The Honourable George R. Strathy was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario on April 25, 2013, and was subsequently appointed as Chief Justice of Ontario and President of the Court of Appeal for Ontario on June 13, 2014.
For the previous five years, he served as a judge of the Superior Court of Justice in the Toronto Region, where he presided over civil, class action and criminal matters. He was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on December 13, 2007.
Chief Justice Strathy received a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in 1970 and a Master of Arts from the University of Toronto in 1971. He studied law at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law where he received his LL.B. in 1974 and was awarded the Gold Medal. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1976.
In practice, he specialized in civil litigation, with an emphasis on maritime and transportation law. He was active in a number of professional organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Maritime Law Association and the Canadian Association of Maritime Arbitrators. He is the author of two books on maritime law, as well as numerous papers and articles.
Chief Justice Strathy is married to Elyse Strathy. They have five daughters and nine grandchildren.
Associate Chief Justice Fairburn obtained her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Toronto and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1992. For over two decades, Justice Fairburn worked as Crown counsel and then general counsel within the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario. In 2013 she became a partner at Stockwoods LLP. Justice Fairburn was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in December 2014, after which she sat as a trial judge in Brampton. She was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario in July 2017. She was appointed Associate Chief Justice of Ontario in September 2020.
Associate Chief Justice Fairburn held many roles within the administration of justice, including serving as an advisor to the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute. She was appointed a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and sat on The Advocates’ Society’s Board of Directors. She was a member of the Justice and Media Liaison Committee. She has been and remains actively involved in legal education, both within and outside of Canada, including with the National Judicial Institute. She is also the recipient of many awards and recognitions, including the Catzman Award for Professionalism and Civility.
1996: appointed to the Superior Court of Ontario and presided over civil, criminal and family matters
2001: appointed Senior Justice of the Family Court for Ontario
2005: returned to the Superior Court of Ontario to preside over long criminal trials
2009: appointed Deputy Judge of the Yukon
2013: appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario
Justice David Brown was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in December, 2014, after sitting as a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in the Toronto Region since September, 2006, including several years on the Toronto Region Commercial List. Immediately prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeal, Justice Brown was serving as the President of the Ontario Superior Court Judges’ Association.
Before his appointment to the Bench, he was a partner with Stikeman Elliott LLP (Toronto) in its Litigation and Energy Groups. He served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School teaching Energy Law from 2004 until 2006, and a Sessional Lecturer at Queen’s University Law School from 1990 to 2002 teaching Trial Advocacy. Justice Brown writes on a number of legal topics, including civil procedure reform and Newfoundland legal history.
Justice Brown earned his B.A. (Hons.), University of Toronto, 1976; Certificate, Beijing Languages Institute, 1977; Diploma, Nanjing University, 1978; J.D., 1981, University of Toronto; L.L.M., Osgoode Hall Law School, 2005; called to the Ontario Bar, 1983.
Justice Steve A. Coroza was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in April 2020. Before being appointed to the Court he served as a judge with the Ontario Court of Justice (St. Catharines) from 2009 to 2013 and with the Superior Court of Justice (Brampton) from 2013 to 2020.
Prior to his appointments, Justice Coroza received an LL.B. from the University of Windsor and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1997. He also received an LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2003.
Justice Coroza was a staff duty counsel for Ontario Legal Aid in Toronto from 1997 to 1998. From 1998 to 2009, he was senior counsel with the Department of Justice and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, where his main area of practice was criminal law.
Justice Coroza was a member of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
He frequently participates as a panelist in continuing education programs for lawyers and judges. He is a past adjunct instructor of the Trial Advocacy Course at Osgoode Hall Law School and a guest instructor with the University of Notre Dame Law School.
