Toronto’s top commercial insurance litigation lawyers in 2021

Here are Toronto’s top commercial insurance litigators based on Lexpert’s latest survey
Toronto’s top commercial insurance litigation lawyers in 2021

Here are Toronto’s top commercial insurance litigation lawyers based on the results of Lexpert’s latest extensive annual peer review. The complete list of the Ontario’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field is available on our practice area rankings.

Commercial insurance litigation generally comprises the provision of advice and representation, whether by way of negotiation, judicial proceedings, alternative dispute resolution, mediation or arbitration in all matters relating to liability and coverage disputes. It also involves risks, property and other such cover between insurers, insureds, reinsurers, excess insurers, intermediaries, special risks underwriters and insurance mutuals.

Most frequently recommended commercial insurance litigation lawyers

Geoffrey D.E. Adair
Law firm: Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1969

Geoffrey D.E. Adair is a partner at Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP. He is one of Canada’s most experienced trial and appellate lawyers, having tried more than 250 jury and non-jury cases to verdict. He had also argued over 100 appeals in the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. Adair devotes his practice to commercial litigation, commercial insurance litigation, and directors’ and officers’ liability and major tort cases, including products liability and professional negligence matters. He is the author of critically acclaimed advocacy text On Trial (Butterworths, second edition, 2004) and a contributing editor to Ontario Courtroom Procedure and a frequent lecturer to the profession.

Alfred Kwinter
Law firm: Singer Kwinter
Year called to the Bar: 1972
City: Toronto

Alfred Kwinter is a founding partner at Singer Kwinter. He co-founded the firm in 1974. Kwinter has appeared at all court levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada, where he appeared on behalf of the successful plaintiff in the landmark decision of Oldfield v. Transamerica Insurance. He has acted for the plaintiff in the milestone case of Kamin v. Kawartha Dairy, which reduced the onus on plaintiffs in establishing liability in slip and fall claims. He has also obtained the highest award in Canada for chronic pain in Degennaro v. Oakville Trafalgar Hospital. Kwinter is certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a specialist in civil litigation. He is a past director of The Advocates’ Society and Medico-Legal Society. He is also an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Consistently recommended commercial insurance litigation lawyers

Keith N. Batten
Law firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)
Year called to the Bar: 1990

Keith N. Batten is a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. He practises litigation, focused on insurance coverage opinions, defence of insurance coverage actions and defence of insurance brokers’ errors and omissions claims. Batten has acted in defence of insurance brokers’ errors and omissions claims for major insurance brokerages and professional liability insurers. These claims have involved questions of coverage and interpretation under many forms of policy including commercial property, homeowners, general liability, professional liability, marine, fidelity, surety, entertainment, livestock and automobile. Batten acts in defence of coverage claims under property and liability policies and insurance coverage disputes generally, including mass tort and institutional sexual abuse. He has acted in such matters before all levels of court in Ontario at trial and appeal and has acted on leave applications to the Supreme Court of Canada as applicant and respondent. Batten has been an editor of BLG’s Canadian Insurance Law Newsletter for 20 years.

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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.

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Chris T.J. Blom
Law firm: Miller Thomson LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1987

Chris T.J. Blom is a partner at Miller Thomson LLP. He specializes in insurance litigation, with a focus on insurance defence work in connection with both tort and accident benefits cases. Blom is a certified as a specialist in civil litigation. He acts on behalf of insurers in Ontario with respect to claims across Canada and in the US and regarding all aspects of general insurance. Blom boasts extensive experience in the areas of personal injury, property damage and economic loss claims. He provides advice in connection with coverage opinions, general liability issues, accidents benefits and bad faith litigation. Blom also represents clients at all levels of the provincial court system, including the Court of Appeal in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. He is recognized for his expertise in mediation and private arbitration.

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Alan L.W. D'Silva
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1989

Alan L.W. D’Silva is a partner in the litigation and dispute resolution group at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He has also served in the firm’s management committee in Toronto. D’Silva is considered a leading litigation lawyer in Canada with expertise several areas of law, including defence of class actions, corporate and commercial disputes, securities litigation, shareholder and oppression cases, large insurance litigation, accountants’ and auditors’ negligence, professional negligence, sports law and directors’ and officers’ claims. He has acted as counsel in more than 200 publicly reported cases and has extensive experience at all levels of court and before administrative tribunals, including more than 80 appeals in Canadian appellate courts and 13 cases in the Supreme Court of Canada since 2001. D’Silva has also acted as a mediator, arbitrator and expert witness in Canadian courts. He is a recipient of the University of Ottawa Law School’s 2015 Alumni Award and has been inducted to the Common Law Honour Society, which is described as the Law School’s most prestigious alumni distinction. D’Silva is a fellow of the Trial Lawyer Honorary Society of the Litigation Counsel of America. He was also appointed as an arbitrator for the International Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2019.

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Glenn Smith
Law firm: Lenczner Slaght
Year called to the Bar: 1976

Glenn Smith is a is a founding partner of Lenczner Slaght. He has a diverse commercial litigation practice, focusing on class actions and complex insurance litigation. He has been retained on some of the most significant insurance cases in Canada. Smith has a special interest in product liability and cases involving insurance coverage for corporate directors and officers, and the legal dimensions of technology. He appears regularly before a wide variety of courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court of Canada, acting both for and against public and private companies, financial institutions and governments. Smith is also recognized as a guru in e-discovery in Canada and was on the Ontario Task Force for implementing the Ontario e-Discovery Guidelines. He frequently lectures to professional organizations on e-discovery, technology and the law. Smith has also taught trial advocacy for many years and is a certified mediator.

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