Dispute Resolution: Ontario

Canada : An Introduction to Dispute Resolution

Contributed by Torys LLP

The economic landscape in Canada continues to be marked by uncertainty. While this has been accompanied by a lower volume of business-to-business litigation (and in many cases earlier resolution of those disputes that do arise), class actions continue to be the primary litigation risk for major Canadian businesses and international businesses operating in Canada. The courts continue to certify issues relating to a wide range of matters, including securities, unpaid wages or overtime, and product liability. Of particular note are the indirect purchaser liability cases released by the Supreme Court, which provide considerable guidance not only on the question of competition law, but on various points of class action procedure. We expect that these cases will have a significant impact on the numerous cases that are continuing to work their way through the courts on these and related issues.


Overtime class actions continue to be in the spotlight. To date, decisions on the issue of certification have gone both for and against defendant employers, with the tide in favour of certification – except for misclassification cases, where the courts, including the Ontario Court of Appeal, have refused to certify most class actions. Commonality of the issues continues to be the area of greatest discussion. The merits of these cases have yet to be decided.

The Supreme Court of Canada held that employers may not deduct earned pension benefits from wrongful dismissal damages; and random drug and alcohol testing in a unionised workplace is prohibited unless demonstrable safety concerns justify the testing.

The customary practice to require an employee to serve until the vesting date to be eligible for payment of deferred compensation was found by the Ontario Supreme Court to be enforceable and not a restraint on trade. The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that an objective test is to be used in evaluating complaints of a poisoned work environment.

There continues to be a rise in age and family status discrimination complaints. Reinstatement has been awarded as a remedy by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal after a long delay in adjudication, and an Ontario court awarded human rights damages in a wrongful dismissal action for the first time, in 2013.


The Supreme Court of Canada gave a green light to competition class actions in 2013, with decisions in a trilogy of cases confirming that so-called “indirect purchasers” have standing to sue for losses caused by price fixing. The decisions set down a clear difference in approach to this issue between Canadian and US federal law, which holds that indirect purchasers do not have a cause of action. The trilogy also confirmed that classes of direct and indirect purchasers can be combined into one action. The Court’s decisions appear to open the door even wider to consumer class actions for price fixing, and we expect that courts across the country will be inclined to certify such claims. On the regulatory front, the Competition Bureau continues to take a firm enforcement stance, which we expect will continue to lead to contested proceedings before the Competition Tribunal.


Ontario’s regime for statutory continuous disclosure liability came into effect several years ago. There has been a marked increase in the number of claims commenced. Securities legislation across Canada creates a statutory cause of action allowing shareholders to seek damages when an issuer fails to make timely disclosure of material changes or an issuer’s disclosure contains a material misrepresentation. A shareholder does not need to prove actual reliance on the misrepresentation or the failure to make timely disclosure, thereby facilitating certification of these claims as class actions. The regime requires that the plaintiff obtain leave from the court to proceed with a claim. Although these measures were intended to protect defendants from unmeritorious claims, decisions considering the test for leave have arguably set the threshold at a level that will make it relatively easy for shareholders to pursue class actions against public companies for misrepresentations in their disclosures.

According to a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, settlement with a securities regulator may not provide a defence to future class action liability, even if the settlement results in shareholder compensation.

Product Liability 

Developments in product liability class actions indicate that, with few exceptions, courts continue to favour certification even when it is clear that the case will yield significant individual issues after a common issues trial before liability can be determined. In general, certification of a proposed class action regarding allegedly defective products, particularly medical products, is virtually certain. However, certain avenues remain open to defendants, including asking the court to scrutinise the pleadings for a failure to state the particular role of each defendant. Although in the past most product liability cases would settle long before reaching a common issues trial and often before certification, more cases are now proceeding to trial given the low threshold at the certification stage. An increase in summary judgment motions after certification is therefore expected in the coming years. In an interesting substantive change to the law, the Ontario Superior Court held that, in the context of non-dangerous products, a manufacturer has no duty to disclose design defects and that, as a general rule, a claim for pure economic loss in such circumstances cannot succeed.

