Stikeman Elliott
Litigation and Advocacy
Litigation / Class Actions

A Canadian Leader in Business Law Litigation

The National Litigation Group at Stikeman Elliott has earned a reputation as a market leader in Canada's largest business centres. Members of the group regularly act on a wide range of litigation relating to:

  • Class actions
  • Commercial contracts
  • Competition / antitrust
  • Constitutional matters
  • Defamation
  • Directors' and officers' liability
  • Employment
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Fraud
  • Human rights
  • Insolvency
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual property
  • Product liability
  • Professional negligence
  • Real estate and construction
  • Regulatory matters
  • Securities
  • Tax
  • Transportation (aviation, marine and rail)

Our Group members have acted as counsel to significant public and private corporations in a wide variety of sectors of the economy, major Canadian and foreign financial institutions, all levels of government, and a variety of charitable institutions. Members of the Group have also represented trustees, receivers, monitors, creditors or debtors in most of the major insolvency and restructuring matters that have arisen in recent years. We also act for clients in regulatory proceedings arising from both competition and securities investigations, as well as in a broad range of regulated industries, such as healthcare, aviation, electricity, oil and gas, insurance, telecommunications and transportation.

Our Unique Value

  • Diverse Experience - We regularly retained to act in a wide range of proceedings, from injunction applications to complex trials and appeals at all levels of provincial and federal courts, and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as securities regulators, energy regulators, municipal boards, the Competition Tribunal, the Trade-mark Opposition Board, the Patent Appeal Board, the National Transportation Agency, the CRTC, liquor licensing boards, human rights commissions, arbitration panels, commissions of inquiry and the governing bodies of various institutions and professional disciplines.

  • Collaborative and Strategic - We know that a case is ultimately yours, not "ours" - decisions about approach need to be the result of consultation with and decisions made by the client (this should go without saying, but not all lawyers take this approach). Our team enjoys working with inside counsel and the businesspeople to arrive at approaches that maximize strategic objectives.

  • On Budget, On Time - Stikeman Elliott's goal is to provide the best client service at a fair price, while observing the highest professional standards. We pride ourselves on taking a very practical and cost-effective approach, working closely with our clients to achieve efficiencies and to pursue strategies that will yield the most benefit relative to the costs involved.

  • The Right Resources - Our client teams work seamlessly and efficiently, maintaining continuity of advice and keeping to the client's budget and time requirements. Litigation clients benefit from the intellectual and technical resources of one of Canada's largest business law practices, including specialized litigation law clerks who can quickly organize documentation relevant to a client's file using Stikeman Elliott's customized document management software.

  • Avoiding Unnecessary Litigation - Recognizing that most clients wish to avoid litigation, we regularly advise on the appropriateness of Alternative Dispute Resolution (international, domestic, ad hoc or institutional) and on the different forms of ADR that should be considered. Members of the group can also advise clients on how to arrange their affairs to avoid litigation, before problems arise.

  • Canada's Cross-Border Specialists - Whether it is an international insolvency or the defence of a class action commenced as a follow-on to class actions outside Canada, Stikeman Elliott litigators have earned a reputation as cross-border specialists who work effectively with lawyers and experts from other jurisdictions. In December 2013, 13 of our group members were listed as Canadian leaders in Lexpert's Guide to the Leading U.S./Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada.


Arbitration has become the principal forum for the resolution of international commercial and investment disputes. For such disputes, clients require seasoned counsel with a deep understanding of the arbitral process. Our practice has been ranked first in Canada for the number of leaders in this field by Best Lawyers and includes a number of individually ranked lawyers with experience at all levels of international ad hoc arbitrations, under the UNCITRAL rules, domestic ad hoc arbitrations throughout Canada and arbitrations administered under the rules of various institutions. Many of our lawyers are trained in both common law and civil law traditions and many have experience both as counsel and as arbitrators in international disputes, as well as extensive high-level government experience. As a result, we are uniquely positioned to understand the important legal issues and the strategic business factors at play to achieve a successful cost-effective resolution for our clients.

Involved in the Legal Community

The Litigation Group is a committed participant in Canadian legal education. Members of the group teach advocacy in the law schools of Western Ontario, Queen's, McGill and Montréal Universities as well as École du Barreau du Québec. They have also served on several Canadian Bar Associations' provincial continuing legal education committees and as Directors of The Advocates' Society. Many members have published articles on a variety of litigation and advocacy topics and have presented papers and spoken at national and international conferences.

Our Clients

Some of our litigation clients include:

  • AbitibiBowater
  • AIG
  • Air Canada
  • Baffinland Iron Mines
  • Barclays Bank
  • Briggs & Stratton Corporation
  • British American Tobacco
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • Canadian National Railway
  • Canadian Real Estate Association
  • Canadian Recording Industry Association
  • Devon Canada
  • ESBI Alberta
  • Future Foam
  • Groupe Polygone
  • Infineon Technologies
  • ING Canada
  • Insurance Bureau of Canada
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Laurentian Bank of Canada
  • LG Display
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Lloyd's of London
  • Magna
  • Maritime Life Assurance Company
  • Mazda Canada
  • Neo Material Technologies
  • NVIDIA Corporation
  • Ontario Energy Board
  • Ontario Power Authority
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Siemens
  • Sony Corporation
  • TeleZone
  • Tim Horton's
  • Timminco
  • TJX/Winners
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank
  • Toronto Transit Commission
  • Towers Watson
  • TransCanada Pipelines
  • Ultramar
  • Universal Music
  • Wyeth


