Guy Pratte

Guy J. Pratte  

Partner

Executive Summary

Guy Pratte is a partner in our litigation and arbitration group, and divides his time between our Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal offices. Guy focuses his practice on commercial litigation (including class actions), administrative law and constitutional law, and is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer in these areas by the foremost legal rankings directories, although he is also often retained in complex cases of all types.

A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Guy pleads frequently before the Supreme Court of Canada and also appears regularly before the Superior and Appeal Courts of Ontario and Québec, as well as the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal.

Guy recently received the St. Yves Medal from Pro Bono Québec for his commitment to providing pro bono services. He was also named Advocatus Emeritus by the Québec Bar for "outstanding contributions to the legal profession." ​

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Guy Pratte on Pro Bono at BLG

Guy Pratte, a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) and former chair of the Firm's National Council, discusses BLG's Pro Bono Program and explains why the Firm believes providing access to justice is a key component of our national platform.​

Representative Work

  • Supreme Court of Canada appearances:
    • Canadian National Railway Co. v. Canada (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 40;
    • Hinse v. Canada (Attorney General), [2013] S.C.C.A. No. 448 (to be heard November 10, 2014);
    • Québec (Attorney General) v. A, 2013 SCC 5;
    • Cinar Corporation v. Robinson, 2013 SCC 73;
    • S.L. v. Commission scolaire des Chênes, 2012 SCC 7 ;
    • Canada (Attorney General) v. PHS Community Services Society, 2011 SCC 44;
    • Bou Malhab v. Diffusion Métromédia CMR Inc., 2011 SCC 9 ;
    • Ontario (Public Safety and Security) v. Criminal Lawyers’ Association, 2010 SCC 23;
    • Canadian National Railway Co. v. Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Co. of Canada, 2008 SCC 66;
    • Chaoulli v. Québec (Attorney General), 2005 SCC 35;
    • Finney v. Barreau du Québec, 2004 SCC 36.
  • Selected federal and provincial court appearances:
    • Lead counsel for Canadian National Railway Co. in appeal before Federal Court of Appeal against Richardson International Ltd. (to be heard in 2015);
    • Lead counsel for the Board of Internal Economy and The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons, in several judicial review applications commenced by the NDP in the Federal Court;
    • Lead counsel for the Law Society of Upper Canada in judicial review application commenced by Trinity Western University (Ontario Divisional Court);
    • Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada v. CBC/Radio-Canada, 2014 FC 849 (Federal Court);
    • McCracken v. Canadian National Railway Co., 2012 ONCA 445(class certification reversed on appeal, Ontario Court of Appeal);
    • Pelletier v. Canada (Attorney General), 2008 FC 803.
  • Independent Counsel for the Canadian Judicial Council in the matter of certain allegations made against ACJ Douglas of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, 2011-12.
  • Lead Counsel for the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney before the Oliphant Commission of Inquiry, 2008-10.
  • Lead Counsel for Mr. Jean Pelletier (former Chief of Staff to the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chrétien) before the Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities and the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal.
  • Lead Counsel for JTI-Macdonald and RJR Tobacco Companies in connection with ongoing healthcare costs recovery actions brought by the Governments of Ontario ($50 billion) and Québec ($60 billion).
  • Lead Counsel for JTI Macdonald in respect of ongoing tobacco-related class actions in the Province of Québec ($20 billion).