Dispute Resolution: Ontario - Canada


第一等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 16 partners
- 31 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Enjoys an outstanding reputation for its extensive trial experience, unrivalled depth of talent and exceptional advocacy skills. Considered a leader in complex commercial litigation, and excels in insurance, securities and intellectual property litigation. Significant experience in professional liability matters involving medical professionals, lawyers, auditors and actuaries. Also well regarded for class actions, insolvency and ADR.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Pragmatic advice: "They are very a pragmatic, practical, problem-solving group of lawyers. They are great advisers, great communicators and very good advocates."

Efficiency: "They are excellent; their advice is strategic and effective, and the litigation is managed very efficiently." 

What's new? The Honourable Ian Binnie joined the firm in 2012 as counsel, following 14 years as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. 

Work highlights Represented General Electric Canada before the Ontario Court of Appeal in an insurance case relating to the contamination of groundwater close to a former GE industrial property.

Advised the Ontario Securities Commission on case involving allegations of insider trading brought against a former consultant to Baffinland Iron Mines.

Notable practitioners  

The "outstanding" Peter Griffin is held in high esteem for his expertise in insolvency, securities and professional liability litigation. Sources say: "He is the go-to, high-end bet-the-company litigator in Toronto right now."

Thomas Curry is "absolutely first-rate in every way," say interviewees. In highlights, he represented the Commissioner of Competition in a case against Chatr Wireless concerning misleading representations about their dropped call rates. Clients describe him as "masterful" and highlight his "amazing intellect, amicable qualities and brilliant way of making arguments."

Alan Lenczner QC maintains a prominent reputation for his involvement in high-profile cases. Notably, he acted for the Mayor of Toronto on an application brought by a municipal voter concerning an alleged breach of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. He was appointed as a commissioner at the Ontario Securities Commission in 2013, but continues to practise at the firm.

Ronald Slaght QC is "a very strong litigator" who recently represented Allen-Vanguard in its fraudulent misrepresentation claim against the offeree shareholders of Med-Eng Systems. "He is a tremendous lawyer," say sources.

Michael Royce is highly regarded for his expertise in medical malpractice and employment litigation. Sources enthuse: "He does an excellent job."

Peter Osborne's broad experience covers restructuring, securities and class action litigation.

Glenn Smith focuses on product liability, insurance and technology cases.

Significant clients Canadian Medical Protective Association, Ernst & Young, BMO Nesbitt Burns, Johnson & Johnson, British Energy.

第一等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 49 partners
- 104 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Widely viewed as a leading firm for litigation in Ontario. Operates a thriving litigation practice in a broad range of areas, including competition, securities and intellectual property. Also comes highly recommended for class action defence work and appellate law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

Bench strength: "An excellent firm with great depth. They are one of Canada's top firms, able to recruit the best talent, and I have had good experiences with them right down to the junior lawyers on the files."

Clarity of advice: "They have a very thorough approach to identifying the merits of a case and providing us with timely assessments of a matter."

Work highlights Represented Entertainment Software Association in a copyright case involving SOCAN's royalty entitlements for music downloads.

Defended SK Hynix as a leading manufacturer of DRAM in price-fixing class actions across Canada. 

Notable practitioners  

Neil Finkelstein is "an impressive, skilled and articulate oral advocate" who recently represented Cogeco Cable before the Supreme Court of Canada in an appeal concerning the CRTC's proposed implementation of a TV tax regime. Clients appreciate his well thought-out and cogent advice and his ability to develop effective strategy.

Paul Morrison's broad expertise encompasses securities, competition, insolvency and product liability litigation. He is also active in class actions. Sources say: "He's very open and frank and he is thoughtful in the advice that he gives."

Paul Steep is recognised for his strength in banking cases, securities litigation and class actions. Sources say: "He is very bright, very well respected by judges and he has a very good manner in the courts."

Sarit Batner continues to impress sources with her professional negligence, taxation and franchise work. One client said: "Sarit has a 'take charge' personality and is a very quick study – she is very tough and knows how to get the job done."

