Ontario's best corporate and commercial litigation lawyers in 2021

Lexpert reveals Ontario's best corporate and commercial litigators based on our annual peer review
Ontario's best corporate and commercial litigation lawyers in 2021

Lexpert reveals Ontario’s best corporate and commercial litigators based on our latest comprehensive annual peer review. You can check out the province’s complete roster of the most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field on our practice area rankings.

Our survey comprises corporate and commercial litigators focused on advice and representation, whether by way of negotiation, civil proceedings, alternative dispute resolution, mediation or arbitration. Their practice involves all matters relating to the breach of or disputes regarding commercial contracts and purchase and sale of assets, equipment or other lease agreements.

Also included are lawyers practising in the areas of banking and financing litigation, which includes secured and unsecured enforcement and recovery, multi-party creditor disputes, asset recovery and tracing, and disputes regarding various security, financing or trade instruments. Specialists in business organization disputes resulting from shareholder agreements, joint ventures, partnerships, distribution, agency and other such matters are also included in our peer review.

Most frequently recommended corporate and commercial litigation lawyers

John Adair

Law firm: Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP
Year called to the Bar: 2006

John Adair is a partner at Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP. He devotes his practice to commercial litigation, with a focus on partnership, contractual and estate disputes. Adair regularly represents clients in directors’ and officers’ liability claims, enforcement of foreign judgments and professional liability matters. He has also written and spoken on numerous occasions on advocacy-related topics and has won numerous awards for his written articles. Adair previously taught trial advocacy at both the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School. 

Sarah Armstrong

Law firm: Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Year called to the Bar: 2003

Sarah Armstrong is the vice-chair of the Ontario litigation department at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, where she is also a partner. Armstrong boasts broad litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution experience, with a practice focused on commercial and contractual disputes and class action defence. She works with clients across a range of industries, including mining, professional services, insurance, health, automotive, retail and manufacturing, advising them on complex and business-critical commercial disputes and professional liability matters. Her class action experience includes securities, product liability, privacy, insurance and consumer cases. She has advocated for clients at both the trial and appellate levels. Armstrong acts as lead counsel and co-counsel in matters before all levels of court in Ontario, and domestic and international arbitral tribunals. She also has experience in administrative law matters, including acting as independent legal counsel to the discipline and fitness practice committees of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Read more about Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP on the growth of capital markets during the pandemic

Edward J. Babin

Law firm: Babin Bessner Spry LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1987

Edward J. Babin is a partner at Babin Bessner Spry LLP. He has been practicing complex litigation for more than 25 years. Babin was a senior partner at the litigation departments of two prominent Canadian law firms before establishing his own litigation boutique in 2009. He has acted for clients in several contract, securities, corporate governance, oppression, competition, investment advisor, executive employment, insolvency, consumer, franchise, conspiracy and fraud-related matters. Babin has also represented clients in securities-related class actions, takeover bids and other change-of-control transactions. He has handled numerous sports-related matters, including on behalf of several National Hockey League (NHL) clubs and the Canadian Football League (CFL), and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in the Ben Johnson case. Babin has also acted as counsel in connection with several public inquiries and has extensive pro bono experience.

Michael E. Barrack

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1982

Michael E. Barrack is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He is recognized as one of the leading senior commercial litigators in Canada. Barrack has acted on some of the most significant litigation disputes in Canada and has appeared at all levels of court and at proceedings in the US and England. He has represented clients in criminal jury trials, civil and constitutional appeals and other cases that would be brought before the Supreme Court of Canada. Barrack is a past president of The Advocates' Society and has a broad range of community involvements.

