Michael H. Lubetsky

Michael Lubetsky is a partner in the Litigation and Taxation practices. His practice focuses on tax litigation, class actions, and appellate cases.

Prior to joining Davies, Michael worked as a researcher with an investment company in Japan, and then as an officer in the Canadian Foreign Service, serving in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and China.

Representative Work

  • Acted successfully on behalf of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in favour of Wal-Mart before the Supreme Court of Canada in an appeal concerning the scope of the employer's right to cease operations, even where the alleged reason for the business closure was the employer's unwillingness to deal with a union that had recently obtained certification of the workplace. The majority of the Supreme Court held that although anti-union animus could, in principle, constitute the basis for awarding compensation under the unfair labour practice provisions of the Québec Labour Code, the wrongful dismissal provisions assumed the continued existence of a workplace.

  • Acting for a Québec-based gas retailer in connection with criminal charges laid by the Competition Bureau for alleged price-fixing and related class actions. Davies has succeeded in obtaining a stay of the criminal proceedings against its client based on a breach of its constitutional rights.

  • Acted for The Montréal Expos in their challenge of Québec tax assessments for employer contributions to the Québec Health Services Fund (before the Court of Québec).

  • Acted for U.S.-based private equity firm Mill Road Capital, L.P. in its successful "white knight" bid for Cossette Inc. for approximately $134 million.

  • Successfully acted for Glen French before the Federal Court of Appeal in a case involving charitable donations, and specifically how the Québec civil law informs the meaning of the word "gift" in the Income Tax Act across Canada. The case is serving as a representative case (either officially or de facto) for over 300 other appeals before the Tax Court of Canada concerning leveraged donations.

  • Acted for Egale Canada, Canada's only national non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, in an action before the Québec Superior Court to invalidate eleven provisions of the Civil Code of Québec that discriminate against trans and intersex individuals and their children.

  • Acted successfully on behalf of a Toronto-region home builder in contesting, at the audit stage, a proposed double-tax assessment based on section 246 of the Income Tax Act.

  • Acted successfully for Michael Rosenberg before the Federal Court of Canada ("FCC") by defeating a motion to strike made by the Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA"). The underlying action seeks the enforcement of a settlement agreement that was repudiated by the CRA. Although the CRA was of the view that it was "plain and obvious" that the action could not succeed because the Minister of National Revenue could not be bound by this type of agreement, the FCC disagreed and allowed the case to proceed.

  • Successfully represented the developers of the Bell Campus on Nun's Island, Montréal, in a dispute with the Canada Revenue Agency before the Tax Court of Canada involving the proposed application of the general anti-avoidance rule.

  • Acted successfully for a group of property owners in Mont-Tremblant, an exclusive resort area in Québec, in connection with their defence during proceedings regarding a private expropriation of property to build a private road.

  • Acting for Colonel J.G. Guy Simard (retired) and other taxpayers who participated in the "Synergy Program", a program designed to provide funding for start-up businesses, in their dispute before the Tax Court of Canada with the Canada Revenue Agency over the deductibility of related losses. The appeals will serve as de facto representative cases for approximately 4000 other taxpayers who are contesting potentially over two hundred million dollars in tax deductions.

  • Acted for Véolia Transdev Québec Inc. and Véolia Transdev Canada Inc. against Richard Auger in connection with a dispute arising from the purchase and sale of a group of transportation companies and a balance on the purchase price.

  • Acted successfully for André Drouin, a taxpayer who purchased a franchise in a software development company, in connection with his appeal before the Tax Court of Canada against a Canada Revenue Agency assessment denying all deductions related to his franchise. The appeal served as a de facto representative case for approximately 300 other investors contesting hundreds of millions of dollars in tax deductions.

  • Acted for the family of a 7-year-old child in a groundbreaking paternity case involving assisted procreation.

  • Acting for Rogers Communications Inc. in connection with numerous multi-billion dollar class action proceedings across Canada to recover "system access fees" charged to consumers by wireless service providers in Canada in the period since 1987. These are some of the largest class actions in Canadian history and have given rise to numerous trial level and appellate decisions in favour of Rogers in various provinces in Canada, including Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Québec, Nova Scotia, Alberta and British Columbia.

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Professional Affiliations

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Québec Bar

Canadian Bar Association

Canadian Tax Foundation

Board Memberships

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Community Involvement

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Teaching Engagements

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  • Advanced Commercial Law (Legal Writing in English), Université de Montréal (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011).
  • Introduction to Western Legal Systems, Université de Montréal (2008, 2010 and 2011).

Speaking Engagements

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Articles and Publications

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Michael has published on a variety of legal topics in publications such as the Osgoode Hall Law Review and Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems. Articles which he has authored or co-authored include:

  • "Categorically Different: Unintended Consequences of Trust Taxonomy" (2013) The Worlds of the Trust (Cambridge University Press)
  • "The Power to Audit Is the Power to Destroy: Judicial Supervision of the Exercise of Audit Powers" (with Guy Du Pont), Canadian Tax Journal (2013) 61 supp.
  • "Losing Interest: Financial Alchemy in Islamic, Talmudic & Western Law" (2010) 19:1 Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems 
  • "Adding Epicycles: The Inconsistent Use Test in Adverse Possession Law" (2009) 47 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 497
  • "Cultural Difference and Corporate Governance (2008) 17:1 Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems
  • "Reopening the Langlier-Mignault Debate on Unauthorized Transactions Involving a Minor's Property" (2009) 39 Revue générale de droit
  • "Appealing Outcomes: A Study of the Overturn Rate of Canada's Appellate Courts" (2009) 47 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 139

Michael has also authored or co-authored a number of textbooks on the art of debate, and co-wrote a weekly column in the Daily Yomiuri newspaper on the same topic.

Michael Lubetsky
Michael H. Lubetsky
Bar Admissions:

Ontario, 2012

Québec, 2009


McGill University, M.B.A. (Finance concentration), 2008 (Dean's Medal for Great Distinction)

McGill University, LL.B./B.C.L. (with Great Distinction), 2008 (Elizabeth Torrance Gold Medal)

Princeton University, A.B. (Religion) cum laude, 1993