Jeffrey S. Leon L.S.M., FCIArb
T: +1 416-848-0203
F: +1 416-850-5316
Jeffrey Leon, a Senior Partner at Bennett Jones LLP in Toronto and one of Canada’s pre-eminent counsel, helps clients develop practical approaches to complex, ‘bet-the-company’ business litigation and class actions. He advocates for companies, directors, officers, and individuals involved in domestic and cross-border securities, commercial, corporate, product liability, professional negligence and health care proceedings. Jeff has advised independent committees in a variety of corporate transactions and has acted as counsel in domestic and international arbitrations. He has had extensive experience in a wide variety of administrative law matters. Jeff uses his deep experience to deliver the result sought by clients, whether through negotiated settlement or vigorous advocacy at trial.
For a number of years Jeff has been an active Arbitrator and Mediator of international and domestic disputes. He brings to these roles his many years of understanding and experience with all nature of business matters and disputes, his common sense and practical perspective and recognized judgment, and an ability to focus on the real issues at the heart of a matter. He is familiar with the leading arbitral rules and regimes, as well as ad hoc proceedings. His energetic and pragmatic approach enables him to work with parties to fashion an effective process to achieve timely and efficient resolutions, whether through arbitration or mediation.
Jeff is well versed on the conduct of hearings. For many years he served as a Co-Chair of the University of Toronto (Discipline) Tribunal and as independent counsel providing advice to the Discipline Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. He served as legal counsel to the Chiropractic Review Committee of the College of Chiropractors of Ontario, and in 2008 he received their Presidential Award of Excellence for his work.
Jeff received his BA (Hons) from the University of Alberta in 1973 (Gold Medalist), his MA from the University of Toronto in 1974 and his LLB from the University of Toronto in 1977. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1979.
A Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Ontario and a former clerk to the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Jeff has been lauded in legal directories by clients and peers alike for his skill and demeanour.
Over his 40 year career, Jeff has been committed to continuing legal education and high professional standards in the litigation bar, evidenced by his role as an author, lecturer, panelist and teacher of trial skills and his many volunteer roles:
American College of Trial Lawyers – Immediate Past President
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Fellow
International Academy of Trial Lawyers – former Board Member
The Advocates' Society – Past President
Pro Bono Ontario – Past Chair
The Sopinka Cup Society – Past Chair
International Society of Barristers – Member
Commercial Bar Association (UK) – Honourary Member
Litigation Counsel of America – Fellow
Jeff is cited as a leading Canadian litigator in the areas commercial litigation, class actions, securities litigation and directors' and officers' liability by the independent legal market rankings of Chambers Global, Lexpert, American Lawyer Media, Best Lawyers (including their list of “Bet the Company” litigators), Expert Guides (including their Best of the Best guide), Who’s Who Legal and Benchmark Canada, among others.
Recent awards include the Benchmark (Canada) Hall of Fame Award (2018), Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Civil Litigation (2014), Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013) in recognition for his achievements in law and his commitment to serving his community, The Advocates' Society's Catzman Award for Civility and Professionalism (2010), and the Law Society Medal from the Law Society of Ontario (2005) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the profession.