Here are Canada’s leading corporate tax litigators based on the results of Lexpert’s extensive annual peer survey. Check out the full list of the country’s most recommended corporate tax litigation lawyers and law firms in our practice area rankings.
In our survey, corporate tax litigation covers disputes involving tax planning or estates and trust structures for high-net-worth individuals and various levels of governments. The practice also includes disputes regarding proper taxation of commercial transactions or agreements, corporate structures, financing transactions or financial instruments and specific industries. It also involves international tax disputes in matters such as such as transfer pricing, treaty interpretation and tax avoidance.
Most frequently recommended corporate tax litigation lawyers
Guy Du Pont is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. He devotes his practice to complex and high-stakes litigation and has appeared at all levels of trial and appellate courts in Canada, including the Québec Superior Court and Court of Appeal, Tax Court of Canada, Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada. He has represented clients in a wide range of practice areas, including taxation, class actions, competition, white-collar and constitutional law. Du Pont is a fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers and an elected member of American Law Institute. He received lawyer emeritus distinction from Barreau du Québec and Order of Merit from University of Ottawa. Du Pont is also a recipient of the Tax Court of Canada Medal for outstanding services to the court and Benchmark Canada’s hall of fame award.
Cy M. Fien is a senior tax partner of Fillmore Riley LLP. He devotes his practice to taxation and trust law. Fien has extensive experience in corporate tax planning, corporate reorganizations, estate planning, trust law and tax litigation. He has appeared before all levels of Federal Tax Courts and acted for public companies, international clients and trusts and small business clients. Fien is currently a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Tax Journal and the editorial board of the Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal. He has also authored numerous papers and articles on taxation matters for the Canadian Tax Foundation and the Law Society of Manitoba. Fien was awarded a Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the Canadian Tax Foundation in 2012. He was an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law for more than 15 years, teaching all levels of tax courses.
Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1990
Nathalie Goyette is a partner at the tax and tax disputes practices at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. She helps clients manage and resolve audit and appeal disputes with provincial and federal tax authorities. Goyette has extensive experience representing corporate and individual clients on all aspects of tax litigation matters relating to income tax, goods and services tax, provincial sales tax, tax avoidance and mining tax. She has also earned the trust of clients as varied as multinational corporations, closely held businesses, high-net-worth individuals and trusts and estates. Goyette is a frequent speaker at national and international tax seminars and has authored numerous publications, including a book on tax treaty abuse.
Edwin G. Kroft is a partner at Bennett Jones LLP’s Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary offices. He also leads the firm’s tax litigation and controversy group. Kroft represents clients, including major Canadian and foreign corporations, in domestic and international tax disputes involving the Canada Revenue Agency and other tax authorities. These disputes deal with domestic and cross-border issues such as transfer pricing, treaty interpretation and tax avoidance. Kroft regularly appears for clients before various Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of British Columbia. He was a member of the Tax Court of Canada Rules Committee and the Federal Court Bench and Bar Committee. He also served as chair of the tax litigation section of The Advocates’ Society and as governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation. Kroft has written more than 60 articles and papers on taxation for various publications. He was the recipient of the CTF Lifetime Contribution Award in 2016 and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. Kroft is also an adjunct professor at University of British Columbia Law School and the Osgoode Hall Law School’s Tax LLM program.
Martha MacDonald is a partner at Torys LLP. She also leads the firm’s tax controversy and litigation practice. MacDonald practises tax litigation before trial and appellate courts and dispute resolution with the Canada Revenue Agency and provincial tax authorities. She has been involved with tax issues, including transfer pricing, tax avoidance, foreign tax credits, residence for tax purposes, taxable employment benefits, and goods and services tax and harmonized sales tax, in addition to a range of administrative and procedural matters specific to the tax area.
Al Meghji is the head of the tax controversy practice at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. He is also a partner at the firm. Meghji appears frequently in the courts for leading Canadian and multinational corporations. He has argued several landmark tax cases, including the first general anti-avoidance case and the first transfer pricing case in the Supreme Court of Canada. Meghji is a chartered accountant and a former counsel at the Department of Justice.
Matthew G. Williams is a partner at Thorsteinssons LLP. He focuses on all aspects of taxpayer representation. Williams has appeared before the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Ontario Superior Court and the Supreme Court of Canada on a wide range of issues. He has extensive experience dealing with Canada’s general anti-avoidance rule in both domestic and international contexts, having successfully appealed several cases in the Federal Court of Appeal.
Consistently recommended corporate tax litigation lawyers
François Barette is a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. He represents a diversified domestic and international client base, which includes individuals, corporations and trusts. His practice extends well beyond tax litigation as he is asked to intervene in a range of civil and administrative matters. Barette advises clients on issues concerning federal and provincial income tax, sales tax, goods and services tax, excise tax, payroll tax and property tax.
