Ontario's best intellectual property lawyers in 2021

Lexpert unveils the best IP lawyers in Ontario based on the results of our yearly peer survey
Ontario's best intellectual property lawyers in 2021

Lexpert unveils Ontario’s best intellectual property lawyers based on the results of our latest comprehensive yearly peer survey. The complete list of the province’s most recommended IP lawyers and law firms is revealed in our practice area rankings.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) defines intellectual property as one’s legal rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields. Intellectual property law deals with the rules for securing and enforcing these legal rights.

In our survey, intellectual property law involves the provision of advice and representation in all matters relating to origination, exploitation and protection of inventions, patents, trademarks, copyright, moral rights, industrial designs, brand names, trade secrets and data.

Most frequently recommended intellectual property lawyers

Andrew E. Bernstein
Law firm: Torys LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1999
City: Toronto

Andrew E. Bernstein is a partner at Torys LLP. He focuses on 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 boasts extensive experience in class actions, licensing, contracts and tort actions. He has 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 regularly on topics related to his practice.

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Andrew Brodkin
Law firm: Goodmans LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1995
City: Toronto

Andrew Brodkin is a partner and a member of the executive committee at Goodmans LLP, where he also heads the litigation group. Brodkin devotes his practice to intellectual property litigation, including patent, trademark and copyright disputes, and the complex assessments of damages flowing from the infringement of such rights. He advises clients regarding the development, acquisition, sale and protection of IP and technology assets, including patents, trademarks, trade dress, copyright, industrial designs, rights of personality, confidential information and trade secrets. Brodkin appears regularly before the Federal Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal. He has also appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada. Brodkin has chaired and participated in conferences on IP issues and is a lecturer for the LLM Health Law IP course at Osgoode Hall Law School.

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May M. Cheng
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1993 (ON); 1997 (BC)
City: Toronto

May M. Cheng is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s intellectual property department. She is a certified specialist in IP law, particularly trademark and copyright. Cheng boasts 25 years of experience in advising clients on all aspects of IP protection and enforcement, including branding strategy, acquisition, licensing and anti-counterfeiting. She is also regularly involved in a wide variety of IP infringement cases and complex licensing deals. Cheng is a regular contributor to The Lawyer's Daily, covering current IP cases and legislative changes.

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Dino P. Clarizio
Law firm: Goodmans LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1991
City: Toronto

Dino P. Clarizio serves as a partner at Goodmans LLP. He is a registered patent agent in both Canada and the US and a registered trademark agent in Canada. His practice focuses on all types of intellectual property litigation, particularly patent litigation and patent prosecution. The latter practice is focused on patenting in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Clarizio has appeared in the trial and appellate levels of the Federal Court and Supreme Court of Canada in cases involving pharmaceutical products, construction toys and washing machine agitators. He advises clients on pre-litigation issues such as providing freedom-to-operate, infringement and validity opinions. His cases involved issues that include anticipation, obviousness, utility, infringement, the doctrine of functionality in trademark law, survey evidence and copyright infringement. Clarizio is a frequent author and speaker on IP law. He is also member of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, The Advocates’ Society and Canadian Bar Association.

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Anthony (Tony) Creber
Law firm: Gowling WLG
Year called to the Bar: 1981
City: Ottawa

Anthony Creber is a senior partner at Gowling WLG, where is also past head of its intellectual property litigation and strategy group. He specializes in chemical, biotech and pharmaceutical patent litigation. Creber also devotes his practice to trademark litigation, regulatory issues and advising on intellectual property life cycle matters. He regularly appears in both the trial and appellate levels of the Federal Court. Creber has also represented clients in the Supreme Court of Canada on patent matters, including questions of patentability of life forms, patent licensing and the infringement of biotech patents. Some of the important cases he has appeared in include the SCC decisions in Monsanto v. Schmeiser and Apotex v. Sanofi-Synthelabo – a case for which Creber, as lead partner, won the Milestone Case of the Year 2014 and Patent Case of the Year 2009 awards given by Managing Intellectual Property (MIP). Recently, he represented Novartis in protecting its patent on Gleevec and Biotech Canada in an access-to-information case before the SCC.