Justice Feldman received her B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1970 and her LL.B. from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law in 1973, where she was co-editor of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review and recipient of the Dean’s Key. Before her appointment, she was a partner at the law firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon (now Blakes LL.P.) where she practised in the areas of civil litigation and administrative law. Justice Feldman was appointed as a Justice of the Superior Court of Ontario on December 24, 1990 and sat on the Commercial List as well as on criminal and civil matters. She was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario on June 11, 1998. Since her appointment to the Bench, Justice Feldman has participated in and chaired numerous continuing legal education programs for law students, lawyers and judges on a number of areas including bankruptcy, arbitration, employment law and appellate advocacy. In January 2001 she became the first recipient of the Canadian Superior Court Judges Association President’s Award. As an alumna of the University of Toronto, she served on the Moss Scholarship Selection Committee for six years, three years as Chair, and is a recipient of the University of Toronto Arbor Award. In 2015, she was one of 50 women featured in the book, Leading the Way: Canadian Women in the Law, Julie Soloway and Emma Costante, 2015 Lexis-Nexis. In 2016 she was named by University College as an Alumna of Influence. She is currently a director of the Canadian Chapter of the International Women Judges Association.
Justice Eileen E. Gillese received her B. Comm. from the University of Alberta and her B.A. Hons. Jurisprudence and B.C.L. (Oxon.) (first class) from Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar. Justice Gillese was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2002 after serving as a Superior Court Justice from 1999-2002. Before her judicial appointments, Justice Gillese was Dean and Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, the University of Western Ontario. While a professor, Justice Gillese received the Western University Edward G. Pleva Award, the 3M Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching, and the Faculty of Law awards for teaching excellence. She is a former Chair of the Pension Commission of Ontario; the Financial Services Commission of Ontario; and the Financial Services Tribunal of Ontario. Justice Gillese received an honorary LLD from the Law Society of Upper Canada (2002), was named the 2003 Globe & Mail Nation Builder (with two others), was named a Top 100 Women (WXN) (2006), and received the OBA Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Pensions & Benefits Law (2009). From 2017 to 2019, Justice Gillese served as the Commissioner for the Public Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System. While on the Bench, Justice Gillese wrote the third edition of The Law of Trusts. She is a frequent speaker at judicial and professional events on a wide variety of subjects.
Alison Harvison Young was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2004. At the time of her appointment, Justice Harvison Young was Professor and the Dean of the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario . She had earned LL.B. and B.C.L. degrees from McGill University in 1983 and served as law clerk to the Honourable Justice W.Z. Estey from 1983-1984. She obtained a B.C.L. from Oxford University in 1988.
Justice Harvison Young was a member of the Faculty of Law of McGill University from 1988-1998, during which period she taught a range of courses including Foundations of Canadian Law, Remedies in Contract and Tort, Judicial Review of Administrative Action, as well as Family Law and related subjects. In 1997 she was the recipient of the John W. Durnford Teaching Excellence Award. During her years at McGill, she was also the recipient of the David Watson Memorial Award (with Rod Macdonald) in 1991. She was an active contributor to the life of the faculty, serving on many committees and as Associate Dean (Academic) from 1993-1995. She published widely in areas of administrative law, family law, and on the subject of new reproductive technologies.
Since her appointment to the bench, Justice Harvison Young has continued to pursue her interests in teaching and writing, first as a participant in the Legal Ethics and Professionalism “bridge” program at the University of Toronto, and also as a faculty member in the National Judicial Institute annual program for newly appointed judges. In addition, she has served as a co-chair and mentor in the law clerk program at the court. She is a regular speaker and contributor to a number of programs on written advocacy, including the Advocates Society annual weekend program on written advocacy for young lawyers. As the administrative judge responsible for the Toronto Small Claims Court (with approximately 55 sitting deputy judges), Justice Harvison Young developed a strong interest in issues of access to justice, an interest that has been reinforced while sitting in Family Law in Superior Court where the proportions of unrepresented litigants continue to increase.
During the 2017-18 academic year, Justice Harvison Young was granted a study leave to consider issues of access to justice in relation to the Small Claims Court and related challenges. During this period, she also participated in the life of the law faculty of the University of Toronto as the Judicial Visitor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. The final paper prepared and submitted to the Canadian Judicial Council was entitled: “Coming to a Courtroom Near You? Accessing Justice, the Changing Legal Profession, and Emerging Technology: The Road Ahead”.
