Gerald Chan

Practice Areas

Described as a “superstar” (Benchmark Litigation), Gerald practices criminal, constitutional, administrative, and select civil/commercial litigation. He has been recognized as a leading practitioner by Best Lawyers in Canada, Benchmark Litigation, Chambers Canada, and Lexpert. In 2019, Canadian Lawyer named Gerald one of the Top 25 Most Influential lawyers in Canada.

Gerald defends clients facing all manner of charges, including white collar crime, cyber crimes, sexual offences, and quasi-criminal / regulatory matters. He frequently advises clients at the investigation stage, where he has dealt with the OSC Joint Serious Offences Team, RCMP Integrated Markets Enforcement Team, OPP, Canada Border Services Agency, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Ministry of Labour. His cases in this area often involve parallel civil proceedings, such as interlocutory injunction applications, civil fraud claims (Mareva injunctions and Anton Piller orders) and class actions.

Gerald frequently represents clients on appeals and judicial reviews. He has argued before every level of court, including over 20 cases in the Supreme Court of Canada (privacy, foreign corruption, insider trading, and medical marihuana), the Court of Appeal for Ontario (where he frequently appears as a member of the Ontario Inmate Appeal Duty Counsel Program), and Divisional Court.

Gerald has particular expertise in data privacy matters. He has been involved in many of the leading Supreme Court of Canada cases on the issue, including R v Marakah, R v Fearon, and R v Cole.

Gerald also frequently acts for lawyers. He has defended lawyers in negligence claims, advised them on privacy breaches, and represented their interests in ineffective assistance of counsel appeals. He has also acted for lawyers facing discipline by the Law Society and subpoenas to testify in court.

Apart from his practice, Gerald is a prolific writer and teacher. He is co-author of the 8th and 9th editions of Sentencing (LexisNexis); co-author of Digital Evidence: A Practitioner’s Handbook (Emond Publishing); co-editor of Digital Privacy: Criminal, Civil and Regulatory Litigation (LexisNexis); and co-editor of Litigating Artificial Intelligence (Emond Publishing). He teaches on the faculty of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s National Criminal Law Program and the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. He also teaches the Advocates’ Society and Osgoode PD’s Annual Course on Written Advocacy and has spoken at National Judicial Institute programs across the country.

Gerald is a member of the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee (appointed by the Law Society of Ontario), and Case Review Committee of Innocence Canada. He is also the immediate past president of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (Ontario).

Before joining Stockwoods, Gerald was a partner with Clayton Ruby at a leading criminal and constitutional law firm. Before that, Gerald practiced commercial litigation with a large firm and clerked for Justice Abella at the Supreme Court of Canada. He graduated as co-Gold Medallist from Osgoode Hall Law School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Representative Work

White Collar | Quasi-Criminal

  • Representing former directors and officers in financial crimes investigations (a money laundering investigation by the OPP and a securities fraud investigation by the OSC Joint Serious Offences Team)
  • Defending a large construction company in a workplace fatality prosecution by the Ministry of Labour
  • Regularly advising telecommunications companies and financial institutions on lawful access requests by law enforcement
  • Represented Uber partners in several jurisdictions (Toronto, Mississauga, etc.) and obtained withdrawals and stays of hundreds of charges of owning and operating a “taxicab” without a licence after lengthy motions on privilege and s. 11(b) of the Charter
  • Defended casino operators on charges under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and obtained a withdrawal in one case and an acquittal in another
  • Defended a large food company facing mislabeling charges under the Food and Drugs Act and Criminal Code after an investigation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Administrative and Public Law

  • Represented the Toronto District School Board on a judicial review application regarding its French Immersion program
  • Represented Ryerson University in a labour grievance regarding the seizure of mail by police
  • Represented a large construction company in a coroner’s inquest related to a workplace fatality
  • Defended a lawyer in one of the first advertising-related prosecutions brought by the Law Society of Ontario
  • Represented a City Councillor and Vice-Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board on a judicial review application regarding the Board’s attempt to sanction him for speaking to the press

Supreme Court Advocacy

  • R v Le, 2019 SCC 34 (represented the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers and Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic on a joint intervention dealing with racial profiling and police detentions in racialized communities)
  • R v Mills, 2019 SCC 22 (represented the Criminal Lawyers’ Association in an appeal involving the right to privacy in text messages with an undercover officer)
  • vMarakah, 2017 SCC 59R v Jones, 2017 SCC 60 (represented the B.C. Civil Liberties Association in two companion appeals on text message privacy)
  • R v Peers, 2017 SCC 13 (represented the B.C. Civil Liberties Association in an appeal dealing with the right to a jury trial in Securities Act prosecutions)
  • World Bank Group v. Wallace, 2016 SCC 15 (represented the B.C. Civil Liberties Association in an appeal dealing with a Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act prosecution)
  • R v Smith, 2015 SCC 34 (represented the Criminal Lawyers’ Association in an appeal dealing with the constitutionality of medical marihuana regulations)

