Lexpert presents Ontario’s top computer and IT lawyers based on our latest annual peer review. Check out the complete list of the province’s most recommended information technology lawyers and law firms in our practice area rankings.
Computer and information technology (IT) law is a branch of the legal profession that governs all matters relating to the transfer, use and storage of electronic information. The practice includes a wide range of areas, including security, intellectual property rights and even constitutional law.
Most frequently recommended computer and IT lawyers
Richard F.D. Corley is a partner and the head of the cleantech and outsourcing practice groups at Goodmans LLP. He boasts more than 25 years of experience advising clients on complex outsourcing transactions, technology mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, cleantech and other technology-related matters. He is recognized as one of the country’s leading outsourcing and IT lawyers and has led the procurement, negotiation, implementation, renegotiation and resolution of disputes in many complex outsourcing transactions. Corley pioneered the use of standardized tools and real-time issue resolution to facilitate the efficient preparation and management of outsourcing agreements based on well-developed precedents. He is a frequent speaker at professional conferences and seminars on outsourcing, technology and cleantech-related topics. Corley is the director of the Canadian Institute for Exponential Growth (SingularityU Canada), Can-Tech (IT law), CORE (outsourcing), and the Building Energy Innovators Council (BEIC). He is also a member of the Information Technology Association of Canada, ITechLaw, Canadian Bar Association, American Bar Association, Toronto Computer Lawyers Group, International Association of Outsourcing Professionals and Climate Change Lawyers Network.
Wendy J. Gross is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where she chairs the technology group. She specializes in outsourcing and other complex corporate and commercial transactions relating to technology products and services and business processes, and related regulatory and other legal issues. These areas include payment systems and networks, cloud computing, OSFI B-10 compliance, open banking, artificial intelligence, fintech transactions, blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies, public and private procurement e-commerce, privacy and data protection, consumer protection, intellectual property protection, and licensing. Gross has extensive experience advising financial services, retail, e-commerce, transportation and energy companies in these areas.
Christine Ing is partner and the head of the technology law and fintech groups at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. She has over 20 years of experience in strategic commercial transactions and collaborative arrangements involving technology, intellectual property and data at their core. Ing boasts extensive experience in all aspects of information technology law, including outsourcing, systems and software acquisitions, systems and software development, licensing, various ASP and SaaS arrangements, complex services agreements and distribution and reseller agreements. She is passionate about and a well-recognized leader in open banking, alternative data, payment systems, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity, cloud services, technology development and innovative collaborations. Ing also has significant experience in the payments space and has led large payment network deals on behalf of issuers. Ing is a member of the Canadian IT Law Association, the ITechLaw Association and the Toronto Computer Lawyers’ Group. She currently co-chairs the global digital transformation committee of the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution and is on the commercial transactions advisory board of Practical Law Canada.
Lisa R. Lifshitz is a partner at the business law group at Torkin Manes LLP. She is also the leader of the firm’s technology, privacy and data management group. Lifshitz specializes in information technology and privacy and cybersecurity law. She is the chair of the robotics and AI subcommittee and cyberspace committee of the American Bar Association’s business law section. She is also a council member of the science and technology and business law sections of the ABA. Lifshitz is an editorial board member of The Sci-Tech Lawyer of the ABA’s science and technology section. She is a past president and director of the Canadian Technology Law Association. Lifshitz is a prolific writer and speaker and was the long-term author of a monthly feature column for Canadian Lawyer Magazine and the co-editor and contributor to Cloud 3.0: Drafting and Negotiating Cloud Computing Agreements, published in May 2019 by the ABA.
Barry B. Sookman
Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1982
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).
George S. Takach
Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year called to the bar: 1985
George S. Takach is a senior partner in McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Toronto office. He advises clients on tech company mergers and acquisitions and financing deals, sophisticated tech licensing and tech procurement transactions and challenging e-commerce activities. Takach represents a wide range of software, hardware and other technology companies on commercial and financing and M&A matters. He has a national tech procurement practice and regularly assists companies in all sectors of the Canadian economy. Takach has authored the second editions of Computer Law, The Software Business and Contracting For Computers.
Amy-Lynne Williams is a partner and one of the founding members of Deeth Williams Wall LLP. She devotes her practice exclusively in information technology law. She advises clients on systems acquisitions, outsourcing, privacy, payments, internet issues and tech transfers. Williams is a past president of the International Technology Law Association and the Canadian IT Law Association. She has testified as an expert witness on outsourcing agreements and has served as an arbitrator on an international arbitration panel.
Consistently recommended computer and IT lawyers
Law firm: Deeth Williams Wall LLP
Year called to the bar: 1985
Richard Austin is a partner at Deeth Williams Wall LLP. His areas of practice include privacy, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, IT and business process outsourcing, applications development and licensing, software audits and Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). He represents technology users in the public and private sectors and domestic and international service providers. Before joining the firm, Austin spent 18 years as general counsel of EDS Canada, one of the country’s largest technology service providers. He is a sought-after speaker on technology law issues, including on privacy and security, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, social media, identity management and professionalism in the digital age.
Michael G.G. Fekete
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the bar: 1993
Michael G.G. Fekete is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s technology group and the firm’s national innovation leader. His practice focuses on outsourcing, information technology, government contracting, e-commerce and privacy. Fekete has extensive experience advising clients in developing and exploiting technology- and e-commerce-related products and meeting related Canadian regulatory requirements, including Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation. He represents IT service providers, software publishers, hardware manufacturers, online vendors and purchasers of technology and services. Fekete provides legal services to these clients in connection with outsourcing transactions, complex joint ventures, strategic alliances, product distribution arrangements, systems integration projects and compliance initiatives.