Justice Harvison Young was appointed to the Court of Appeal on August 29, 2018.
Former Chair of the Litigation Department at Fasken Martineau, Justice Hourigan has a distinguished career in law and public service. He served as the Chief of Staff to the Attorney General for Ontario and as Counsel and Director of Issues Management for the Premier of Ontario. In private practice, Justice Hourigan specialized in commercial ligation, with an emphasis on corporate governance disputes, securities litigation, and class actions. He was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court in 2009 and was chambered in Milton, Ontario. While on the Superior Court, Justice Hourigan served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Superior Court Judges’ Association. In October of 2013, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He was appointed as the Chief Justice’s representative on the Civil Rules Committee in 2015. Justice Hourigan is a graduate of McGill University and Osgoode Hall Law School.
Justice Alexandra Hoy was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario on December 1, 2011 and was appointed Associate Chief Justice of Ontario on June 6, 2013. She served as Associate Chief Justice of Ontario for seven years. She continues to sit as a supernumerary judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Justice Hoy was a Superior Court judge for nearly ten years. On the Superior Court, she sat frequently on the Commercial List, although she presided in all areas of the court’s operations: civil (including estates), family, criminal, commercial, and Divisional Court. From April 2006 to December 2007, she was one of three judges of the Superior Court in Toronto designated to hear class action matters.
From the time of her call to the Bar until her appointment to the Superior Court, Justice Hoy was first an associate, and then a partner, at Lang Michener (now McMillan LLP). She represented both public and private corporations on significant corporate and commercial transactions.
Justice Hoy studied at the University of Alberta, Université Laval, and York University, graduating with a B.A. (Hons.) in Fine Art from York University in 1975. She is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1980.
Grant Huscroft was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in December 2014, following a lengthy academic career.
He holds a BA from the University of Western Ontario (1980); an LL.B from Queen’s University (1984); and an LL.M from the University of Auckland (1987).
He was a member of the University of Auckland Faculty of Law from 1992-2001, a visiting professor at McGill University Faculty of Law in 1998, and Associate and later Full Professor at the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law from 2002-2014, serving as Associate Dean from 2006-2008. He founded the Public Law and Legal Philosophy Research Group at Western with Professor (now Justice) Bradley Miller in 2008. He was a member of the NZ Judicial Control Authority for Racing from 1996-98 and the Ontario Health Professions Appeal Review Board from 2008-2014.
His research on public law and legal theory has been published internationally and includes eight collections of essays he co-edited. He has been an invited speaker on constitutional and administrative law at universities in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, England, Italy, and Mexico. He continues to guest lecture at universities and is a frequent contributor to continuing legal education programs.
Justice Peter Lauwers was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario on December 13, 2012, having served on the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Central East Region since July, 2008. He presided over cases in all the areas of the Superior Court’s operations including civil, criminal, family, and class actions. He also served on the Divisional Court.
Before being appointed, Justice Lauwers was a partner at Miller Thomson LLP. He practised in the areas of civil litigation, constitutional law, human rights, and administrative law including education, municipal and labour law and appeared at every level of court including the Supreme Court of Canada.
As a lawyer Justice Lauwers lectured in his areas of expertise to, among others, the Canadian Institute, Insight, the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association, the Centre for Cultural Renewal, McGill University, and the Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy, and published widely.
Since his judicial appointment Justice Lauwers has spoken at events sponsored by the Ontario Bar Association, the Advocates’ Society, the Ontario Trial Lawyers’ Association, the Canadian Defence Lawyers, Osgoode Hall Law School, the Medico-Legal Society of Toronto, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and the National Judicial Institute.
Justice Lauwers received a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto in 1978 and a Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in 1983. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1980.