Criminal Defence

  • R v XC, 2020 ONSC 410 (argued one of the first motions to interpret the new sexual assault provisions brought about by Bill C-51, and obtained an acquittal on all charges at trial)
  • R v Adler, 2020 ONCA 246 (obtained substituted acquittals in a sexual offences case after the ONCA concluded that all of the evidence should have been excluded)
  • R v John, 2018 ONCA 702 (conviction and sentence appeal in the ONCA in which the court struck down the mandatory minimum sentence for possession of child pornography)
  • R v Levin, 2015 ONCJ 290 (defended a former Deputy Minister in a prosecution for computer crimes and sexual offences)
  • R v Yowfoo, 2013 ONCA 751 (obtained a substituted acquittal in a case involving serious drug trafficking and firearms charges)
  • United States of America v Chu, [2009] OJ No 3091 (SCJ) (represented the person sought in an extradition case involving Canadian gathered wiretap evidence)

 

 

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Additional Info

Awards and Recognition

  • Acritas Star – independently rated lawyer (2021) (nominated as stand-out lawyer by senior in-house counsel)
  • Canadian Lawyer, Top 25 Most Influential (2019)
  • Best Lawyers in Canada, Criminal Defence; Appellate Litigation (2020, 2019)
  • Best Lawyers in Canada, Administrative & Public Law (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017)
  • Best Lawyers in Canada, Privacy & Data Security (2020)
  • Benchmark Litigation, “Litigation Star”, Criminal and White Collar Crime (2021, 2020, 2019)
  • Benchmark Litigation, “Future Star”, Criminal and White Collar Crime (2018, 2017)
  • Benchmark Litigation, “40 & Under Hotlist” (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017)
  • Benchmark Litigation, “Emerging Talent of the Year” (2018)
  • Chambers Canada, White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations, Up and Coming (2021)
  • Lexpert, “Rising Star” (2017)
  • Lexpert Legal Dictionary, Litigation – Public Law, “Repeatedly Recommended” (2021, 2020, 2019)
  • Lexpert Legal Dictionary, Litigation – Public Law, “Leading Lawyers to Watch” (2018, 2017)
  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigators (2018, 2017, 2014)
  • Crescent School Alumni Excellence Award (2020)
  • Precedent Setter Award, Precedent Magazine (2012)
  • Osgoode Alumni Gold Key, One-to-Watch, Osgoode Hall Law School (2012)
  • Gold Medal, Osgoode Hall Law School (2006)

Publications

Co-editor, For the Defence (2015-present)

Associate editor, Canadian Rights Reporter (2009-present)

Co-Editor, Digital Privacy: Criminal, Civil and Regulatory Litigation (LexisNexis, 2018)

Co-Author, Digital Evidence: A Practitioner’s Handbook (Emond Publishing, 2017)

Co-Author, Sentencing, 9th ed. (LexisNexis, 2017)

Author, “The virus of anti-Asian prejudice”, Toronto Star (April 14, 2020)

Author, “R v Le: Race, Reality and the Rule of Law”, LSO Six-Minute Criminal Lawyer 2020

Author, “Litigating Algorithms: A Defence Perspective”, LSO Special Lectures 2019: Innovation, Technology, and the Practice of Law (November 21, 2019)

Co-Author, “Challenges to Privilege in the Internal Investigation Context”, CCCA Magazine (Spring 2019)

Co-Author, “A Purposive Approach to Privilege in the Context of Internal Investigations”, The Advocates’ Quarterly (February 2019)

Author, “Text Message Privacy: Who Else Is Reading This?”, Supreme Court Law Review (2018)

Co-Author, “Privilege and Corporate Responsibility: Are courts impeding public policy?”, Global Investigations Review (10 May 2018)

Author, “Text messaging: The most private (and recorded) form of communication”, The Advocates’ Journal (March 2018)

Teaching & Speaking Engagements

Panelist, “Cybersecurity: Assessing Liability arising from Information Security Breaches in Data Privacy”, CAN-TECH Law Annual Conference (October 21, 2021)

Panelist, “Sexual Assault Lawyer’s Toolkit”, DCAO/CCLA Criminal Law Conference (October 16, 2021)

