Michael H. Lubetsky

Partner

Michael H. Lubetsky

Michael H. Lubetsky

Partner

Bar Admissions
  • Ontario, 2012
    Québec, 2009

Michael’s practice focuses on tax litigation, class actions and international arbitration. He has successfully represented clients in contentious matters at various levels of court and in arbitrations in multiple jurisdictions.

Clients in a wide range of sectors, including large and medium-sized corporations, high-net-worth individuals and charities, rely on Michael to present substantial amounts of legal and factual information in a manner that is clear and insightful.

Michael brings a unique understanding of international business to his clients’ matters. Prior to joining us, Michael worked as a researcher with an investment company in Japan and later as an officer in the Canadian Foreign Service, serving in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and China.

He has published a wide range of legal articles on a number of topics, as well as authored or co-authored a number of textbooks on the art of debate.

Michael H. Lubetsky

Partner

Michael’s practice focuses on tax litigation, class actions and international arbitration. He has successfully represented clients in contentious matters at various levels of court and in arbitrations in multiple jurisdictions.

Clients in a wide range of sectors, including large and medium-sized corporations, high-net-worth individuals and charities, rely on Michael to present substantial amounts of legal and factual information in a manner that is clear and insightful.

Michael brings a unique understanding of international business to his clients’ matters. Prior to joining us, Michael worked as a researcher with an investment company in Japan and later as an officer in the Canadian Foreign Service, serving in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and China.

He has published a wide range of legal articles on a number of topics, as well as authored or co-authored a number of textbooks on the art of debate.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

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.

Confidential Client

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.

The Montréal Expos

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).

Mill Road Capital, L.P.

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.

Glen French

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.

Michael Rosenberg

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.

Rogers Communications Inc.

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.

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust Inc.

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.

Carmelo Calabrese

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.

4032799 Canada Inc et al.

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.

B.M. Osborn Investments Inc., Stephen Bronfman, et al.

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.

J.G. Guy Simard et al.

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.

Véolia Transdev

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.

André Drouin

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.

Confidential client

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

Article

Canadian Tax Highlights: Head of Revenu Québec Summoned

Oct. 29, 2015 - On September 17, 2015, the Quebec ombudsman, Raymonde Saint-Germain, tabled in the National Assembly her 2014-15 annual report on Revenu Québec. This article outlines the problems identified in the ombudsman’s report and describes the press release that Québec’s finance minister, Carlos Leitão,...

Article

Canadian Tax Highlights

Oct. 19, 2015 - Litigants must consider cost implications at every stage of litigation. Generally, a cost-benefit analysis is required at theoutset, at different stages in the litigation proceedings, andbefore and during settlement negotiation. In tax litigation, thecost-benefit analysis can be a fairly simple...

In the News

U.S. Court Limits State Tax Powers – Lexpert

Sept. 04, 2015 - Michael Lubetsky is quoted in the September issue of Lexpert regarding the potential Canadian impact of a recent US Supreme Court decision that limits states’ taxation powers.

Article

Canada Closely Watching U.S. Supreme Court Proceedings in Wynne

Jan. 26, 2015 - This article provides a brief overview of the Wynne proceedings and notes that the case has attracted national media coverage in Canada and is being closely watched by Canadian tax practitioners because of the similarities in the two countries’ form of government. Download this article.

Article

Canadian Tax Highlights: Québec Ombudsman Lambastes Revenu Québec

Oct. 31, 2014 - The public protector (or ombudsman) is appointed by the Québec National Assembly with the mandate to “intervene . . . whenever [s]he has reasonable cause to believe that a person or group of persons has suffered or may very likely suffer prejudice as the result of an act or omission of a public...

Article

Categorically Different: Unintended Consequences of Trust Taxonomy

Sept. 09, 2013 - Your client, in Québec, wants to create a trust which will be used exclusively for the education of his descendants. He asks how long such a trust can legally last. Answering this question requires determination of the trust category under the Civil Code of Québec (C.C.Q.). If the trust is...

Article

« Qui est ton parent? » : les implications de Droit de la famille – 111729

Sept. 11, 2012 - Available in French only. Le 1er mars 2012, la Cour suprême du Canada (« CsC ») refusa d’autoriser le pourvoi de Mlle « L » à l’encontre d’un arrêt de la Cour d’appel du Québec (« CaQ »), Droit de la famille – 111729 (« DF – 111729 »), aux termes duquel un homme qui avait contribué son matériel...

Article

Unanswered Question: Judicial Recourse

Jan. 30, 2012 - The recent FCA decision in Daishowa (2011 FCA 267) held that the value of the reforestation liability assumed by the purchasers of a timber resource property formed part of the seller’s proceeds of disposition. The court, however, failed to address one of the questions that it had posed for itself:...

Bar Admissions

Ontario, 2012
Québec, 2009

Education

McGill University, MBA (Finance Concentration) (Dean’s Medal for Great Distinction), 2008
McGill University, LLB/BCL (with Great Distinction, Elizabeth Torrance Gold Medal), 2008
Princeton University, AB (Religion) (Cum Laude), 1993

Professional Affiliations

Canadian Bar Association
Canadian Tax Foundation
Ontario Bar Association

Community Involvement

Canadian Bar Association, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee

Teaching Engagements

Michael has taught advanced commercial law (legal writing in English) and the Introduction to Western Legal Systems course at Université de Montréal.