Adam Chisholm is a skilled and tenacious litigator known for his expertise in capital markets and securities, intellectual property (IP) and administrative and public law. He has led teams at all levels of court in Ontario, in addition to the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal. Adam is recognized as a rising star by Lexpert and as a future star by Benchmark Litigation: Canada. He is also included on Benchmark’s 40 & Under Hot List.

An experienced securities litigator, Adam represents clients in contested transactions, investigations and enforcement proceedings before the Ontario Securities Commission. He also appears at trial, successfully arguing civil matters concerning securities blackout periods and corporate director responsibilities.

With a focus on intellectual property including trademark litigation, Adam pleads cases involving passing off and other provisions of the Trademarks Act. He acts for smaller private companies and large, publicly listed corporations, understanding the importance of trademarks to companies of all sizes. Adam also litigates matters relating to patent disputes and confidential information.

With significant experience attacking and defending administrative decisions, Adam advises institutions and private clients on tribunal decision-making. He acts in a myriad of public law and administrative law proceedings, including those under the Securities Act, the Mining Act, the Competition Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Representative Matters

  • Rovi Guides, Inc. v. Videotron G.P., 2019 FC 1220, aff’d 2019 FCA 321.
  • In the Matter of The Catalyst Capital Group Inc, File No. 2019-41.
  • Sino-Forest Corporation (Re), 2017 ONSEC 27 (Ont. Sec. Comm.).
  • 969625 Ontario Ltd. v Goldstone Resources Inc., 2017 ONSC 879.
  • Cardinal v Cleveland Indians Baseball Company Limited Partnership, 2016 ONSC 6929.
  • Hertz System, Inc. v. Herc Equipment Rentals, 2016 FC 1085.
  • The Commissioner of Competition v. Visa Canada Corporation and MasterCard International Incorporated, 2013 CACT 10 (Comp. Trib.).
  • Nemati v. Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, 2011 ONSC 5431 (Div. Ct.).
  • Carter v. Minister of Revenue, 2010 ONSC 2825 (Div. Ct.).

Teaching Engagements

  • Winter 2021 – Term Adjunct Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University, Securities Litigation


Media Mentions

Rankings & Recognition

  • Recognized in the 2021 Lexpert Special Edition on Canada’s Leading Technology Lawyers as a Leading Technology Lawyer
  • Winner in the Lexpert 2020 Rising Stars Awards: Leading Lawyers Under 40
  • Recognized in the 2020 Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hot List as a leading litigator
  • Recognized in the 2020 Benchmark Litigation: Canada Guide as a Future Star
  • Global Competition Review Awards, Behavioural Matter of the Year – Americas (2014)
  • Law Society of Upper Canada Award for Outstanding Achievement in Legal Studies for top 15 cumulative academic ranking in LL.B. program (2008)
  • Robert H. Wilson Memorial Award for top academic standing in Law III (2008)
  • Carswell Prize for top academic standing in Law III (2008)
  • John H. Rodd K.C. Award in Conflicts for top academic standing in Conflicts of Private International Law (2008)
  • President’s Roll (2006, 2008)
  • Stikeman Elliot/Carswell National Tax Award for top academic standing in Tax (2007)
  • Zuber Moot Best Factum Award (2007)
  • McMillan Binch Mendelsohn LLP Scholarship of Excellence (2006)
  • CCH Prize for top academic standing in Legal Research and Writing (2006)
  • Samia Rose Shaheen Memorial Award for best factum (2006)

Directorships & Affiliations

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Former Executive Member, OBA Administrative Law Section

Education & Admissions

Called to the Ontario bar
Canadian Securities Course
LLBUniversity of Windsor
B.Sc. (Honours)University of Western Ontario


Insights by Adam D.H. Chisholm (32 Posts)

Bears v. Bulls: Secondary Market Securities Class Actions in Ontario

Nov 11, 2020

A high-level overview of secondary market class actions under the Ontario Securities.

Out with the New, In with the Old: The F.C.A. provides Clarity on its Ability to interpret Contracts

Sep 28, 2020

The FCA re-affirms the Kellogg and Clopay decisions regarding the Federal Court's ability to interpret contracts. For more details, please read the bulletin.

Clorox v Chloretec: The Application of Vavilov in the Trademarks Context

Jul 23, 2020

The Federal Court of Appeal confirms the application of the appellate standard of review framework to trademark opposition board decisions.

Understanding Securities Law Impacts on Emerging Market Issuer Directors and Officers

Jun 17, 2020

Any current or aspiring director or officer of a Canadian-listed company with operations in Asia, South America, Africa and Eastern Europe will find this presentation of eminent value.

No Family Resemblance: The Court of Appeal Rules on Interpretation of “Security” and Custodial Sentences

May 5, 2020

The Ontario Court of Appeal's decision in Ontario Securities Commission v. Tiffin provides guidance on what constitutes a "security" and custodial sentences.