Read more about Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP on restructuring in a challenging economy

Sandra L. Barton

Law firm: Gowling WLG
Year called to the Bar: 2000

Sandra L. Barton is a trial lawyer and a partner at Gowling WLG. She devotes her practice to complex commercial litigation disputes, class action defence, product liability, defamation and professional liability claims. Barton has represented clients before all levels of courts and in private arbitrations, and local and multi-jurisdictional disputes. She works closely with clients and counsel in the US and throughout Canada. Barton is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. She is a sought-after trial advocacy instructor and has trained lawyers across North America in a range of trial and appellate skills. Barton has also served as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and is a lead instructor in its annual Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop for lawyers across Canada. She is also a visiting instructor at the University of Notre Dame and regularly trains lawyers for The Advocates’ Society.

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Sarit E. Batner

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year called to the Bar: 2000

Sarit E. Batner is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Toronto office and a member of the firm’s board of partners. She specializes in trial and appellate litigation and arbitration at all levels of Canadian courts, with a focus on complex commercial litigation. Batner boasts extensive experience as lead counsel in cases involving shareholders’ rights, professional negligence, breaches of fiduciary duties, breaches of contract and taxation. She has acted in a wide variety of proceedings for physicians, engineers, accountants and lawyers. Her clients also include major airlines, major information technology services providers, research hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and major oil and gas companies. Batner is frequent writer and speaker on matters of substantive law, trial and appellate advocacy and issues affecting women and young professionals.

Read more about McCarthy Tétrault LLP on the rise of virtual arbitration during the pandemic

Wendy Berman

Law firm: Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1992

Wendy Berman is a senior partner and the chair of the securities litigation group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. She practices in the areas of corporate and securities litigation. Berman has significant experience in complex commercial and securities-related litigation, often involving parallel and cross-border regulatory, criminal and class action proceedings. She is also an expert in the litigation aspects of proxy contests, takeover bids and other acquisitions. Berman has represented public companies, directors and officers in some of Canada’s largest investigations and proceedings involving disclosure violations, insider trading and other fraud-related allegations, corruption and anti-bribery, significant acquisition transactions and corporate governance.

Read more about Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP on stakeholder engagement

Andrew E. Bernstein

Law firm: Torys LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1999

Andrew E. Bernstein is a partner at Torys LLP. He devotes his practice to business law disputes, including intellectual property, commercial and public law matters. A significant portion of his practice involves patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Bernstein also has considerable experience in class actions, licensing, contracts and tort actions. He is an expert in public law, having acted for both public and private sector clients in administrative hearings, judicial reviews and Charter matters. Bernstein frequently advises and defends traditional and new media clients on defamation and free expression issues. He is also an experienced appellate lawyer and has appeared in divisional court, the Ontario and Federal Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. Bernstein writes and speaks frequently on topics related to his practice.

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Simon Bieber

Law firm: Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP
Year called to the Bar: 2008 (ON); 2005 (Tennessee)

Simon Bieber is a partner at Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP. He practices in both the US and Canada.  Bieber specializes in commercial and corporate litigation, class actions, directors’ and officers’ liability, securities litigation and professional negligence. He has represented a broad range of clients, including lawyers, accountants, directors and officers, and other public and private companies.

Ian Binnie

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght
Year called to the Bar: 1967 (ON); 1966 (England & Wales); 1985 (YT)

Ian Binnie is a counsel at Lenczner Slaght. He has served as a justice at the Supreme Court of Canada for nearly 14 years. Binnie has authored more than 170 opinions on landmark cases involving issues of patent interpretation and validity, protection of trademarks, media law, commercial disputes, punitive damages, expert evidence and many aspects of constitutional, criminal and administrative law. He draws not only on his judicial insights, but also his wealth of courtroom experience acquired over 30 years to become one of Canada’s top litigators. Since returning to private practice, Binnie is regularly consulted by governments and private parties on a range of private and public law issues and carries on an active practice as a domestic and international arbitrator.