Publications & Presentations

  • Author, "The Advocate's Calling," The Advocates’ Journal, June 2013.
  • Speaker/Author, “Oral Advocacy at the Supreme Court of Canada,” 11th Annual Spring Symposium, Advocates’ Society and American College of Trial Lawyers, 2012.
  • Co-Author, “Faire Appel en Cour Suprême : Permission, Mémoire, Plaidoirie” chapter,  LegisPratique:  Recours et procédure en appel, Montréal: LexisNexis Canada, 2011.
  • Author, “Lincoln and the Modern Practice of Law,” The Advocates’ Journal,  March 2011.
  • Co-Author, “Les Conflits d’intérêts de l’avocat : perspectives québécoises et canadiennes” Droit de la personne:  éthique et droit: nouveaux défis, Cowansville, Québec: Éditions Yvon Blais, 2009.
  • Author, “Summary Judgment Motions:  Recent Judicial Developments,” Superior Court of Justice (Ontario) Spring Education Seminar, 2008.
  • Author, “Experts in Civil Litigation”:  A Retrospective on Their Role and Independence with a View to Possible Reforms,” Annual Review of Civil Litigation, 169-202, 2008.
  • Author, “Experts on Experts,” CCLA Civil Litigation Update, 2007.
  • Speaker/Author, “The New Administrative Law – Standards of Review:  Are We There Yet?” Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) Divisional Training Session, October 2007.
  • Speaker/Author, “The Role of Legal Counsel in Policy and Decision-Making,” The Canadian Institute’s 6th Annual Advanced Administrative Law & Practice Conference, October 2006.
  • Speaker/Author, “The Standard of Review Battle:  Is Anyone Winning?,” Osgoode Professional Development 2nd National Forum entitled “New Directions in Administrative Law and Practice,” 2006.
  • Speaker/Author, “The Chaouilli Decision:  What Does it Mean For Canadians?,” Canadian Bar Association Annual Meeting, 2005.
  • Speaker/Author, “Chaoulli and the Restructuring of Health Care in Canada,” Osgoode Professional Development One-Day National Summit, 2005.
  • Facilitator, “Implications of the Chaoulli Judgment for the Health Insurance Sector,” Northwind Professional Institute’s Annual Health Insurance Strategic Forum, 2005.
  • Speaker, “Demystifying the Standard of Review,” Panel Discussion entitled  “Making Sense of the Standard,” Osgoode Professional Development – New Directions in Administrative Law & Practice, The National Forum, 2005.
  • Speaker/Author, “Liability of Public Agencies,” Canadian Bar Association National Civil Litigation CLE Conference, 2005.
  • Author, “Appeals, Judicial Review and Standard of Review,” Public Law reference materials, Bar Admission Course, Department of Education, Law Society of Upper Canada, 2005.
  • Speaker/Author, “Cross-Canada Year in Review:  Key Administrative Law Decisions and Their Implications,” Canadian Institute’s 4th Annual Law Conference, 2004.
  • Speaker/Author, “On the Teaching and Learning of Advocacy:  Some Personal and Informal Remarks,” The Advocates’ Society, Task Force on Advocacy, 2004.
  • Author, “The Norwich Pharmacal Principle and its Utility in Intellectual Property Litigation,” 24 Advocates’ Quarterly 301, 2001.
  • Speaker/Author, “Tests for Judicial Review:  The 2001 Version,” Civil Litigation Updated Conference, 2001.
  • Author, “What Makes a Country:  Trudeau’s Future as a Leader,” In Trudeau’s Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Pierre Elliot Trudeau (Cohen and Granatstein, editors), Toronto, 1998.
  • Speaker/Author, “The Deemed Undertaking Rule,” Civil Litigation Updated Conference, 1996.
  • Author, “To Be or Not to Be an Advocate,” 13 Advocates’ Society Journal No. 19, 1994.
  • Author, “The Relevance of Comparative Law:  A Critique of Alan Watson’s ‘The Making of the Civil Law,’” 40 University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review 115.

Testimonials & Rankings

Testimonials

“He is singled out for the depth of his experience and is considered to be ‘at the top of his field’ by his peers…he’s always included in major cases.”
Chambers Global

“One of the best civil litigators in the country.”
— Canadian Lawyer Magazine

“A most principled man.”
National Post

“Guy Pratte is unanimously name-checked across Ontario, as well as several other provinces, and someone who frequently finds himself on the front lines of some of Canada’s most high-profile and contentious matters.”
Benchmark Litigation

Rankings

  • Recognized in the 2014 and 2013 editions of Benchmark Canada – The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (Appellate, Defamation, General Commercial and Public Law). Benchmark Canada reports that, “Guy Pratte is unanimously name-checked across Ontario, as well as several other provinces, and someone who frequently finds himself on the front lines of some of some of Canada’s most high profile and contentious matters.
  • Recognized in the 2014 and 2013 editions of Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Dispute Resolution: Québec, Band 1). Chambers Global says that, "He is singled out for the depth of his experience and is considered to be "at the top of the field" by his peers. Sources say, "He's always involved in major cases."
  • Recognized in the 2015 edition (and since 2006) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Appellate Law, Class Action Litigation, Administrative and Public Law). Named “Ottawa Appellate Law Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in Canada® in its 2013 edition and the "Ottawa Administrative & Public Law Lawyer of the Year" in its 2012 edition.
  • Recognized in the 2014 and 2013 editions of The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (Corporate Commercial Litigation).
  • Recognized in the 2014 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Class Actions, Energy: Electricity, Energy: Oil & Gas, Litigation: Corporate Commercial, Litigation: Defamation & Media Law, Litigation: Director & Officer Liability, Litigation: Public Law).
  • Recognized as a leading dispute resolution lawyer in the 2014 edition of The Legal 500 Canada.
  • Recognized in the 2014 edition of Who's Who Legal: Canada (Commercial Litigation) and in the 2013 edition of Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers. Also recognized in the International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigation 2013. Who's Who Legal says that, “Guy Pratte is known for his “solutions-oriented approach” and is considered a “leading trial lawyer”.
  • Recognized as a leading Canadian lawyer in the 2014 and 2013 editions of the Lexpert®/ Report on Business Special Edition on Litigation Lawyers.
  • Recognized as a leading Canadian cross-border litigator in the 2013 and 2012 editions of the Lexpert® Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigators.
  • Recognized as a leading Canadian lawyer in the 2014 and 2013 editions of Lexpert®/Report on Business Special Edition on Energy.
  • Lexpert® Zenith Award for the Réjean Hinse − wrongful conviction civil lawsuit (Pro Bono Team of the Year – Firm), 2011.
  • Profiled in: “Art of the Case: All or Nothing,” LEXPERT®, September 2009; “L’avocat qu’on s’arrache” La Presse, 2008; “Pratte à Porter,” Canadian Lawyer, July 2008.
  • Martindale-Hubbell®  Distinguished™ Peer Review Rated.