Co-Chair, “Digital Evidence Workshop”, The Advocates’ Society (August 10, 2021)

Panelist, “Client Management Mistakes”, The Advocates’ Society, Trial and Error: Lessons Learned From Career Mistakes (July 6, 2021)

Panelist, “Your First Time at the Supreme Court of Canada? It’s Not So Scary”, The Advocates’ Society: Supreme Court of Canada Advocacy (May 27, 2021)

Panelist, “Machine Learning, Automated Decision and Facial Recognition”, OBA Privacy Law Summit (May 4, 2021)

Panelist, “Dealing with Concurrent Proceedings Affecting the Corporation”, Law Society of Ontario: Emerging Issues in Directors and Officers Liability (April 26, 2021)

Panelist, “The Impact of AI on Issues of Access to Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion”, Law Society of Ontario: AI for Litigators (April 16, 2021)

Panelist, “Adapting Your Oral Advocacy Skills to Succeed in this New Era of Remote Proceedings”, CBA Webinar (April 6, 2021)

Co-Chair, “Digital Evidence for Litigators”, The Advocates’ Society (March 10, 2021)

Panelist, “Demonstration and Discussion: Effective Advocacy in the (Virtual?) Courtroom”, The Advocates’ Society: Motions Advocacy (March 4, 2021)

Panelist, “Sealing Orders”, Osgoode PD: 14th Annual Intensive Course on Drafting and Reviewing Search Warrants (March 1, 2021)

Panelist, “OMG: Tech Horror Stories and the Lessons Learned”, The Advocates’ Society: Technology Gone Wrong: Cautionary Tales From the Remote Courtroom (February 26, 2021)

Co-Chair, 14th Annual FACL Ontario Conference & Mixer, Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, Ontario (February 18-20, 2021)

Panelist, “Disruption Triggering Setbacks: Privilege Fights Back”, RODA’s 6th Annual Diversity Conference (December 7, 2020)

Instructor, “24th Annual Course on Written Advocacy”, Osgoode PD / The Advocates’ Society (November 9, 11, 17, 19, 2020)

Panelist, “Difficult Conversations: How to Build Cultural Inclusion”, The Advocates’ Society: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Litigators (October 8, 2020)

Panelist, “Issues in criminal, civil, and regulatory litigation – when can you access evidence from one proceeding and use it in another?”, Criminal Lawyers’ Association (July 22, 2020)

Speaker, “R v Le: A Defence Perspective”, Law Society of Ontario: Six Minute Criminal Lawyer 2020 (April 2020)

Co-Chair, “Digital Evidence for Litigators”, The Advocates’ Society (February 26, 2020)

Conference Co-Chair, 13th Annual FACL Conference (February 8, 2020)

Panelist, “Finding Your Voice: How to Know what Business Development Strategy to Implement”, The Advocates’ Society (January 24, 2020)

Panelist, “Senior Racialized Lawyers Summit”, Canadian Bar Association (December 5, 2019)

Speaker, “Privilege and Internal Investigations”, LSO: The Twelve-Minute Civil Litigator (September 12, 2019)

Instructor, “23rd Annual Course on Written Advocacy”, Osgoode PD / The Advocates’ Society (October 18-19, 2019)

Speaker, “Investigation Reports, Are They Privileged?”, LSO: 20th Employment Law Summit (November 1, 2019)

Speaker, “What just happened? An in-house Counsel’s guide to crisis management”, ACC 6th Annual Securities Law Symposium (November 13, 2019)

Speaker, “Decoding Digital Evidence”, CLA Fall Conference (November 15, 2019)

Speaker, “Litigating Algorithms”, LSO Special Lectures 2019: Innovation, Technology, and the Practice of Law (November 21, 2019)

Speaker, “Investigations: Trends & Drivers”, Canadian Litigation Forum (November 26, 2019)

Speaker, “Section 8: The “Gray” Areas, and Digital Evidence”, National Judicial Institute: Supreme Court of British Columbia Seminar” (May 22, 2019)

Speaker, “Privacy in the Age of Global Community”, Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Conference (April 9, 2019)

Speaker, “Finding Your Hook: How To Develop a Winning Case”, The Advocates’ Society (April 4, 2019)

Speaker, “Evidentiary Issues in Property Crime Cases”, National Judicial Institute: Criminal Law Seminar (March 27, 2019)

Associations

  • Board Member, Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Association
  • Member, Criminal Lawyers’ Association (Ontario)
  • President, Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers in Ontario
  • Member, Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee for the Ontario Court of Justice
  • Member, The Advocates’ Society
  • Crescent School: Alumni Diversity Committee, Member
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