Sheila R. Block

Law firm: Torys LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1974

Sheila R. Block is a partner and the chair of the litigation and dispute resolution practice at Torys LLP. She is a senior trial and appellate counsel with a broad civil litigation practice, which includes corporate, commercial and securities litigation, intellectual protection, defamation and administrative law. Block has appeared as counsel on a wide range of high-profile cases before all levels of court in Canada and in international arbitrations and other tribunals. She has also spoken and written extensively on advocacy and civil litigation and has taught advocacy in Canada, the US, England, Scotland, New Zealand and El Salvador.

Read more about Torys LLP on surveying private equity in 2021

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 is highly experienced in complex commercial litigation, including product liability, securities, insolvency and insurance and domestic and international arbitration. Byers has extensive advocacy experience appearing before both the trial and appellate levels of courts in Ontario. He has appeared as a panelist and speaker on a wide variety of litigation issues. Byers is a past director of The Advocates’ Society and a member of the Insolvency Institute of Canada and the Litigation Counsel of America. He has co-authored the Canada chapter in the International Comparative Legal Guide To: Class & Group Actions 2014 and the industry publication Creditors’ Remedies in Ontario.

Read more about Stikeman Elliott LLP on private equity investment in Canada

Nadia Campion

Law firm: Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP
Year called to the Bar: 2006

Nadia Campion is a partner at Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including shareholder oppression applications, directors’ and officers’ liability, estates matters, class actions and professional liability. She also has an active land development and real estate litigation practice. Campion has extensive trial experience and appears regularly before the Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Appeal and various regulatory and administration tribunals. She also has expertise in Toronto commercial list proceedings. Campion has earned both US and Canadian law degrees and is fluent in French. She regularly presents at the Law Society of Ontario, the Ontario Bar Association, The Advocates’ Society, the Canadian Defence Lawyers Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Business Women’s Network of York Region, the International Association of Defense Counsel and l’Association des juristes d’expression francais. Campion regularly publishes articles and is quoted in several legal publications.

Read more about Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP on mitigating damages in a disrupted marketplace

Robert A. Centa

Law firm: Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Year called to the Bar: 2001

Robert A. Centa is the managing partner at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP. He acts in all areas of advocacy, with an emphasis on public law, business litigation and executive employment disputes. Centa represents clients in partnership and shareholder rights disputes, commercial litigation and arbitration, major insolvencies, restrictive covenant and confidential information cases and intellectual property disputes. He regularly acts for universities and other public institutions and has extensive experience in public inquiries.

David Chernos

Law firm: Chernos Flaherty Svonkin LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1993

David Chernos is a partner at Chernos Flaherty Svonkin LLP. He devotes his practice to corporate and commercial litigation, with an emphasis on matters involving shareholders’ disputes, insolvency and corporate restructuring, income tax, insurance coverage disputes, and directors’, officers’ and professional liability. Chernos has broad experience in complex estates litigation matters, having acted for numerous trustees and beneficiaries. He has appeared as lead counsel before the Ontario trial courts, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.

Tom Curry

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght
Year of called Bar: 1986

Tom Curry is the managing partner at Lenczner Slaght. He is recognized as one of the most experienced trial and appellate advocates in Canada. Curry boasts expertise in high-profile commercial litigation, class actions, arbitrations, business disputes, administrative law, judicial review, intellectual property, competition and professional liability cases. He is certified as a specialist in civil litigation by the Law Society of Ontario. Curry is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is a regular speaker on a wide variety of subjects relating to trial practice and substantive law. Curry was recently the recipient of the prestigious Law Society Medal for his exceptional career achievement and exemplary contribution to the profession.

Read more about Lenczner Slaght on Dominion voting systems

Sandra A. Forbes

Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1992

Sandra A. Forbes is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. She specializes in corporate, class action, securities and competition litigation. Forbes devotes a significant portion of her practice to defending clients in national and cross-border class actions. She acts for clients before all levels of court and various administrative tribunals in Canada, including the Competition Tribunal. Forbes has achieved successful results for clients on diverse issues, including class actions alleging anti-competitive conduct or collusion and competition matters such as abuse of dominance. She is also highly experienced in defending litigation for directors and audit committees. Forbes is a past president of The Advocates’ Society. She is also a regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers, fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where she teaches advanced advocacy. Forbes was a law clerk to the Honourable Justice Peter Cory of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1990 to 1991.

