Clients turn to Matthew for their high-stakes and high-profile litigation. They value his strategic foresight and agility, and consider him “very bright and hard-working.”
Chambers Global 2016
Known for his intellectual acuity, Matthew acts in matters before a variety of tribunals and courts across Canada, including in precedent-setting appeals before the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. He was named Insolvency Lawyer of the Year 2014 by Benchmark Canada. Matthew is valued for being “methodical and aggressive, where appropriate.” (Client – Chambers Canada 2017)
Matthew advises clients of all sizes – public and private companies as well as government agencies – across a wide range of civil litigation matters, including commercial disputes, complex class actions, securities disputes, constitutional challenges, insolvency proceedings and novel tort claims. In addition to his extensive trial and motions work, Matthew has also successfully mediated or arbitrated numerous confidential disputes.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Acted for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce as an intervener before the Supreme Court of Canada in an appeal concerning whether Canadian law should recognize a novel tort of disgorgement of profits gained as a result of wrongdoing.
Acted for Mr. James S.A. MacDonald before the Supreme Court of Canada in an appeal concerning the difference between speculation and hedging, and the tax treatment applicable to gains or losses arising from derivative transactions.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Acted for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce as an intervener before the Supreme Court of Canada in an appeal concerning the applicability of arbitration clauses to class actions in Ontario.
KSV Kofman Inc.
Acted for KSV Kofman Inc., as monitor for the Urbancorp Group of Companies, in an appeal concerning whether a certain transaction was a fraudulent conveyance or otherwise voidable by the monitor in connection with Urbancorp's CCAA proceedings.
West Face Capital Inc.
Acted for West Face Capital Inc. in defending successfully against a second claim asserted against it by The Catalyst Capital Inc., this time for more than $1.3 billion, arising from the participation by West Face in the purchase and subsequent sale of Wind Mobile Inc. On April 18, 2018, Justice Hainey of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice determined that this second claim was essentially an attempt to re-litigate the same facts and issues that had previously been decided by Justice Newbould in the first such claim between Catalyst and West Face. As such, Justice Hainey dismissed the claim as against West Face, and all of the other defendants, as an abuse of process. Catalyst's appeal from the Order of Justice Hainey dismissing this action as an abuse of process was dismissed by the Ontario Court of Appeal in early May 2019. In November 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Catalyst's application for leave to appeal.
Liquor Control Board of Ontario
Acted for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario in defending claims asserted against it for approximately $1.5 billion in antitrust class action proceedings pending in the Ontario Superior Court against the LCBO, Brewers Retail Inc. and a number of major brewers. In March 2018, Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court granted summary judgment dismissing all claims asserted against the LCBO and the other defendants, and awarded substantial costs of almost $800,000. The decision of Justice Perell granting summary judgment in favour of the LCBO was affirmed by the Ontario Court of Appeal in April 2019.
Successfully arbitrated a contractual dispute for a Québec-based client in the retail products industry. The dispute involved synthesizing the 20 year history of a series of multi-lateral relationships and resulted in a complete victory for Davies' client.
Acting for a Crown agency in a dispute concerning the interpretation of an asset purchase agreement.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
Successfully acted for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation in a judicial review application brought by the City of Niagara and the Region of Niagara Falls concerning the selection process for an operator of the Niagara gaming bundle.
Acted for the defendants on appeal in Todd Family Holdings Inc. v Gardiner, in which the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned a number of trial findings made against Roy Gardiner and Dayl Armstrong arising out of a loan by the plaintiffs to the defendants. The trial judge had made findings of fraud against Gardiner and Armstrong; awarded damages of over US$2.2 million; awarded costs of almost $1 million; assigned the defendants' intellectual property to the plaintiffs until all debts were satisfied; and held that the plaintiffs had not recovered any sums owing during the period leading up to trial, despite having held the IP for seven years. The Ontario Court of Appeal reversed the finding of deceit against Armstrong; reduced the damages award by approximately US$1 million; reversed the award of costs; reversed the finding that the plaintiffs had not recovered any sums owing up to the trial date; and ordered an accounting of all sums recovered by the plaintiff to date.
