Leading regulatory and public law litigators in Toronto

These are the leading regulatory and public law litigators in Toronto based on the results of Lexpert’s extensive yearly peer review

These are the leading regulatory and public law litigators in Toronto based on the results of Lexpert’s extensive yearly peer review. Find out who else made the full list of Ontario’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field in our practice area rankings.

In our survey, regulatory and public law litigation deals with all forms of litigation involving the actions of government and public regulatory authorities and their impact on individuals and businesses. These include many aspects of administrative law and the challenges under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and proceedings before federal and provincial agencies and tribunals.

Most frequently recommended regulatory and public law litigators

Ian Binnie

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP


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

Ian Binnie has served as a justice at the Supreme Court of Canada for nearly 14 years and is a currently a counsel at Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP. He 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. Binnie 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, he 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.

Christopher D. Bredt

Law firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)


Year called to the Bar: 1984

Christopher D. Bredt is a senior counsel and the chair of the public law group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. His practice involves a broad range of civil litigation, including commercial disputes, directors’ and officers’ duties and liability, shareholder, oppression and other corporate disputes, securities, class actions and constitutional and administrative law issues. Bredt has appeared as counsel before all levels of the courts in Ontario, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada and numerous administrative tribunals, including the Ontario Securities Commission. He is an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. Bredt is also a participant in and author of papers for several conferences on commercial litigation, class actions and constitutional and administrative law. He has served as law clerk to the Honourable Justice W.R. McIntyre at the Supreme Court of Canada from 1979 to 1980. He is also a former elected bencher at the Law Society of Ontario and a member of the Ontario Judicial Council.

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Tom Curry

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1986

Tom Curry is the managing partner at Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP. He is recognized as one of the most experienced trial and appellate advocates in Canada. Curry has a long record of success in high-profile commercial litigation, class actions, arbitrations, business disputes, administrative law, judicial review, intellectual property, competition and professional liability cases. He is a regular speaker on a wide variety of subjects relating to trial practice and substantive law. Curry was recently a recipient of the prestigious Law Society Medal for his exceptional career achievement and exemplary contribution to the profession.

Nadia Effendi

Law firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)


Year called to the Bar: 2004

Nadia Effendi is a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. She is fluent in English and French and practices at both the firm’s Toronto and Ottawa offices. Her practice focuses on civil litigation, with an emphasis on representing clients in constitutional, appellate, class action and commercial litigation matters. Effendi regularly appears before all levels of court on a wide variety of litigation matters, including before provincial appellate courts and the Supreme Court of Canada. She has represented the Law Society of Ontario – then Upper Canada – in Trinity Western University v. LSUC before the SCC. She has also represented several clients, including Oceanex and the Speaker of the House of Commons, before the Federal Court of Appeal. Effendi has appeared before numerous administrative tribunals. She recently served as commission counsel for the Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry.

Brian J. Gover

Law firm: Stockwoods LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1983

Brian J. Gover serves as a partner at Stockwoods LLP. He has extensive experience in both federal and provincial commissions of inquiry and related processes. His clients include individuals, corporations, regulators and government agencies. Gover is a former executive legal officer to Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice. He is regularly retained to act for judges facing disciplinary proceedings. Since 2013, Gover has assisted the judges tasked with administering the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, Canada's largest and most complex class action settlement. His extensive teaching experience includes serving as an adjunct professor at Western and Osgoode Hall Law School. Gover is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, fellow and director of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and past president of The Advocates’ Society.

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, and employment and white-collar criminal law. He has represented clients at the trial and appellate levels. Paliare is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (Eastern Canadian Chair), ISB and American College of Trial Lawyers. He is also a former Ontario provincial chair. Paliare is an honourary member of COMBAR and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Guy J. Pratte

Law firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)


Year called to the Bar: 1984 (ON); 2002 (QC)

Guy J. Pratte is chair emeritus and a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. He devotes his practice to commercial litigation, including class actions, administrative law and constitutional law. Fully bilingual, Pratte 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 the Federal Court of Appeal. Pratte is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, where he teaches courses focused on the Supreme Court of Canada. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, executive member and director of The Advocates’ Society and director of the Supreme Court of Canada Advocacy Institute.

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. Her high-profile work as commission counsel to the inquiry into pediatric forensic pathology and lead counsel to the Motherisk Hair Analysis Review has cemented her reputation as one of Ontario’s leading advocates.

