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Graham Smith


gsmith@goodmans.ca vCard
Bay Adelaide Centre - West Tower
333 Bay Street, Suite 3400
Toronto, ON M5H 2S7

Tel:   416.597.4161
Fax:   416.979.1234

Graham Smith is a partner in Goodmans LLP’s Litigation Section, and is also the firm’s supervisor of legal research. He has been with the firm since his articling year in 1984.

Graham has extensive litigation experience at both the trial level (including jury) and appeal level in a wide range of areas. He was lead counsel on the successful defence of a multi-billion dollar inter-company transfer pricing claim in the Nortel insolvency proceedings, and was transfer pricing counsel to the court-appointed monitor in one of the largest retail insolvencies in Canada. He also has extensive domestic and cross-border insurance insolvency experience as advisory counsel and litigation counsel to liquidators of Canadian branches of U.S. insurers and liquidators of Canadian insurance companies with U.S. and U.K. branches.  Graham has worked frequently with U.S. and U.K. counsel, rehabilitation officers and liquidators in an array of cross-border matters. His litigation practice has encompassed a wide spectrum of commercial, insolvency and bankruptcy litigation, including insurance and reinsurance disputes; partnership disputes; corporate oppression claims; contractual disputes; defamation (libel and slander) claims; pre-publication and pre-broadcast review; surety bond disputes; employee and fiduciary obligations disputes; personal injury claims; real estate and landlord and tenant disputes; energy regulatory hearings and pension board hearings. Graham is frequently counsel on matters before the Commercial Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which specializes in complex commercial and insolvency cases. He has provided publication and broadcast advice to an array of television, radio and newspaper outlets. 

Graham is the author of the Canadian chapter on cross-border insurance insolvency for the ABA Handbook - a leading resource for practitioners in the field of insurance company insolvency, co-author of the Winding-up and Restructuring Act module for Lexis Practice Advisor Canada, former co-author of Insurance Companies Act – Legislation and Commentary, author of commentary on recognition of foreign solvent schemes of arrangements, and author of “Statements of Defence – Clear and Effective Writing”.

Some of the prominent cases on which Graham has acted as counsel include:

  • Virtually all major hearings in the liquidation of Confederation Life Insurance Company, Reliance Insurance Company (Canadian Branch) and Markham General Insurance Company
  • The leading Canadian case successfully defeating the enforceability of arbitration clauses in insolvency
  • The leading Canadian cases successfully applying the post-filing ‘interest stops rule’ in insolvency, and extending the doctrine to CCAA proceedings
  • The leading Canadian case successfully establishing set-off in a cross-border reinsurance dispute
  • The leading Canadian case  successfully defending intercompany transfer pricing claims
  • The leading Canadian case on the recognition of foreign solvent schemes of arrangement
  • Numerous hydro rate approval hearings before the Ontario Energy Board
  • The successful defense of several libel claims against a major Toronto newspaper, including at trial, appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada
  • Successful prosecution of the leading case on the “retraction” defense for publishers of defamatory material
  • Litigation successfully applying the “springboard” injunction doctrine
  • The successful defense of a major brewing company against conspiracy claims

Graham has been extensively involved in his community through coaching of minor league hockey and baseball, as past Chair of the School Council of two large elementary schools in Markham, Ontario and as a member of various committees for a major Ontario school board.

Education University of Toronto (J.D., 1984)
University of Toronto (B.A. (Hons.), 1981)
Professional Affiliations

Canadian Bar Association
Advocates' Society
Metropolitan Toronto Lawyers Association

Year of Call

1986 Ontario