Brett Harrison is recognized by Benchmark Canada as a litigation star and as repeatedly recommended in the area of insolvency and financial restructuring by Lexpert. In addition to restructuring and insolvency, Brett’s corporate commercial litigation practice is focused on financial services, insolvency, securities, corporate governance and cross-border matters.

Appearing frequently before the Ontario Superior Court (Commercial List) and the Ontario Court of Appeal, Brett represents his clients in disputes relating to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, as well as the Canada Business Corporations Act and its provincial counterpart. His clients include companies, boards of directors, creditors, receivers, trustees and purchasers.

Brett has significant experience acting for financial institutions, as both plaintiff and defendant, and provides representation on complex collection, enforcement, and lender liability matters. His experience in cross-border litigation includes acting for corporate clients as well as financial institutions.

Brett is a leader of the firm’s Restructuring & Insolvency Group, and supervises and participates in the firm’s delivery of pro bono services in Toronto.

Representative Matters

  • Acted as counsel for ESL, the largest shareholder of Sears Canada Inc., in connection with Sears’ CCAA proceedings.
  • Successfully acted for W.P. Carey on a $60 million claim against Nortel in its CCAA proceeding. The claim concerned Nortel’s guarantee of a lease for Nortel’s U.S. subsidiary.
  • Successfully defended RBC against a $10 million lender liability claim (XPG, a Partnership v. Royal Bank of Canada, 2017 ONSC 2598)
  • Successfully stuck a $50 million claim against PwC for negligence (NMF-TV Inc. v. PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP, 2016 ONSC 7739)
  • Successfully opposed an injunction brought by a shareholder, director and former CEO for, among other things, oppression (Boni v. Leonardo Worldwide Corporation, 291 A.C.W.S. (3d) 90)
  • Represented HB Construction Company Ltd., a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of The Williams Companies, Inc., in connection with its acquisition of certain assets of Comstock Canada Ltd. and its affiliate pursuant to Comstock’s restructuring under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Comstock Canada Ltd. (Re), 2014 ONSC 493)
  • Successfully established at Court of Appeal that crown not immune from Letters of Request and clarified the test for their enforcement (Lantheus Medical Imaging Inc. v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., 2013 ONCA 264)
  • Represented a syndicate of Canadian Banks, owed over $350 million, in contesting the Plan of Arrangement proposed by Yellow Media Inc. (2012)
  • Successfully pursued the Court of Appeal that PPSA creditor who is unaware of transfer of collateral does not lose priority (Lisec America, Inc. v. Barber Suffolk Ltd., 2012 ONCA 235)
  • Successfully established at the Ontario Court of Appeal that no claim exists against employers for negligent investigation. (Correia v. Canac Kitchens, 2008 ONCA 506)
  • Successfully defended a Canadian Bank against a multi-million dollar lender liability claim at trial and on appeal (Cameron v National Bank of Canada, 2009 ONCA 707)
  • Represented holders of over $1 billion in bonds contesting the leveraged buyout of BCE Inc. (BCE Inc. (Plan of Arrangement), 2008 QCCS 905 (Que. S.C. [Commercial Division])
  • Successfully defended a Canadian Bank against a $180 million lender liability claim by an auto parts manufacturer (G.R.W. Industries (1985) Limited, G.R.W. Industries Inc. and Grant Wilson v. The Royal Bank of Canada and Captain Central Holdings (1974) Limited, July 18, 2007)
  • Acted for purchaser of the Disney Stores out of restructuring proceedings
  • Successfully enforced a guarantee for approximately $1 million for US lender against the principal of the borrower and had judgment confined by the Ontario Court of Appeal (FL Receivables Trust 2002-A v. Cobrand Foods Ltd., (2007), 85 O.R. (3d) 561 (Ont. C.A.))
  • Made new law in defending an employer from claim for negligent investigation (Correia v. Canac Kitchens, 2008 ONCA 506 (Ont. C.A.)

Speaking Engagements

A conversation with tomorrow's legal leaders: What does it mean to be an effective lawyer in 2021?, Young Lawyers Summit, Moderator: Brett Harrison, Speaker: Jeffrey Levine

November 24, 2020

Demonstration and Debriefing: Handling the Hostile Witness 10th Annual Conference: Evidence Law for the Civil Litigator, Osgoode Professional Development

October 29, 2013


Media Mentions

Rankings & Recognition

  • Recognized in the 2021 Benchmark Litigation: Canada Guide as a Litigation Star
  • Recognized by the Best Lawyers in Canada (2021) as a leading lawyer in the Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law
  • Recognized in the 2020 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the are of Insolvency & Financial Restructuring Law: Insolvency Litigation
  • Recognized in the 2020 Benchmark Litigation: Canada Guide as a Litigation Star
  • Recognized in the 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the area of Insolvency & Financial Restructuring – Insolvency Litigation
  • Recognized in the 2019 Benchmark Litigation Canada Guide as a Litigation Star
  • Ranked by Lexpert Guide (2018) as a leading US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyer in Canada
  • 2013 International Law Office Client Choice Award in the Litigation category for Canada: Ontario
  • Dean’s List
  • Top Oral Advocate – Wilson National Moot Competition
  • Dean Ivan C. Rand Honour society Award for meritorious academic standing and outstanding contributions to the Faculty of Law
  • Genest Murray Advocacy Award

Community Involvement

  • As pro bono partner for the Toronto office, Brett supervises and is actively involved in the delivery of pro bono services to the Toronto community.

Directorships & Affiliations

  • Toronto Lawyers’ Association – President
  • American Bar Association – Co-Chair of the 2021 Annual Meeting Planning Committee
  • The American Counsel Association –President Elect
  • The Advocates’ Society
  • Pro Bono Law Ontario’s Volunteer Lawyers Service

Education & Admissions

Called to the Ontario bar
LLBUniversity of Western Ontario
BA (Honours)Huron College, University of Western Ontario


Insights by Brett G. Harrison (3 Posts)

Featured Insight
h4>Managing Disputes During COVID-19

While disputes are an unavoidable risk of doing business, companies need to know how to protect their interests during this time of uncertainty.

Apr 21, 2020
Featured Insight

When is Mediation Mandatory? A Comparative Analysis of Mandatory Mediation Across Canada

Alternatives to trials for resolutions when the parties are reasonable and realistic.

Read More
Oct 29, 2019
Featured Insight

Assigning Contracts in Canadian Insolvency Proceedings

Assigning Contracts in Canadian Insolvency Proceedings

Read More
Jul 18, 2014