Suddenly on December 31, 2018 at his beautiful and peaceful cottage at Clear Lake, Bracebridge, ON. Son of the late Lorne N. and Barbara J. Sills. Lovingly remembered by his partner and soul mate Murray Krock. Loving brother of the late Kurt (Joan), Bradley (Pixie), and Carl. Cherished uncle of Shannon, Amanda, Nathan, Andrew, Nicholas and Patrick. Missed by his four legged buddy Oliver. A kind and gentle man, he will be greatly missed by all of his family and many friends and colleagues. Mark was born in Toronto and raised in St. Lambert, PQ. Mark received his B.A. (Honours), Bishop's University, Lennoxville, PQ, Certificat d'Études Françaises, Cours Supérieur, Université d'Aix-Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, France, LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School and LL.M. (International and Comparative Law), Vrij Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium and called to the Bar of Ontario, 1975.
Mark had long-standing and extensive first-hand experience in international trade issues. He began his career in the Canadian Foreign Service and was posted first to the Philippines and then to Brazil. On his return to Canada, he practised law in the Legal Bureau of the Department of External Affairs in the areas of international claims, nuclear safety and international trade. He later worked in the GATT Affairs Division and was Director of the International Energy Relations Division of the Department of Energy Mines and Resources during the Canada-US Free Trade negotiations. Subsequent to that, he worked on implementation issues for the Canadian government under the Free Trade Agreement and ultimately was a member of the Canadian legal team representing Canada during the NAFTA negotiations with the US and Mexico in 1991-92.
Mark joined the Moscow office of Macleod Dixon in 1992 where he practised in the international trade, mining and general corporate and commercial areas for three years. One of his major activities was the provision of legal and trade policy advice to the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations of Russia. On his return to Canada in 1996, he joined the firm's Toronto office, continuing his international trade and investment practice, and became a partner in 1999. He has worked for the Governments of Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan on various trade policy projects financed by the UNDP and CIDA.
He successfully represented a number of foreign and domestic companies in anti-dumping, countervailing duty, safeguards and customs compliance cases and acted on behalf of Canadian companies on a number of challenges to Federal government contract awards.
In 2001, he accepted a retainer as international legal consultant to the Government of The Bahamas to assist that government in its application to join the World Trade Organization and to provide advice on participation in the ongoing fee trade negotiations with the European Union and Canada.
In 2003, he began a five year retainer to the Ministry of Justice of the Government of Vietnam to assist in legislative reform in support of that country's application to join the World Trade Organization.
From 2003 to 2011, Mark practised law as a partner in the Toronto office of Fasken Martineau in the field of international trade and investment. During that time, he was a member of the firm’s Global Mining Group and the Asia-Pacific Group. He left Fasken Martineau at the end of 2011 and was the founding partner of his present firm, Sills Egsgard LLP.
Mark was recognized by Chambers Global Guide - The World’s Leading Lawyers 2006 as an expert in the area of WTO/international trade law and has been listed in Chambers since that time.
Friends will be received at the Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor Street West at Windermere, Toronto, on Friday, January 4, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. A funeral service will be held at Kingsway Lambton United Church, 85 The Kingsway, Etobicoke, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2019. Reception to follow in the church. Interment will be at a later date. For those who wish, donations may be made in his memory to a charity of choice or Kingsway Lambton United Church. Online condolences may be made through www.turnerporter.ca.