“Kent is the best of the best. His advocacy skills are unmatched, his writing is sharp, and his advice is practical and sound. He’s a once-in-a-generation lawyer.”
Client – Chambers Canada
Kent practises complex, high-stakes litigation across a wide range of areas. Recognized repeatedly as one of Canada’s leading trial and appellate counsel, Kent is trusted by clients to act on their most critical matters.
Kent appears regularly in courts at every level throughout Canada. He also acts before a number of tribunals in Canada, including the Ontario Securities Commission and the Competition Tribunal.
Lead counsel in many of Canada’s most closely watched cases, Kent has achieved numerous precedent-setting decisions in areas as diverse as oppression, plans of arrangement, class actions, corporate law, securities law, tort law, competition law, tax law, voting law and defamation. The Supreme Court of Canada has decided a number of these cases in favour of Kent’s clients. He has also succeeded in complex domestic and international arbitrations for clients in proceedings in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Australia and Africa.
As one client says, Kent “has such dexterity in his ability to formulate and identify winning arguments. It’s impressive to watch how quick his mind can work and the execution is flawless.” (Chambers Canada)
Acted for BCE Inc. and Bell Canada in a successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in a landmark commercial case involving the proposed $51.7 billion privatization of BCE. The decision of the Supreme Court in this case set the standard in Canada for approval of plans of arrangement and claims of oppression. It also clarified the law concerning the duties of directors of public companies faced with potential change of control transactions. This case also resulted in the fastest commercial appeal ever heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. The appeal was heard by the Court and decided unanimously in favour of BCE less than 30 days after BCE launched its application for leave to appeal from a decision of the Québec Court of Appeal revoking approval for BCE's proposed plan of arrangement that had been granted by Justice Silcoff of the Quebec Superior Court following a lengthy and highly expedited trial.
Acted for the plaintiff, Casey Hill, in a successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada from a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in a libel case against the Church of Scientology and its lawyer, Morris Manning. This case resulted in one of the largest jury awards in Canadian history in favour of Mr. Hill, rendered following the conclusion of a lengthy trial, and remains one of the leading decisions of the Supreme Court in the areas of defamation and punitive damages.
Continental Bank of Canada
Acted for Continental Bank of Canada and its subsidiary Continental Bank Leasing Corporation in successful appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada from decisions of the Federal Court of Appeal concerning the proper tax treatment of complex partnership transactions entered into at the time of the winding-up of Continental Bank. The Federal Court of Appeal had set aside a decision rendered in favour of the Bank and its subsidiary by the Honourable Mr. Justice Bowman following the conclusion of a lengthy trial in the Tax Court of Canada. This remains one of the leading decisions of the Supreme Court in the areas of tax law and partnerships.
Government of Canada
Acted for the Government of Canada in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in a controversial case involving legislative changes to Canada's compulsory licensing regime governing the production, marketing and sale of generic pharmaceutical products.
Thomson Newspapers Limited
Acted for Thomson Newspapers Ltd. in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada from a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal concerning the constitutional validity of the investigative provisions of the Combines Investigation Act (now, the Competition Act). This case gave rise to a rare application to the Supreme Court by both parties to the appeal for reconsideration of the Court's original decision.
Acted for Apotex Inc. in defending successfully at trial in the Superior Court of Ontario claims made by Alcon Canada Inc. concerning an alleged settlement of claims between the parties arising from patent disputes in the United States and Canada. Alcon's claims were dismissed by a Justice of the Commercial List in Toronto following the conclusion of an expedited trial.
Barrick Gold Corporation
Acting for Barrick Gold Corporation and certain of its former and existing officers and directors in defending eight multi-billion dollar class actions commenced in jurisdictions across Canada pertaining to alleged breaches by Barrick of its disclosure obligations under the securities laws of Ontario and other provinces concerning Barrick's Pascua Lama mining project in Chile and Argentina.
Barrick Gold Corporation
Acted for Barrick Gold Corporation in international tort litigation concerning the mining operations of an affiliate of Barrick in Africa, brought in the courts of Canada, the United Kingdom and Tanzania.
Barrick Gold Corporation
Acted for Barrick Gold Corporation in defending successfully claims asserted against Barrick by Newmont Mining Corporation (now known as Newmont Goldcorp Corporation) and St. Andrew Goldfields Ltd. in respect of royalty and other agreements entered into in conjunction with the sale of a sizeable operating mine in Northern Ontario. The claims asserted against Barrick were dismissed following a highly expedited trial in the Superior Court of Ontario that was conducted in the absence of pleadings and discoveries.
