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Canada: Litigation 2016

This year’s chapter identifies 57 practitioners. The following lawyers are experts that appear before all levels of the provisional courts, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada, representing clients in civil and commercial disputes.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Sheila Block Torys, Toronto
Chris Paliare Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein, Toronto
Terrence O'Sullivan Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb, Toronto
Peter Griffin Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin, Toronto
Linda Rothstein Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein, Toronto

 Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin is once again the most successful firm in our research with five listings. Founding partner Alan Lenczner QC is noted for his “great depth of experience” and “ability to get results”. His engagements have included complex commercial cases, professional liability and corporate securities, and he has represented clients at both trial and appellate level. Fellow founder and managing partner Peter Griffin is “a supremely gifted advocate” who has experience in corporate and commercial litigation before all levels of court in Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. Tom Curry ranks highly as “one of the most formidable and dynamic litigators operating today”.

Torys’ Sheila Block is one of the best known and most widely admired litigators in the country. She is a senior trial and appellate counsel whose engagements have included corporate and commercial litigation including IP, defamation and administrative law cases. James Tory is a “sensational litigator” in corporate and commercial matters, particularly shareholder and boardroom disputes.

Blake Cassels & Graydon sees four individuals named in this year’s chapter. Michael Barrack in Toronto is a “determined and tenacious lawyer” who has acted on some of Canada’s most significant litigation disputes, including those relating to the Nortel and US Steel insolvency proceedings. In Calgary, David Tupper is prominently involved in securities litigation, as well as commercial disputes in the construction, insurance and oil and gas sectors.

The founding partners at Lax O'Sullivan Scott Lisus rank highly in our research. Terrence O’Sullivan has experience in litigation of all types and has been involved in Canadian and cross-border litigation for over 40 years. According to one source, “He is a wonderful professional and a great trial lawyer.” Clifford Lax QC is noted for his “incredible experience and skill as a litigator”. The “outstanding" Jonathan Lisus acts a lead counsel in some of the most notable commercial disputes at trial and appellate level.

McCarthy Tétrault sees Paul Morrison recommended for his “ability to build strong cases” and has decades of experience in complex commercial litigation in Canada and internationally. Neil Finkelstein has appeared in major cases in eight of the country’s 10 provinces and has been engaged in cross-border litigation for clients such as Microsoft, Merck and Sothebys. Leonard Doust QC has expertise in high-stakes litigation for major corporate clients. He is described as “highly dependable and incredibly thorough”.

At Norton Rose Fulbright’s Montreal office Pierre Bienvenu is listed for his “great skillset as a litigator”. He has been involved in commercial disputes in Canada and internationally and has experience stretching over many decades. Linda Fuerst in Toronto is particularly known for her securities litigation work and expertise in professional liability and regulatory disputes. She is considered “a tenacious lawyer who is committed to getting the best results for clients”. Clarke Hunter QC is a “top-drawer litigator” recognised for his longstanding experience in a multitude of matters including breach of fiduciary duty, product and professional liability, IP and tax litigation.

Linda Rothstein of Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein is one of the most highly regarded practitioners in our research and is listed for her “results-oriented approach and fantastic strategic awareness”. She has extensive experience in complex commercial litigation cases in Ontario. Chris Paliare is recommended for his “ability to look at a problem from all angles” and “excellent relationship with clients”. He has appeared at every level of trial and appellate court in Ontario as well as before the Supreme Court of Canada. Ian Roland is well regarded for his years of experience as a litigator acting for high end clients and for his understanding of the Canadian courts, where he has been engaged as counsel at all levels.

Stikeman Elliott receives three listings in this year’s chapter. Eliot Kolers leads the litigation group in the Toronto office and is described as “a dynamic and clever litigator, who is good on his feet”. Katherine Kay heads the firm’s competition practice and has been engaged in litigation in multiple jurisdictions. She is considered to be “one of the most sensible and knowledgeable competition litigators in Canada”. Peter Howard is “a seasoned litigator” known for his ability to devise “shrewd defensive tactics”.

At Bennett Jones, litigation department co-chair Jeffrey Leon has been involved in numerous cross-border commercial disputes and large scale litigations for clients. One client says of him: “He always understands the client’s goals and does everything he can to achieve them.”

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg sees litigation group leader Kent Thomson listed for his experience in high-stakes litigation in numerous sectors. He has appeared as lead counsel before various tribunals in Canada and has appeared in trial and appellate courts at all levels in Ontario.

James Woods at litigation boutique Woods has almost four decades of experience in litigation matters and has appeared before the Quebec and Ontario provincial courts and the Supreme Court of Canada. He is “highly regarded and respected in the field”.

Lerners’ Earl Cherniak is “a seasoned trial and appellate lawyer” who has 25 years of experience in commercial litigation. He has been engaged in numerous cases including class action disputes.

John Hunter QC at Hunter Litigation Chambers in Vancouver is described as “an excellent litigation lawyer with a great sense of strategy”. He has been engaged in commercial litigation in British Columbia for decades and has represented multinational corporate clients including Imperial Tobacco and Weyerhaeuser.

Markus Koehnen at McMillan is regularly involved in multi-jurisdictional litigations. He handles a broad range of commercial disputes and is particularly adept at corporate governance issues. Respondents agree that he is “one of the best in the business”.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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