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Douglas N. Deeth
Law firm: Deeth Williams Wall LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1976
City: Toronto

Douglas N. Deeth is a partner at Deeth Williams Wall LLP. His practice combines his litigation experience with expertise in negotiating license and product development agreements, product acquisition and mergers and acquisitions agreements, and other IP-focused transactions. He provides advice to clients on the protection and enforcement of all forms of technology and IP rights and has expertise in chemical and pharmaceutical technologies. Deeth has more than 40 years of litigation experience, ranging from the most complex and sophisticated IP litigation to judicial review proceedings and interlocutory injunction applications. He appears regularly before the Federal Court of Canada and the courts of the province of Ontario. Deeth has served on the board of directors of several public and private companies. He is a past president of Fédération Internationale des Conseils en Propriété Industrielle (FICPI) International and its communications commission, FICPI Canada and the IP section of the Canadian Bar Association.

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Ronald E. Dimock
Law firm: Gowling WLG
Year called to the Bar: 1976
City: Toronto

Ronald E. Dimock is a partner at Gowling WLG’s Toronto office and is recognized as a leading intellectual property litigator, mediator and arbitrator. He has appeared as counsel in many of Canada’s landmark patent, trademark and copyright cases, including more than 50 trials before the Federal Court and 30 appeals before the SCC and other appellate courts, over the course of his 40-year career. Dimock is certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a specialist in civil litigation and intellectual property (patent, trademark and copyright) law. He is also a sought-after speaker and has written on a range of topics on IP. For more than 20 years, Dimock taught a master's-level IP course at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. He also previously taught courses at Queen’s University and McGill University. Dimock is a professional engineer.

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Mark Evans
Law firm: Smart & Biggar
Year called to the Bar: 1986
City: Toronto

Mark Evans is the managing partner at Smart & Biggar’s Toronto office and is recognized as a leading trademark lawyer and litigator. He has significant experience in all aspects of trademark law, including trademark and trade-dress litigation, brand selection and clearance, trademark prosecution, oppositions and cancellations, and licensing and merchandising. Evans has been successful in numerous high-profile and precedent-setting cases. He is a registered patent and trademark agent and has written extensively on IP law. Evans is also a frequent speaker and has taught trademark law at Osgoode Hall Law School.

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Steven Garland
Law firm: Smart & Biggar
Year called to the Bar: 1992
City: Ottawa

Steven Garland is the managing partner at Smart & Biggar’s Ottawa office. He boasts over 25 years of trial and appellate experience in intellectual property litigation. Garland has appeared as counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. He has also appeared before the appellate and trial courts in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia, and the Patent Appeal Board and the Trademarks Opposition Board. Garland acts on behalf of innovator pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies in respect of patent-related matters, including patent infringement actions and proceedings under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations. He is an adjunct professor at University of Ottawa Law School, where he teaches patent law. Garland is also a registered patent and trademark agent.

Sana Halwani
Law firm: Lenczner Slaght
Year called to the Bar: 2005
City: Toronto

Sana Halwani is a partner at Lenczner Slaght and leads the firm’s intellectual property practice. She represents diverse clients in patent, copyright and trademark matters, including pharmaceutical companies, technology companies, fashion designers, gallerists and media companies. Halwani has represented clients at all levels of the Ontario and Federal courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada and regularly provides strategic patent and regulatory advice. She also has extensive experience in litigating large cross-border disputes. As the firm’s IT partner and chair of its Innovation Hive, Halwani evangelizes the use of technology in and out of the courtroom by leading the firm’s Digital Default and technology adoption initiatives. She is also a diversity champion and spearheaded ReferToHer in 2019, a series of lists of experienced female lawyers to whom lawyers and clients can confidently refer work. Halwani holds numerous volunteer leadership positions, including director of the Writers’ Trust of Canada, president-elect of the University of Toronto Alumni Association and director of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada.

