Wilfred M. Estey

Wilfred M. Estey

Senior Counsel
Toronto: 416.865.7331
Fax 416.865.7380


LLB, 1972
Osgoode Hall Law School
BA, 1969
University of Toronto

Bar Admissions

Ontario, 1974


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”.


Best Lawyers' Best Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in corporate law (2008-2018)


Legal Opinions in Commercial Transactions

Author, 3rd Edition, published by LexisNexis Canada

Personal Property Security Opinion Report

Co-author, Personal Property Security Opinion Committee, Business Law Section, Ontario Bar Association

Professional Involvement

Bill has written and spoken on legal opinion matters for the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Institute, Federated Press and Osgoode Hall Law School.

Bill served as law clerk to the Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1972 to 1973 for Mr. Justice Hall and Mr. Justice Dickson.


Bill is a member of International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP). ISLP provides the pro bono services of highly skilled and experienced lawyers to promote human rights, equitable and sustainable economic development and the rule of law worldwide. Since 2012, Bill has travelled to Liberia on several occasions to work with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) on Liberia’s application to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In that capacity, Bill’s role has been reviewing Liberia’s commercial and trade-related laws to identify, for the Liberian WTO Negotiating Team, the various laws that will need to be revised (or enacted) in order to comply with WTO requirements. Bill has been extensively involved in drafting certain of those laws.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Canadian Bar Association, Business Law Section
  • American Bar Association