Read more about Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP on infrastructure investments during the pandemic

Linda L. Fuerst

Law firm: Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1983

Linda L. Fuerst is a senior partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP. Her practice covers a broad range of commercial and professional liability matters, with a focus on securities litigation, class proceedings, regulatory issues and white-collar crime. She represents corporations and individuals with respect to internal investigations. Fuerst has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Court of Appeal and in connection with investigations and proceedings by the Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia Securities Commissions, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) and the Competition Bureau. She has also dealt with Interpol in connection with her successful removal of a diffusion notice. Fuerst represents corporations and individuals with respect to internal investigations. She is appointed to the Securities Advisory Committee of the Ontario Securities Commission and served as a member of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Class Action Task Force relating to the management of multi-jurisdictional class actions.

Read more about Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP on responding to cybersecurity breach during the pandemic

Matthew P. Gottlieb

Law firm: Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1991

Matthew P. Gottlieb is a partner at Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP. He devotes his practice to business litigation, including corporate and commercial disputes, insolvency and restructuring and fraud and securities litigation. Gottlieb boasts extensive experience in complex and high-stakes disputes and regularly appears at all levels of court in Ontario and other provinces, the Federal Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has acted as counsel in many major proceedings, including those on behalf of Nortel Networks (UK), Sears Canada, Aon, Sleep Country Canada, KingSett Capital and Pfizer Inc. Gottlieb is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is a frequent instructor at many litigation-related seminars held by the Law Society of Ontario, The Advocates' Society and other legal professional organizations.

Read more about Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP on mitigating damages in a disrupted marketplace

Peter Griffin

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght
Year called to the Bar: 1980

Peter Griffin is a founding partner at Lenczner Slaght. He boasts extensive experience in complex cross-border litigation, especially in relation to class proceedings and insolvency and restructuring. Griffin regularly advises the boards of national and multinational companies. He also represents clients in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution proceedings and acts as an arbitrator in commercial disputes. Griffin is a past president of The Advocates’ Society. He is also a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and past chair of its Ontario Province Committee. He is constantly sought out as an expert speaker on advocacy, shareholder disputes, class actions, professional liability and insolvency and restructuring.

Read more about Lenczner Slaght on the rise of summary disposition in Canadian IP litigation

Geoff R. Hall

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1993

Geoff R. Hall is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Toronto office. His practice covers all aspects of corporate and commercial litigation, including contracts, banking, shareholder disputes, tax, bankruptcy and restructuring, administrative law and Aboriginal law. Hall is a broadly published author, his most notable work being Canadian Contractual Interpretation Law, which has been cited multiple times by the courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He teaches both contract law and trial advocacy. Hall has clerked for the Supreme Court of Canada from 1991 to 1992.

Read more about McCarthy Tétrault LLP on the impact of Canada’s sales and income taxes changes

Peter F.C. Howard

Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1982

Peter F.C. Howard is a partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP’s litigation and dispute resolution group. He devotes his practice to commercial litigation, including securities law, class actions, commercial contracts, oppression and other types of shareholder and joint venture litigation and insolvency matters. Howard boasts extensive experience in arbitrations, mediation and alternate dispute resolution. He has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada and the trial and appellate levels of courts in Ontario, as well as numerous administrative tribunals. Howard has also appeared in the Courts of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. He was assistant commission counsel in the Estey Royal Commission inquiry into the collapse of CCB and Northland Banks and commission counsel to the inquiry into the violence at Queen’s Park (Ontario Legislature) in March 1996.

