Parna Sabet-Stephenson is a partner in Gowling WLG specializing in all aspects of outsourcing, technology law and e-commerce. She also advises on the legal implications of emerging technologies including blockchain and the IoT. She co-leads the firm’s Fintech and InsurTech groups

Parna has assisted domestic and international companies in a variety of industries and has acted for both private sector and public sector clients. She is recognized as a leading lawyer in a number of national and international rankings including Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers Canada, Lexpert and the Best Lawyers in Canada.

Fluent in French and Farsi, Parna is an Executive of the Canadian Technology Law Association. Passionate about her community, she serves on the Board of Myseum of Toronto and Yara Leadership Society.

Don is Co-chair of the Technology Law Group, Co-chair of the Privacy & Data Security Group, and a member of the Corporate/Commercial, Intellectual Property and Energy Groups.

Don has diverse experience in technology of all kinds, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, procurement, privacy/data protection and health law, even new technologies like blockchain and autonomous vehicles. He regularly provides strategic advice to clients on licensing transactions, financing and development projects, negotiating and settling agreements, and distribution arrangements.

Mark Hines leads the digital legal team at Royal Bank of Canada, and supports digital and emerging technology projects across RBC. His areas of expertise include digital contracting and disclosure, consumer protection, artificial intelligence and crypto/DLT. Before joining RBC, Mark was Toronto Co-Lead of Technology Litigation at Gowling WLG, and was a member of the firm’s blockchain practice group.

Salim leverages his computer engineering, intellectual property (IP) and in-house counsel experience to deliver practical legal advice to companies in emerging industries that are looking to commercialize their technology. He helps companies plan for product launches, secure rights with suppliers and vendors, and form relationships with strategic partners and customers.

Having worked as in-house legal counsel for a global cloud services business, Salim understands how technology companies commercialize their products and services including how internal stakeholder groups such as product managers, engineering operations, customer service, billing operations and other teams work together to implement a companies’ go-to-market strategies.

Salim prepares and negotiates a variety of commercial technology and intellectual property related agreements including services agreements, distribution and reseller agreements, and software license agreements involving vendors (including ISVs), suppliers (including SaaS and software development service providers) and customers ranging from SMBs, resellers, MSPs, telecommunication companies and enterprises. Salim’s commercial technology practice is informed by his experience working on mergers and acquisitions, leading litigation and alternative dispute resolution, and responding to law enforcement data requests. He also draws on his engineering and IP experience to provide IP advisory services to product and engineering teams for the strategic development, registration, maintenance, acquisition and licensing of patents, trademarks and copyrights.

In addition to providing substantive legal services, one of Salim’s primary objectives at Osler is to transform and modernize the way the Osler Technology Group delivers legal services to Canada’s leading emerging and high growth technology companies by developing new systems, processes and cutting edge precedents to best leverage technology and resources.

Tony Sabeta is a Partner of Aird & McBurney LP, Patent & Trademark Agents, sister firm to Aird & Berlis LLP, and is a registered Patent Agent in Canada and the United States. He is also a Director of Aird & Berlis’ Startups Group.

Tony represents clients in a variety of high-technology industries, and has prepared, prosecuted, and secured patents in the computer and electrical areas such as software, hardware, video and audio encoding, network data storage, network security and monitoring, wireless networking devices, mobile telecommunications, RFID systems, depth sensing technologies, robotics, aerospace systems and components, sensor/actuator systems, distributed data processing, neural networks, machine learning, financial services, virtual/augmented reality, blockchain technologies, and medical devices.

He has hands-on experience in the areas of wireless communications systems, digital electronics, programming, including the development of traffic management solutions for mobile data networks. Tony has held positions at some of Canada’s prominent law firms and IP boutique firms. He also worked in the legal department of a global telecommunications company, where he developed and managed an extensive patent portfolio covering wireless networks, IP switching platforms, unified communications, mobility and security applications.

Tony uses his expertise to help early-stage companies, small and medium-sized enterprises and universities protect their innovations, as well as develop, maintain and exploit their patent portfolios. He provides clear and concise guidance for navigating the complex intellectual property landscape. When working with clients, his primary focus is on developing and implementing intellectual property strategies with an eye towards nurturing the client’s growth and long-term success, including increasing their valuation. He is an active member of the firm’s startup group which works with early-stage companies to educate, and advise them on intellectual property matters, and supports the Canadian startup community through free educational resources, seminars, speaking engagements, and sponsorships.