Barrick Gold Corporation
Acted for Barrick Gold Corporation in defending successfully litigation in the Ontario Superior Court concerning its pre-bid agreement with Goldcorp Inc. to dispose of certain assets acquired by Barrick in its takeover bid for Placer Dome Inc. and in the subsequent disposition of US$1.6 billion of assets to Goldcorp.
Panelist, The Advocates’ Society, Trial Advocacy in Action: The Rosenberg Spy Case, “The Art of Cross-Examination”; Toronto, ON
Sept. 10, 2019
The (Not So) Long Arm of the OSC: Commission Declines Jurisdiction in Public Interest Dispute
June 07, 2019 - In declining jurisdiction in a proceeding initiated by an activist shareholder, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) articulated its approach to long-arm regulation. The recently released reasons in In the Matter of Mangrove Partners and In the Matter of TransAlta Corporation1 provide...
Faculty, The Advocates’ Society and the American College of Trial Lawyers, Spring Symposium 2019, “Demonstration & Discussion: What Category of Expert Is Your Opponent Calling And Why Does It Matter?”; Toronto, ON
Apr. 24, 2019
Faculty and panelist, Osgoode Professional Development, 16th National Symposium on Class Actions, “The Kings of Comity: When Should a Class Action Court Defer to a Case in Another Jurisdiction?”; Toronto, ON
Apr. 04, 2019
University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, “Perspectives in Class Actions in Canada”; Toronto, ON
Apr. 03, 2019
Queen’s University, Faculty of Law, “The Future of Corporate Litigation”; Kingston, ON
Feb. 04, 2019
Faculty, The Advocates’ Society, Alternative Dispute Resolution Skills Certificate, “ADR Advocacy: Advanced Techniques”; Toronto, ON
Dec. 11, 2018
Co-Chair, The Advocates’ Society, Civil Litigation Skills Certificate Program, “Evidence for Litigators”; Toronto, ON
Nov. 29, 2018
In the News
Kent Thomson Interviewed by Lexpert Magazine About Balancing Interests of In-House and External Litigation Counsel
Nov. 16, 2018 - In an article published in the November/December issue of Lexpert Magazine, Davies partner Kent Thomson shares his insights on how to balance the competing perspectives of in-house and external litigation counsel in difficult and contentious cases. Kent noted that the kind of cases that may...
Law Society of Ontario, Securities Law Update, “Securities Litigation Update”; Toronto, ON
Nov. 14, 2018
American College of Trial Lawyers—Fellow
International Society of Barristers—Fellow
International Academy of Trial Lawyers—Fellow
Expert Guides’ Best of the Best—Top 30 Litigators Worldwide
Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys—Top 50 Trial Lawyers in Canada (2017-2019)
Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business—Dispute Resolution (Band 1); Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence)
Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business—Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence) (Band 1); Litigation, General Commercial: Ontario (Band 1); Litigation, Securities: Ontario
Chambers Canada Award—Litigation Firm of the Year (2018)
Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business—Litigation, General Commercial Department: Ontario (Band 1)
The Legal 500 Canada—Dispute Resolution: Ontario (Leading Lawyer)
The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada—Class Actions; Litigation: Corporate Commercial; Litigation: Directors’ & Officers’ Liability; Litigation: Securities
Lexpert Guide to US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyers in Canada—Dispute Resolution
Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada—Competition Law; Corporate Commercial Litigation; Class Actions; Securities Litigation
Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada—Competition Law
Report on Business/Lexpert Special Edition Canada’s Leading Litigation Lawyers
Lexpert Special Edition Leading Canadian Lawyers in Global Mining
The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Class Actions (Most Frequently Recommended); Litigation: Corporate Commercial (Most Frequently Recommended); Litigation: Directors’ & Officers’ Liability (Most Frequently Recommended); Litigation: Securities (Most Frequently Recommended); Competition Law
Expert Guides—Competition and Antitrust; Litigation
The Best Lawyers in Canada—Lawyer of the Year, Class Action Litigation (Toronto, 2020)
The Best Lawyers in Canada—Competition/Antitrust Law Lawyer of the Year (2013)
The Best Lawyers in Canada—Bet-the-Company Litigation; Class Action Litigation; Competition/Antitrust Law (Litigation); Corporate and Commercial Litigation; Securities Law
Global Competition Review’s The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists
Who’s Who Legal: Litigation; Who’s Who Legal: Canada—Commercial Litigation; Competition
Benchmark Canada Impact Case of the Year Award (2017, 2019)—Recipient
Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys—Top 25 Trial Lawyers in Canada; Class Action (Litigation Star); General Commercial Litigation (Litigation Star); Competition Law (Litigation Star); Securities (Litigation Star)
Martindale-Hubbell—AV Preeminent: highest ranking for legal ability and integrity