Sheila Block is one of the most recognized litigators in Canada. The depth of her experience, the exceptional quality of her advocacy skills, and her dedication to clients’ interests make her a highly sought-after advocate across all manner of disputes.
Sheila is a senior trial and appellate counsel with a broad civil litigation practice, including corporate/commercial and securities litigation, intellectual property, defamation and administrative law cases. She has appeared as counsel at all levels of court in Canada and before international arbitrations and other tribunals.
Sheila is the former chair of Torys’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice and a former chair of Torys’ Executive Committee.
|2022||Appointed as a member of the Order of Canada|
|2016-2023||Chambers Canada—Leading lawyer in dispute resolution: class action (defence), litigation: general commercial (Ontario), dispute resolution: arbitration|
|2008-2022||Chambers Global—Leading lawyer in dispute resolution: litigation (Ontario), arbitration and class action (defence)|
|2014-2023||The Legal 500—Leading lawyer in dispute resolution (Ontario)|
|2014-2022||Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys—Litigation Star (securities, arbitration, product liability, class actions, commercial, IP and international arbitration)|
|2021||Best Lawyers in Canada—Director and Officer Liability Practice Lawyer of the Year in Toronto|
|2006-2023||Best Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in administrative and public law, bet-the-company litigation, class action litigation, corporate and commercial litigation, defamation and media law, director and officer liability practice, international arbitration, legal malpractice law and securities law|
|2008-2023||Lexpert/American Lawyer’s Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in class action litigation, arbitration, corporate commercial litigation, directors’ and officers’ liability and securities litigation|
|2008-2022||The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Leading lawyer in class actions, professional liability, commercial arbitration, corporate commercial litigation, directors’ and officers’ liability litigation, securities litigation, public law litigation, defamation and media litigation, product liability litigation, commercial insurance litigation and intellectual property litigation|
|2010-2022||Who’s Who Legal—Thought leader in commercial litigation, Global and National leading lawyer in commercial litigation|
|2018-2019||Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys—Top 50 Trial Lawyers in Canada|
|2014-2019||Benchmark Litigation—Top 25 Women in Litigation (Canada)|
|2019||Best Lawyers in Canada—Corporate and Commercial Litigation Lawyer of the Year (Toronto)|
|2018||Best Lawyers in Canada—Class Action Litigation Lawyer of the Year (Canada) and Director and Officer Liability Practice Lawyer of the Year (Toronto)|
|2018, 2016||Benchmark Litigation—Trial Lawyer of the Year (Canada)|
|2018||Lexpert/Thomson Reuters’ Guide to the Leading U.S./Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada—Most frequently recommended in dispute resolution|
|2015||Best Lawyers in Canada—Corporate and Commercial Litigation Lawyer of the Year (Toronto)|
|2015||Law Society of Upper Canada—Honourary LLD|
|2014||Benchmark Litigation—Litigator of the Year (Ontario)|
|2014||University of Ottawa—Honourary LLD|
|2013||Benchmark Litigation—Lifetime Achievement Award|
|2012||Best Lawyers in Canada—Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year (Toronto)|
|2012||University of Ottawa—Meritas Tabaret Award|
|2008||The Advocates’ Society—The Advocates’ Society Medal|
|2006||Law Society of Upper Canada—Law Society Medal|
|2006||Ontario Bar Association—Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation|
|2004||Toronto Lawyers’ Association Award of Distinction|
|2003||University of Ottawa—Common Law Honour Society|
|1999||Laidlaw Medal for Advocacy|
|1991||American College of Trial Lawyers—Fellow|
Sheila has spoken and written extensively on advocacy and civil litigation. Her publications include the Canadian edition of Steven Lubet’s Modern Trial Advocacy. Sheila has also taught advocacy for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy in Canada, the United States, England, Scotland, New Zealand and El Salvador, as well as for the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal in Rwanda and the Special Court in Sierra Leone. She has also conducted advocacy programs for the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy in Switzerland, France, England, Brazil, India and Singapore. She has participated in advocacy demonstrations at conferences, including the Cambridge lectures in Cambridge, England; the Canadian Bar Association Annual Meeting in London, England; the Advocacy Symposium in Toronto, Ontario; and the Institute for Continuing Legal Education in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has taught an intensive advocacy course at the University of Toronto Law School and has taught in the LLM program in litigation offered by the Osgoode Hall Law School.
Sheila is a Trustee and the Former President for the Harold G. Fox Foundation, the Chair for the Touching Tiny Lives Foundation and a Trustee for the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy in Geneva. She is also on the President’s Council for the University of Ottawa, and the Advisory Board for the Program on Ethics, Business and the Law at University of Toronto Law School. As well, she was the former director for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Sheila is a member of The Advocates’ Society; the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, National Advisory Committee; the President’s Council, University of Ottawa; the American College of Trial Lawyers (Fellow, 1991); the International Society of Barristers (Fellow, 1992); and the Commercial Bar Association of England (honorary member).