Justice James MacPherson has been a judge on the Court of Appeal for Ontario since 1999. From 1993-1999 he was a trial judge. Earlier in his career he was Dean of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Executive Legal Officer at the Supreme Court of Canada, Director of Constitutional Law for the Government of Saskatchewan and a law professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.
Bradley Miller was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario in January 2015 and to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in June 2015.
He was called to the Bars of Ontario (2002) and British Columbia (1993), and practiced commercial and constitutional litigation with Lerners LLP and Miller Thomson LLP in Toronto.
He was awarded a D.Phil in law from Oxford University in 2004 and an LL.M. (magna cum laude) from the University of Edinburgh in 1994. He holds degrees in law and in commerce from the University of British Columbia (1992).
He was a law professor at the University of Western Ontario from 2005-2015, where he was (along with Grant Huscroft) a founding member of Western Law’s Public Law and Legal Philosophy Research Group. During that time he also served as a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Law at the European University Institute, Florence (2008), and in the Department of Politics at Princeton University (2012-13), and was a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Princeton University (2012-13). He has published and lectured internationally on constitutional interpretation and on legal reasoning.
Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian V.B. Nordheimer had an eighteen-year career as a judge of Toronto’s Superior Court of Justice. During this time, Justice Nordheimer has written numerous decisions in civil and criminal law, grappling with issues at the heart of Canada’s constitutional democracy, such as the open court principle, the rights of the accused, and the treatment of lawfully assembled protesters. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in multiple areas of law, including class actions, commercial law and criminal law. He also presided over a number of significant trials, including notable murder cases.
In addition to his prolific writing, Justice Nordheimer has held significant administrative positions on the Superior Court of Justice including as the Administrative Judge of the Divisional Court and as Leader of the Criminal Long Trial (Homicide) Team. He also served for many years as a member of the Civil Rules Committee. Furthermore, he is a frequent contributor to continuing legal education programs.
Born in Toronto, but raised in both Montreal and Calgary, Justice Nordheimer earned his honours commerce degree from Queen’s University and then his law degree from the same institution. Justice Nordheimer went on to practise commercial litigation with Fraser & Beatty (now Dentons LLP) in Toronto until he was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in April 1999.
Justice Paciocco (LL.B. Western 1979; B.C.L., Oxford, 1981; LL.D (hon. causa) Laurentian University, 2005, Professor Emeritus at the University of Ottawa) was a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice at the time of his appointment to the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Justice Paciocco taught at the University of Ottawa Common Law Section as a full-time faculty member for close to 30 years and has also taught at the University of Windsor and the University of Auckland New Zealand. While teaching at the University of Ottawa, and while on leave, Justice Paciocco served as an Assistant Crown Attorney in Ottawa between 1986 and 1992. From 1993 until 2011 he served as counsel to the firm of Edelson and Associates, doing appellate work and engaging in a specialized criminal practice, including before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He has also consulted widely for many governmental and non-governmental organizations. Justice Paciocco is widely published, having authored or co-authored four books, and more than 100 legal articles. The Law of Evidence, Irwin Law, 1996, which he co-authors with Palma Paciocco and Professor Lee Stuesser, is in its eighth edition, (2020). He has received teaching and publishing awards, including the Mundell Medal 2002 and a Donner Prize for writing in Canadian Public Policy, 1999. Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeal for Ontario Justice Paciocco was a frequent lecturer at judicial and professional education seminars.
Justice Pepall was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in April 2012. She previously was a judge on the Superior Court of Justice from 1999 to 2012 where she served as a Civil Team Leader from January 2005 to August 2006 and as the Team Leader of the Commercial List from August 2006 until December 2010. She also was elected to the Board of Directors of the Ontario Superior Judges’ Association in April 2002 and served as its President from 2006 to 2008.