Neil E. Bass is a partner at the tax and tax controversy/tax litigation groups at Aird & Berlis LLP. He is an expert in tax litigation and commodity taxation, including goods and services tax and harmonized sales tax, provincial sales tax and international customs duties. Bass boasts extensive experience in dealing with various taxation authorities. He has represented clients before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, Tax Court of Canada, Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal and provincial courts. Bass also has significant experience in the real estate and development sector, financial services, corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border transactions. He is experienced in alternative dispute resolution and litigation. Bass has served on the Canadian Bar Association and Canadian Institute of Charter Accountants’ joint legislation review committee that reviewed the draft legislation, which amended the Canadian Excise Tax Act. He is a member of the CBA commodity tax customs and trade section and the tax court bench and bar committee. Bass is also a member of the GST Leaders Forum, a group established by the LPA of the most prominent GST/HST accountants and lawyers from across Canada.
Dominic C. Belley is a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, where he co-chairs the Canadian tax team. Belley has handled matters against federal and provincial tax authorities in civil, commercial, criminal and constitutional matters. He has appeared before the Court of Québec, the Québec Superior Court, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, British Columbia Supreme Court, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Québec Court of Appeal, the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. Belley has argued over 200 cases on behalf of clients in seven out of 10 Canadian provinces. His areas of focus include income tax, goods and services tax, fuel tax, tobacco tax, Aboriginal tax, land transfer duties, collection measures, protection of tax information, judicial review, pension plans, unclaimed property and rectifications. Belley has taught taxation for more than 10 years at the University of Sherbrooke and at the Québec Bar School. He has published articles and given speeches in Canada, the US, the UK, France and the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Belley is a past member of the board of the Canadian Tax Foundation and of the bench and bar committee of the Tax Court. He is also a member of the judicial advisory committee of the Tax Court of Canada.
Monica E. Biringer
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the bar: 1986
Monica E. Biringer is the co-chair of the national tax group at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where she is also a partner. She specializes in disputes. Her practice involves all aspects of corporate income tax, with an emphasis on tax disputes, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. Biringer boasts extensive experience in cross-border mergers, inbound corporate financing and acquisitions, leasing as a form of financing and financial restructuring. She is also an expert in tax controversy. Biringer was co-counsel on the first case involving the general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) to reach the Supreme Court of Canada and the first GAAR cases in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. She is an author and speaker at conferences on various Canadian tax matters and is on the editorial board for the Federated Press, a corporate finance periodical. Biringer is a leading corporate tax lawyer and a past governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation.
Law firm: Thorsteinssons LLP
Year called to the bar: 1992
Robert Carvalho is a partner at Thorsteinssons LLP. He specializes in representing taxpayers in complex audits involving the anti-avoidance provisions of the Act, including the general anti-avoidance rule and transfer pricing provisions. Having worked for the Department of Justice for over 25 years, Carvalho has gathered extensive experience at all court levels on such files. He has been involved in numerous files at the Tax Court of Canada and Federal Court of Appeal involving the general anti-avoidance rule, including the first such appeal to go to the Federal Court of Appeal. His experience has also given him insight into the Canada Revenue Agency audit process and has resulted in him being involved in many of the precedential cases involving the use of the CRA’s audit powers.
Gerald A. Grenon
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the bar: 1995
Gerald A. Grenon is a partner at the Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions and commercial and corporate law, with an emphasis on oil and gas law, energy transactions, joint ventures and projects in Canada and international jurisdictions. Grenon is experienced in LNG, oil sands, shale gas, pipelines, midstream, NGL and other energy sector projects and transactions. His clients include Canadian and foreign energy and resource companies, midstream companies, investors, service companies, technology providers, private capital firms and asset management teams.
David W. Jacyk
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the bar: 1994 (MA); 2002 (BC); 2005 (New Zealand)
David W. Jacyk is a partner and the head of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s tax litigation practice in Vancouver. A career litigator on high-profile matters, he has appeared as lead counsel at all levels of Canadian courts, including the Tax Court of Canada, the BC Supreme Court, three different appellate courts and the Supreme Court of Canada. Jacyk has extensive experience in litigating tax cases for the Crown and is well-versed on controversies affecting corporate taxpayers. Prior to joining the firm, he practised as Crown counsel in Canada and New Zealand for 23 years, including serving as general counsel of the Department of Justice of Canada (Vancouver) for 10 years. Jacyk was also legal counsel for the Crown Law Office and Inland Revenue Department in New Zealand from 2015 to 2017. There, he focused on revenue and public law and appeared before the Taxation Review Authority, the High Court, and the New Zealand Court of Appeal. Throughout his career, Jacyk has argued a variety of complex cases involving tax litigation, civil litigation, customs and anti-dumping, bankruptcy and insolvency, judicial review, constitutional and other matters. He is a frequent speaker and author on a range of tax issues.
