Brian’s broad practice spans commercial litigation, general civil litigation, competition law, criminal, administrative and regulatory law and aboriginal law. Brian is currently recognized by Best Lawyers® in six categories: Administrative and Public Law, Appellate Practice, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defence and Health Care Law. He has consistently been given an AV ® (preeminent) rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings system. In recognition of his role in advocating on behalf of his clients, Brian was awarded the Law Society Medal in 2022 and received the Benchmark Litigation Canada Hall of Fame Award in 2023.
Prior to joining Stockwoods in 1994, Brian served as counsel in the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General’s Crown Law Office – Criminal representing the Crown in appeals before the Ontario Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada and conducting special prosecutions. From 1991-1993 he served as the Executive Legal Officer to Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice.
From 2018-2019, Brian was President of The Advocates’ Society, a national organization dedicated to promoting effective advocacy and access to justice. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers (and member, Journal Editorial Board and Advocacy in the 21st Century Committee) and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (and also an Executive Committee member, Secretary-Treasurer and a Director). He is also an Honorary Overseas Member of The Commercial Bar Association of the U.K. (Combar).
Brian has frequently acted as counsel at both federal and provincial commissions of inquiry. For example, he served as commission counsel on the Walkerton Inquiry, Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar (“Arar Commission”) and the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182 (“Air India Inquiry”) and was lead counsel for the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario at the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario (“Goudge Inquiry”). Most recently, Brian appeared as counsel at the Public Order Emergency Commission. He has also been counsel at a number of major inquests.
He is regularly retained to advise and represent judges facing disciplinary proceedings.
Brian speaks and writes on a broad variety of topics and regularly contributes to continuing legal education programs. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at Western University’s Faculty of Law and at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he taught administrative law.
He attended law school at Western University (B.A., 1978; LL.B., 1981) and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1983.
- Commission Counsel: Walkerton Inquiry, 2000-2002, Arar Commission, 2004-2006; Air India Inquiry, 2006-2010
- Lead counsel for the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario at the Goudge Inquiry and represented the Commissioner of the Cornwall Public Inquiry on judicial review applications and appeals.
- Served as Executive Legal Officer to Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice from 1991 to 1993
- Served as counsel in the Crown Law Office – Criminal within the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General. As Crown counsel, argued appeals before the Ontario Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada.
- Contributor, Barristers & Solicitors in Practice, [now Canadian Legal Practice], Butterworths, 1998
- Co-Author, The Criminal Lawyers’ Guide to Extraordinary Remedies, Canada Law Book, 2000
- Co-Author, Canadian Legal Practice, LexisNexis, 2009
- Editor-in-Chief, Corporate Liability Journal, Federated Press, 1998—2016
Teaching & Speaking Engagements
- Adjunct Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2009-2013 (Administrative Law)
- Instructor, Trial Practice Course, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2004-2006
- Adjunct Professor, Western University, 1998-2002 (Professional Discipline Law)
- Seminar Instructor, Bar Admission Course, 1988-1997 (Advocacy and Criminal Procedure)
- Member and Past President, The Advocates’ Society
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
- Member, Criminal Lawyers’ Association
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Honorary Overseas Member, The Commercial Bar Association of the U.K. (Combar)