Class Actions: Gambling on a Novel Cause of Action May Not Be a Winner
July 29, 2020 - In Atlantic Lottery Corp. Inc. v Babstock, 2020 SCC 19 (Babstock), the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) clarifies the contentious doctrine of “waiver of tort” and provides helpful guidance on the way courts should assess novel claims at the stage of certification of a proposed...
Canada’s Top Court Invalidates Uber’s Arbitration Clauses and Clarifies the Doctrine of Unconscionability
July 03, 2020 - The Supreme Court of Canada has released its highly anticipated decision in Uber Technologies Inc. v David Heller (Uber), ruling that a proposed class action on behalf of Uber drivers can proceed despite an arbitration clause contained in the standard form agreement between drivers and...
Force Majeure and Frustration in Light of COVID-19
Mar. 25, 2020 - The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented and rapidly developing challenges for companies attempting to fulfill their contractual obligations in the face of supply chain interruptions, labour shortages, government-ordered closures and unexpected declines in demand. In these...
COVID-19: Material Adverse Change and Material Adverse Effect
Mar. 23, 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and is likely to continue to have, a major impact on the global economy as countries implement various levels of “social distancing” and other restrictions on normal activities. In these uncertain times, many businesses may find themselves reviewing their contracts...
Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Application of Regulated Conduct Defence to Dismiss Class Action Alleging Conspiracy in Beer Industry, co-author
June 30, 2019 - Competition Policy International
Read the article.
Ontario Bar Association, “Introducing Evidence at Trial”; Toronto, ON
Mar. 01, 2019
In the News
Matt Milne-Smith Speaks to Lexpert on Slowdown in Securities Class Actions
Dec. 04, 2018 - In an article published in the Lexpert Special Edition – Canada’s Leading Litigation Lawyers, Davies partner Matt Milne-Smith discusses the impact of the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2015 trilogy of decisions interpreting the leave standard for secondary market securities class action filings...
Ontario Court Awards $2.35 Million in Costs to Successful Defendants in Proposed Antitrust Class Proceeding
Aug. 20, 2018 - Justice Perell, of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, has rendered his costs award in respect of his earlier decision granting summary judgment (see our March 23, 2018 bulletin) in favour of the defendants in Hughes v Liquor Control Board of Ontario. The case was a proposed class...
Ontario Court of Appeal Clarifies Jurisdictional Reach of Secondary Market Misrepresentation Claims
July 26, 2018 - The Ontario Court of Appeal has issued an important decision concerning the jurisdiction of Ontario courts in relation to secondary market misrepresentation claims brought under the Ontario Securities Act. In Yip v HSBC Holdings plc, released on July 11, 2018, the Court...
Ontario Court Applies Regulated Conduct Defence on Summary Motion to Dismiss Class Action Alleging Market Allocation Conspiracy
Mar. 23, 2018 - On March 15, 2018, Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed a proposed class action (Hughes v. Liquor Control Board of Ontario) concerning a document (Framework) signed by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and the owner and operator of The Beer Store,...
Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business—Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence); Litigation, General Commercial: Ontario
Benchmark Canada—Insolvency Litigator of the Year (2014)
Benchmark Canada Impact Case of the Year Award (2017, 2020)—Recipient
Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys—Commercial (Litigation Star); Securities (Litigation Star)
The Legal 500 Canada—Dispute Resolution: Ontario (Next Generation Lawyer)
The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada—Litigation: Corporate Commercial
Report on Business/Lexpert Special Edition Canada’s Leading Litigation Lawyers
Lexpert Guide to US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyers in Canada—Dispute Resolution
The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Litigation: Corporate Commercial (Most Frequently Recommended); Class Actions; Litigation: Securities
Chambers Canada Award—Litigation Firm of the Year (2018)
Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business—Litigation, General Commercial Department: Ontario (Band 1 for firm)
Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40—Litigation (2013)
The Best Lawyers in Canada—Class Action Litigation; Corporate and Commercial Litigation; Gaming Law; Securities Law
Who’s Who Legal: Litigation—Future Leaders