Read more about Stikeman Elliott LLP on carve-out transactions

Monique Jilesen

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght
Year called to the Bar: 2000

Monique Jilesen is a partner at Lenczner Slaght. She boasts an extensive litigation practice, acting as lead counsel in complex proceedings from inception to trial. Her commercial litigation practice includes class actions, contract and shareholder disputes, civil fraud cases, injunctions, bankruptcy and insolvency matters, and securities and derivatives cases. Jilesen’s clients include major financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, technology companies and other multinational corporations facing challenging cross-border disputes. She has appeared at all levels of court and in administrative tribunals. Jilesen is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and is a recipient of The Advocates’ Society Douglas K. Laidlaw Medal for Excellence in Advocacy.

Katherine L. Kay

Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1988

Katherine L. Kay is a litigation partner and head of the Stikeman Elliott LLP’s competition litigation practice. She is also a past member of the firm’s partnership board, executive committee and Toronto management committee. Her practice concentrates on complex commercial litigation, often involving the interplay between regulatory, civil and criminal law regimes across multiple jurisdictions. Kay’s areas of focus include competition, product liability, securities, corruption and other white-collar cases.

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Eliot N. Kolers

Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1996

Eliot N. Kolers is a partner and the head of the litigation and dispute resolution group at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He is also a member of the firm’s management committee in Toronto office. His practice concentrates on complex corporate commercial, competition and securities litigation. Kolers has represented clients in a wide range of cases, including real-time litigation matters in relation to contested corporate transactions. He has also defended class actions involving competition law, securities and privacy issues. Kolers has represented clients in a broad range of commercial cases involving oppression remedies, proxy contests, takeover bids, shareholder disputes, plans of arrangement and corporate governance matters. He has litigated all manner of competition cases before the courts and Canadian Competition Tribunal. Kolers is a member of the International Bar Association, American Bar Association and Canadian Bar Association and Metropolitan Toronto Lawyers Association. He is also a board member of The Advocates' Society (Ontario), past executive member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Litigation Section and past chair of the CBA’s class actions and private enforcement committee. Kolers writes and speaks extensively in his fields and is editor-in-chief of the LexisNexis publication Class Action Defence Quarterly.

Read more about Stikeman Elliott LLP on how Canada's IP law has changed since 2019

Paul H. Le Vay

Law firm: Stockwoods LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1988

Paul H. Le Vay is partner at Stockwoods LLP. His practice includes corporate, commercial and securities litigation, regulatory and public law, professional liability and regulation, claims against directors and officers and employment litigation. Le Vay is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is also an international member of the Commercial Bar Association (UK). Le Vay is bilingual and argues cases in English and French before all levels of courts and tribunals, including the Ontario Securities Commission. He is a former trustee of the Law Foundation of Ontario, past president of l'Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario and past director of The Advocates’ Society. Le Vay is a frequent speaker and author in his areas of practice.

Eli S. Lederman

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght
Year called to the Bar: 2002

Eli S. Lederman is a partner at Lenczner Slaght. His practice covers a broad range of complex commercial litigation matters, including securities law, class actions, commercial contracts, oppression and other shareholder litigation. Lederman regularly acts for directors and officers of private and public corporations. He also advises boards and their committees on governance and litigation matters. Lederman has extensive trial experience in commercial litigation and in medical malpractice actions and acts as counsel in commercial arbitrations. He has appeared as lead counsel at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Lederman often represents physicians faced with legal difficulties related to medical practice, appearing frequently before the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. He is also a regular speaker in continuing legal education programs particularly on issues relating to contractual disputes, securities law and trial advocacy.

Jeffrey S. Leon

Law firm: Bennett Jones LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1979

Jeffrey S. Leon is a trial lawyer, arbitrator, mediator and partner at Bennett Jones LLP’s litigation department. He devotes his practice to general domestic, international and cross-border litigation, with a focus on business litigation. Leon has been practicing for 40 years and has extensive trial and appellate experience. He has appeared before courts and arbitration tribunals both domestic and international and serves as a neutral in mediations and arbitrations. Leon is also a regular author, speaker and panelist. He is a past president of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Leon has been a recipient of various awards for his excellence in civil litigation and his contributions to the legal profession.

