Featured Alumni

Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering | Faculty of Law

Fred Kan

Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) 1964, Juris Doctor (JD) 1967

It was 50 years ago, but Fred Kan still has fond memories of his time as President of the Student Council at U of T when he helped organize an International Students Festival.

It “culminated in a grand show,” says Kan, founder and senior partner in a Hong Kong law firm. “I still remember it and it gave me great, great memories of my undergraduate life in Toronto.”

Kan has another great memory from his days at the University of Toronto. He says he was the first student of Chinese origin to graduate from U of T’s LLB  program, and he then became the fourth Chinese lawyer in Ontario. In 1971, he set up his own law firm and practised law in Toronto for about 15 years before moving back to Hong Kong.

After starting his law firm in Hong Kong, he was involved in major property development projects, including negotiating with the Hong Kong government in a number of disputes concerning the interpretation of Crown leases and planning issues, using his experience as a member of the City of Toronto Planning Board to help him.

"Going to the University of Toronto allowed me to dream, to imagine, to create, to do something that wasn’t there before. U of T is committed not only to educating Canadians but people from all corners of the world."

The environment at the University of Toronto was fantastic, Kan says. “You had this place called the Friendly Relations with Overseas Students (FROS) – it was a great institution and all the overseas students would gather there to mix with other people. Some of my fondest memories come from the activities at FROS.”

"[U of T] stands for commitment,” he says. “It is an institution that is committed to educate people of the world, not just Canadians but people from all corners of the globe and that is why you go to the University of Toronto. You can meet people from everywhere to interact, mingle and learn from each other. That’s the magic of a U of T education.”

In addition to being a partner in his firm, Kan is also an International Notary Public and council member of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and a member of the Macau Law Reform Advisory Committee. He is a director and an honorary legal adviser to U of T’s Hong Kong Foundation, and former president of the U of Alumni Association in Hong Kong. He won an Arbor Award in 1992 in recognition of his volunteer work with U of T.


Published Nov. 28, 2013

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