Simon H. Hodgett
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the bar: 1992 (ON); 1996 (NL)
Simon H. Hodgett is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. He devotes his practice to technology-related commercial transactions and all types of outsourcing. Hodgett leads complex IT transactions, including projects in the technology, financial services, retail, utilities, public and healthcare sectors. He provides advice on large strategic outsourcing transactions from planning stage, through vendor selection to final agreement. He also provides advice and leads a team providing commercial technology law advice to early stage and high-growth technology companies. His current projects include transactions related to AI, fintech, blockchain, SaaS and cloud computing and eHealth. Hodgett regularly presents at conferences and client events on topics such as commercialization of technology, cloud computing, fintech, technology procurement, contracting for cybersecurity and outsourcing. He is a past president of the Canadian IT Lawyers Association and Toronto Computer Lawyers Group.
Donald B. Johnston co-chairs the technology law and privacy and data security groups at Aird & Berlis LLP. He is also a partner and a member of the firm’s corporate and commercial and intellectual property groups. Johnston boasts diverse experience in all kinds of technology, IP, mergers and acquisitions, procurement, privacy and data protection and health law and new technologies, including blockchain and autonomous vehicles. He provides strategic advice to clients on licensing transactions, financing and development projects, negotiating and settling agreements and distribution arrangements. Johnston has lectured extensively on outsourcing, technology law, e-health law, procurement, privacy and data security. Johnston is a past president and co-founder of the Canadian Technology Law Association. He is also member of the Toronto Computer Lawyers’ Group, a council member and past executive committee member of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario and past chairman of the board of Skymeter Corporation, a GIS services company. Johnston is also honorary consul of Belgium in Toronto.
James Kosa is a partner at WeirFoulds. He devotes his practice to information technology and intellectual property law. Kosa offers his clients a wealth of knowledge and experience in technology issues, including the protection and exploitation of computer and software technology, IT and IP licensing, privacy, security breaches and dispute resolution. Kosa acts as technology counsel to technology companies in a wide variety of high-technology fields. He also represents consumers of technologies with procurement and negotiation of technology services. Kosa is the immediate past president of the Canadian Technology Law Association and a past chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s intellectual property section.
David Ma is a partner at Blaney McMurtry LLP. He focuses on commercial transactions involving technology, including outsourcing, development, licensing, distribution, service provision, procurement and e-commerce. Ma’s practice also covers corporate matters involving companies that develop, market and exploit technology, including shareholder agreements, corporate structure, reorganizations, financings, acquisitions and divestitures. Ma boasts extensive experience in dealing with technology and the business of technology and has a strong background in accounting and finance. He advises a variety of clients, from start-ups to large national and multinational corporations and financial institutions. Ma is a past treasurer and former director of the Canadian IT Law Association. He is also a member of the International Technology Law Association, the information technology and e-commerce section of the Ontario Bar Association, the Licensing Executives Society, the Toronto Computer Lawyers’ Group and the American Bar Association. Ma is a certified public accountant and a chartered financial analyst.
J. Fraser Mann
Law firm: Deeth Williams Wall LLP
Year called to the bar: 1977
J. Fraser Mann is a counsel at Deeth Williams Wall LLP. He practises information technology and intellectual property law. His clients in the private sector include publicly traded companies and other companies involved in the acquisition and use of technology and various technology companies supplying innovative products and services in Canada and other countries around the world. Mann provides advice on all legal issues that arise in all stages of a complex IT procurement project, commencing with the preparation of procurement documents and continuing with the selection of a vendor, the negotiation of a master agreement and statements of work and ongoing assistance in the management of the contract. Mann is a past president of the Canadian Technology Law Association and past co-chair of the technology law committee of the International Bar Association.
Joel Ramsey is partner at Torys LLP, where he co-heads the payments and cards and technology contracting practices. Ramsey devotes his practice to technology contracting and outsourcing and payments and cards. He assists clients on corporate transactions and on matters involving offshoring, procurement, privacy, consumer protection, mobile payment systems, IT strategy, data distribution, cloud computing and e-commerce solutions. Ramsey’s clients include financial institutions, technology service providers, retailers, pension funds and companies in the asset management, energy and securities sectors.
Peter D. Ruby
Law firm: Goodmans LLP
Year called to the bar: 1996
Peter D. Ruby is a partner at Goodmans LLP, where co-chairs the technology group. He has a national and international practice focused on business and IT-based dispute resolution, including software, telecommunications, film, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, television, privacy and data protection and breach, intellectual property, e-commerce and internet litigation, arbitration, mediation and advice. Ruby represents large multinational organizations and some of Canada’s most entrepreneurial IT companies in proceedings before arbitrators, the Supreme Court of Canada, the courts of Ontario, Canada’s national telecommunications and broadcast regulator and other tribunals. Ruby is an executive committee member of the International Technology Law Association, where he is a former co-chair of the dispute resolutions committee. He is also a member of the Canadian Technology Law Association and the Toronto Computer Lawyers Group. Ruby is a former adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, where he taught telecommunications and internet law.
Parna Sabet-Stephenson is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Toronto office and co-leader of the firm’s fintech and insurtech groups. Her practice focuses on all aspects of outsourcing, technology law, and e-commerce. She also advises on the legal implications of emerging technologies, including blockchain and the Internet of Things. Sabet-Stephenson assists domestic and international customers and service providers in a range of industries, including telecommunications, financial services, retail, pharmaceutical, energy, technology and automotive. She has extensive experience in structuring, negotiating and drafting various outsourcing, joint venture, technology acquisition, technology development, licensing, supply, cloud services and complex services agreements. Sabet-Stephenson is regularly called upon for technology transformation and digitization projects. She is fluent in English, French and Farsi. Sabet-Stephenson is a member of the Canadian delegation to the e-commerce working group (Working Group IV) of the United Nations commission on international trade law.