He also advises clients on other intellectual property matters, including patent portfolio acquisition and management, patent portfolio licenses, joint development agreements, freedom-to-operate opinions, patentability opinions, infringement opinions, validity opinions, including litigation support. In addition, Tony conducts IP due diligence for companies involved in early/late stage financing rounds, mergers, acquisitions, and public offerings, as well as for VC investors involved in such transactions.
Location:Toronto, Ontario, Canada

You should not be fooled by Matt’s Clark Kent-like demeanor and likeable smile. When it comes to drafting patents (though he would never admit it), Matt has an “S” on his chest. He is the head of the Patent and Industrial Design Practice Group at Gilbert’s LLP, and has been building the IP portfolios of his clients for over 14 years. Under Matt’s leadership, Gilbert’s LLP has held the Recommended Firm rating for patent prosecution in the Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine’s IAM Patent 1000 since 2014.

Since 2016 Matt has been named to the prestigious IAM Strategy 300 – The World’s Leading IP Strategists, a unique listing that identifies the individuals leading the way in the development and implementation of intellectual property strategies.

Matt works well with inventors because he is a patented inventor himself. Originally trained as an electrical and computer engineer, Matt worked in high-tech as a software developer patenting technology that was pivotal to his employer’s valuation during its acquisition. Matt now applies his incredible attention to detail and thoughtfulness to growing the patent portfolios of his clients in numerous software, computer, electrical, mechanical, and manufacturing technology fields.

We are not the only people to notice Matt’s exceptional skills. The Canadian Commissioner of Patents appointed Matt to the Patent Agent Examination Board for a three-year term to develop the drafting paper for the annual patent agent qualifying exams. He is also regularly asked to lecture, tutor or write about patenting by the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI), the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC), the Ontario Bar Association (OBA), OCAD University, Sheridan College, the MaRS Discovery District, and a number of others. Matt has personally a Recommended Individual ranking in the IAM Patent 1000 since 2014.

Outside of the office, not content with just inventing and patenting his own creations, Matt also writes and performs jazz, choral and pop music. If you are lucky, you might even catch him jamming on the piano.

Paul Horbal is a partner with Bereskin & Parr LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Electrical & Computer Technology group and is Chair of the Financial Technology group. His practice focuses on patent, industrial design and technology law, with an emphasis on securing and leveraging intellectual property rights for high-tech and Fintech clients.

He advises clients of various sizes, but particularly enjoys working with startups and high-tech entrepreneurs. In addition to his work preparing and prosecuting patents, Paul advises clients regarding their intellectual property licensing needs.

He has prepared and filed patent applications relating to block chain technology, payment processing, telecommunications systems, integrated circuits, digital signal processing, biomedical and biomonitoring devices, power systems and power electronics, computer networks, computer software, along with many other technologies.

Paul is former Chair of the Toronto Intellectual Property Group, Vice-President of the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association of Toronto, and a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA).

Paul has been a faculty member for the Osgoode Certificate in Blockchains, Smart Contracts and the Law (2018/2019), an educational course developed for lawyers, business leaders, managers and influencers with an interest in blockchain technology.

He speaks and writes regularly regarding intellectual property and is an active @horbal.

Kristin is a member of the Privacy & Data Management group and advises clients on a broad range of privacy, cybersecurity, and information management matters. She has extensive experience working with corporate clients that have suffered data breaches or have been accused of privacy violations.

Prior to joining Osler, Kristin practised for many years in Toronto and Boston as a litigator, focusing on technology-related disputes and e-discovery issues. She has represented public and private organizations in litigation, arbitration, and government investigations relating to data security breaches, software failure, securities fraud, and pharmaceutical compliance.

As a member of the adjunct faculty of Osgoode Hall Law School, Kristin teaches an upper-year seminar on contract remedies. She also speaks regularly at conferences across Canada and the U.S. on cross-border and cybersecurity issues.

Kristin began her legal career in Toronto, clerking for Justices Doherty, MacPherson, Juriansz and LaForme of the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

Peter Block is a Partner in Longview’s Toronto office. Throughout his career as a consultant, Peter has supported organizations during periods of major change, including M&A, proxy contests, divestitures, leadership change and other major transformation initiatives. He also led communications for Maple Leaf Foods, supporting its business operations and strengthening its reputation amongst all key stakeholders, including its employees, shareholders, customers and consumers. Prior to joining Maple Leaf, Peter spent 14 years with a leading national Canadian public relations agency, including 4 years heading that firm’s financial communications practice.

