Michael H. Lubetsky

Partner

Michael H. Lubetsky

Michael H. Lubetsky

Partner

Bar Admissions
  • Ontario, 2012
    Québec, 2009

Michael’s diverse practice focuses on tax litigation. He acts regularly in complex commercial disputes and cases raising novel questions of constitutional and comparative law.

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. He has successfully represented clients at all levels of court across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Michael brings a unique understanding of international business to his clients’ matters. Prior to joining us, he 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 authored articles on a diverse range of legal subjects, some of which have been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal and Québec Courts of Appeal. He has also contributed to a number of textbooks on the art of debate.

Michael H. Lubetsky

Partner

Michael’s diverse practice focuses on tax litigation. He acts regularly in complex commercial disputes and cases raising novel questions of constitutional and comparative law.

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. He has successfully represented clients at all levels of court across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Michael brings a unique understanding of international business to his clients’ matters. Prior to joining us, he 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 authored articles on a diverse range of legal subjects, some of which have been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal and Québec Courts of Appeal. He has also contributed to a number of textbooks on the art of debate.

Mobile Content:

Wärtsilä Canada Inc.

Acted for Wärtsilä Canada Inc., a Finnish based engineering firm, before the Supreme Court of Canada in connection with a product liability litigation which turned on the application of the Civil Code of Québec to a claim governed by Canadian maritime law.

Mobile Content:

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Acted on behalf of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce as an intervenor before the Supreme Court of Canada in an appeal concerning the scope of the right of an employer to cease operations rather than deal with a union that had recently obtained certification of the workplace.

Mobile Content:

Shaw Communications Inc.

Acting for Shaw Communications Inc. in a landmark trial before the Competition Tribunal challenging the company’s $26-billion merger with Rogers Communications Inc.

Mobile Content:

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust Inc.

Acting for Egale Canada, Canada's only national non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of two-spirited, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex rights, as an intervenor in a constitutional challenge to provisions of the Civil Code of Québec that infringe upon rights of trans, non-binary and intersex individuals and their children. In a major victory for human rights, the Superior Court of Quebec declared six provisions unconstitutional. An appeal to the Quebec Court of Appeal was heard in April 2022 and is currently under reserve.

Mobile Content:

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.

Mobile Content:

Skatteforvaltningen (The Tax and Customs Agency of the Kingdom of Denmark)

Acting for the Tax and Customs Agency of the Kingdom of Denmark against three Canadian pension plans to recover tax refunds that were discovered to have been paid out improperly in the context of a worldwide fraudulent tax refund scheme involving over 12.7 billion DKK paid out between 2012 and 2015.

Mobile Content:

Ghermezian Family

Acting for six members of the Ghermezian family before the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court contesting compliance order applications by the Minister of National Revenue.

Mobile Content:

National Money Mart

Acting for National Money Mart in a dispute before the Tax Court of Canada involving whether services rendered with respect to pre-paid credit cards constitute "financial services" under the Excise Tax Act.

Mobile Content:

EDF Renewables Canada Inc.

Acting for EDF Renewables Canada Inc. in a tax appeal before the Tax Court of Canada to determine if three wind-farm facilities in Québec constitute inventory or capital property for tax purposes.

Mobile Content:

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.

Article
Mobile Content:

To Err Is Human: Policy Implications of Collins Family Trust

Dec. 09, 2022 - Perspectives on Tax Law & Policy, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Read the article.

Article
Mobile Content:

The Fractured Jurisdiction of the Courts in Income Tax Disputes

Dec. 06, 2022 - Tax Disputes in Canada: The Path Forward (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Download the article.

Guide
Mobile Content:

Davies Governance Insights – September 2022, contributor

Sept. 06, 2022 - Davies Governance Insights analyzes the top trends and issues most important to Canadian public companies and provides practical guidance for boards to meet these challenges head on. In this edition: Ten Regulatory and Judicial Developments That GCs and Boards Need to...