Prior to her appointment to the Superior Court, Justice Pepall was a partner at McMillan Binch where she practised civil and commercial litigation from 1981 to 1999 and was active on management including serving as the firm’s Managing Partner. She was the volunteer Chair of the Board of Directors of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and before that, the President of the Ontario Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Justice Pepall was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1978 having received her law degree from McGill University in 1976. She obtained a Masters of Law in Public Law from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1983. She has lectured extensively and has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Turnaround Management Association, the Judy Elder Alumna Award, the Lexpert Zenith Award celebrating leading Canadian Women Lawyers, and the Women’s Executive Network Most Powerful Women Award.
More recently, Justice Pepall has chaired the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for Toronto, Central West and Central East Regions in Ontario.
Paul S. Rouleau received his Bachelor in Administration in 1974 and his LL.B in 1977, both from the University of Ottawa. He then received his Masters in Law from York University in 1984. Before his appointments, he was a partner with the law firm of Heenan Blaikie from July 2000 to May 2002, Genest Murray, DesBrisay, Lamek from 1987 to July 2000, and Cassels Brock & Blackwell from his call to the Bar in 1979 to 1987.
He was appointed as a Justice of the Superior Court of Ontario on May 31, 2002 and to the Court of Appeal for Ontario on April 14, 2005. He was also appointed as a Deputy Judge of the Supreme Court of Yukon on June 5, 2014, of the Nunavut Court of Justice on October 5, 2017, and the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories on December 15, 2017.
Since his appointments, he has been actively involved in the continuing legal education of judges, both domestically and internationally, and of members of the Bar. He chairs the Attorney General’s Access to Justice in French Advisory Committee and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Law Commission of Ontario. He was a founding member of l’Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario and was its President from 1985 to 1987. He also served as Trustee of the Metropolitan Toronto Separate School Board from 1986 to 1991. He is the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from York University, the Common Law Honour Society of the University of Ottawa, and l’Ordre des francophones d’Amérique, awarded by le Conseil supérieur de la langue française du Québec.
Janet Simmons is a graduate of the University of Toronto (1974) and of the Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario (1977). She was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1979. Prior to her appointment as a judge, she was a partner at the Brampton law firm, Lawrence, Lawrence, Stevenson, where she practised primarily in the areas of civil litigation and family law. At the time of her appointment as a judge, she also served as chair of the Peel Region Police Services Board and was a former president of the Peel Law Association. Justice Simmons was appointed to the Ontario Court (Provincial Division) in December 1990, to the Ontario Court (General Division) in September 1991, and to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in August 2000. At the time of her appointment to the Court of Appeal, Justice Simmons was the Regional Senior Judge of the Central West Region of the Superior Court of Justice. Since being appointed as a judge, Justice Simmons has served on numerous court and bench and bar committees and has also participated in a variety of continuing education programs for lawyers and judges.
Justice Sossin was as a law clerk to former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada, a former Associate in Law at Columbia Law School and a former litigation lawyer with the firm of Borden & Elliot (now Borden Ladner Gervais). He received his LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1996. Justice Sossin holds doctorates from the University of Toronto in Political Science and from Columbia University in Law.
Justice Sossin has published numerous books, journal articles, reviews and essays, including Administrative Law in Practice: Principles and Advocacy (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2018) (with Emily Lawrence); and Boundaries of Judicial Review: The Law of Justiciability in Canada 2nd ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 2012). Justice Sossin is also the recipient of the 2012 David Mundell Medal for excellence in Legal Writing.
Justice Sossin served as Research Director for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Task Force on the Independence of the Bar, and has written commissioned papers for the Gomery Inquiry, the Ipperwash Inquiry, and the Goudge Inquiry. He also served as the Vice Chair of the Ontario Health Professions Appeal and Review Board and Health Services Appeal and Review Board, as Integrity Commissioner for the City of Toronto, and as the Open Meeting Investigator for the City of Toronto.
Justice Thorburn was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal in June 2019.
She was appointed to the Superior Court of Ontario in September 2006 and Deputy Judge of the Northwest Territories in 2009. Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeal, she was the Team Lead of the Divisional Court.
