David has significant experience both as a trial lawyer and as appellate counsel, with a focus on litigation and arbitration in the energy, infrastructure, construction and procurement sectors, insurance law, product liability claims, indigenous law, class actions, environmental claims and commercial disputes. He acts for project developers and owners, lenders, contractors, design professionals, regulators and insurers in all manner of construction disputes, as well as for a wide range of clients in class actions, including financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, public authorities and schools. In his insurance practice, David advises and represents a wide range of industry participants, in matters involving, among other things, policy interpretation, regulatory compliance, corporate and commercial transactions, and reinsurance.
In addition to his commercial disputes practice, David has substantial experience in public law, criminal and constitutional litigation. He has appeared as lead counsel at the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, all levels of court in Ontario, the courts of five other provinces, in commercial arbitrations, before public inquiries and before various administrative tribunals, including the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Ontario Licence Appeal Tribunal.
David Outerbridge is distinguished among peers as ‘one of the most qualified and recognised e-discovery lawyers in Canada’ and ‘a pioneer in the field.’
—Who’s Who Legal, 2020
Recognition and Awards
Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys—Litigation Star (arbitration, class actions, commercial, construction, energy, insurance and product liability)
Best Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in corporate and commercial litigation
The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Leading lawyer in class actions, corporate commercial litigation, product liability litigation and public law litigation
Who’s Who Legal—Global Elite Thought Leader in commercial litigation/e-discovery (a recognition given to fewer than 5% of all lawyers ranked by Who’s Who Legal), Global and National leading lawyer in commercial litigation and e-discovery practitioners
In addition to his robust disputes practice, David is one of Canada’s leading e-discovery lawyers. He is Past-Chair of Sedona Canada, which is author of the Sedona Canada Principles Addressing Electronic Discovery, a best practices document that is incorporated by reference into the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure. He is Past-Chair of the e-Discovery Implementation Committee (EIC), a joint committee of the Ontario Bar Association and The Advocates’ Society, whose mandate is to implement best practices relating to electronic discovery in Ontario. David is also the founder and Past-Chair of the Ontario Class Action Bench-Bar Liaison Committee.
David speaks, teaches and writes frequently on a variety of topics, including construction law, insurance law, cyber-security, class actions, privacy, legal ethics, written advocacy, electronic evidence and e-discovery, solicitor-client and litigation privilege, and best practices for litigation readiness and document retention.
David’s practice includes a substantial pro bono component. He has advised and represented the Hamilton Conservation Authority, The Shelley Gautier Para-Sport Foundation, the Wind Dancer Pony Rescue Foundation, and other charities, non-profit entities and individuals in a variety of litigation and non-litigation matters, with a particular focus on corporate governance advice.
Before joining Torys, David had a diverse legal background. He obtained a Master’s degree focusing on U.S. constitutional interpretation, worked for a year with a Toronto criminal defence firm in 1997–1998, and served as a law clerk for Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1998–1999, in addition to having clerked for a Justice of the Quebec Superior Court of Justice.