Read more about Bennett Jones LLP on the importance of vigilance to avoid fraud

Matthew B. Lerner

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght
Year called to the Bar: 2008

Matthew B. Lerner serves as a partner at Lenczner Slaght. He has a litigation practice focused on complex commercial litigation, including infrastructure and real estate disputes and insolvency matters. Lerner regularly acts for parties involved in shareholder or partnership disputes, commercial arbitration and in prosecuting or defending civil fraud claims. He has also acted on behalf of directors and officers in the defence of large multi-jurisdiction class actions. Lerner is routinely involved in a variety of insolvency proceedings, acting for the court-appointed officer or creditors. He has appeared as lead counsel at all levels of court in Ontario, administrative tribunals and private arbitrations. His clients span a wide range of industries, including individual entrepreneurs, large real estate developers and public companies in the information and technology sector. Lerner is also the chair of the firm’s Moot in Legal Ethics and Professionalism, which is held annually for law students at Western Law.

Jonathan C. Lisus

Law firm: Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1992

Jonathan C. Lisus is a partner at Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP. His practice focuses on commercial and public law trial and appellate litigation. Lisus has deep experience with infrastructure and public-private partnership-related litigation, class actions for plaintiffs and defendants, product liability, oppression remedies and securities litigation. He appears as counsel in courts and arbitral tribunals across the country and the Supreme Court of Canada. Lisus is a director at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and regularly acts as special counsel on constitutional challenges to government actions. He has also been lead counsel in many landmark decisions in the area of class actions, professional liability, public and constitutional law and commercial litigation. He has tried over 80 cases to judgments and argued over 50 appeals in provincial appellate courts and the Supreme Court of Canada. Lisus is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is also a member of the Chief Justice of Ontario’s Advisory Committee on Professionalism and the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute.

Larry P. Lowenstein

Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1983

Larry P. Lowenstein is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. He also served as chair of the firm’s national litigation department from 2005 to 2010. Lowenstein boasts a broad corporate, commercial and complex litigation practice, which includes class actions, corporate governance, contested mergers and acquisitions, securities litigation, enforcement of foreign judgments, environmental liability and franchising disputes. He has acted as counsel in a wide range of disputes at all levels of Courts in Ontario and before the Ontario Securities Commission.

Read more about Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP on the sectors ripe for litigation

William C. McDowell

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght
Year called to the Bar: 1988

William C. McDowell is a partner at Lenczner Slaght. He appears in commercial litigation, libel and public law cases. McDowell has represented clients in many landmark cases, most notably in the Supreme Court of Canada. He was Canada’s associate deputy minister of justice from 2005 to 2008 and was responsible for civil litigation, national security and issues involving central agencies. McDowell has acted for the chief of police in Toronto, the chief adjudicator of the Independent Assessment Process of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and served as amicus to the Superior Court in relation to Aboriginal land occupations in Brantford. He was named chief commission counsel to the Long-Term Care Homes Inquiry in August 2017.

Matthew Milne-Smith

Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Year called to the Bar: 2001 (ON); 2000 (New York)

Matthew Milne-Smith is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s litigation practice. He acts for public companies, private corporations and major Crown agencies on a wide range of civil litigation matters, including commercial disputes, complex class actions, securities disputes, constitutional challenges, insolvency proceedings and novel tort claims. Milne-Smith also acts before a variety of courts and tribunals, including as trial counsel and in numerous precedent-setting appeals before the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has enjoyed success in obtaining summary dismissal of actions against his clients. His reported cases include leading decisions in the areas of class actions, securities litigation, enforcement of foreign judgments, insolvency, freedom of speech and solicitors’ duty of loyalty. Milne-Smith has clerked for the Honourable Justice Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1999 to 2000.

