Ira Nishisato

Partner

Toronto
INishisato@blg.com
416.367.6349

Ira is a leading commercial litigator and international disputes lawyer focused on complex commercial litigation, commercial fraud, investigations, cybersecurity and information technology litigation, intellectual property litigation, and international disputes.

He has been described by Who’s Who Legal as “one of Canada's leading legal minds” and a “first-rate practitioner in complex commercial fraud cases” who “draws widespread acclaim” and is “well-known for his expert handling of complex commercial disputes”.

Ira leads complex international fraud litigation and investigations and asset recovery proceedings, and is a widely-recognized expert in in extraordinary remedies, including Anton Piller (civil search), Mareva (asset freezing) and Norwich Pharmacal (equitable discovery) orders. He has appeared in approximately 100 injunction proceedings before Canadian courts and has fashioned creative, leading-edge remedies to assist clients.

Ira advises clients on cybersecurity, data breaches, information security intrusions and exfiltration, and serves as “breach coach” in cybersecurity incident response. He has served as lead counsel in many important information technology and intellectual property cases in Canada.

Ira has also brought numerous court applications for the enforcement of international arbitral awards and foreign judgments, for letters of request/letters rogatory, and to stay proceedings on jurisdictional grounds. He has also acted in applications to set aside and seek leave to appeal international arbitral awards.

Ira appears before all levels of courts in Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, Ontario Court of Appeal, Federal Court, Ontario Divisional Court and Superior Court of Justice. He appears frequently before the Commercial Court in Toronto in motions, applications, and trials.

Ira has litigated a wide range of cases including in the following areas:

  • administrative law
  • anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting
  • asset tracing and recovery
  • banking and financial services
  • broadcasting and telecommunications
  • class actions/mass torts/collective redress
  • computer, information technology and internet law
  • contempt proceedings
  • conflict of laws/forum non conveniens
  • constitutional law/Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • contracts
  • corporate/commercial law
  • cybersecurity and cybercrime (including privacy, data protection and information security)
  • defamation (libel and slander)
  • fiduciary duties
  • fraud
  • injunctions (interim, interlocutory and permanent) and provisional measures
  • intellectual property (including copyright and trademark infringement)
  • labour and employment
  • officer and director liability
  • product liability
  • professional negligence
  • public and private international law
  • shareholder and partnership disputes

Ira is the national leader of BLG’s cybersecurity and cyber risk management practice.

Experience

  • Represented Drake (Aubrey Drake Graham) and October’s Very Own (OVO) in various litigation matters.
  • Prosecuted claims on behalf of Vivendi Ticketing US LLC arising out of breaches of exclusive ticketing contracts, inducement of breach of contact, interference with economic relations, and conspiracy.
  • Represented Magna Exteriors Inc. in multi-million dollar international fraud and asset recovery proceedings against multiple defendants.
  • Prosecuted anti-piracy enforcement actions against illegal internet streaming services on behalf of the International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy (IBCAP) including Al Jazeera Media Network, Asia TV USA, Dish Network, Star India, and Viacom18 Media.
  • Defended global tobacco companies Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco International Inc. against a $330 billion claim for recovery of healthcare costs by the Government of Ontario.
  • Advised IBM Corporation in an international contractual dispute.
  • Represented Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. in a complex jurisdictional dispute.
  • Represented U.S.-based avionics firm Rockwell Collins Inc. in complex litigation arising out of the termination of the Learjet 85 program.
  • Prosecuted a claim for recovery of proceeds of multi-million dollar fraud against Canadian custom magnetics manufacturer Noreast Electronics Co. Ltd.
  • Obtained an emergency interlocutory injunction for U.S. broker-dealer and investment advisory firm Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. in a cyber-ransom dispute with a network service-provider.
  • Prosecuted a claim for recovery of proceeds of multi-million dollar fraud against Swedish medical equipment company Elekta Inc.
  • Advised Facebook Inc. on intermediary liability for content posted by users.
  • Prosecuted a claim on behalf of a UAE-based family trust involving a multi-million-dollar, worldwide “e-banking” fraud perpetrated across multiple jurisdictions over the internet.
  • Designed and executed national anti-piracy enforcement strategies across Canada for satellite television providers Bell TV, DIRECTV and DISH Network and encryption technology provider NagraStar, LLC.
  • Designed and executed anti-counterfeiting strategies for global brand owners such as Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton Malletier and Zumba Fitness.
  • Represented global pharmaceutical company Pharmacia Inc. in interlocutory injunction proceedings involving allegations of false and misleading advertising for anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex.
  • Served as “breach coach” in major data breach and security intrusion incidents involving leading Canadian organizations, including public and private sector corporations and not-for-profit/charities.
  • Conducted an independent investigation into alleged terrorism-related offences on behalf of the government of an African state.
  • Appointed as an “officer of the court” in connection with the supervision of Anton Piller orders in large-scale mortgage fraud cases for Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal, and in several trade secrets/confidential information/employee fraud cases.
  • Obtained court approval for numerous corporate plans of arrangement.

Beyond Our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Co-chair, Litigation Committee, International Bar Association, 2017-2018
  • Director, Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (The Cambridge Lectures)
  • Co-chair, National Expert Witness Academy, The Advocates’ Society
  • Speaker and skills instructor, The Advocates’ Society

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2021 and 2017 editions of the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Litigation - Corporate Commercial)
  • Recognized in the 2021 (and since 2015) editions of Benchmark Canada — The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a "Litigation Star: Commercial".
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2021 (and since 2013) editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Corporate and Commercial Litigation).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition of Who's Who Legal (Commercial Litigation, Asset Recovery, Business Crime Defence, Investigations)
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition of Who's Who Legal: Canada (Thought Leaders – Litigation).
  • Recognized in the 2019 (and previous) editions of Who's Who Legal: Canada (Commercial Litigation, Asset Recovery, Business Crime Defence, Investigations)
  • Recognized in the 2017 (and since 2015) edition of World Trademark Review's WTR 1000 - The World's Leading Trademark Professionals (Anti-Counterfeiting).
  • Recognized in the 2009-11 editions of Chambers Global – The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (Dispute Resolution: Ontario)

Bar Admission & Education

  • Ontario, 1995
  • Diploma in International Law, University of Cambridge, 1996
  • LLB, University of Toronto, 1993
  • BA (High Dist., Political Science and French), University of Toronto, 1990