Canadian White-collar Crime Perspectives: Government Investigations and COVID-19

Apr 16, 2020

This piece explores the likely impact of COVID-19 on white-collar crime issues in Canada and how regulators are reacting to the pandemic.

Bill C-13 Receives Royal Assent: Change to the Canadian Patent Landscape in Response to COVID-19

Mar 27, 2020

All levels of Canadian government are taking extraordinary steps in response to the public health emergency of COVID-19.

COVID-19: Seeking Court Relief Regarding the Disease of Trademark Infringement

Mar 26, 2020

This article addresses challenges in using Canada's courts to deal with trademark infringement matters during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19: “Essential” Information About the Consequences of Continuing to Operate a “Non-Essential Business” in Ontario and Québec

Mar 25, 2020

An outline of the potential consequences to continuing to operate a business ordered to close by the governments of Quebec and Ontario.

The HBC Privatization: OSC Provides New Guidance For a Special Committee Process and Reconfirms Disclosure Obligations in Conflict of Interest Transactions

Mar 3, 2020

Ontario Securities Commission provides new guidance regarding the role and responsibilities of a special committee in a conflicted going private transaction.

No Insider Trading Without Clear Evidence

Dec 19, 2019

"The Ontario Securities Commission's decision on insider trading and importance of clear, convincing and cogent

Cryptocurrency Securities Law Update – Platform Framework and Service Providers

Aug 6, 2019

Cryptocurrency is not necessarily a “security” under Canadian securities law.

TOP TWELVE THINGS TO KNOW – New Canadian Trademarks Act June 17, 2019

Jun 4, 2019

On June 17, 2019 major changes to Canada’s Trademarks Act will come into force.

Trademark “Use” in the Normal Course of Trade: Revisited

May 14, 2019

The recent Federal Court of Appeal decision in Cosmetic Warriors Limited v Riches, McKenzie & Herbert LLP [1] ("Cosmetic Warriors") revisits what constitutes “use” of a trademark in the normal course of trade.

What Does This Letter From The Ontario Securities Commission Mean?

Feb 7, 2019

A company contacted by the Enforcement Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission (“Commission”) is often unfamiliar with the context of the document that it has received.

Will my Securities Investigation Evidence be Subject to FIPPA?

Nov 26, 2018

It is generally safe to assume that records given to government institutions will be subject to freedom of information/access to information legislation.

SCC Supports LGBTQ Students In Balancing Religious Freedoms and Statutory Mandates

Aug 1, 2018

June 15, 2018, Supreme Court upheld the Ontario and British Columbia Law Societies' decisions to deny accreditation to TWU's proposed law school, a 7-2 decision

SCC Says Judges Have No Business Reviewing Decisions of Voluntary Associations

Jun 15, 2018

The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses (Judicial Committee) v. Wall[1] holds that judges have no business

The Supreme Court of Canada Set To Reconsider Judicial Review

May 18, 2018

The Supreme Court's decision will have important implications on parties who find themselves appealing a tribunal or administrative decision.

Ontario’s Whistleblower Regime: Civil Cause of Action for Reprisals Now Possible

Feb 6, 2018

New statutory cause of action added to Ontario's securities legislation, meaning that reprisal claims by whistleblowers may be filed in court or through arbitration.

The Top 10 Trademark Cases of 2017

Jan 15, 2018

McMillan LLP's Intellectual Property group welcomes readers into 2018. Our gift is a top 10 list of trademark cases from Canadian case law from 2017

Could Donald Trump Make America Great Again In Canada?

Jun 5, 2017

Could Donald Trump Make America Great Again In Canada?

New Federal Court Notice on Trial Management Guidelines

May 4, 2017

New Federal Court Notice on Trial Management Guidelines

Why use this slogan anywhere else?

Feb 14, 2017

Why use this slogan anywhere else?

Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Seminar

Nov 3, 2016

As organizations are increasing their investment in data safeguards, McMillan’s Privacy Group would like to help our clients understand their core privacy, data protection and cybersecurity obligations and related legal issues.

Standard of Review Reform: Maybe Another Time?

Oct 13, 2016

Standard of Review Reform: Maybe Another Time?

Judicial Review “Through the Looking Glass”: Issue-By-Issue Analysis

Feb 22, 2016

Judicial Review "Through the Looking Glass": Issue-By-Issue Analysis

When Does Access Become Frivolous?

Nov 10, 2015

When Does Access Become Frivolous?

Equitable Remedies at Tribunals? Only if Statutory

Jul 22, 2015

Equitable Remedies at Tribunals? Only if Statutory

The Emaciation of Ontario’s Labour Relations Board and Human Rights Tribunal

Jun 25, 2015

The Emaciation of Ontario's Labour Relations Board and Human Rights Tribunal

What Fair is Fair? The Duty of Fairness Owed to RFP Proponents

Jun 9, 2015

What Fair is Fair? The Duty of Fairness Owed to RFP Proponents

The Competition Tribunal Can Be Reviewed On Correctness

Jan 31, 2015

The Competition Tribunal Can Be Reviewed On Correctness