Niels Ortved is a Member Arbitrator and Mediator. Previously, he was senior partner at McCarthy Tétrault in the Toronto litigation group for over 35 years where he engaged in a wide range of matters, including commercial and corporate, administrative, intellectual property, medical negligence, criminal defense and professional regulation matters. He served a six-year tenure as the full-time managing partner of McCarthy Tetrault’s Toronto office.
Niels brings to his mediation and arbitration practice a wealth of traditional and alternative dispute resolution experience. As a member of the Litigation Group at McCarthy Tetrault for almost 40 years, he provided advice, strategic analysis, and advocacy in relation to a broad range of matters involving contract interpretation, tort claims, insolvency, civil and criminal fraud, intellectual property and employment disputes. For many years, Niels headed up the firm’s medical malpractice defence team and, as a result, he has extensive knowledge in this area. For approximately six years of his tenure, he also served as the full-time managing partner of McCarthy Tetrault’s Toronto office where he gained extensive business experience and insight into managing a 400+ -person professional partnership. As a result, he is particularly well-suited to assisting in the resolution of all manner of partnership, shareholder, joint venture and other similar business disputes.
Having appeared at all levels of the courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and before many administrative tribunals and public inquiries, Niels understands the challenges and pitfalls associated with the uncertainties, delays, and costs that are an inevitable feature of the litigation process, and the potential benefits that can be realized through a mediated or arbitrated resolution. He also understands that the highest priority of most clients is to achieve a timely and cost-effective determination of their disputes.
As a mediator, he brings a patient but persistent mindset and works diligently with the parties to assist them in arriving at an outcome that best serves their interests. When meeting with parties individually, he is willing to provide neutral evaluative input to help them appreciate both the strengths and potential vulnerabilities of their positions. He never loses sight, however, of the ultimate objective of achieving a pragmatic resolution.
As an arbitrator, Niels benefits from years of experience as an adjudicator going back to his appointment to Boards of Inquiry and his involvement in many arbitrations as counsel. He prepares assiduously, digests the evidence and submissions attentively, and undertakes an informed assessment of any matter heard by him. Counsel and parties are treated with the utmost respect and invariably come away from the process assured that they have received a fair and impartial hearing.
In 1997, Niels was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has been consistently recognized as a leading practitioner in the fields of litigation and dispute resolution in legal publications, including Chambers Canada and The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. He is also a member of the ADR Institute of Canada.