Consistently recommended regulatory and public law litigators

Ranjan K. Agarwal

Law firm: Bennett Jones LLP


Year called to the Bar: 2004

Ranjan K. Agarwal is a partner at Bennett Jones LLP. He devotes his practice to complex disputes, including class action, commercial, arbitration, constitutional and employment matters. Agarwal has appeared as lead or co-counsel in almost 20 appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also briefed and argued numerous cases in the Federal Court in Ontario and across Canada and provides strategic advice to companies, organizations and individuals at all stages of complex litigation. Agarwal is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto and co-author of Class Actions Law and Practice. He has published several articles on a variety of litigation issues in the Supreme Court Law Review, National Journal of Constitutional Law, Alberta Law Review, Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law and the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law. Agarwal is a past president of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto and treasurer of the Ontario Bar Association.

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Raj Anand

Law firm: WeirFoulds LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1980

Raj Anand is a partner at WeirFoulds LLP. His practice includes administrative, human rights, constitutional and employment law, civil litigation, professional negligence and regulation. He represents both employers and employees in workplace rights cases. Anand is a former chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and has served on a variety of administrative tribunals, including the boards of inquiry under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Police Services Act. He was appointed by the Ontario government to set up the independent Human Rights Legal Support Centre when it revamped the Ontario human rights adjudication process. As an elected bencher of the Law Society for more than a decade, Anand was the chair of the Tribunals Committee and headed its reform of the Law Society’s Hearings Tribunal process. He was also the bencher vice chair and continues as a non-bencher adjudicator on the Hearing and Appeal Divisions of the Law Society Tribunal, where he has heard hundreds of cases and written about 170 decisions relating to licensing, capacity and conduct. Anand has also acted as counsel on internal matters, judicial reviews or appeals for several professional regulators and administrative tribunals.

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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 property, defamation and administrative law cases. Block has appeared as counsel on a wide range of cases before all levels of court in Canada and in international arbitrations and other tribunals. She has taught advocacy in Canada, the US, England, Scotland, New Zealand and El Salvador. Block has spoken and written extensively on advocacy and civil litigation.

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Jeff G. Cowan

Law firm: WeirFoulds LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1978

Jeff G. Cowan is a partner at WeirFoulds LLP, where he also served as managing partner from 1999 to 2003. He is a member of the firm’s municipal and planning law, professional self-regulation, commercial leasing and litigation practice groups. Cowan appears regularly before tribunals and all courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He has extensive experience in public and regulatory law, judicial review of government decision-making, Indigenous peoples, municipal finance, assessment and taxation, land-use planning and development, freedom of information, professional discipline and real estate litigation. His clients comprise private and public sector companies and individuals, provincial and municipal governments and a variety of tribunals and professional organizations. Cowan acts as counsel in arbitrations. He was the head of section of public law course, bar admission course from 1986 to 2005 and course director of Osgoode Hall Law School LLM Program from 2011 to 2012. Cowan is a recipient of the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators Medal in 1997. He is a past director of The Advocates’ Society, past chair of the OBA Administrative Law Section, co-editor of Ontario Annual Practice and member of Secretariat of Civil Rules Committee.

Bryan Finlay

Law firm: WeirFoulds LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1969

Bryan Finlay is a partner at WeirFoulds LLP. He acts as a senior trial and appellate counsel on several complex transactions. Finlay was awarded The Advocates' Society Medal in 2019 and is a previous recipient of the Ontario Bar Association Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and International Academy of Trial Lawyers and an honourary overseas member of COMBAR (England and Wales). At the start of his career, Finlay was a law clerk to Justice Spence at Supreme Court of Canada.

Frank Iacobucci

Law firm: Torys LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1970

Frank Iacobucci joined Torys LLP as counsel in September 2004 after retiring as justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. He now serves as a senior counsel at the firm. Iacobucci was chief justice of the Federal Court and deputy attorney-general for Canada prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court. He also served as interim president of the University of Toronto in September 2004 and assumed a full-time senior advisory role at Torys in July 2005. Iacobucci advises government and businesses on important legal and policy matters. He provides guidance, advice and support to the firm’s clients and members. Iacobucci has authored numerous publications and recipient of many awards and honours in Canada, the US, the UK and Italy.

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Paul H. Le Vay

Law firm: Stockwoods LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1988

Paul H. Le Vay is partner at Stockwoods LLP. He devotes his practice to corporate, commercial and securities litigation, regulatory and public law, professional liability and regulation, claims against directors and officers and employment litigation. Le Vay has acted for clients in several class proceedings. He is bilingual and argues cases in English and French before all levels of courts and tribunals, including the Ontario Securities Commission. Le Vay is a past president of l'Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario, member and former director of The Advocates' Society and member of the Editorial Board of the Toronto Law Journal.

William C. McDowell

Law firm: Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1988

William C. McDowell is a partner at Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP. 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. From 2005 to 2008, he was Canada’s Associate Deputy Minister of Justice and was responsible for civil litigation, national security and issues involving central agencies. He 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.