Here are Ontario’s best commercial insurance litigation law firms based on Lexpert’s latest extensive yearly peer review. The full lineup of this year’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the practice can be viewed in our practice area rankings.
Commercial insurance litigation comprises the provision of advice and representation, whether by way of negotiation, judicial proceedings, alternative dispute resolution, mediation or arbitration in all matters relating to liability and coverage disputes. It also involves risks, property and other such cover between insurers, insureds, reinsurers, excess insurers, intermediaries, special risks underwriters and insurance mutuals.
Most recommended commercial insurance litigation law firms
Blaney McMurtry LLP
Year established: 1954
Number of lawyers: 42
Number of ranked lawyers: 6
Partners: Timothy Alexander, Varoujan Arman, Giovanna Asaro, Anna Casemore, Dominic T. Clarke, Thomasina A. Dumonceau, W. Colin Empke, Ian S. Epstein, Reeva M. Finkel, Brenda Gross, L. Russell Hatch, Roger Horst, Sheldon Incol, Brendan Jones, David R. Mackenzie, Jason P. Mangano, Eugene C. Mazzuca, Stephen R. Moore, Kerry Nash, Alva Orlando, Robert J. Potts, Larry P. Reimer, Maria Scarfo, Jay A. Skukowski, Gary Srebrolow, Rafal Szymanski, David S. Wilson, Roderick S.W. Winsor
Toronto-based Blaney McMurtry LLP specializes in litigation and advocacy, real estate and business law. Its location allows it to handle complex matters that have scope beyond Toronto and surrounding areas. The firm is a member of TAGLaw, one of the world’s largest legal networks in the world and the Risk Management Counsel of Canada (RMC), a national association of law firms that provides services to the risk management industry, including insurers, risk retention groups and self-insureds. The firm is also a founding member of Insurance Law Global (ILG), a network of like-minded, independent insurance defence firms committed to providing global service to insurance clients from independent law firms across North America and Europe.
Year established: 1823
Number of lawyers: 57 (Insurance claim defence)
Number of ranked lawyers: 7
Partners: Katherine Ayre, T. Kirk Boyd, Rebecca Bush, Kim Dullet, Larry Elliot, David Elman, Mary Lynn Gleason, Natalie D. Kolos, Robert L. Love, Anna Marrison, Kevin McGivney, Dalton McGuinty Jr., John Melia, Thomas Ozere, Douglas O. Smith, Tamara Tomomitsu, Robert W. Traves, Wendy Whelan
Full-service firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP boasts a more than 700-strong pool of lawyers in its offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Montréal and Calgary. It advises businesses and other institutions on all aspects of business law, including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, major disputes, financing, and trademark and patent registration. BLG is a bilingual English-French firm that excels under both the common and civil law systems in Canada. The firm is one of the first in North America to implement client service standards and takes pride in having a diverse and inclusive workplace. BLG’s insurance claim defence team boasts in-depth knowledge of insurance law and an exceptional understanding of the subtle nuances and intricacies that make each matter unique. The group serves many of the largest national and global insurers, reinsurers and reciprocals, brokerage firms, companies carrying significant self-insured retentions, adjusting firms and insurance regulatory bodies. The team’s lawyers help defend complex insurance claims at every level of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
Clyde & Co Canada LLP
Year established: 1992 (Canada)
Number of lawyers: 4
Partners: George Karayannides, Roderic McLauchlan
Clyde & Co Canada LLP specializes in every facet of insurance and commercial litigation. Its Toronto office is a key part of the firm’s global practice, providing a strong regional focus for both local and international clients across a range of complex and contentious matters. The firm advises clients on all aspects of insurance defence and coverage, commercial and construction litigation, class action defence, arbitration and mediation. Clyde & Co regularly represents directors and officers and their insurers at the negotiating table and before the courts and tribunals. The firm’s lawyers boast a deep understanding of the insurance industry and work closely with its network of over 50 international headquarters.
Year established: 1992
Number of lawyers: 9
Number of ranked lawyers: 1
Partners: Nina Bombier, Jonathan Chen, Matthew Sammon, Dena N. Varah, Mark Veneziano, Andrea Wheeler
Lenczner Slaght is recognized as one of Canada’s leading litigation practices. For more than 25 years since its establishment, the firm has acted for clients in over 17,000 cases, conducting more than 500 trials, arbitrations and tribunal hearings. In total, the firm’s current team has spent more than 6,500 days in hearings. Lenczner Slaght’s insurance litigation lawyers draw on extensive trial and appellate experience to advise clients on the spectrum of policy, coverage and defence matters. The firm has a proven record in litigating coverage cases among and against insurers involving issues, including trigger of coverage, allocation of defence and indemnity, covered and excluded claims, obligations among primary and excess insurers, reinsurance, drop-down matters and run-off coverage. The team has provided counsel in reinsurance disputes in many forums and are frequently engaged in cases where insurance carriers face questions around policy interpretation, bad faith, punitive damages and other areas of insurance, including alienated premises exclusion, cleanup costs as damages, expected or intended damage or injury, known loss, late notice, “other insurance” issues, owned property exclusions, post-acquisition coverage and pollution exclusion. Its lawyers are retained to defend significant matters including class action defence, disputed directors’ and officers’ liability, environmental and property damage claims, large product liability claims, professional negligence and all manner of commercial liabilities.
Consistently recommended commercial litigation law firms
Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP
Year established: 2018
Number of lawyers: 14
Number of ranked lawyers: 1
Partners: Geoff Adair, John Adair, Simon Bieber, Michael Darcy, Alex Fidler-Wener, Jordan Goldblatt, Gord McGuire, Nathaniel Read-Ellis, Julia Wilkes
Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP is a Toronto-based boutique firm dedicated to civil litigation. It ranks among the most experienced trial and appellate advocacy firms in Ontario having tried hundreds of jury and non-jury cases to verdict and argued dozens of appeals in the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. The firm has represented clients in several precedent setting cases, including commercial litigation matters, complex insurance issues, class actions, partnership disputes and major tort actions involving product liability or professional negligence claims.
Miller Thomson LLP
Year established: 1957
Number of lawyers: 21
Number of ranked lawyers: 5
Partners: Chris T.J. Blom, James D. Bromiley, Eric S. Charleston, John K. Downing, Mark R. Frederik, Helen D.K. Friedman, Molly Luu, Timothy J. McGurrin, Susan Adam Metzler, Dan Rabinowitz, Ana Simões, Lisa Spiegel, Thomas Whitby
Miller Thomson LLP is recognized as among Canada’s leading national business law and litigation firms. It has offices in Vaughan, Toronto, Guelph, Markham, Waterloo, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon and Vancouver. The firm boasts a roster of more than 550 lawyers in over 60 specialty practices. It offers a complete range of business law, advocacy, and personal legal services to corporations, financial institutions, entrepreneurs, governments, not-for-profit organizations and individuals. The firm’s clients include leaders in a broad range of sectors, including banking, insurance, manufacturing, energy, agribusiness, transportation, marketing and advertising, retail, commercial real estate, construction, projects, social impact, technology, environmental, life sciences and healthcare services. Miller Thomson’s insurance defence lawyers are among the most prominent in their field, with experienced litigators in all major jurisdictions across Canada. They handle a variety of insurance litigation matters for numerous insurance carriers and represent clients in all levels of courts and administrative tribunals across Canada, as well as in arbitration and mediation proceedings around the world. The team’s expertise includes road maintenance and design liability, products liability, construction claims, professional negligence and personal injury claims.