Niels Ortved is a prominent figure in commercial litigation and is described as "an absolutely excellent lawyer" by sources.

Significant clients Xstrata Copper Chile, Astra Zeneca Canada, Globalive Wireless Management, Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation.

Band 1 | Torys LLP

第一等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 21 partners
- 18 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A long-standing contender in litigation in Ontario with a broad and deep team in Toronto. Regularly sought after for securities, restructuring and competition litigation as well as class action defence work. Also highly rated for product liability, intellectual property and energy-related matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Technical ability: "The team is technically sound and their value is in using that technical expertise to assist their clients in achieving business-focused results."

Market standing: "They have some of the best litigators in the country - they're our first choice." 

What's new? Sylvie Rodrigue joined the firm in February 2013 from Norton Rose Fulbright. She divides her time between Toronto and Montréal.

Work highlights Represented the owners of the Ambassador Bridge in litigation concerning the authorisation for the construction of a second bridge between Windsor and Detroit.

Advised Inzola Group on an action brought against the City of Brampton relating to an RFP for the expansion of Brampton City Hall.

Notable practitioners  

Sheila Block earns universal respect as "one of the premier litigators in Ontario." One source enthused: "She is absolutely first-rate and she has great judgement," while another added: "She is the best litigator in the country."

Patricia Jackson is "a very strong advocate" with extensive experience in energy, defamation, securities and professional negligence cases. Clients comment: "She is very smart, she has good judgement and she delivers great quality work."

John Laskin enjoys a prominent reputation for constitutional law and competition litigation, amongst other specialisms. He recently acted for Nordion on a breach of contract dispute with Atomic Energy Canada, and is described by interviewees as "thoughtful, strategic, timely, creative, client-centric and cost-conscious."

James Tory is highly regarded for his experience in shareholder and securities disputes. He also advises on commercial arbitration and mediation.

The "fantastic" Linda Plumpton is well known for her focus on securities and competition litigation. Her expertise also covers employment law and class action defence work.

Significant clients CIBC, Manulife Financial, The Great-West Life Assurance Company, Jetport, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board.

第二等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 12 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Receives notable praise for its involvement in significant competition and securities cases. Extensive experience in litigation relating to the mining, oil and gas, securities, automotive and telecommunications sectors. Also has an active class actions practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Advocacy: "They are supreme advocates – their arguments are consistently strong and their oral advocacy is outstanding."

Client service: "They are very thorough and very effective at building client relationships." 

Work highlights Represented Shaw Communications before the SCC in an appeal involving copyright and broadcasting issues in relation to the CRTC's proposed 'value for signal' regime.

Advised a group of leading institutional investors on a SCC case concerning proposed legislation to create a National Securities Regulator in Canada.

Notable practitioners  

The "tremendous" Kent Thomson is viewed as "a once-in-a-generation litigator" who is "someone who you can trust to craft the best possible argument in a creative and strategic way." One source enthused: "He is a force of nature – if there is a serious piece of litigation, he's the person I want fighting my corner."

Sandra Forbes is "a terrific litigator with a great reputation" who is widely recognised for her track record of competition cases and class actions. Clients describe her as "completely reliable, pragmatic, realistic, efficient, effective and amazingly quick on her feet." Sources also appreciate that "she knows when to fight and when to settle."

The "talented" James Doris represented BHP Billiton Canada in a right of first refusal case involving the sale of its interests in the Ekati diamond mine. His expertise covers securities cases, competition litigation and insolvency matters.

Luis Sarabia's clients refer to him as "a tremendous litigator who is terrific at oral advocacy." He is highly experienced in the areas of securities and mining litigation, and represented Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan in a case involving the ownership of potash reserves in the world's largest potash mine.

Significant clients Barrick Gold, The Canadian Real Estate Association, The Commissioner of Competition, Agnico-Eagle Mines, Mars Canada.

