Robert Thornton is revered by peers as “a senior leader in the restructuring field with great experience” handling many of Canada’s most significant restructurings in recent years.
The “highly sought after” Bob Thornton is widely acknowledged as one of the foremost insolvency practitioners in Canada, and is a partner of the restructuring and litigation boutique Thornton Grout Finnigan (TGF). Bob was named “Lawyer of the Year” in the 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada for Toronto insolvency and financial restructuring law. The Best of the Best (2018) listed Bob as one of the top five insolvency and restructuring lawyers in Canada, and has described him as "exceptional" and "the most innovative in the field". Bob is recognised as a top-tier "leading individual" in restructuring/insolvency by Chambers Global (2019), and has been lauded as "a leading light" and "pound for pound one of the top lawyers in town". Bob is also listed as "Most Frequently Recommended" in insolvency and financial restructuring in the 2019 Lexpert Guide to the US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyers in Canada and the 2019 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada.
Bob is currently the lead counsel in the restructuring of JTI-Macdonald Corp, and the monitor in the restructurings of Carillion Group in Canada and Performance Sports Group Ltd. He led the restructuring of the largest creditor of Stelco Inc (Canada’s largest integrated steel manufacturer), Coopers & Lybrand, whereby the “longest running legal saga in Canadian history” has been resolved through a powerful and creative use of the CCAA. He has acted for the monitor in the restructurings of Performance Sports Group Ltd, Pacific Exploration and Production Corporation et al, and the Mobilicity Group; and is lead restructuring counsel in the successful resolution of the Hollinger CCAA. He was also recently involved as monitor’s counsel in the restructuring of AbitibiBowater and as debtor’s counsel in the Fraser Papers restructuring. Other matters with leading role involvement include the reorganisation of Bell Canada and Calpine (in both cases acting for bondholders), and as the lead insolvency counsel for GE Capital Aviation Services Inc, a principal stakeholder in the restructuring of Air Canada. Other files with lead involvement have included Stelco Inc, Canada 3000 and General Publishing.
Bob is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and the Insolvency Institute of Canada; and member of INSOL International, the Advocates’ Society, the Toronto Lawyers’ Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Turnaround Management Association, the Canadian Insolvency Foundation and the Ontario Bar Association’s insolvency section.
He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in 1979 and an LLB (with distinction) in 1982, both from the University of Western Ontario. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1984.