William DesLauriers is a founding partner of Torys LLP. In 1954, along with Arthur Binnington and the two sons of John S.D. Tory, Mr. DesLauriers joined Tory & Associates. In 1963, the firm became Tory Tory DesLauriers & Binnington. Although they were all young lawyers, the four partners were able to grow the firm, in large part by maintaining and developing relationships with leading corporate clients. For most of his career, Mr. DesLauriers was a busy corporate lawyer with a practice that focused on securities work and mergers and acquisitions. Clients of the firm in those days included Wood Gundy, the largest brokerage and securities firm in Canada, and The Thomson Corporation. Mr. DesLauriers was involved with the international tax work for The Thomson Corporation and with its various overseas subsidiaries for many years and was a director and member of its executive committee, compensation committee and audit committee.
During his long career, and prior to the current shift in corporate governance regarding board participation, Mr. DesLauriers was a director of numerous companies, including Union Bank of Switzerland (Canada) from 1981 to 1996, RealFund from 1982 to 1999 (as a member of the corporate governance committee and the audit committee) and a director of several private corporations.
Today, Mr. DesLauriers’ practice focuses exclusively on pro bono work and acting as a senior counsel to the firm. He is a former member of the lay board of the Basilian Fathers of Toronto; a director and secretary of The Basilian Fathers of Henry Carr Farm of Beeton, Ontario; a director and president of the Basilian Fathers Missions Support, a registered Canadian charitable organization; and a former director and chairperson of St. Michael's Homes, a charitable organization in Toronto that provides residences for men with addiction problems. Mr. DesLauriers is a former chairman of the board of trustees of the Shepherds' Trust of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Mr. DesLauriers studied at the University of Toronto, where he obtained both his undergraduate and his graduate degrees. He is a director and secretary of the Mediaeval Studies Foundation, which supports the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies at the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto, and he is currently a member of the governance collegium of the University.