Band 2 | Goodmans LLP

第二等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 31 partners
- 23 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Impressive experience in complex insolvency and restructuring litigation, with additional expertise in real estate, technology, intellectual property and employment disputes. Also frequently advises on major shareholder and commercial cases involving Securities Act claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Market standing: "A wonderful litigation practice with a terrific reputation."

What's new? Alan Mark joined the firm in April 2013 from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Work highlights Represented Sun Indalex Finance in a SCC case involving pension and lender priorities in restructuring proceedings.

Defended Western Coal and Cambrian Mining in a lawsuit brought by shareholders involving claims of misleading financial statements.

Notable practitioners  

Star lawyer Benjamin Zarnett is "easily one of the top lawyers in the country," sources agree. In recent highlights, he represented Chevron Canada in a case brought by Ecuadorian plaintiffs concerning the enforcement of a USD18.3 billion judgment made in the Ecuadorian courts. "They don't come any better than Ben Zarnett," said one interviewee.

John Keefe is "a very strong counsel" who is recognised for his presence in significant litigation and arbitration matters. His expertise covers competition, securities fraud and white-collar crime.

Jessica Kimmel is viewed as "extraordinarily hard-working and capable," with sources noting her strengths in securities litigation, professional negligence and product liability. She also maintains an active class actions practice.

Alan Mark is highlighted for his broad experience which includes product liability, environmental, restructuring and securities litigation. He is also an expert in electricity law.

Significant clients Apotex, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, Ernst & Young, New Gold, CI Mutual Funds. 

第二等 |

What the team is known for Widely acclaimed for its extensive experience in securities, professional liability and pensions litigation. Also receives praise for its strength in restructuring and insolvency and class actions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Market standing: "An excellent litigation boutique with talented litigators."

Advocacy: "The firm's performance is stellar."  

What's new? Eric Hoaken joined the firm from Bennett Jones LLP in June 2013.

Notable practitioners  

The "first-rate" Terrence O'Sullivan is widely regarded as "one of the best litigators in the country" and is commended for his broad-ranging practice and effective courtroom presence.

Jonathan Lisus is "an energetic and creative litigator" who has an excellent reputation for product liability, shareholder disputes and franchise litigation. Sources say: "His strategic thinking is deep and insightful."

Matthew Gottlieb is noted for his extensive expertise in insolvency and restructuring litigation. One source said: "He really brings to bear that measure of experience that a client needs in complex and difficult cases."

Charles Scott maintains a strong reputation for his representation of clients in high-profile commercial and employment litigation.

The up-and-coming Rocco Di Pucchio specialises in automotive litigation, as well as defamation, competition and construction disputes.

Clifford Lax QC is "a very effective counsel" who is highly regarded for his litigation and arbitration practice. 

第二等 |

What the team is known for A strong boutique firm with excellent capabilities across the full spectrum of litigation matters, including professional liability, insolvency, product liability, employment and labour. Also highly experienced in both the prosecution and defence of class actions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Bench strength: "A strong boutique that has real depth."  

Notable practitioners  

Chris Paliare impresses sources as "a very strong lawyer" who is "very effective on his feet." His highly regarded practice consists of securities, employment and defamation litigation, as well as professional negligence matters.

The "terrific" Linda Rothstein is an expert in product liability, employment and professional liability litigation. Sources say: "She is a very effective lawyer."

Gordon Capern is "an excellent counsel" who is highly experienced in the areas of professional liability, shareholder disputes and franchise matters.

Robert Centa is recognised for his increasing presence in high-profile insolvency, copyright and shareholder cases. "He is a very strong lawyer," sources say.

第二等 |

What the team is known for Enjoys a strong reputation for securities, intellectual property and insolvency matters. Also advises on energy, insurance and tax litigation, and is considered a leading firm for class action defence.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Expertise: "They have in-depth subject matter expertise, are superb drafters and are results-oriented."

Work highlights Represented FTI Consulting Canada as the court-appointed monitor in matters relating to Indalex's CCAA proceedings.

Acted for Metrolinx as in the intervener in a SCC transportation case concerning a claim for injurious affection.

