Throughout his career as a litigation lawyer, Tom has strived to maintain a broad and varied trial and appellate practice. Early on, his interest in trial advocacy motivated him to establish an active trial practice in civil jury and non-jury trials, criminal trials, judicial review and administrative hearings. Over his career, Tom has defended class action proceedings against franchisors and technology companies, litigated IP and trade secret cases, acted as commission counsel in a federal judicial inquiry, acted as litigation counsel in a chapter 11 proceeding under the North American Free Trade Agreement and defended clients charged with regulatory or criminal offences. He represents plaintiffs and defendants. He has represented clients in most of the courts in Canada and in numerous administrative tribunals, in Ontario and elsewhere. These days, he often represents clients in oppression remedy and shareholder proceedings, contractual disputes, injunction proceedings of all types, in insolvency and restructuring proceedings, defamation actions and tort actions.
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 category of products liability litigation.
Since November 2014, Tom has been the president of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the umbrella organization of all of the 14 law societies of Canada.
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 Tetrault 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 his spare time, Tom coaches Special Olympics Cross-Country Skiing.
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
1989 – Ontario
County of Carleton Law Association
Law Society of Upper Canada
Law Society of Saskatchewan (Honourary)
Law Society of Manitoba (Honourary)