John’s civil litigation practice focuses on public, business and international trade and investment law. He has appeared as counsel at all levels of court in Ontario, at the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, before the Supreme Court of Canada, in commercial and investment arbitrations and before a variety of administrative tribunals.
John regularly provides advice to corporations and federal, provincial and municipal governments on NAFTA and WTO matters. He has acted for and advised major Canadian and multinational corporations in respect of investor–state arbitrations under Chapter 11 of the NAFTA.
John also has a significant practice in Indigenous matters, with extensive experience in Indigenous negotiations and on advising project developers and lenders on issues respecting the duty to consult with First Nations. He also regularly advises natural resource and energy companies on corporate social responsibility issues.
Chambers Canada—Leading lawyer in dispute resolution: arbitration; international trade/WTO (2016-2020)
Chambers Global—Leading lawyer in arbitration (2011-2020) and in international trade/WTO (2009-2020)
Best Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in aboriginal law, international arbitration (2010-2020)
Lexpert/Thomson Reuters’ Guide to the Leading U.S./Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada—Most Frequently Recommended lawyer in dispute resolution (2018)
Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys—Litigation Star (Arbitration) (2018-2019)
The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Leading lawyer in litigation - public law (2011-2019); international commercial arbitration (2012-2019); aboriginal law (2013-2019)
Lexpert/American Lawyer’s Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in arbitration (2015)
Who’s Who Legal—Leading Canadian lawyer in arbitration (2014-2015, 2019)
Lexpert’s Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in international commercial arbitration (2013-2014)
Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration—Leading Canadian lawyer (2013)
Which Lawyer?—Recommended Canadian practitioner in dispute resolution: international arbitration (2012)
John teaches International Commercial and Investor-State Arbitration and Public International Law at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law as an Adjunct Professor, and teaches advocacy with the Foundation for International Arbitration advocacy in Geneva. He has also taught public law in the Bar Admission Course and participates as a judge and faculty member for trial advocacy courses and various competitive moots, including the Niagara International Moot and Vis Moot in Vienna. Before joining Torys, John worked as a constitutional lawyer with the Ontario government and senior policy adviser with the Ontario Cabinet Office, coordinating the government’s Aboriginal Peoples’ agenda. John also spent two years teaching international trade law, international commercial arbitration and international human rights law at Otago University in New Zealand.
John is a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration roster for Canada.
John is the co-author of three books: Creditors' Remedies in Ontario, Interlocutory Proceedings: Strategy and Practice, and The Emotional Consequences of Personal Injury: A Handbook for Psychiatrists and Lawyers. He has also written numerous other articles and delivered speeches, primarily on international law and constitutional issues.
John served as a clerk to Mr. Justice Cory of the Supreme Court of Canada, and to the judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal.
John is the director for the Canada-EU Mining Council and for Outward Bound Canada. He is also a founding member of Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights and he sits on the advisory board for the Canada-United States Law Institute of the University of Western Ontario.