Notable practitioners  

David Byers is highly rated for his focus on insolvency. Sources praise his effective and tactical approach, noting that "he is extremely bright and practical and has the ability to listen to the client and position things in a way to get to a resolution quickly."

Peter Howard represented Barclays Bank in a dispute with Devonshire Trust concerning an unrestructured ABCP conduit trust. Sources appreciate his strong work ethic and his high calibre of work, with one peer commenting: "He is a tough litigator with enormous talent."

Eliot Kolers advises on competition, class actions and securities litigation. Sources say he is "a very bright guy who is always on the scene – he is emerging as a first-level litigator."

Significant clients Air Canada, Wyeth, CIBC, Chubb Group, BAT.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 16 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Notable experience in cross-border securities litigation and insolvency and restructuring matters. Frequently advises on arbitrations involving the mining, construction and oil and gas industries. Recognised for its skilful representation of technology and telecommunications companies in complex litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

Client service: "Unbelievable service in terms of responsiveness, their understanding of the client's operations and their ability to find practical solutions – they are exceptional."

Technical ability: "A very high level of performance."

Work highlights Acted for the provinces of New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Manitoba on claims brought against major tobacco companies for the recovery of healthcare costs.

Represented the former director of Timminco in a shareholder class action and in the company's CCAA proceedings.

Notable practitioners  

Jeffrey Leon enjoys a fine reputation for his commercial litigation and class actions practice. Sources say: "He is an excellent lawyer who is well respected in the courts."

Sources praise Robert Staley for his involvement in securities litigation, with one client commenting: "He is a brilliant lawyer – he's a real strategist, has the ability to see the big picture, and does a superb job representing us in court." He continues to represent Sino-Forest in matters relating to its CCAA restructuring.

Richard Swan is viewed as "a very bright and talented litigator" who "quite simply possesses a superior intellect." His strengths include securities, technology, restructuring and fiduciary duty cases.

Derek Bell is highly rated for his expertise in commercial litigation, which includes competition and insolvency matters. He acted for the Commissioner of Competition on a competition case against Yellow Page Marketing.

Significant clients BlackBerry, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Nortel Noteholders Committee, Bank of America, CIBC/Bank of New York. 

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 43 partners
- 28 other lawyers

What the team is known for Offers a comprehensive range of litigation services, with a focus on competition, energy, securities and construction-related matters. Additional expertise in the areas of insurance, media and product liability. Also highly regarded for class action defence and domestic and international commercial arbitration.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Pragmatic advice: "A great firm – they are very customer-oriented and practical, and they don't over-lawyer matters."

Work highlights Represented WFG Securities in regulatory proceedings in Manitoba concerning leveraged mutual fund accounts.

Acted for Ontario Power Generation in defence of a judicial review and injunctions concerning the construction of a multibillion-dollar hydroelectric project in Northern Ontario.

Notable practitioners  

Joel Richler is highly valued for his presence in court and his ability to think on his feet. One client said: "He is incredibly well organised and has an expert theory of the law and the cases he works on." He recently advised J.D. Irving on a dispute with Siemens concerning the damage of turbines in a maritime accident.

Paul Schabas is "a very strong and articulate advocate who is extremely compelling in court." His receives considerable praise for his tax and media litigation work.

Catherine Beagan Flood focuses on product liability and competition cases, as well as privacy, freedom of information and telecommunications disputes. She acted for Merck Frosst on a SCC case involving the confidentiality of information requested under the Access to Information Act.

Nigel Campbell specialises in securities litigation, advising high-profile clients such as Deutsche Bank Securities. Sources note: "He is thoroughly knowledgeable in the area of complex litigation and he is calm, thoughtful and very responsive."

Jeff Galway represents clients in pensions, competition and securities matters. "He is very good at what he does," say interviewees.

Significant clients BHP Billiton, CIBC, Cliffs Natural Resources, Ford Motor Company of Canada, McKesson Canada. 

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 35 partners
- 23 other lawyers

What the team is known for Highly respected for advocacy in securities, environmental and competition litigation. Additional expertise in media law, technology and product liability litigation. Also well regarded for class actions and international arbitration.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Market standing: "An excellent firm with very good advocates and a long history of litigation." 

