10,000 employees in over 50 offices across Canada. Deloitte’s Office of the General Counsel in Canada is comprised of a group of 17 dedicated professionals who provide legal advice and support across the entire Canadian firm and across Deloitte’s broad array of services. “Just like a law firm, Deloitte has partners and it has clients to whom it provides professional services, so there are tight timelines, a fast-paced environment, and ultimately the client is at the forefront of our minds,” Juma says. The team has also been selected to play international roles, which provides growth opportunities for Juma and other members of the team.

Presently, he is working with the legal team to digitize the document review process. With many legal matters spread across the firm, the legal department is looking to provide a simple way for their internal clients to participate in the creation of contracts, thereby providing transparency to the legal department. “This system will also help us catalogue and create a document repository of all our contracts and emails relating to different matters. We can mine data and look up historical documents which will enable us to better serve our clients,” he says.

Juma knew when he went to law school that he wanted to eventually work as corporate counsel but was aware that most in-house positions required law firm experience. “My taste for the law developed while I was interning through the co-op program at the University of Waterloo and working with in-house counsel,” he says. He commenced his legal career at Dentons, a top tier international law firm, in its Calgary office where he concentrated on securities law. After four years, he moved back to Toronto to join a large national firm and be closer to his parents. When the position at Deloitte opened, he jumped on it.

Juma was born and raised in Toronto. His parents immigrated to the city after growing up in East Africa. Today he is the vice-president of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto, the largest chapter of the North American organization. One of the causes Juma champions is getting more minority representation on the provincial and federal benches.

More 2016 Top 10 30-Somethings Profiles

Top 10 30-Somethings Profile – Farida Alkaff

Top 10 30-Somethings Profile – Brett Dakin

Top 10 30-Somethings Profile – Matt Nolan

Top 10 30-Somethings Profile – Courtney Gregoire

Top 10 30-Somethings Profile – Julie Gresham

About the Author

Joshua Shields is the associate editor at the Association of Corporate Counsel.

The information in any resource collected in this virtual library should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts and should not be considered representative of the views of its authors, its sponsors, and/or ACC. These resources are not intended as a definitive statement on the subject addressed. Rather, they are intended to serve as a tool providing practical advice and references for the busy in-house practitioner and other readers.