Cornell is a leading corporate lawyer. He is the Chair of Torys’ Corporate Department and former co-head of the firm’s M&A Practice. His practice focuses on M&A transactions, both public and private, and other critical situations. He has played a lead role acting for some of Canada’s largest public and private companies on their most significant strategic matters, including advising Thomson Reuters, The Woodbridge Company, Weston group and Brookfield group.
Cornell has a broad range of experience in complex transactional, securities, family-controlled business, private equity, regulatory, governance, activism and compliance matters.
Cornell regularly counsels boards of directors and board committees on corporate governance matters, crisis management and shareholder engagement issues. Cornell is a Fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel and a member of its Board of Trustees.
Chambers Canada—Leading lawyer in corporate commercial: Ontario (2016-2021)
Chambers Global—Leading lawyer in corporate/M&A (2014-2021)
The Legal 500 Canada—Leading lawyer in corporate and M&A (2020-2021)
IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms—Highly regarded in M&A (2016-2021)
Best Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions law (2015-2021)
Lexpert/American Lawyer’s Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in corporate finance and securities and M&A (2020-2021)
The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Leading lawyer in corporate finance & securities; mergers & acquisitions (2013-2020)
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 (2016)
Top 50: Americas M&A Dealmakers—Leading lawyer in M&A (2014)
Cornell is Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Ballet of Canada.
Cornell is also a trustee of University Health Network, Canada’s largest academic health sciences centre. He chairs the Michener Institute of Education at UHN.
Cornell is an Executive in Residence at the Rotman School of Management, where he mentors MBA students and alumni.
In 2018, Cornell served as Chair of the Canadian Arts Summit, an annual gathering of leaders from Canada’s largest arts institutions organized by Business/Arts.
Cornell is a former director of the Loran Scholars Foundation and The Learning Partnership, which promotes publicly funded education in Canada.