These were Toronto's best securities litigation lawyers based on Lexpert's 2021 yearly peer review. For the complete list of Ontario’s leading lawyers and law firms in this field, see our current list of the best securities litigation lawyers here.
In our survey, securities litigation covers dispute resolution and settlement on issues, including insider trading, oppression remedies, shareholder disputes, contested mergers and acquisitions bid and defence work, proxy contests, amalgamations, reorganizations and restructurings, corporate governance disputes and director, officer, issuer and investment dealer disclosure and liability claims.
Most frequently recommended securities litigation lawyers
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.
Robert J. Brush is a partner at Crawley MacKewn Brush LLP. He is an expert in corporate and securities litigation. His securities litigation practice includes class actions, proceedings before securities regulators, director and officer liability claims, shareholder and corporate governance disputes, oppression remedy matters, takeover bid litigation, negligence claims against investment advisors and dealers, cyber-fraud investigations and claims in the financial sector and wrongful dismissal suits against investment firms. Brush regularly represents public companies, investment dealers, officers, directors, shareholders, investment advisors and investors in the myriad disputes that can arise in the capital markets. He also has a wide-ranging corporate commercial litigation practice that includes breach of contract suits, business tort claims, and professional negligence suits.
Law firm: Crawley MacKewn Brush LLP
Year called to the bar: 1996
Alistair Crawley is a partner at Crawley MacKewn Brush LLP. He devotes his practice to corporate, securities and commercial litigation. Crawley handles corporate and contractual disputes and remedies, takeovers and contested shareholder meetings, corporate governance, directors’ and officers’ liability, investigations and enforcement hearings, regulatory policy and compliance issues and professional negligence claims. He boasts extensive experience as counsel in Ontario Securities Commission proceedings and has argued some of the province’s most significant securities law cases. Crawley represents clients in investigations and proceedings brought by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA), Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and Joint Serious Offences Team (JSOT). He also has extensive experience with the litigation of complex commercial disputes before the courts and through private arbitration, including under the JAMS Comprehensive Rules and Procedures in the US and the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce.
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.
James D.G. Douglas is a senior counsel at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s Toronto office. He is also the national leader of securities litigation practice group and co-chair of investigations and white-collar defence practice group at the firm. Douglas has extensive experience in general commercial litigation and securities litigation, including shareholder disputes, mergers and acquisitions litigation, broker liability suits, regulatory proceedings and prosecutions and related internal investigations. He appears regularly as counsel before all levels of courts, the Ontario Securities Commission and other securities industry regulatory bodies. He is also a former senior investigation counsel with the Ontario Securities Commission. Douglas is a frequent writer and speaker on topics relating to securities litigation and regulation, shareholders’ rights and broker liability.
John Fabello is a senior partner at Torys LLP’s securities litigation and class action practices and a primary contact for the firm’s securities defence practice. He devotes his practice to all aspects of securities litigation and regulatory matters and general corporate and commercial litigation. Fabello represents clients across Canada before securities and other financial regulators and the courts. He also conducts internal investigations and advises financial services firms regarding the quality and sufficiency of their regulatory compliance programs. Fabello has acted as an instructor for in-house broker and investment banker continuing education programs. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer on securities litigation.
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.
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.
David A. Hausman is a partner Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. He practises exclusively in the field of securities litigation. Hausman regularly represents investment dealers, public companies, mutual funds, directors and officers. He advises clients on regulatory investigations and proceedings before provincial securities commissions, all Canadian stock exchanges and self-regulatory organizations. Hausman also advises clients on governance issues in the public company context, representing both bidders and targets in contested mergers and acquisitions transactions. He continues to act for the securities regulator and foreign regulators on securities regulation and enforcement matters. Hausman is a frequent speaker on the regulation of mutual funds, corporate governance, insider trading, mergers and acquisitions, and securities enforcement investigations and proceedings. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto.
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.
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.
Melissa J. MacKewn
Law firm: Crawley MacKewn Brush LLP
Year called to the bar: 1997
Melissa J. MacKewn is a partner at Crawley MacKewn Brush LLP. She acts on a wide range of securities regulatory matters before the Ontario Securities Commission, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada, both on the prosecution and defense side. MacKewn routinely acts as counsel on compliance and registrant regulation matters and enforcement investigations, settlements and contested proceedings involving issues such as insider trading, disclosure violations and market manipulation. She also acts as outside prosecution counsel on complex professional disciplinary matters. MacKewn maintains an active complex commercial litigation practice, advising investors, registrants, issuers, officers, directors, underwriters and corporations on a variety of corporate and securities matters, including defence-side securities class actions, corporate and shareholder disputes, oppression remedy matters, proxy battles, corporate governance matters and breach of contract and professional negligence matters.
Lawrence E. Ritchie chairs the cross-disciplinary risk management and crisis response national practice at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where he serves as partner. He is also a key contact for the firm’s securities regulatory enforcement and broker-dealer practice. His practice involves dispute avoidance and resolution across a range of capital markets, the financial sector and other regulated industries and activities. He boasts extensive experience in all aspects of enforcement and other regulatory proceedings and related litigation, including class actions. Ritchie advises public corporations, their officers, in-house counsel and directors on avoiding, preparing for, managing and responding to extraordinary crisis situations, including regulatory actions and litigation. He also advises on the conduct and response to internal and regulatory investigations and provides proactive corporate governance and other risk-management advisory services. Ritchie represents clients in addressing relevant matters with regulators, other government authorities and in the courts.
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.
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.
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.