Graham Smith

Graham Smith

PartnerGoodmans LLPInsolvency & Restructuring

Graham Smith is a partner in the Litigation Group at Goodmans. Graham also heads the firm’s Research Department.

Graham’s practice focuses on corporate/commercial and insolvency-related litigation, including insurance and reinsurance disputes, cross-border issues, surety bond issues, contractual disputes, partnership claims, large transfer pricing disputes and corporate oppression actions. He also has significant experience in prosecuting and defending defamation claims, providing pre-publication and pre-broadcast review, litigation of employee and fiduciary obligation claims, real estate and landlord and tenant disputes, energy regulatory hearings and pension board hearings.

Graham Smith is a partner in the Litigation Group at Goodmans. Graham also heads the firm’s Research Department.

Graham’s practice focuses on corporate/commercial and insolvency-related litigation, including insurance and reinsurance disputes, cross-border issues, surety bond issues, contractual disputes, partnership claims, large transfer pricing disputes and corporate oppression actions. He also has significant experience in prosecuting and defending defamation claims, providing pre-publication and pre-broadcast review, litigation of employee and fiduciary obligation claims, real estate and landlord and tenant disputes, energy regulatory hearings and pension board hearings.

Graham is a seasoned litigator, and has appeared before a range of courts and tribunals in Canada and the United States. Graham is frequently counsel on matters before the Commercial List in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which specializes in complex commercial and insolvency cases. He has extensive domestic and cross-border experience as advisory counsel and litigation counsel to liquidators of Canadian branches of U.S. insurers and liquidators of Canadian insurance companies with U.S. and U.K. branches. Graham has worked frequently with U.S. and U.K. counsel, rehabilitation officers and liquidators in an array of cross-border matters. Graham is also a skilled researcher and is often consulted on cutting edge areas of the law.

Graham’s representative work includes acting for:

  • The Liquidators responsible for conducting the complex, cross-border liquidations of Confederation Life Insurance Company and Reliance Insurance Company Canadian Branch, among others, and the liquidations of Markham General Insurance Company, Canadian Millers and other domestic insurance businesses
  • The Liquidator of Confederation Life in the leading case successfully opposing enforcement of arbitration clauses in insolvency
  • The Court-appointed Monitor of Nortel Networks, as lead counsel in successfully defending a multi-billion dollar intercompany transfer pricing claim, now a seminal Canadian case
  • Various court-appointed officers in the leading cases on post-filing interest in insolvency, including the successful novel extension of the interest-stops doctrine to CCAA proceedings, overturning previous appellate precedent
  • The Liquidator of Reliance Insurance Company Canadian Branch in the leading Canadian case successfully establishing set-off in a cross-border reinsurance dispute
  • The Liquidator of Reliance Insurance Company in the leading Canadian case on the recognition of foreign solvent schemes of arrangement
  • The Municipal Electric Association in numerous hydro rate approval hearings before the Ontario Energy Board
  • A major Toronto newspaper and prominent journalists in successfully defending numerous libel claims, including at trial, appeal and leave proceedings in the Supreme Court of Canada, and a plaintiff law firm in successfully prosecuting the leading Canadian case establishing the criteria for the statutory “retraction” defense
  • A leading analytical and testing service in litigation successfully applying the “springboard” injunction doctrine
  • A major brewing company in successfully defending conspiracy and partnership claims

Graham has been consulted by industry associations and government departments on legislative improvements to restructuring provisions for financial institutions.

He is the author of the Canadian chapter on cross-border insurance insolvency for the ABA Handbook - a leading resource for practitioners in the field of insurance company insolvency, co-author of the Winding-up and Restructuring Act module for Lexis Practice Advisor Canada, former co-author of Insurance Companies Act - Legislation and Commentary, and author of commentary on recognition of foreign solvent schemes of arrangements published by the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals.

Graham has presented on a variety of cutting edge legal issues both in-house and at conferences in Canada and the U.S., including leading international insurance insolvency panels and the leading international transfer pricing forum. Most recently, he authored and presented on Statements of Defence – Clear and Effective Writing for the Law Society of Ontario.

Education

  • University of Toronto (J.D.), 1984
  • University of Toronto (B.A. (Honours standing)), 1981

Bar Admission

  • Ontario, 1986

Awards & Honours

  • Recognized in the 2020 Best Lawyers in Canada in the area of insurance law

Experience

  • The Liquidators responsible for conducting the complex, cross-border liquidations of Confederation Life Insurance Company and Reliance Insurance Company Canadian Branch, among others, and the liquidations of Markham General Insurance Company, Canadian Millers and other domestic insurance businesses
  • The Liquidator of Confederation Life in the leading case successfully opposing enforcement of arbitration clauses in insolvency
  • The Court-appointed Monitor of Nortel Networks, as lead counsel in successfully defending a multi-billion dollar intercompany transfer pricing claim, now a seminal Canadian case
  • Various court-appointed officers in the leading cases on post-filing interest in insolvency, including the successful novel extension of the interest-stops doctrine to CCAA proceedings, overturning previous appellate precedent
  • The Liquidator of Reliance Insurance Company Canadian Branch in the leading Canadian case successfully establishing set-off in a cross-border reinsurance dispute
  • The Liquidator of Reliance Insurance Company in the leading Canadian case on the recognition of foreign solvent schemes of arrangement

Associations

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Advocates Society
  • Toronto Lawyers Association