What's new? Fasken Martineau completed its merger with Johannesburg-based Bell Dewar in February 2013.

Work highlights Advised First Quantum Minerals on litigation in connection with its CAD5.1 billion hostile takeover bid for Inmet Mining.

Represented IAMGold before the High Court of Tanzania in relation to a claim brought by Mawe Meru Resource concerning the termination of a joint venture agreement.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Harrison is "a master of his trade and extremely skilled in the art of cross-examination." Notable cases include acting for HudBay Minerals on litigation concerning security personnel in Guatemala.

Gerry Ranking is regarded as "a strong and affable trial lawyer with lots of experience and very sound judgement." His clients include Westwood Management and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

John Campion's practice covers a broad range of areas including mining, competition, securities and class actions. He receives praise from clients who consider him "a very fierce advocate – he is very good on his feet, he has a good strategy and his presentation is very strong."

Paul Monahan is recognised for his expertise in professional negligence, banking, securities and insurance litigation. Clients enthuse: "He is just fantastic – so knowledgeable, so skilled as a litigator and very down-to-earth."

Significant clients Toshiba of Canada, Telus, Zimmer, Rogers Communications, Inukshuk Wireless Partnership.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 22 partners
- 27 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Highly regarded for restructuring and insolvency, construction, mining and product liability disputes. Extensive experience in securities cases, shareholder disputes and proxy battles. Also frequently defends clients in major class proceedings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

Commercial awareness: "The firm understands what issues and concerns are a priority for our business."

Efficiency: "The practice group has proven to be thorough and diligent."

What's new? The Norton Rose Group merged with US-based Fulbright & Jaworski LLP in June 2013 to form Norton Rose Fulbright.

Work highlights Represented TELUS in litigation brought by Mason Capital concerning the collapse of its dual-class share structure.

Acted for National Bank Financial on litigation arising from the collapse of the technology company Knowledge House.

Notable practitioners 

James Hodgson is "an excellent advocate with years of experience in all kinds of cases." His expertise includes securities, product liability and construction cases, representing the likes of National Bank of Canada and SNC-Lavalin.

Orestes Pasparakis is commended for his strengths in restructuring litigation, class actions and proxy contests. Clients value his "strategic thinking and judgement," as well as his advocacy skills, with one source noting: "He is an extremely gifted litigator."

Significant clients BMO Financial Group, Chevron, Carillion Canada, Kenaidan Construction, GlaxoSmithKline. 

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 28 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A strong presence in Ontario for securities, competition, insolvency and banking litigation. Other areas of focus include tax and product liability litigation. Industry expertise covers banking and financial services, oil and gas and mining.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Problem solving: "They are pragmatic, solutions-oriented and focused on getting the result the client wants."

Work highlights Represented Amex Bank of Canada and eight other banks in two appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada concerning credit card foreign currency conversion fees.

Acted for Magna International on litigation involving damages claims arising from a joint venture in the automotive parts business. 

Notable practitioners  

Larry Lowenstein's practice covers a range of litigation matters including securities, environmental and franchising cases.

Brett Ledger is well known for his expertise in environmental and pensions litigation. Sources say: "He is a steady hand and has good strategic insight."

Sonia Bjorkquist advises on product liability cases and class actions, and is also highly experienced in privacy matters.

Significant clients Imperial Tobacco Canada, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Bankers Association, Goldcorp, Imperial Oil.

Band 3 | Stockwoods LLP

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 9 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Toronto litigation boutique with a strong local presence and significant expertise in areas including securities, intellectual property and professional liability litigation. Notable experience in litigation involving the healthcare, energy, media and sports industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Bench strength: "Exceptional lawyers – they are strong right through."  

Work highlights Represented a group of solar energy consulting companies in defence of a securities class action alleging misrepresentations which affected the share price of Timminco.

Acted for Direct Energy Marketing on a claim brought against a competitor alleging breaches of the Trademarks Act and Competition Act.