Bulletin
Mobile Content:

Highlights of Canada’s Latest Legislative Tax Proposals

Aug. 23, 2022 - The Department of Finance recently released a package of materials containing potential changes to the Canadian tax system (Tax Proposals). The materials, released on August 9, 2022, include draft amendments to the Income Tax Act (Tax Act) to implement certain measures from the 2022...

Article
Mobile Content:

Tax Warranty and Tax Indemnification Clauses Applied to Loss Carryforwards

July 17, 2022 - Canadian Tax Journal, Vol. 70, No. 2 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Download this article.

Bulletin
Mobile Content:

Canada's Top Court Decides Against Equitable Rescission in Collins Family Trust

June 21, 2022 - “Equity has no place here,” held the Supreme Court of Canada in its 8-1 decision in Canada (Attorney General) v Collins Family Trust (Collins), 2022 SCC 26, on June 17. Reversing the decisions of the British Columbia courts below, Collins holds that the equitable remedy of rescission –...

Bulletin
Mobile Content:

Top Court Blesses Treaty-Shopping Arrangement: The Alta Energy Decision

Dec. 14, 2021 - The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently rendered its eagerly awaited decision in Canada v Alta Energy Luxembourg S.A.R.L., 2021 SCC 49 (Alta Energy). Six of the nine justices held that the Canadian statutory general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) did not apply to deny treaty...

Article
Mobile Content:

Taxpayer Confidentiality: Misuse and Abuse of Section 241, co-author

Dec. 10, 2021 - Perspectives on Tax Law & Policy, Vol. 2, No.4 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Read the article.

Bulletin
Mobile Content:

Taxpayers Must Pay Interest on Non-Existent Tax Debts

Oct. 26, 2021 - In The Bank of Nova Scotia v The Queen, the Tax Court of Canada (TCC) considered how to calculate arrears interest on an audit adjustment that is offset by a loss carryback. The Court endorsed the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA’s) practice of charging arrears interest on the adjustment...

Mobile Content:

Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business—Tax: Litigation

Mobile Content:

Canadian Tax Foundation—Douglas J. Sherbaniuk Distinguished Writing Award (2020)

Mobile Content:

Lexpert Special Edition: Litigation

Mobile Content:

The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Litigation: Corporate Tax

Mobile Content:

Benchmark Canada Impact Case of the Year Award (2020)—Recipient

Mobile Content:

Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys—Future Star

Bar Admissions
Mobile Content:

Ontario, 2012
Québec, 2009

Education
Mobile Content:

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
Mobile Content:

Canadian Bar Association
Canadian Tax Foundation
Ontario Bar Association

Community Involvement
Mobile Content:

American Contract Bridge League, Bronze Life Master
Canadian Bar Association, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee
Donald GH Bowman National Tax Moot, McGill team coach

Teaching Engagements
Mobile Content:

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

Michael’s diverse practice focuses on tax litigation. He acts regularly in complex commercial disputes and cases raising novel questions of constitutional and comparative law.

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. He has successfully represented clients at all levels of court across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Michael brings a unique understanding of international business to his clients’ matters. Prior to joining us, he 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 authored articles on a diverse range of legal subjects, some of which have been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal and Québec Courts of Appeal. He has also contributed to a number of textbooks on the art of debate.

Wärtsilä Canada Inc.

Acted for Wärtsilä Canada Inc., a Finnish based engineering firm, before the Supreme Court of Canada in connection with a product liability litigation which turned on the application of the Civil Code of Québec to a claim governed by Canadian maritime law.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Acted on behalf of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce as an intervenor before the Supreme Court of Canada in an appeal concerning the scope of the right of an employer to cease operations rather than deal with a union that had recently obtained certification of the workplace.

Shaw Communications Inc.

Acting for Shaw Communications Inc. in a landmark trial before the Competition Tribunal challenging the company’s $26-billion merger with Rogers Communications Inc.

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust Inc.

Acting for Egale Canada, Canada's only national non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of two-spirited, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex rights, as an intervenor in a constitutional challenge to provisions of the Civil Code of Québec that infringe upon rights of trans, non-binary and intersex individuals and their children. In a major victory for human rights, the Superior Court of Quebec declared six provisions unconstitutional. An appeal to the Quebec Court of Appeal was heard in April 2022 and is currently under reserve.

