Warren Smith

Managing director, Counsel Network, Age 37

Warren Smith only partly jests when he says that he has two full-time jobs.

One is voluntary. The managing partner of the Counsel Network is also the first Canadian and the youngest person to ever be elected as president of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants (NALSC) – a largely American organization with about 200 member firms.

"It's been good for the Counsel Network's brand," he said of his role as NALSC president.

"Our whole mandate has been 'When you think Canada, think Counsel Network.'"

Smith's focus on increasing brand recognition has helped his national legal consulting firm achieve steady revenue growth and a record of nearly $4 million in 2012. That's substantially more than when he took over in 2008.

The company's Vancouver office has had the biggest success, regularly increasing annual revenue by about 25%.

Smith launched a sister company to Counsel Network in 2013. Dubbed Critical Search, the venture provides support staff to the legal industry Canada-wide.

Smith's passion for technology also led him to develop the Counsel Network's database of lawyers, a resource that he believes to be the largest of its kind in Canada.

He graduated from Burnaby North Secondary School at 16 years old, then took four years off to work before eventually deciding to go to university.

Instead of completing his undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser University (SFU), he applied to the University of British Columbia's law school and gained early entrance after only three years at SFU.

A short stint at Bull Housser Tupper LLP followed law school, and then he moved to the Counsel Network in 2004 to work as a recruiter.

Outside work, Smith is active with the local Catholic archdiocese, where he was instrumental in resurrecting Vancouver's Red Mass. That event brings together Catholic jurists and lawyers once each year at Holy Rosary Cathedral.

He also helped establish the St. Thomas More Lawyers' Guild of BC, where he currently serves as chair.