Peter Osborne

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght
Year called to the Bar: 1992

Peter Osborne is a partner at Lenczner Slaght. He has a broad civil litigation and administrative law practice encompassing cross-border commercial disputes, complex cross-border restructuring and insolvency cases, class actions and securities matters, professional malpractice litigation and disciplinary proceedings. Osborne was counsel to the government of Canada in the litigation and related insolvency proceedings around the tobacco smuggling, which yielded the largest civil settlement in Canadian history. He also advises boards of directors of public and private companies and special committees on governance, cross-border litigation and insolvency proceedings. Osborne has helped oversee the restructuring of some of Canada’s largest companies. He is also the chair of The Advocates’ Society Modern Advocacy Task Force, which seeks to advance the reform of the Canadian justice system in light of COVID-19.

Terrence J. O’Sullivan

Law firm: Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1973

Terrence J. O’Sullivan serves as a partner at Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP. He devotes his practice to dispute resolution and is frequently retained as sole arbitrator, party nominee, chair and appointed independent fact-finder in arbitrations and mediations involving important commercial matters, often of an international nature. O’Sullivan has a broad commercial litigation practice, with expertise in business-related litigation, including contract disputes, shareholder disputes, oppression remedies and securities litigation. He has represented clients before all levels of Ontario courts, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada. O’Sullivan is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb) and past president of The Advocates’ Society of Ontario. O’Sullivan is an active member of the legal profession, having published more than 70 papers on diverse litigation topics. He was a co-author of the Civil Justice Review volumes one and two and is former chair of the joint committee on court reform of the province of Ontario. O’Sullivan is a recipient of the Law Society of Ontario’s Medal for his outstanding contribution to the legal profession and is a recipient of the Gold Key Award for Achievement from the Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Association.

Chris G. Paliare

Law firm: Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1973

Chris G. Paliare is a partner at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP. He is an expert in shareholder disputes, securities litigation, administrative law, Charter of Rights and Freedoms and constitutional litigation, class actions, employment law and white-collar criminal law. He has acted at the trial and appellate levels. Paliare is a fellow of International Association of Trial Lawyers (Eastern Canadian Chair), International Society of Barristers and American College of Trial Lawyers and former Ontario provincial chair. He is also an honorary member of COMBAR and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Paliare was inducted into the Order of Ontario in 2011 and received the Law Society Medal in 2004.

Linda M. Plumpton

Law firm: Torys LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1996

Linda M. Plumpton is the chair of the litigation and dispute resolution, and competition and antitrust practices at Torys LLP, where she is also a partner. Plumpton focuses on competition litigation, class action defence, corporate and commercial disputes and securities litigation. She also practises public, constitutional and employment law. Plumpton has appeared as counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada, all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Court, and before the Competition Tribunal and the Ontario Securities Commission. Plumpton is a member of the Antirust Section of the American Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association and The Advocates’ Society. She has taught advocacy and lectured on class actions and competition law issues at the Osgoode Hall Law School, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, University of Toronto Faculty of Law and at programs run by The Advocates’ Society and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

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Guy J. Pratte

Law firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)
Year called to the Bar: 1984 (ON); 2002 (QC)

Guy J. Pratte is a partner and the chair emeritus at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG). He devotes his practice to commercial litigation, including class actions, administrative law and constitutional law. Pratte is fully bilingual and has an active practice in Ontario and Québec. He appears frequently before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Superior and Appeal Courts of Ontario and Québec, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal. Pratte is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the president of The Advocates’ Society and a director of the Supreme Court of Canada Advocacy Institute. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, where he teaches courses focused on the Supreme Court of Canada. Pratte is a recipient of the Law Society of Ontario medal and the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Civil Litigation.

