Canada: Arbitration 2018

In this chapter we recognise 50 individuals who stand out in the Canadian market for their exceptional work in international arbitration proceedings.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Henri Alvarez QC Independent Arbitrator, Vancouver
2. L Yves Fortier CC QC Independent Arbitrator, Montreal
3. Pierre Bienvenu Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Montreal
4. J William Rowley QC Independent Arbitrator, Toronto
5. Stephen L Drymer Woods LLP, Montreal
6. David R Haigh QC Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP, Calgary

Arbitration Place sees seven practitioners recognised in this chapter for their excellence in the field.
John Judge is a well-established figure in the Canadian market. He comes highly recommended by market sources who praise him as “very experienced counsel” in complex commercial proceedings.
Ian Binnie CC QC is well recognised for his “high-profile work” in the arbitration space. He wins praise from sources for his vast experience handling a wide array of disputes.
John Keefe is “very strong” when it comes to handling complex international arbitration proceedings, an area in which he is recognised for his “great experience”.
Janet Walker is commended by peers and clients alike for her expert handling of cross-border disputes as well as her deep understanding of arbitration proceedings.
Barry Leon is internationally recognised as a standout name in the international arbitration space. He is well respected for his impressive work on contractual, commercial and corporate disputes.
Warren Winkler QC is “a very capable practitioner” who peers highly recommend for his top-tier handling of complex disputes in both arbitration and mediation proceedings.
John Lorn McDougall QC wins high praise from peers for his “very active international practice”, as well as his top-notch work handling a range of disputes from contracts to competition and insurance-related matters.

At Norton Rose Fulbright, three individuals are highlighted for their expertise in international arbitration.
Pierre Bienvenu is one of the most impressive arbitration lawyers in the Canadian market. He wins widespread recognition for his “excellent reputation” regarding disputes across a range of sectors, from telecoms to energy. 
Martin Valasek is a “very strong” arbitration practitioner who focuses his first-rate practice on both complex investor state and commercial disputes for a wide range of clients.
Clarke Hunter QC is “excellent” when it comes to handling commercial disputes in both litigation and arbitration proceedings. His experience spans an array of matters including contracts, professional negligence and IP.

Independent arbitrator Henri Alvarez QC stands out as the foremost practitioner in the country in this year’s research. He has “an excellent reputation” as “one of the outstanding Canadian arbitrators” and is known for his strong international experience.

Yves Fortier CC QC enjoys a stellar reputation among international peers as a leading figure in the arbitration field. He is known for his extensive experience acting as chair in proceedings under various institutional rules.

Independent arbitrator William Rowley QC focuses his world-class practice on international arbitration, an area in which he is considered to be one of the most prominent practitioners in the country. He is well known for his work on disputes across a range of sectors from energy to banking.

At Woods, Stephen Drymer “has done a vast amount of arbitration work” according to sources, who highlight him as a top name in the field. One respondent says, “He is a real pleasure to deal with.”

David Haigh QC at Burnet Duckworth & Palmer is recognised by peers as a top-quality international arbitration lawyer. He is “very well respected” by sources who consider him “a big hitter” with “an excellent reputation”.

At Bay Street Chambers, Brian Casey is highlighted as “a top, top arbitrator” by market commentators who commend his invaluable experience handling complex international disputes.
Joel Richler is “a very strong name” in the Canadian market, who comes highly recommended by peers who describe him as “a great arbitrator”.

Sole practitioner John Marshall QC is “a very active player” in the Canadian market who is recommended for his extensive experience in the field.

Gerald Ghikas QC at Vancouver Arbitration Chambers is “a top name in BC” according to sources who note, “He is very good to work with.” One source comments, “If I’m looking for a co-arbitrator, he’s one of my first picks.”


At William G Horton Corporation, William Horton is “exceptionally well known in the field” of international arbitration where he stands out as “one of the top people in Toronto”.

Fabien Gélinas at McGill University Faculty of Law is “very strong” in the international arbitration space, boasting impressive experience acting as arbitrator on high-value disputes.

Independent arbitrator Marc Lalonde PC OC QC is a long-standing fixture in the Canadian arbitration market, and is widely regarded as “highly intellectual and very smart”. 

At Cicchetti Arbitration, Tina Cicchetti is “one to watch” according to peers, who praise her “dedicated arbitration practice” and consider her “very knowledgeable” in the area.

John Terry at Torys gains widespread recognition from international peers this year, who commend his first-class arbitration practice and consider him “excellent counsel”. 

At Borden Ladner Gervais, Robert Deane is highlighted as a “senior and very experienced arbitration counsel” who is recognised by sources this year for his “great reputation” in the Canadian market.

Earl Cherniak QC at Lerners is “very well known and very well regarded” in the field of international arbitration and stands out among peers for his strong expertise handling complex commercial disputes.

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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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