Recognition for Our Work

Stikeman Elliott's National Litigation Group is rated among Canada's top-tier business litigation practices by domestic and international legal directories:

  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Competition (Litigation) Firm of the Year (2014)
    • Competition Litigator of the Year (2014) Insurance Litigator of the Year (2014)
    • Québec Litigator of the Year (2014)
    • Emerging Talent of the Year (2014)
    • Securities (Litigation) Firm of the Year (2013)
    • Securities Litigator of the Year (2013)
    • Recognized in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec in the areas of Class Action, Commercial Litigation, Insolvency, Corporate Commercial Litigation, Insurance, Product Liability, Competition, International Arbitration, and Securities Litigation


  • Lexpert / American Lawyer Media
    • #1 in Canada for Cross-Border Class Actions and Corporate-Commercial Litigation
    • Recommended in the areas of Class Actions, Corporate Commercial, Corporate Tax, Commercial Insurance, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Competition, Product Liability, Public Law, Electricity (Regulatory), Shipping, International Arbitration, and Securities
    • Ranked in the areas of Arbitration, Class Actions, Competition, Corporate Commercial, Corporate Tax, Insolvency & Financial Restructuring and Securities Litigation


  • Chambers Global
    • Top Tier Class Actions Practice
    • Leader in the Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia Litigation Markets
    • Ranked in Dispute Resolution, Restructuring/Insolvency, Energy Regulatory and Competition Litigation


  • Canadian Lawyer
    • One of Canada's Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers for role as counsel in recent leading cases and significant ongoing contributions to the legal profession


  • Legal Media Group's Expert Guides
    • Ranked in Litigation and Product Liability, Insolvency and Restructuring, Insurance and Reinsurance, Shipping and Maritimes, Competition/Antitrust, and International Arbitration


  • Best Lawyers
    • Ranked as the top Canadian firm in International Arbitration
    • Recognized in Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Competition Litigation and Insolvency, Class Action Litigation, Directors' and Officers' Liability, and Alternative Dispute Resolution


  • Who's Who Legal
    • Ranked in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Competition, Arbitration, Insolvency and Restructuring, and Insurance and Reinsurance


Recent Group Activities

Top honours for Stikeman Elliott and litigators at 2014 Benchmark Canada Litigation Awards
Benchmark Canada Litigation has recognized Stikeman Elliott as the "Competition [Litigation] Firm of the Year"; and also four litigators with "Competition Litigator of the Year" (Katherine Kay), "Insurance Litigator of the Year" (Alan D'Silva), "Québec Litigator of the Year" (Yves Martineau), and "Emerging Talent of the Year" (Eliot Kolers). The awards recognize individual lawyers, firms, and in-house counsel teams that played a significant role in the industry over the past year.

Litigators featured in Lexpert cross-border guide
The 2013 edition of Lexpert's Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada features 12 Stikeman Elliott lawyers, recognized for their litigation expertise in the areas of: class actions, corporate commercial, insolvency and financial restructuring, competition and tax. Éric Azran is also recognized as a "Lawyer to Watch".

Stikeman Elliott lawyers featured in Lexpert litigation insert
Eleven Stikeman Elliott lawyers are recognized in Lexpert's Special Edition on Canada's Leading Litigation Lawyers, which appears as an insert in the December 2013 edition of Report on Business Magazine.

New product liability book authored by Toronto litigator - Now available
Douglas Harrison, a member of the Product Liability Group, has written the newly released book The Law of Product Warnings and Recalls in Canada, published by LexisNexis. This is the only book in Canada focusing on the law concerning product warnings and recalls, and also will act as a guide book and prove indispensable to companies and their legal counsel involved in the manufacturing, importing, distributing and selling of products in Canada. The book also covers everything you need to know about best practices and risk management regarding meeting standards and avoiding product liability. Read an excerpt of the book here. (Reprinted with Permission of LexisNexis Canada © 2013). For information on how to purchase the book, click here.

Introducing new blog:
The firm is pleased to announce the launch of, the latest addition to our industry-leading blog lineup. The new blog will provide information, resources and insight, on various issues concerning product liability law, including regulatory compliance, case law, legislative and regulatory developments, product labelling and warnings. Sign up for regular updates via email or RSS, at or follow us on Twitter @Prod_Liability.

Product Liability in Canada chapter available
Doug Harrison, Yves Martineau and Samaneh Hosseini recently co-authored the Canada chapter on Product Liability for Getting The Deal Through 2013, which discusses the most important issues that arise in product liability for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners and executives. Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through -  Product Liability 2013, (contributing editors: Harvey L. Kaplan, Gregory L. Fowler and Simon Castley). For further information please visit

Alan D'Silva honoured as one of Canada's 25 Most Influential Lawyers
Canadian Lawyer recently released its fourth annual list of Canada's 25 Most Influential Lawyers, and recognized Toronto commercial litigation senior partner Alan D'Silva. Alan has been recognized for his role in recent leading cases, and his ongoing contributions to the legal profession including: teaching at law schools, establishing scholarship funds, fundraising, developing continuing legal education programs and pro bono work.

Winners of this Award are profiled in the August 2013 edition of Canadian Lawyer.


Specialty Areas
Key Contacts

Louis P. Bélanger
Jean C. Fontaine
Yves Martineau 

David R. Byers

Nicholas McHaffie

Michael Mestinsek

David R. Brown
Hein Poulus

Related Publications
Other Articles / Papers