Read more about Borden Ladner Gervais LLP on trends to watch in business and law

Linda R. Rothstein

Law firm: Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1982

Linda Rothstein is a senior partner at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP. She is known for probing cross-examinations, strategic advice and behind-the-scenes counsel work on high-stakes cases. Rothstein focuses on civil and administrative litigation, with expertise in class actions, commercial litigation, professional liability and misconduct, public law, employment and human rights, and judicial review and appeals. Rothstein is a recipient of the Law Society Medal by the Law Society of Ontario and the Award of Distinction from the Toronto Lawyers Association.

Shara N. Roy

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght
Year called to the Bar: 2004

Shara N. Roy is a partner at Lenczner Slaght. She is a cut-to-the-chase litigator who specializes in bet-the-company litigation. Her commercial litigation practice includes securities, class actions, restructuring and insolvency, commercial arbitration and contractual and shareholder disputes. Roy is a trusted advisor to companies and regularly acts as counsel in director and officer liability and special committee investigations. She is also a committed and recognized advocate for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Roy spearheaded the firm’s name-anonymization project in student hiring and co-founded ReferToHer, a series of lists of experienced female lawyers to whom lawyers and clients can confidently refer work. She also co-established and heads the EDI Sub-Committee at the Commercial List Users’ Committee for the Commercial Court in Toronto.

Junior Sirivar

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year called to the Bar: 2003

Junior Sirivar is a partner in McCarthy Tétrault’s litigation group and co-chair of the firm’s international arbitration group. He advises domestic and international clients across a broad range of industries, including mining, banking, and telecommunications, in complex commercial disputes. Sirivar provides strategic advice and has acted as trial and appellate counsel in numerous civil matters, appearing before all levels of court in Ontario. He has also argued numerous cases before arbitral tribunals seated in a variety of venues. Sirivar is co-author of the Canadian chapter in The Global Damages Review and co-editor of McCarthy Tétrault’s international arbitration and mining blogs.

Read more about McCarthy Tétrault LLP on what to expect in private equity and investments in 2021

R. Paul Steep

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1982

R. Paul Steep is a counsel at the litigation group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, where he also serves as a partner. He devotes his practice to commercial litigation, with a focus on securities litigation, including class actions. Steep has an active trial and appeal practice and has been involved in corporate governance claims, business valuation disputes, oppression remedy claims, banking litigation, securities and commercial contractual disputes before all levels of Ontario courts. He also maintains a significant practice in securities enforcement and related proceedings before the Ontario Securities Commission and appears before other administrative tribunals, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Steep is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Read more about McCarthy Tétrault LLP on legislative shifts in climate change environmental regimes

Richard B. Swan

Law firm: Bennett Jones LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1991

Richard B. Swan is a partner and co-head of the litigation department and commercial litigation practice group at Bennett Jones LLP. His practice is focused on complex corporate and commercial litigation and public law issues. Swan has extensive trial and appellate experience, having appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Court of Canada, Supreme Court of Canada and an array of administrative and arbitral tribunals. He specializes in corporate disputes, shareholder oppression issues, commercial disputes, restructurings, injunctions, arbitrations, professional negligence, economic torts, professional discipline, estates litigation and administrative and public law. Swan is also an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he teaches advanced commercial litigation. He is a member of the American Bar Association and The Advocates’ Society, where he served as director and committee chair. Swan is a sought-after speaker on advocacy and professional issues at seminars and conferences.

Read more about Bennett Jones LLP on the oil sector’s tough year

Kent E. Thomson

Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1984

Kent E. Thomson is the head of litigation at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s Toronto office, where he also serves as a partner. He has extensive experience in complex and high-stakes litigation. Thomson has acted as lead counsel in numerous precedent-setting cases in the areas of oppression, plans of arrangement, class actions, securities, defamation, tort, competition, tax, intellectual property and elections. A number of these cases have been decided by the Supreme Court of Canada. Thomson has conducted many trials and appeals, and appeared in courts throughout Canada, as well as in complex domestic and international arbitrations in Canada, the US, Europe and Africa. Thomson is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.