Since his call to the bar in 1989, Tom has maintained a broad and varied trial and appellate practice. He has represented clients in numerous regulatory, criminal and quasi-criminal cases. He represents litigants in civil jury and non-jury trials, criminal trials, judicial review and administrative hearings. Tom has represented clients in professional negligence cases, class action proceedings involving franchisors, technology companies and regulatory authorities. He has litigated IP and trade secret cases, acted as commission counsel in a federal judicial inquiry and represented the Government of Canada as litigation counsel in a chapter 11 proceeding under the North American Free Trade Agreement. He often represents clients in oppression remedy and shareholder proceedings, corporate governance disputes, contractual disputes, injunction proceedings of all types, in insolvency and restructuring proceedings, defamation actions and tort actions.

Tom is also an experienced and trusted advisor to clients involved in negotiations of complex commercial disputes, and frequently represents clients in commercial arbitrations and mediations. He has been retained by disputants as an arbitrator and mediator.

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Tom is also an experienced adjudicator, having served as an adjudicator for the Law Society Tribunal of Ontario from 2007 to 2012.

Tom was recognized in 2007 by the National Post as one of Canada’s top corporate and commercial litigation lawyers. Since 2009, Tom has been ranked by his peers as one of The Best Lawyers in Canada in the specialty of corporate and commercial litigation. He is included in Lexpert’s directory of leading practitioners in the categories of corporate and commercial litigation and products liability litigation.

In addition to an active litigation practice, in June 2014 Tom completed a two-year term as the 64th Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada (now the Law Society of Ontario), Ontario’s regulator of legal services and Canada’s largest law society. The Law Society was founded in 1797 and today regulates over 46,000 lawyers and over 6,000 paralegals in the public interest. First elected by the profession as a bencher in 2007, Tom was acclaimed as Treasurer in 2012. The Treasurer is the highest elected office of the Law Society of Upper Canada
In 2013, Tom was recognized by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of Canada’s 25 most influential lawyers, and one of five recognized in the category of “change makers.”

From November 2014 to November 2015, Tom served as the president of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the umbrella organization of Canada’s fourteen law societies.

Tom holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English Literature and History, and a Master of Arts degree in American History, all from the University of Calgary. He graduated from the University of Ottawa Law School in 1987. Tom articled and practised at Soloway Wright LLP from 1987 to 1994. From 1994 to 2009, Tom was a litigation partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, where he was the head of the Ottawa Litigation Group for several years. In 2009, he joined Cavanagh Williams Conway Baxter, until founding Conway Baxter Wilson LLP in 2014.

Tom is a frequent lecturer and presenter at continuing professional development programmes. From 2004 to 2009, Tom was an adjunct professor of law at the University of Ottawa, where he taught trial advocacy. He is a former president of the County of Carleton Law Association and a former council member of the Ontario Bar Association. He is a member of the Advocates’ Society.

In 2017, Tom was granted the degree of Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa by The Law Society of Upper Canada in recognition of his contributions to the legal professions and to the cause of access to justice.

In his spare time, Tom has coached Special Olympics Cross-Country Skiing. In 2017, he received his “20-year pin” for his many years of service as volunteer skier with the Canadian Association of Disabled Skiers.

Education

LL.B. 1987 – University of Ottawa
M.A. (History) 1984 – University of Calgary
B.A. (History) 1984 – University of Calgary
B.A. (English) 1982 – University of Calgary

Bar Admission

1989  – Ontario

Affiliations

The Advocates Society
County of Carleton Law Association
The Canadian Bar Association
Law Society of Alberta (Honourary)
Law Society of Saskatchewan (Honourary)
Law Society of Manitoba (Honourary)
Law Society of Ontario
Ontario Bar Association
Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History

PUBLICATIONS

Blog:

The Court of Appeal’s costs formula: deceiving or desirable simplicity?

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