Graham Smith

General Counsel

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Graham Smith

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Graham Smith is a partner and the General Counsel at Goodmans. Graham also heads the firm’s Research Department.

Graham’s practice focuses on complex corporate/commercial and insolvency-related litigation, including insurance and reinsurance disputes, financial institution insolvency, cross-border issues, surety bond issues, contractual disputes, construction disputes, large transfer pricing disputes and corporate oppression actions. His litigation career reflects a diverse depth of experience in all these fields, as well as prosecution and defence of defamation claims, providing pre-publication and pre-broadcast review, litigation of employee and fiduciary obligation claims, real estate and landlord and tenant disputes, energy regulatory hearings and pension board hearings.

Graham is a seasoned litigator and has appeared before a range of courts and tribunals in Canada and the United States. Graham is frequently counsel on matters before the Commercial List in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which specializes in complex commercial and insolvency cases. He has extensive cross-border experience in commercial and insolvency matters, including 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. Graham is also a skilled researcher and is often consulted by members of Goodmans on cutting edge legal issues. He also provides legal research and writing skills seminars to summer and articling students at the firm.

Featured Work

Graham’s representative work includes acting for and advising:
  • the Liquidators responsible for conducting the complex, cross-border liquidations of Confederation Life Insurance Company and Reliance Insurance Company Canadian Branch, among others, and the liquidations of Markham General Insurance Company, Canadian Millers and other domestic insurance businesses
  • the Liquidator of Confederation Life in the leading case successfully opposing enforcement of arbitration clauses in insolvency
  • the Court-appointed Monitor of Nortel Networks, as lead counsel in successfully defending a multi-billion dollar intercompany transfer pricing claim, now a seminal Canadian case
  • the Monitor of Nortel Networks in defending a large claim by a former executive for defamation
  • various court-appointed officers in the leading cases on post-filing interest in insolvency, including the successful extension of the interest-stops doctrine to CCAA proceedings, overturning previous appellate precedent
  • the Liquidator of Reliance Insurance Company Canadian Branch in the leading Canadian case successfully establishing set-off in a cross-border reinsurance dispute
  • the Liquidator of Reliance Insurance Company in the leading Canadian case on the recognition of foreign solvent schemes of arrangement
  • the Municipal Electric Association in numerous hydro rate approval hearings before the Ontario Energy Board
  • a major Toronto newspaper and prominent journalists in successfully defending numerous libel claims, including at trial, appeal and leave proceedings in the Supreme Court of Canada, and a plaintiff law firm in successfully prosecuting the leading Canadian case establishing the criteria for the statutory “retraction” defense
  • a leading analytical and testing service in litigation successfully applying the “springboard” injunction doctrine
  • a major brewing company in successfully defending conspiracy and partnership claims


Professional Involvement

Graham has been frequently consulted by industry associations and government departments on legislative improvements to restructuring provisions for financial institutions.

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; co-author of Practical Law’s module on cross-border agreements (Canada); and author of commentary on recognition of foreign solvent schemes of arrangements published by the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals.

Graham has presented on a variety of cutting edge legal issues both in-house and at conferences in Canada and the U.S., including leading international insurance insolvency panels and the leading international transfer pricing forum. Most recently, he authored and presented on Statements of Defence – Clear and Effective Writing for the Law Society of Ontario.

Professional Affiliations

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • The Advocates' Society
  • Toronto Lawyers Association
  • Toronto Research Lawyers Group