Wilfred Estey has been with Torys his entire legal career. Bill practised corporate and commercial law and securities law until 1981, when he founded the firm’s Research and Opinions Group. In that role, his practice involves conducting legal research, writing and reviewing legal opinions and memoranda, and reviewing and supervising research projects. In addition, Bill advises on a wide range of legal issues in a broad variety of areas, and is consulted about the most difficult legal questions faced by the firm in connection with the structuring and implementation of complex corporate and commercial transactions, where research alone cannot provide the answers.
Bill interacts on a regular basis with the firm’s lawyers from virtually every practice area. As an example, Bill works closely with the firm’s financial institutions practice, advising on issues with all six of the major banks and the leading insurance companies in Canada on a variety of matters, including the interpretation of provisions of the Bank Act and the Insurance Companies Act. In addition, Bill works extensively with Torys’ litigators on novel, complex cases, where he helps analyze strategic and legal issues and advises on the latest developments in the case law in Canada and other common law jurisdictions. Bill’s crucial and highly valued, behind-the-scenes work is a major contributor to the overall quality of the legal advice provided by the firm.
Bill is the author of Legal Opinions in Commercial Transactions, 3rd Edition, published by LexisNexis Canada in September of 2013. This text contains a comprehensive and updated analysis of legal opinion issues in a commercial context and a discussion of the liability of lawyers for the giving of negligent opinions. The publisher states that Bill’s work is considered the “bible” for the giving of third-party legal opinions and that it is written by a “practitioner for practitioners”.