Notable practitioners  

Brian Gover has a strong reputation in a range of areas, including commercial litigation, criminal cases and administrative law. Recent work highlights include acting for the Ontario Securities Commission on an insider trading case.

Paul Le Vay has considerable experience in commercial litigation, securities matters and professional negligence cases. 2013 highlights saw him act for the mediator on claims in connection with Nortel's insolvency.

Brendan Van Niejenhuis is "an extremely capable advocate" with extensive experience in securities and intellectual property cases. He also advises on First Nations litigation.

Johanna Braden is recommended for her strong oral advocacy skills. Her areas of expertise include securities, employment and professional negligence.

Luisa Ritacca continues to build her reputation in the market, with sources highlighting her strengths in defamation and advertising law.

Significant clients RBC Dominion Securities, TD Securities, Toronto Police Service.

第四等 |

What the team is known for Highlighted for its involvement in significant fraud, securities and banking cases. Noted for its experience in competition, insolvency and shareholder disputes. Also comes highly recommended for class action defence.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Advocacy: "They have got a long history of successful advocacy."

Breadth of services: "They have expertise in all areas and they provide great service." 

Work highlights Acted for JTI-Macdonald and RJ Reynolds Tobacco on a healthcare cost recovery action brought by the government of Ontario.

Advised Parrish & Heimbecker on a shareholder rights case in connection with the company's contested takeover bid for Thirdcoast.

Notable practitioners  

Christopher Bredt advises on restructuring litigation, Aboriginal law, anti-piracy actions and shareholder disputes. He recently represented Canadian National Railway in a case involving a blockade of a rail line in Ontario. Clients note: "He is technically knowledgeable and he gets results."

The "terrific" Bruce Carr-Harris focuses on construction, intellectual property and insurance litigation. Notable mandates include representing Telesat Canada in a case involving Boeing Satellite Systems International.

James Douglas is an expert in securities matters, and recently advised AIC on a major market timing class action.

David Scott QC has a leading reputation as "one of the most popular advocates" in Ontario.

Significant clients Bell Canada, Louis Vuitton Malletier, the Government of Mexico, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Royal Bank of Canada.

第四等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 23 partners
- 32 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers a broad range of expertise in areas including class actions, arbitration and commercial dispute resolution. A strong profile for securities litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

Strategic planning: "They have been fantastic in terms of helping us navigate through certain pieces of litigation, and looking at the larger picture and what it means for our business."

Work highlights Advised the trustee in the bankruptcy of Bowater Canada Finance Corporation on a CAD700 million claim brought against the company in its Chapter 11 proceedings.

Represented Royal Canin Canada in a class action concerning claims of negligently supplied pet food that was unfit for consumption.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Schafler has a strong reputation in the areas of auditor liability, energy and proxy contests. Clients describe him as "a savvy litigator who has good business experience and knowledge."

John Lorn McDougall QC is "a very effective trial lawyer" who has extensive expertise in commercial litigation, arbitration and class actions.

Since publication, John Lorn McDougall has joined Arbitration Place

Band 4 | Lerners LLP

第四等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 29 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises on securities, commercial and professional liability litigation. Also active in competition, insolvency and employment disputes, with additional expertise in health law and insurance defence.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Efficiency: "Excellent, timely and professional provision of legal services in a cost-effective manner."

Work highlights Represented TELUS in a fraud action brought against a former employee.

Acted for Pattison Outdoor Advertising on litigation seeking to quash the City of Toronto's new billboard tax.

Notable practitioners  

Earl Cherniak QC is "a really extraordinary lawyer and a formidable opponent." He is singled out for his extensive experience in a range of matters, including contractual cases, shareholder disputes and Aboriginal matters. He is also widely viewed as a "big player" in arbitration and mediation.

Significant clients Canadian Medical Protective Association, Gore Mutual Insurance Company, Frank Cowan Company, Conrad Black.

Band 4 | WeirFoulds LLP

第四等 |

What the team is known for Stands out for its expertise in a broad range of areas including insolvency, real estate and construction law. Also highly regarded for environmental and employment litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Technical expertise: "The firm offers an optimal value proposition for clients who require state-of-the-art advice on novel matters."

