Columns and facade of building
Columns and facade of building


In today’s global competitive landscape, commercial disputes are an unavoidable risk of doing business. McMillan LLP’s litigation lawyers are nationally acclaimed for their expertise in providing sophisticated and pragmatic advice, and exemplary client service. Our accomplished team includes litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution lawyers with experience across sectors.

McMillan’s litigators have extensive experience in domestic, cross-border, and international litigation, arbitration and mediation. When the stakes are highest we work tenaciously to pursue our clients’ commercial interests before all levels of courts, regulators, commissions, administrative tribunals and arbitral panels. Our litigators and team of industry-specific lawyers combine their skills and expertise to successfully represent Canadian and international clients facing virtually any type of business dispute, in almost any forum across Canada.

While we are staunch advocates for our clients’ commercial interests, we also recognize that the best path to a solution may sometimes be through alternative dispute resolution or a creative settlement. At the same time, however, we approach every client matter prepared to proceed to trial.


Pursuing remedies for business disputes through a civil proceeding in the courts can be costly and time-consuming for companies, and risks damaging a brand’s reputation. To contain this, companies often seek out a dispute resolution attorney with expertise in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to settle conflicts outside of the courts.

McMillan’s dispute resolution lawyers are highly experienced in multiple facets of ADR, including conflict avoidance, negotiation dispute resolution, mediation, evaluation, and arbitration. Our approach to each dispute focuses on reaching a practical, timely, cost-efficient and commercially attractive result for our clients.

Our dispute resolution lawyers stand ready to prepare rules of procedure for administrative boards and tribunals; advise on court-connected and private mediations, and negotiations; develop conflict resolution systems for universities and other enterprises; serve as chair and third-party neutrals in international commercial arbitrations; advise internationally-based associations of arbitrators; serve as advocates in arbitration and mediation proceedings; advise on reviews and appeal of arbitration awards; and develop strategies and programs to minimize disputes and risks.


McMillan’s litigation group includes veteran lawyers who routinely handle complex arbitration cases in a wide variety of contexts. Our legal team works with leading Canadian companies, multinationals and growing businesses to achieve arbitration and ADR outcomes that support their business goals.

Companies seeking international commercial litigation and arbitration services can trust McMillan’s expertise and global experience. Our lawyers have represented clients in complex litigation before the International Chamber of Commerce, the American Arbitration Association, the London Court of International Arbitration, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, and other international institutions, as well as in domestic and ad hoc arbitrations.

Focused on providing exemplary client service, we help our clients lead by negotiating and drafting agreements and advising on alternative dispute resolution regime. We also provide legal representation before Canadian and international arbitral institutions and enforce and/or seek to set aside arbitration awards.


Enterprises engaged in disputes frequently opt for commercial mediation over litigation to return to business as usual as quickly as possible. Mediation often delivers a faster, more private and lower-cost result through ADR tactics.

McMillan’s litigation lawyers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to clients considering contract dispute mediation. Our lawyers have worked with companies in a wide range of industries and managed international commercial mediations involving multiple jurisdictions. We also have the experience to recognize when mediation isn’t working, and it becomes necessary to adopt a more aggressive strategy through litigation.

Our mediation and litigation professionals helps clients navigate commercial disputes by advising on the relative advantages of mediation and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms versus litigation; attending as counsel before privately-appointed mediators in Canada and internationally; recommending optimal settlement terms; and acting on clients’ behalf during mandatory settlement conferences and, where applicable, on mandatory mediations before the courts.


McMillan acts on behalf of appellants and respondents to appeals, judicial reviews and references. Our appellate lawyers successfully represent individuals, corporations in multiple industries, and organizations before provincial courts, all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

McMillan approaches each appeal with an uncompromising inspection of the lower court decision, carefully looking for potential errors in judgement or procedure. We search for errors of law and fact and instances of improperly admitted or refused evidence and new evidence that may lead to a different outcome in higher courts of justice.

Always with our clients’ best interests in mind, we advise on the viability, risks and costs of a potential appeal before moving forward. We represent appellants on leave to appeal motions and appeals, respondents on appeal, and appellants and respondents alike in procedural applications related to appeals. We also act on behalf of interveners in matters before appellate courts.


Reputations can take years to build, but only a few words and minutes to destroy. McMillan’s defamation lawyers are highly skilled and trusted legal counsel to Canadian companies and executives whose reputations are being threatened by libel and slander. In the most dire of circumstances, McMillan’s libel lawyers vigorously defend defamation allegations to set the record straight to preserve reputational brand and recover damages.

McMillan’s libel and defamation lawyers help clients handle reputation-threatening situations by assisting media outlets and publishers with pre-publication reviews to mitigate potential claims; representing plaintiffs and defendants in defamation actions; advising on the right to privacy issues; negotiating settlements between parties—including apologies, retractions and financial damages; and advising on matters related to publication bans, access to information and press freedoms.


In Canada, a court officer may be appointed to monitor a court-supervised restructuring, carry out the involuntary sale of a business or oversee the liquidation of assets in bankruptcy or receivership. McMillan regularly represent monitors, receivers, bankruptcy trustees, chief restructuring officers and other court-appointed officers. We are known for successfully navigating the most complex and challenging bankruptcy and insolvency cases nationwide.


McMillan’s SCC professionals provide Effective, Efficient, and Expeditious (“3E”) service to our clients, whether it be as Supreme Court of Canada advisors, co-counsel or Ottawa Agents. We routinely coach or assist appellate counsel with customized service depending on their needs for the particular case.

Our expertise includes interpreting the Supreme Court Act and all rules and procedures; providing preliminary opinions on leave applications; assisting with applications for leave to appeal or intervene and supporting materials; advising on and attending all Supreme Court motions; advising on and preparing appeal and cross-appeal materials; counselling on appearances (first or second chair); producing, servicing and filing all documents; and attending Registry to obtain materials in other files for analysis.

Primary Contacts

View All Contacts
Andrew E. Stead
Partner, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Éric Vallières
Partner, Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment
Robert Wisner
Partner, International Arbitration & Cross-Border Litigation
Joan M. Young
Partner, Litigation & Dispute Resolution

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