BA '79, Philosophy
Recipient of the Alumni Award of Distinction for outstanding achievement in a professional field and outstanding volunteer service to Huron University College
Nominated by Allan Donald, class of 1980
Alfred Apps is a well-respected lawyer, businessman and prominent political activist. He is a Senior Partner at Miller Thomson LLP. He is also the proud father of five amazing daughters and, just this year, became a grandfather for the first time to another baby girl.
Alfred graduated from Huron University College with BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Economics in 1979. As he wrote in his HUCSC President’s message to the graduating class of 1979, “At Huron, we held hopes for the future. We experienced joy. We knew sorrow. We faced challenges and shared triumphs. But, above all, we lived in harmony.” He shared similar messages of compassion, courage and the conviction to create positive change when he addressed the first-year class at Huron at the commencement ceremony in 2008.
After Huron, Alfred graduated in law from the University of Toronto and was called to the Ontario bar in 1987. Alfred has been recognized as leading counsel in the area of restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, private equity investment and infrastructure finance. He has been ranked by Lexpert and UK-based Practical Law Company as one of Canada's leading lawyers in these fields. He acted as debtor counsel in the $32 Billion restructuring of the Canadian Asset-backed Commercial Paper or ABCP markets, the largest such restructuring in Canadian history.
Over his career, Alfred has led companies and raised capital in Canada, the United States and Europe. He also serves and has served on the Board of Directors of a number of public and private companies.
He joined Fasken Martineau as an Associate in 1989 and was named Partner in 1991. In 1993, at the age of 36, he was named CEO of an international commercial real estate firm, The Lehndorff Group, with over $5 Billion in commercial real estate assets throughout North America. At Lehndorff, in addition to overseeing one of Canada’s most complex debt restructurings, he also oversaw the creation of one of Canada's first REITs.
In 1998, Alfred led a business combination between Lehndorff and Dundee Realty Corporation, and, after a short period as President & COO of the successor corporation, was appointed CEO of Newstar Technologies Inc. which he went on to merge with three (3) of its U.S. competitors. In 2001, he returned to practising law at Fasken Martineau. In 2012, he moved his practice to Wildeboer Dellelce. In 2015, he joined Miller Thomson LLP where he heads up the firm’s national structured finance and securitization practice.
Involved in politics from the age of 15, Alfred first came to prominence in 1979 when, at age 22, he was elected Executive Vice-President of the Ontario Liberal Party. Over the years, he has been called on as a speechwriter and advisor to several Prime Ministers, Premiers and other elected officials. He has also chaired many large political campaign and fundraising efforts. In 2009, he was acclaimed as President of the Liberal Party of Canada and served until 2012.
Alfred’s contributions to the Huron community over the years have been exceptional. As a student, he fostered positive student experiences not only as Huron’s Orientation Co-chair and as a Don, but also as the President of both Huron and Western University Student’s Councils.
Even after graduation, Alfred didn’t relinquish his incredible commitment to Huron. He served as the Alumni Representative on our Huron University College Corporation for 12 years. Now, he is serving as the Alumni Class Chair.
Alfred’s dedication to creating and supporting vibrant communities extends far beyond the walls of Huron. He serves in a wide variety of leadership roles that facilitate social, political, religious and cultural vibrancy.
In addition to being a dedicated member of the Huron community, Alfred served as Chair of the Foundation Board for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in 2006–2007. He was President of the Empire Club of Canada for the 2009 – 2010 year and has been active in a number of arts and youth-oriented charities. An active Anglican, he served on committees of the Provincial Synod Executive Council of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario.