Best insolvency and financial restructuring lawyers in Ontario

The spotlight is on the best insolvency and financial restructuring lawyers in Ontario as Lexpert unveils the results of its annual peer review. The full list of the province’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field can be accessed in our practice area rankings.

Our survey covers the practice of restructuring and insolvency litigation, which includes acting for and advising lenders and other creditors, debtors, trustees, receivers and other participants in corporate insolvencies and debt enforcement, collection and recovery. The practice also involves bankruptcy, receivership or similar court-supervised insolvency proceedings or private enforcement remedies.

Most recommended insolvency and financial restructuring lawyers

David Bish

Law firm: Torys LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1999

David Bish is a partner at full-service business law firm Torys LLP. He devotes his practice to all aspects of bankruptcy, insolvency, proposals, windups, liquidations, reorganizations, restructurings, receiverships and security enforcement. Bish is also involved in corporate governance issues in distressed circumstances and boasts extensive experience in cross-border matters. He is regularly engaged in commercial financing, private equity and M&A transactions. Bish is a trusted advisor to a wide range of parties, including leading corporations, financial institutions, distressed investors, and professional services and business advisory firms. He speaks regularly at conferences on insolvency and restructuring law. Bish is considered among Canada’s top financial restructuring lawyers.

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Scott A. Bomhof

Law firm: Torys LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1995

Scott A. Bomhof is a partner at Torys LLP. He specializes in corporate restructuring and insolvency. Bomhof has represented clients in court proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and plans of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act. He also boasts extensive experience in sales proceedings, debtor-in-possession and interim financing loans, receiverships and out-of-court transactions involving negotiated workouts, recapitalizations, debt exchanges, refinancings, distressed investments and acquisitions. Bomhof is recognized as among the best insolvency and financial restructuring lawyers in the country. He has been lead counsel on a number of complex Canadian and cross-border proceedings.

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David R. Byers

Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1983

David R. Byers is a partner and co-chair of the national litigation and dispute resolution group at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He also served as the head of the firm’s litigation group in Toronto for more than 20 years. Byers is highly experienced in complex commercial litigation, including product liability, securities, insolvency and insurance, and domestic and international arbitration. He also has extensive advocacy experience appearing before both the trial and appellate levels of courts in Ontario. His representations reflect a practice of extraordinary depth and scope, including acting for companies and their management in a broad range of industries such as manufacturing, technology, pharmaceutical, financial services and tobacco. Byers has also acted for both lenders and debtors in several court-supervised restructurings. He is considered one of the best insolvency litigators in the country.

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Jay A. Carfagnini

Law firm: Goodmans LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1982

Jay A. Carfagnini serves as counsel at Goodmans LLP’s corporate restructuring group. His practice focuses on banking, financing, corporate reorganizations, bankruptcy and insolvency law. Carfagnini is an expert in cross-border and international transactions. He has participated in restructurings of several large companies. Carfagnini is considered among Canada’s leading insolvency and financial restructuring lawyers. His firm specializes in business law and one of the country’s largest.

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Robert J. Chadwick

Law firm: Goodmans LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1994

Robert J. Chadwick is a partner at Goodmans LLP. He devotes his practice to banking, corporate and commercial, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and private equity law, with a focus on insolvency and reorganization. Chadwick is an expert in cross-border and international transactions. He has served as an advisor in major Canadian and cross-border corporate matters and restructurings. Chadwick has participated in significant financings and acquisitions for diverse clients. He has also advised several boards of directors of companies in Canada. Chadwick is recognized as one of the country’s leading insolvency and financial restructuring lawyers.

Harvey G. Chaiton

Law firm: Chaitons LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1982

Harvey G. Chaiton is a partner at Toronto-based multi-practice law firm of Chaitons LLP. He practises in the areas of bankruptcy and insolvency, with an emphasis on receiverships and corporate restructurings, including insolvency litigation. Chaiton has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada to argue cases on diverse issues in insolvency matters, including under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. He has extensive experience advising Canadian and international financial institutions, indenture trustees, private equity firms, asset-based lenders, equipment lessors, unsecured trade creditors, debtors, receivers, monitors, liquidators and trustees in bankruptcy in Canadian and cross-border corporate restructuring, receivership, bankruptcy, liquidation, and enforcement proceedings. Chaiton is considered one of the top insolvency and financial restructuring lawyers in the country.

