Sheila Block

Sheila R. Block

Toronto: 416.865.7319
Fax 416.865.7380


LLB (Gold Medalist), 1972
University of Ottawa
BA (Honours), 1969
Carleton University
1965–1968 University of Toronto

Bar Admissions

Ontario, 1974


Sheila Block 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. Sheila has appeared as counsel at all levels of court in Canada and before international arbitrations and other tribunals. Sheila is the chair of Torys' Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice and a former chair of Torys' Executive Committee.

Representative Work

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Best Lawyers' Best Lawyers in Canada—Director and office liability practice lawyer of the year (2018) (Toronto)

Best Lawyers' Best Lawyers in Canada—Class Action Litigation Lawyer of the Year (2018)

Best Lawyers' Best Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in administrative and public law, bet-the-company litigation, class action litigation, international arbitration, corporate and commercial litigation, defamation and media law, director and officer liability practice, legal malpractice law and securities law (2009-2018)

Chambers & Partners’ Chambers Canada—Leading lawyer in Canada, dispute resolution: class action (defence); Ontario, dispute resolution (2016-2018)

Benchmark Litigation—Trial Lawyer of the Year, Canada (2016)

Best Lawyers' 2015 Corporate and Commercial Litigation Lawyer of the Year in Toronto 

Lexpert/American Lawyer Media’s Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in class action litigation, corporate commercial litigation, directors’ and officers’ liability, and in securities litigation (2008-2018)

Chambers & Partners’ Chambers Global: World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Client’s Guide —Leading lawyer in Ontario in dispute resolution (2008-2017) and class action (2014-2018) ("One of the best litigation lawyers in Canada")

The Legal 500 Canada—Leading lawyer in dispute resolution: Ontario (2014-2018)

Expert Guide’s Women in Business Law—Leading lawyer in litigation (2012-2014, 2016)

Law Business Research’s Who’s Who Legal: Canada—Leading lawyer in commercial litigation (2010-2015)

Benchmark Litigation—Top 25 Women in Litigation (Canada) (2014-2017)

Lexpert/Thomson Reuters’ Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Leading lawyer in class actions, professional liability, international commercial arbitration, litigation – corporate commercial, litigation – directors' & officers' liability, litigation – securities, litigation – public law, litigation – defamation & media, and in litigation – product liability (2008-2017); litigation – commercial insurance (2010-2017); and litigation – intellectual property (2008-2011, 2013-2017)

Legal Media Group's Benchmark Canada—Ontario Litigator of the Year (2014); Local Litigation Star – Ontario (2014); Lifetime Achievement Award (2013); Leading litigator in securities (2012-2014); arbitration and product liability (2014); class actions, commercial, intellectual property and international arbitration (2012-2013)

Named a BTI Client Service All-Star by BTI Consulting Group's annual worldwide survey of leading corporate counsel. BTI Client Service All-Stars are identified solely and exclusively by corporate counsel (2014).

Lexpert's Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in class actions, corporate commercial, international commercial arbitration and securities (2012-2013)

Best Lawyers 2012—Toronto Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year

Practical Law Company’s Which Lawyer?—Leading Ontario lawyer in dispute resolution (2007-2012)

Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation and Product Liability Lawyers—Leading lawyer in Canada (2012)

Real Time News' LawDay—Leading lawyer in appellate advocacy, class action/defence, product liability, complex litigation, directors and officers liability and white collar crime (2009)

Practical Law Company’s Cross-border Dispute Resolution Handbook—Leading practitioner in dispute resolution (2008-2009)

Lexpert's 2008 Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in corporate commercial, class action and securities

Lexpert's Guide to the U.S./Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada 2007—Leading litigation lawyer in international commercial arbitration

Lexpert/Thomson Canada’s Guide to the 100 Most Creative Lawyers in Canada 2006—Leading lawyer in corporate litigation

Law Business Research’s Who's Who Legal: International Who's Who of Business Lawyers—One of the world's top 10 commercial litigators (2005)

Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers—Leading litigator in Canada (2005)

Lexpert-Thomson Canada’s Guide to the Leading 100 Canada/U.S. Cross-border Litigators in Canada—International commercial arbitration; corporate commercial, class action and securities litigation (2005)

Women’s Executive Network 2004 and 2003—Power 50 Most Influential Women in Canada

Lexpert, September 2003—One of Canada’s top 25 women lawyers

Lexpert, July/August 2002—One of Canada’s top 25 corporate litigators


Law Society of Upper Canada—Honourary LLD, 2015

University of Ottawa—Honourary LLD, 2014

University of Ottawa—Meritas Tabaret Award, 2012

The Advocates' Society—The Advocates' Society Medal, 2008

Law Society of Upper Canada—Law Society Medal, 2006

Ontario Bar Association—Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation, 2006

Toronto Lawyers’ Association Award of Distinction, 2004

University of Ottawa—Common Law Honour Society, 2003

Laidlaw Medal for Advocacy, 1999


IHRP Update & Alumni Mixer


Torys Hosts IHRP Update

Professional Involvement

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.


Harold G. Fox Foundation (Trustee and President)
Touching Tiny Lives Foundation (Chair)
University of Ottawa (President's Council)
Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy, Geneva (Trustee)
Advisory Board, Program on Ethics, Business and the Law, University of Toronto Law School
Canadian Civil Liberties Association (former director)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • The Advocates' Society
  • Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, National Advisory Committee
  • President's Council, University of Ottawa
  • American College of Trial Lawyers (Fellow, 1991)
  • International Society of Barristers (Fellow, 1992)
  • Commercial Bar Association of England (honorary member)