She is a graduate of l’Université de Montréal (Bac. Int. Chant) and Queen’s University (LLB). She has a Certificat en droit international privé from The Hague Academy of International Law, an A.R.C.T. in Performance Piano and the Silver Medal in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She was a law clerk with then Supreme Court of Ontario (now the Superior Court of Justice) and a partner with Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Women judges (an association of over 900 judges from around the world), and Past President of the Canadian chapter. Until her appointment to the Court of Appeal, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Superior Court Judges Association.
She is co-author of the Report, Améliorer l’accès a la justice en français (2015) prepared at the request of the Attorney General of Ontario to improve access to justice for French speaking litigants. Until her appointment to the Court of Appeal, she was a member of the Attorney General’s Committee on francophone affairs.
She was a sessional Lecturer Civil Procedure Workshops, at Osgoode Hall Law School from 1993 to 1997, and is co-author of The Law of Confidential Business Information, Canada Law Book, 1998 (co-author K. Fairbairn), and a contributing author of Digital Democracy, Policy and Politics in the Wired World, Oxford University Press, 1998, Ontario Courtroom Procedure (4th Ed.), 2016, and Canada Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Thomson, Carswell).
She has lived in Canada, France and Italy and works in both official languages.
Justice Trotter was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2005, to the Superior Court of Justice in 2008 and to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2016.
Justice Trotter was educated at the University of Toronto (LL.B.), Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.M.) and the University of Cambridge (M. Phil., Ph.D.). Upon his call to the Bar in 1987, he was an associate at the firm of Beard, Winter, Gordon (now Beard, Winter). From 1988 to 2000, Justice Trotter was counsel with the Crown Law Office (Criminal). He became a full-time member of the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University, where he taught courses in criminal law and procedure. He also served as Associate Dean, and then as Acting Dean of Law.
In addition to The Law of Bail in Canada, 3rd ed. (Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2010) (looseleaf) and Understanding Bail in Canada (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2013), Justice Trotter is the author of numerous law journal articles, book chapters, as well as being a co-author of a number of casebooks. He frequently speaks at continuing education programs for lawyers and judges.
Justice Katherine van Rensburg was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in October 2013. Prior to her appointment to this court she had served on the Superior Court of Justice in the Central West Region since November 2006. As a trial judge, Justice van Rensburg was chambered in Brampton, and presided over criminal, family and civil law matters. She also served on the Divisional Court.
Justice van Rensburg was an associate lawyer and then a partner at the Toronto law firm Smith Lyons LLP, and she became a partner in Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP with the merger of the two firms in 2001. She practised civil litigation and environmental law, having been certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in each.
Justice van Rensburg is a graduate of the University of Toronto (B.A.), Queen’s University (LL.B.) and Cambridge University (LL.M.). She spent her articling year as law clerk for the Honourable Justice Wm. McIntyre at the Supreme Court of Canada.
Justice Benjamin Zarnett was born and raised in Toronto. He studied political science and philosophy at the University of Toronto before attending Osgoode Hall Law School, where he graduated as the Bronze Medalist in 1975. He was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1977 and practiced trial and appellate advocacy until his appointment to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in November 2018.
During his career as a lawyer he handled cases ranging across a wide spectrum of issues including corporate, commercial and securities law, shareholder rights, pension rights, professional liability, class actions, insolvency law, taxation, real estate, intellectual property and broadcasting policy. His clients included individuals, law firms, court-appointed officers, companies, financial institutions, Crown corporations and public interest advocacy organizations. He was counsel in fifteen appeals in the Supreme Court of Canada and numerous cases before Ontario’s appellate and trial courts, as well as appeals in the Federal Court of Appeal and the appellate courts of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. At the time of his appointment he was a member of the litigation group at Goodmans LLP in Toronto, where he had been a partner since 1990.
He is a former President of the Advocates’ Society and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. For his contributions to the justice system, he was awarded the Law Society of Ontario Medal (its highest award) in 2006, the Toronto Lawyers Association Award of Distinction in 2007, and the Ontario Bar Association Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation in 2009