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.

Skatteforvaltningen (The Tax and Customs Agency of the Kingdom of Denmark)

Acting for the Tax and Customs Agency of the Kingdom of Denmark against three Canadian pension plans to recover tax refunds that were discovered to have been paid out improperly in the context of a worldwide fraudulent tax refund scheme involving over 12.7 billion DKK paid out between 2012 and 2015.

Ghermezian Family

Acting for six members of the Ghermezian family before the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court contesting compliance order applications by the Minister of National Revenue.

National Money Mart

Acting for National Money Mart in a dispute before the Tax Court of Canada involving whether services rendered with respect to pre-paid credit cards constitute "financial services" under the Excise Tax Act.

EDF Renewables Canada Inc.

Acting for EDF Renewables Canada Inc. in a tax appeal before the Tax Court of Canada to determine if three wind-farm facilities in Québec constitute inventory or capital property for tax purposes.

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.

Article

To Err Is Human: Policy Implications of Collins Family Trust

Dec. 09, 2022 - Perspectives on Tax Law & Policy, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Read the article.

Article

The Fractured Jurisdiction of the Courts in Income Tax Disputes

Dec. 06, 2022 - Tax Disputes in Canada: The Path Forward (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Download the article.

Guide

Davies Governance Insights – September 2022, contributor

Sept. 06, 2022 - Davies Governance Insights analyzes the top trends and issues most important to Canadian public companies and provides practical guidance for boards to meet these challenges head on. In this edition: Ten Regulatory and Judicial Developments That GCs and Boards Need to...

Bulletin

Highlights of Canada’s Latest Legislative Tax Proposals

Aug. 23, 2022 - The Department of Finance recently released a package of materials containing potential changes to the Canadian tax system (Tax Proposals). The materials, released on August 9, 2022, include draft amendments to the Income Tax Act (Tax Act) to implement certain measures from the 2022...

Article

Tax Warranty and Tax Indemnification Clauses Applied to Loss Carryforwards

July 17, 2022 - Canadian Tax Journal, Vol. 70, No. 2 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Download this article.

Bulletin

Canada's Top Court Decides Against Equitable Rescission in Collins Family Trust

June 21, 2022 - “Equity has no place here,” held the Supreme Court of Canada in its 8-1 decision in Canada (Attorney General) v Collins Family Trust (Collins), 2022 SCC 26, on June 17. Reversing the decisions of the British Columbia courts below, Collins holds that the equitable remedy of rescission –...

Bulletin

Top Court Blesses Treaty-Shopping Arrangement: The Alta Energy Decision

Dec. 14, 2021 - The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently rendered its eagerly awaited decision in Canada v Alta Energy Luxembourg S.A.R.L., 2021 SCC 49 (Alta Energy). Six of the nine justices held that the Canadian statutory general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) did not apply to deny treaty...

Article

Taxpayer Confidentiality: Misuse and Abuse of Section 241, co-author

Dec. 10, 2021 - Perspectives on Tax Law & Policy, Vol. 2, No.4 (Canadian Tax Foundation)
Read the article.

Bulletin

Taxpayers Must Pay Interest on Non-Existent Tax Debts

Oct. 26, 2021 - In The Bank of Nova Scotia v The Queen, the Tax Court of Canada (TCC) considered how to calculate arrears interest on an audit adjustment that is offset by a loss carryback. The Court endorsed the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA’s) practice of charging arrears interest on the adjustment...

Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business—Tax: Litigation

Canadian Tax Foundation—Douglas J. Sherbaniuk Distinguished Writing Award (2020)

Lexpert Special Edition: Litigation

The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Litigation: Corporate Tax

Benchmark Canada Impact Case of the Year Award (2020)—Recipient

Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys—Future Star

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

American Contract Bridge League, Bronze Life Master
Canadian Bar Association, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee
Donald GH Bowman National Tax Moot, McGill team coach

Teaching Engagements

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