Jane Dietrich

Law firm: Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Year called to the Bar: 2004

Jane Dietrich is a partner at full-service business law firm Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. She specializes in commercial restructuring, insolvency and related litigation. Dietrich has extensive experience representing stakeholders in formal and informal corporate reorganizations, enforcement of security and unsecured creditor remedies. She is considered one of the best insolvency and financial restructuring lawyers in Canada. Dietrich was an adjunct professor of law at the University of Toronto, where she taught bankruptcy law. She has also written and presented on a wide range of insolvency-related topics.

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Matthew P. Gottlieb

Law firm: Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1991

Matthew P. Gottlieb is a partner at Toronto-based litigation firm Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP. His business litigation practice includes corporate and commercial disputes, insolvency and restructuring, and fraud and securities litigation. Gottlieb has an extensive track record of success in complex, high-stakes disputes and is recognized as one of Canada’s top insolvency litigators. He has significant expertise in trials, applications, tribunals and arbitrations and regularly appears at all levels of court in Ontario and other provinces, the Federal Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada. Gottlieb has acted as counsel in many major proceedings. He is a frequent speaker at many litigation-related seminars held by The Law Society of Ontario, The Advocates' Society and other organizations.

Pamela L.J. Huff

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1987

Pamela L.J. Huff is a partner and the national practice group leader at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s restructuring and insolvency group. She is also a member of the full-service business law firm’s executive committee. Huff boasts more than 30 years of experience in insolvency and financial restructuring and is considered one of the best lawyers in the field. She has extensive experience in all areas of insolvency practice, including both the litigation and commercial aspects of workouts, reorganizations, receiverships and other enforcement of security. Huff has acted as counsel to debtors, financial institutions, asset-backed lenders, debtor-in-possession lenders, secured and unsecured creditors, receivers, trustees and monitors in complex domestic and cross-border insolvencies. She has also acted for purchasers in significant acquisitions through insolvency proceedings and has expertise with aircraft financings and airline insolvencies. She has appeared in all levels of court across the country, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Elizabeth Pillon

Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1994

Elizabeth Pillon is a partner at the litigation and dispute resolution group and the head of the restructuring and insolvency group at Stikeman Elliott LLP’s Toronto office. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation, with an emphasis on restructuring and insolvency matters. Pillon’s restructuring and insolvency practice involves Ontario-based restructurings, Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, receivership and bankruptcy proceedings and cross-border insolvency proceedings. She has represented debtors, monitors, receivers, trustees in bankruptcy, secured creditors and purchasers of assets from insolvent estates. Pillon has been appointed by the Court to act as representative and independent counsel in restructuring proceedings. She frequently appears before the Ontario Superior Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal. She has also appeared before the Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Québec Courts in restructuring matters. Pillon is recognized as one of the country’s top financial restructuring lawyers.

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Linc Rogers

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the Bar: 2000

Linc Rogers is partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, where he is also the chair of the distressed retail sub-group. He devotes his practice to high-end corporate reorganizations, financial restructurings, distressed mergers and acquisitions and debtor-in-possession financings. His clients include leading international private equity and hedge funds, large foreign and domestic commercial lenders, multi-national corporations and prominent financial advisory firms acting in various court appointed capacities. Rogers is routinely retained by US private equity and hedge funds, US-headquartered asset-based lenders and prominent financial advisory firms acting in various court appointed capacities to provide strategic and legal advice for some of their most complicated mandates. He has also played prominent roles in some of Canada’s largest retail insolvencies. Rogers is considered among the leading financial restructuring lawyers in the country.

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Robert I. Thornton

Law firm: Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1984

Robert I. Thornton is a founding partner of restructuring and litigation law firm Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP. He is considered as one of the best insolvency and financial restructuring lawyers in Canada. Thornton is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a director of the Insolvency Institute of Canada. He is also a member of the International Insolvency Institute, INSOL International, The Advocates’ Society, the Toronto Lawyers’ Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Turnaround Management Association, the Canadian Insolvency Foundation and the Ontario Bar Association, Insolvency Section.

Marc Wasserman

Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Year called to the Bar: 2001

Marc Wasserman is a partner and the national chair of the insolvency and restructuring group at full-service business law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. He practises corporate and commercial law, with a focus on corporate restructuring, financial services and private equity. Wasserman has been involved in many complex corporate recapitalizations, reorganizations, restructurings and related acquisitions, divestures, financings and governance matters. He is an expert in national, cross-border and international matters, acting for major debtor corporations, bondholders, equity sponsors, senior lenders, monitors and acquirers. Wasserman also regularly provides strategic advice and risk analysis on structuring of corporate and lending transactions. He is considered among the leading financial restructuring lawyers in the country.

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