Michael Wilson


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Michael Wilson

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Michael Wilson is a partner at Goodmans.

Michael acts as lead counsel in matters involving corporate governance and shareholder disputes, director and officer liability claims, and employment and commercial issues. Given his extensive experience advising decision-makers in the federal and provincial governments, he is regularly called upon to advise and represent clients in administrative and regulatory matters, including to develop legislative and regulatory proposals that respond to complex and urgent policy challenges.

Michael previously served as the chief of staff to the Attorney General of Ontario. Providing strategic counsel to two successive Attorneys General, Michael led the development and implementation of substantial legislative reform, including the modernization of legislation related to Ontario’s crown liability, class actions, civil forfeiture, and construction. He routinely advised on policy development related to regulated professions and industries, including those regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (alcohol, gaming, and cannabis). In 2023, Michael was designated by the Government of Ontario as King’s Counsel in recognition of his commitment to the pursuit of legal excellence in service to the Crown, the public and his community. 

Michael has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal and international and domestic arbitration panels.

Michael is recognized as a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation Canada and as “One to Watch” by The Best Lawyers in Canada. Michael was included in the 2023 Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under List – Canada, and has also been recommended by The Legal 500 Canada in the area of Dispute Resolution: Ontario.

Featured Work

Michael’s representative work includes acting as counsel to:
Class Actions
  • a US-based, Canadian-listed company resisting leave and certification in a class action with claims related to its prospectus disclosure and secondary market disclosure
  • a publicly-traded company resisting the certification of a class action in relation to its securities disclosure
  • senior officers of a publicly-traded company in a class proceeding relating to the company’s securities disclosure
  • a corporate defendant in a consumer class action regarding price-fixing
Complex Corporate and Commercial Cases
  • defending a multinational company against an oppression claim commenced by a purported creditor
  • a co-founder/shareholder of a technology company in a dispute concerning the non-complete and non-solicitation provisions of a unanimous shareholders agreement
  • a venture capitalist in defence of breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims made in connection with a share purchase transaction
  • a Canadian wine-maker in defence of alleged breaches of a share purchase agreement and a shareholders agreement following the unwinding of a joint venture
  • a professional services firm in asserting breach of contract, fiduciary duty and confidence claims against two departing senior employees
  • a shareholder in a closely-held family business in a shareholder dispute
Regulatory Matters, Judicial Reviews and Claims Against the Government
  • a cannabis retailer in response to regulatory inquiries from the AGCO
  • a group of developers in a judicial review of a municipal council decision
  • a Canadian pharmaceutical company in a claim against the federal government for breach of contract, negligence, and misfeasance in public office
  • a Canadian pharmaceutical company in multiple judicial reviews against the federal government
Defamation Cases
  • the Monitor in a CCAA proceeding defending defamation claims made by the former CEO of the CCAA debtor company
  • the principal of a professional services firm in taking action against defamatory comments made by a competitor


Professional Involvement

Michael is a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto and the Metropolitan Toronto University, where he teaches on various corporate law and litigation topics.