Notable practitioners  

Bryan Finlay QC maintains a leading reputation for his accomplishments in high-profile litigation, including securities, competition and shareholder disputes. He also advises on class proceedings, and is described by sources as  "a very learned and passionate lawyer who earns the respect of his peers with his poise, knowledge and presentation."

第五等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 19 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well known for its representation of clients in mining and natural resources litigation. Also has considerable experience in securities, tax and franchise cases. Other areas of focus include real estate, insurance and IP disputes.

What's new? Wendy Berman joined the firm from Heenan Blaikie LLP. 

Work highlights Acted for Stetson Oil & Gas on a contractual dispute with Stifel Nicolaus Canada concerning the underwriter's obligations.

Advised Hecla Mining on litigation relating to its hostile takeover bid for Aurizon Mines. 

Notable practitioners  

Glenn Zakaib is best known for his involvement in product liability cases. He also advises on class proceedings and insurance-related matters.

Wendy Berman earns praise for her strength in securities litigation and regulatory law.

Significant clients Forbes & Manhattan Coal, Dacha Strategic Metals, Canadian Tire, Goldcorp, Maudore Minerals. 

Band 5 | Gowlings

第五等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 91 partners
- 74 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly rated for its strength in intellectual property and copyright litigation. Also recommended for product liability, professional liability and arbitration. Represents clients from a range of sectors, including life sciences and financial services.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Expertise: "They are very approachable and they provide a superb analysis of the issues."

Work highlights Represented the Canadian Medical Protective Association in a professional liability matter brought by a patient of a former CMPA physician member. 

Notable practitioners  

Robert Armstrong is "an excellent litigation counsel" who is active in the areas of securities, product liability and competition litigation.

John Callaghan enters the rankings this year as "an experienced and effective litigator." His expertise includes insurance, professional liability and class actions.

Significant clients CIBC, Bruce Power. 

Band 5 | McMillan LLP

第五等 |

Basic facts about the department

- 40 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Areas of expertise include product liability, competition and restructuring litigation. Extensive experience in matters relating to the automotive, pharmaceutical and financial services sector. Also handles class action defence and international arbitration.

Work highlights Acted for former officers of Sino-Forest on an OSC prosecution relating to the collapse of the company.

Represented Teva in four national class actions concerning its fentanyl transdermal patch.

Notable practitioners  

David Kent is highlighted for his expertise in competition litigation. His experience also covers technology and product liability matters.

Markus Koehnen is noted for his skill in handling shareholder disputes, restructuring litigation and arbitration. Clients describe him as "a prodigious worker and a superb courtroom lawyer who remains extremely calm and unflustered."

Significant clients The Hershey Company, Novartis, Tyco, Mastercard, Boehringer Ingleheim.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Scott Hutchison of Henein Hutchison LLP is "a premier litigator" who is commended for his white-collar crime practice and for his involvement in civil cases arising from criminal misconduct.

Paul Pape of Pape Barristers is "a superb advocate" who receives praise for the strength of his appellate practice.

The "very skilled" Michael Barrack of Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP is highlighted for his broad practice which encompasses securities and restructuring cases. Sources say: "He does an excellent job – he is very effective in complex litigation and a pleasure to work with."

John Finnigan of Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP earns plaudits for his strengths in insolvency and restructuring litigation. Sources say: "He is a very credible, no-nonsense litigator who is extremely effective in court."

Peter Wardle of Wardle Daley Bernstein LLP is extremely well regarded for securities litigation, professional negligence and contractual disputes. Sources say: "He is absolutely excellent and meticulous in his preparation and presentation."

Foreign Experts (Based Abroad)

Nicholas Holland of Bircham Dyson Bell in London has notable experience in Canada, where he practised for over a decade. He frequently advises Canadian clients, and is especially highly regarded for his contentious trusts practice. Sources comment: "He is bright, affable and very good with clients, making them feel at ease."

Since publication, Nicholas Holland has joined McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.