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the bar: 2006
Pooja Mihailovich is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. She specializes in advising on tax litigation and dispute resolution matters. Mihailovich has appeared in significant cases at all levels of court and routinely represents clients in disputes before the Canadian tax authorities. In addition to tax controversy matters, her practice also includes advising on general corporate tax matters and Canadian tax issues particular to insurance organizations. Mihailovich is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and has lectured at Osgoode Hall Law School. She has also authored articles on a variety of topics regarding federal income tax matters and is a contributing editor of Tax Litigation and the Toronto Law Journal.
Joel A. Nitikman is a partner at the tax group at Dentons Canada LLP. For almost 30 years, he has devoted his practice to resolving tax disputes between taxpayers and federal and provincial tax authorities. Nitikman has extensive experience in federal and provincial income and commodity tax litigation. He has acted as counsel in numerous tax cases at all levels of court, both provincially and federally. Nitikman has also settled many cases out of court at the pre-assessment or objection stage. His skills include organizing a complex set of data, analyzing and structuring the data to determine the relevant tax issues, preparing witnesses for court, drafting legal pleadings and substantive arguments, excellent oral advocacy skills, excellent legal research, the ability to persuade and reason in a complex environment and the ability to assimilate a large number of facts quickly. Nitikman also practises corporate and individual business tax, focusing on offshore tax planning, corporate reorganizations and other business-related tax matters. He also advises on good and services tax and provincial commodity taxes. Nitikman has been involved in extensive provincial, federal and international income and commodity tax planning.
Salvatore Mirandola is a partner at KPMG Law LLP’s tax disputes group and national tax group in Toronto, where he practises tax dispute resolution. He appears on behalf of domestic and international clients before Canada’s federal and provincial tax courts. Mirandola represents taxpayers in all stages of the tax controversy process, from audit and administrative appeal to tax court and appellate court litigation. He prefers to find common ground quickly and effectively to achieve the best possible resolution to a dispute. Many of his solutions are novel and creative and hinge on finding alternative approaches in dealing with tax authorities. Mirandola invests himself in clients’ challenges and takes up their cause with relentless focus. He helps taxpayers negotiate and manage tax audits, including managing interactions with auditors from the Canada Revenue Agency and represents taxpayers in administrative and judicial appeals. Mirandola’s clients hail from numerous industries, including financial services, energy, retail, manufacturing, education and transportation, both in the private and public sectors. He is a regular presenter at conferences, including those organized by the Canadian Tax Foundation, the Tax Executives Institute, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and the OBA.
Margaret Nixon is a partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP’s tax group. She practises in the areas of tax controversy and tax litigation. Nixon represents corporations and individuals in tax disputes with the Canada Revenue Agency and provincial tax authorities. She has successfully represented clients at the audit and appeals levels and in litigation proceedings in the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Nixon has experience resolving disputes involving a broad range of tax issues, including transfer pricing, the general anti-avoidance rule, tax treaties, foreign tax credits, withholding tax, goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax, shareholder benefits and share valuation. She was a Canadian branch reporter for the 2016 International Fiscal Association Congress in Madrid, Spain on the topic of dispute resolution procedures in international tax matters. Nixon is a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation, the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association, the International Fiscal Association and The Advocates’ Society. She is a former member of the taxation section executive of the OBA. Nixon has acted as a judge at the Donald G.H. Bowman National Tax Moot.
Bobby J. Sood
Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Year called to the bar: 1997
Bobby J. Sood is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. He is a leading tax litigation practitioner who specializes in resolving controversies with the Canada Revenue Agency relating to multiple areas of domestic and international taxation. Prior to joining the firm, Sood was a senior counsel in the Tax Law Services Division at the Department of Justice Canada and gained valuable insights regarding the CRA’s policies, priorities and perspectives. He has successfully argued several complex tax disputes and precedent-setting cases before the Tax Court of Canada, Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada. Sood has also been a frequent speaker at DOJ national forums, CRA programs and tax-industry seminars. He is a former instructor for the Law Society of Ontario’s bar admissions course and Osgoode Hall Law School’s intensive trial advocacy workshop. Sood is also a guest lecturer in tax litigation at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
John Sorensen is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Toronto office, where he is also a member of the conflicts committee. He is also the former leader of the firm’s national tax group. Sorensen has extensive experience in resolving income tax and GST/HST disputes at the audit and appeal stages and before the Tax Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal and Ontario Superior Court of Justice. His practice also includes rectification, remission, voluntary disclosures, taxpayer relief and remission order applications. Sorensen is a past chair of the Ontario Bar Association tax section executive. He has spoken and written on tax dispute resolution topics for the Canadian Tax Foundation’s national and regional conferences, the Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Association of Business Economics and the CD Howe Institute. Sorensen has lectured in the Osgoode Hall Law School JD and LLM tax programs and serves on the editorial board of Thomson Reuters’ Tax Litigation Journal. He is also an editor and contributing author to a leading tax text, The Taxation of Private Corporations and Their Shareholders (Canadian Tax Foundation).