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Dominique T. Hussey
Law firm: Bennett Jones LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1999 (ON); 2003 (New York)
City: Toronto

Dominique T. Hussey is the vice chair and Toronto managing partner at Bennett Jones LLP. She also co-leads the innovation, technology and branding practice and heads the IP litigation group. Her practice involves all aspects of IP litigation and dispute resolution, including patent, trademark, copyright, contracts and trade secrets, with an emphasis on regulated products and life sciences. She also has extensive experience litigating under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations. In addition to counseling and managing significant trademark portfolios, Hussey advises clients on advertising, marketing, packaging, labelling and regulatory matters, most often pertaining to food, drugs, legal cannabis, cosmetics and medical devices. She also offers her expertise to assist clients in navigating IP aspects of mergers and acquisitions and reorganization in a variety of regulated and retail industries. Hussey regularly writes, speaks and teaches on written and oral advocacy, litigation and intellectual property topics.

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R. Scott Jolliffe
Law firm: Gowling WLG
Year called to the Bar: 1978
City: Toronto

R. Scott Jolliffe is a partner at Gowling WLG. He is an engineer, lawyer and trusted adviser to senior business leaders on strategic legal and business matters. Having earned his reputation as a leading litigator in intellectual property and then as chief executive officer of Gowling, Jolliffe now focuses on providing strategic and practical guidance on the most challenging legal and business matters facing clients. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience, he serves as senior counsel on landmark intellectual property cases and as an advisor to businesses in the aerospace, transportation, resource, manufacturing and life sciences sectors. Jolliffe also serves as a mediator in IP and technology disputes. He often speaks on matters relating to IP, legal ethics, conflicts of interest, diversity and inclusion, the business of law and law firm leadership. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Louis St-Laurent Award for Excellence granted by the Canadian Bar Association. For 20 years, Jolliffe was the national managing partner, CEO and chair of the firm.

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Philip Lapin
Law firm: Smart & Biggar
Year called to the Bar: 1995
City: Ottawa

Philip Lapin is a partner in Smart & Biggar's Ottawa office and chair of the firm’s trademark operations group. With more than 25 years of experience, Lapin manages trademark portfolios and provides strategic advice for many Canadian and multinational corporations. He has handled the clearance, prosecution and registration of thousands of trademarks. Lapin boasts expertise in trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademarks Office. He is also a frequent speaker and author on a wide variety of trademark-related topics. Lapin is a registered patent and trademark agent.

Nathaniel Lipkus
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the Bar: 2007 (ON); 2008 (New York)
City: Toronto

Nathaniel Lipkus is an intellectual property litigator and a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. His practice focuses on contentious legal issues confronting innovation-intensive industries, with an emphasis on patent and regulatory issues facing pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Lipkus is a registered patent and trademark agent. He has represented numerous companies in the life sciences, technology, energy and gaming industries in patent proceedings across Canada and pro hac vice in the US. Lipkus has also litigated trademark, copyright, trade secret and other commercial matters. He was lead counsel for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Canada’s only patent litigation involving claims to human genes, representing the hospital pro bono. Lipkus has also advocated on behalf of life sciences clients before numerous regulatory agencies in Canada and on intellectual property, regulatory approval, pricing and reimbursement and antitrust matters in the US.

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Nancy Pei
Law firm: Smart & Biggar
Year called to the Bar: 1997
City: Toronto

Nancy Pei is a partner in Smart & Biggar’s Toronto office. With hands-on experience as a pharmacist and over 20 years of patent litigation expertise, she has established a successful intellectual property practice focused on the field of life sciences, including pharmaceuticals and biologics. As a patent litigator, Pei advocates on behalf of innovative life sciences companies in cases relating to the PM (NOC) Regulations, patent infringement and impeachment actions, s.8 cases, related quantification reference proceedings and judicial review applications. She has represented clients before the Federal Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Pei also provides advice on matters relating to patent listing, data protection, Certificates of Supplementary Protection, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board and access to information requests. She is a registered patent and trademark agent.

