TORONTO, April 10, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Ian Binnie, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, has joined the leading Canadian litigation firm of Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP as counsel. Drawing on a lifetime of courtroom experience, Mr. Binnie will provide strategic and practical advice, as well as dispute resolution expertise, to his colleagues and the firm's clients.
"Lenczner Slaght has great people and great work," said Mr. Binnie, "and for me there is the added bonus of being able to practise again with many of the same talented people I worked with before going on the bench."
Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Mr. Binnie was a top commercial litigator. Often described as "Canada's finest advocate," he appeared before the Supreme Court as counsel in many high-profile constitutional, civil and criminal cases. He is one of only two justices in modern times to be appointed directly from the bar.
"Ian Binnie was widely recognized as one of Canada's leading litigators while in practice and after that one of our finest judges," said Peter Griffin, managing partner of Lenczner Slaght. "We are delighted to have him join us. We, and our clients, look forward to benefiting from his unique expertise."
In nearly 14 years on the bench Mr. Binnie authored 170 opinions, many in highly significant cases involving intellectual property, defamation, and constitutional and administrative law. His landmark judgments enlarged the fair comment defence in defamation cases, established privilege for journalists' confidential sources and led to a framework for the courts to use in analyzing when to override liability-limitation clauses in contracts.
Prior to serving on the nation's highest court from 1998 to 2011, Mr. Binnie practised for three decades in courtrooms across the country. He represented the governments of Canada, Ontario, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Yukon on various public law and aboriginal rights matters. He also acted as counsel for major national and multinational companies in commercial patent disputes, regulatory issues and other litigation.
In the mid-1980s Mr. Binnie served for four years as Canada's Associate Deputy Minister of Justice. He was later appointed Special Parliamentary Counsel to the Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on the Meech Lake Accord. He has appeared before the International Court of Justice and various international tribunals in both governmental and private litigation matters, and has acted as Canadian representative in high-profile disputes involving France and the U.S.
Mr. Binnie earned a BA from McGill University in 1960, an LLB from the University of Cambridge in 1963, an LLB from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1965 and an LLM from the University of Cambridge in 1988. Called to the English Bar in 1966, the Ontario Bar in 1967 and the Yukon Bar in 1985, he practised as well in other jurisdictions across Canada.
Inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1993, he is also a Judicial Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, a commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists and a member of the Canadian Council on International Law, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice and the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice.
In addition to acting as counsel at Lenczner Slaght, Mr. Binnie will be a resident arbitrator at Arbitration Place in Toronto.
Lenczner Slaght is widely recognized as Canada's leading litigation practice and has successfully represented clients' interests in complex, high-profile cases across the country. The firm's lawyers are distinguished by their depth of courtroom experience, appearing regularly at all levels of the federal and provincial courts and before professional and regulatory tribunals, as well as in mediation and arbitration proceedings.
The firm is known for its wealth of talent. Its partners, ranked among the best of their peers nationally, lead a recruitment and mentoring program that attracts gifted litigators who are committed to upholding the highest professional standards. From commercial disputes, class actions and cross-border disputes to administrative law and professional regulation, Lenczner Slaght brings expert strategy - backed by rigorous research, skilled data management and solid administrative support - to demanding cases in all areas of litigation.
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