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, turn to 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, turn to 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.

Wärtsilä Canada Inc.

Acting for Wärtsilä Canada Inc., a Finnish based engineering firm, before the Supreme Court of Canada in connection with a product liability litigation arising out of the manufacture and supply of marine engines and associated equipment.

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.

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).

George Markou et al.

Acting for George Markou and a group of over 250 taxpayers before the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal in a matter relating to charitable donations made between 2001 and 2003 to the John McKellar Charitable Foundation, for which donation tax credits have been denied by the Canada Revenue Agency. The case has generated a number of derivative and interlocutory actions before the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

Successfully acted for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation in a judicial review application concerning the selection process for an operator of the Niagara gaming bundle. This litigation arose out of the Ontario Provincial Government's modernization of gaming in Ontario. The City of Niagara and Region of Niagara had alleged that they had been given insufficient input and/or control over the selection process.

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. The decision of Justice Perell granting summary judgment in favour of the LCBO was affirmed by the Ontario Court of Appeal in April 2019.

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") in an application for judicial review in regards to a demand letter sent by the Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA") pursuant to section 231.1 of the Income Tax Act. The application sought the enforcement of a settlement agreement entered into with the CRA at the conclusion of an extensive audit. The CRA argued that the settlement agreement should be repudiated as no agreement could bar the Minister of National Revenue ("Minister") from conducting another audit of previously audited taxation years. In quashing the demand letter, the FCC found that the settlement agreement was binding on the Minister and required the CRA to comply with the terms therein.

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.

Confidential Client

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.

Article

Income Tax Disputes Involving Loss Years: Pitfalls, Foibles, and Possible Reforms

Oct. 08, 2019 - Canadian Tax Journal, Vol. 67, No. 3 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Download this article.

Article

Stewart: CRA Audit Project Gone Awry, co-author

Apr. 01, 2019 - Canadian Tax Highlights, Vol. 27, No. 4
Download this article.

Article

SCC on Suing Tax Advisers

Jan. 18, 2019 - Canadian Tax Highlights, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Download this article.

Guide

Charity in Common Law and Civilian Traditions

Dec. 28, 2018 - Research Handbook on Not-For-Profit Law (Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing)
Purchase a copy of Research Handbook on Not-For-Profit Law.

Article

Now It’s “Excluded Property”, Now It’s Not, co-author

Dec. 01, 2018 - International Tax Newsletter, No. 103 (Wolters Kluwer)
Download this article.

Article

T1135 Penalty Relief

June 01, 2018 - Canadian Tax Highlights, Vol. 26, No. 6 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Download this article.

Article

$1.7 Million Civil Damage Award Against the CRA

Apr. 01, 2018 - In this article first published by the Canadian Tax Foundation in (2018) 26:4 Canadian Tax Highlights, Davies partner Michael Lubetsky discusses the implications of the B.C. Supreme Court’s groundbreaking decision to award a family $1.7 million against the CRA for malicious prosecution....

Article

Canadian Tax Highlights: Head of Revenu Québec Summoned

Oct. 29, 2015 - On September 17, 2015, the Québec 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,...

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.

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, turn to 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.

Wärtsilä Canada Inc.

Acting for Wärtsilä Canada Inc., a Finnish based engineering firm, before the Supreme Court of Canada in connection with a product liability litigation arising out of the manufacture and supply of marine engines and associated equipment.

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.

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).

George Markou et al.

Acting for George Markou and a group of over 250 taxpayers before the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal in a matter relating to charitable donations made between 2001 and 2003 to the John McKellar Charitable Foundation, for which donation tax credits have been denied by the Canada Revenue Agency. The case has generated a number of derivative and interlocutory actions before the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

Successfully acted for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation in a judicial review application concerning the selection process for an operator of the Niagara gaming bundle. This litigation arose out of the Ontario Provincial Government's modernization of gaming in Ontario. The City of Niagara and Region of Niagara had alleged that they had been given insufficient input and/or control over the selection process.

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. The decision of Justice Perell granting summary judgment in favour of the LCBO was affirmed by the Ontario Court of Appeal in April 2019.

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") in an application for judicial review in regards to a demand letter sent by the Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA") pursuant to section 231.1 of the Income Tax Act. The application sought the enforcement of a settlement agreement entered into with the CRA at the conclusion of an extensive audit. The CRA argued that the settlement agreement should be repudiated as no agreement could bar the Minister of National Revenue ("Minister") from conducting another audit of previously audited taxation years. In quashing the demand letter, the FCC found that the settlement agreement was binding on the Minister and required the CRA to comply with the terms therein.

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.

Confidential Client

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.

Article

Income Tax Disputes Involving Loss Years: Pitfalls, Foibles, and Possible Reforms

Oct. 08, 2019 - Canadian Tax Journal, Vol. 67, No. 3 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Download this article.

Article

Stewart: CRA Audit Project Gone Awry, co-author

Apr. 01, 2019 - Canadian Tax Highlights, Vol. 27, No. 4
Download this article.

Article

SCC on Suing Tax Advisers

Jan. 18, 2019 - Canadian Tax Highlights, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Download this article.

Guide

Charity in Common Law and Civilian Traditions

Dec. 28, 2018 - Research Handbook on Not-For-Profit Law (Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing)
Purchase a copy of Research Handbook on Not-For-Profit Law.

Article

Now It’s “Excluded Property”, Now It’s Not, co-author

Dec. 01, 2018 - International Tax Newsletter, No. 103 (Wolters Kluwer)
Download this article.

Article

T1135 Penalty Relief

June 01, 2018 - Canadian Tax Highlights, Vol. 26, No. 6 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Download this article.

Article

$1.7 Million Civil Damage Award Against the CRA

Apr. 01, 2018 - In this article first published by the Canadian Tax Foundation in (2018) 26:4 Canadian Tax Highlights, Davies partner Michael Lubetsky discusses the implications of the B.C. Supreme Court’s groundbreaking decision to award a family $1.7 million against the CRA for malicious prosecution....

Article

Canadian Tax Highlights: Head of Revenu Québec Summoned

Oct. 29, 2015 - On September 17, 2015, the Québec 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,...

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.