Harry B. Radomski
Law firm: Goodmans LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1978
City: Toronto

Harry B. Radomski is a counsel, executive committee member and intellectual property litigation group head at Goodmans LLP. He devotes his practice to IP litigation, including patent, trademark and copyright disputes and the complex assessments of damages flowing from the infringement of such rights. Radomski regularly appears before all levels of courts and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on leading patent, trademark and damages issues. He also teaches the LLM Health Law IP course at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Andrew M. Shaughnessy
Law firm: Torys LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1993
City: Toronto

Andrew M. Shaughnessy is a partner at Torys LLP. He specializes in intellectual property litigation and dispute resolution and Federal Court practice. Shaughnessy has represented a wide variety of clients in complex patent and trademark infringement and related litigation. He has also been an advocate before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court of Appeal for Ontario and specialized tribunals such as the Trademarks Opposition Board. Shaughnessy is a well-known IP and advocacy speaker, instructor and author. He is also an adjunct lecturer at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he oversees participation in the Harold G. Fox Intellectual Property Moot.

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Barry B. Sookman
Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1982
City: Toronto

Barry B. Sookman is a senior partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s technology law group. He is also the former leader of the firm’s intellectual property group. Sookman is recognized as one of Canada’s foremost authorities in information copyright, internet, privacy and anti-spam law. He acts in connection with complex IT and IP transactions, including outsourcings, cloud computing, military defense procurements and litigation. Sookman has argued numerous precedent-setting IP and internet cases at all levels of courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He has authored numerous books, including the leading seven-volume treatise Computer, Internet and Electronic Commerce Law, Canadian and International Casebook, Copyright: Cases and Commentary on the Canadian and International Law and Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Terms: Judicial, Legislative and Technical Definitions. Sookman is an adjunct professor of IP law at Osgoode Law School. He is also a member of the PTIC copyright committee and on the advisory boards of IP Osgoode and MacDonald Laurier Institute (MLI).

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Christopher C. Van Barr
Law firm: Gowling WLG
Year called to the Bar: 1996
City: Ottawa

Christopher C. Van Barr is a partner at Gowling WLG. He has acquired considerable first-chair experience in complex patent litigation and trademark and copyright litigation. Van Barr is also an expert in trade secret litigation. He advises clients on strategic management of intellectual property, including patent life cycle management. Van Barr also acts on behalf of leading national and international pharmaceutical, medical device, aerospace, software, manufacturing and information technology clients. He has served as an adjunct professor of patent law for eight years at the University of Ottawa and was chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s court practice committee for several years. Van Barr has been a registered patent agent since 2000. He is a sought-after speaker in his area of expertise.

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Donna G. White
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1984
City: Ottawa

Donna G. White is the managing partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s Ottawa office. She has more than 25 years of trademark law experience and represents clients in the technology, fashion, pharmaceutical, consumer products, financial services, entertainment and manufacturing sectors. Her practice encompasses trademark prosecution, portfolio counselling, licensing, and internet and domain name issues. White regularly represents clients in proceedings before the Trademark Opposition Board and provides advice in contentious matters. She has served for many years on the editorial board of the Canadian Patent Reporter and is former chair of the Trademark Agents Board of Examiners.

Matthew Zischka
Law firm: Smart & Biggar
Year called to the Bar: 1995
City: Toronto

Matthew Zischka is the managing partner of Smart & Biggar. He leverages 20 years of patent prosecution, licensing and litigation experience with deep industry knowledge to commercialize and protect intellectual property. Zischka is adept at counseling and guiding electrical, electronics, software and mechanical clients through complex IP challenges. He provides legal opinions and advice on transactions, licensing, assertions of patent infringement and interpretation of commercial contracts and agreements. Zischka often lectures on IP law topics and is a former course director for the McGill/IPIC Patents Course.