Peter has worked across a number of sectors, including food, energy, mining, healthcare and financial services. The native Albertan spent three years of his consulting career in Calgary, working for a number of small and large cap companies in the oil sands and energy services industries.

Peter is a graduate of the University of Alberta and is a past president of CIRI Ontario. He has participated in a number of industry panel discussions and is the author of several articles.

Addison Cameron-Huff is a blockchain lawyer. Since 2014 he’s been working for Canadian and international cryptocurrency pioneers including the founding team of Ethereum, and dozens of companies creating the future of value transfer. His professional site is

Steve is a skilled advocate with more than 25 years’ experience. He has represented individual and corporate clients before all levels of trial and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and before various regulatory bodies, including the Ontario Securities Commission. His reputation as a leading Canadian litigator has led to numerous accolades by several international and national guides to the legal profession.

Steve is a member of the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group. His practice focuses on class action, securities, M&A, corporate, commercial, oppression and privacy related litigation. He has defended over a dozen securities and consumer related class actions.

Steve's experience also includes representing clients within the context of investigations by securities and law enforcement agencies. He has further undertaken internal investigations on behalf of clients.

Steve also advises clients on matters of corporate governance and privacy law.

Anaar Dhanji is a dual qualified lawyer having been admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of England and Wales and called to the Ontario Bar. She is the Director of Technology and Operations Communications with BMO Financial Group, responsible for the communications strategy, advice, planning and dissemination, for the Technology and Operations portfolio and its leadership team. Anaar has held a number of progressive roles at BMO having been Director of Strategy Integration with the North American Retail Payments Group and Director of the Contract Negotiators and Advisory Group with the Procurement team. Previously, Anaar was Senior Counsel with BMO’s Technology Law Group for 11 years where her practice focused on a broad range of technology, outsourcing and procurement contracting matters. Notably, Anaar established BMO’s Cloud Governance Group.

Prior to joining BMO, Anaar was in-house counsel at General Motors. She previously practiced corporate/commercial law at the London UK offices of the US firm, Duane Morris LLP. before moving to Canada.

Anaar serves as a Director on the Board of Health for All, Family Health Practitioners and is the Chair of the Ontario Legal Professionals Alliance. She was President of the Canadian Technology Law Association in 2017, having previously served as Treasurer. Anaar is frequently asked to speak on cloud computing and technology contracting. She was the recipient of the BMO Best of the Best Award.

Jonathan is Corporate Counsel at Microsoft Canada. He is responsible for advising business and sales teams on cloud computing transactions with large enterprise and public sector customers. Working with engineering, regulatory affairs, sales organizations, Jonathan regularly advises on privacy, data protection, cross-border data transfer, regulatory compliance and cybersecurity matters. Jonathan has a specific focus working with financial institutions to enable cloud technology adoption within their organization in a heavily regulated environment.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Jonathan practiced as a corporate lawyer at a regional law firm in downtown Toronto focusing on M&A and Corporate Finance. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Leadership Sinai, a philanthropic arm of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Jonathan received his Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management and J.D. from the University of Western Ontario.

Anita Joshi is a senior technology lawyer BMO’s Legal and Regulatory and Compliance Group. She has more than 15 years of experience negotiating commercial, technology and outsourcing contracts in regulated industries.

Andrea Fisher is a Senior Claim Specialist, Financial Lines, at Chubb Insurance Company of Canada. Andrea has been at Chubb for four years and handles primarily complex Cyber, D&O, EPL, and E&O claims. She has a Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration, from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.

Nick is Senior Counsel at Bell Canada where he supports the business markets team with the full suite of services it provides to its enterprise customers (including Bell’s colocation, cloud, private cloud and managed service offerings). Prior to joining Bell, Nick was General Counsel at Q9 Networks - Canada’s premier and largest data centre provider that was acquired by Bell Canada in a $1.1billion deal.

Lori is a Partner in the Investment Funds and Asset Management Group, where she advises portfolio managers, dealers, investment fund managers, institutional investors and fintech businesses on Canadian securities regulatory matters. Lori assists clients to obtain regulatory approval for innovative business strategies though applications for registration and exemptive relief, and also advises on day-to-day compliance issues, regulatory audits and investment management transactions. In addition to servicing Canadian registered firms, Lori works with global dealers and advisers in respect of their Canadian initiatives. Prior to rejoining Osler in November 2014, Lori spent four years as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer to a Canadian hedge fund manager and served as Legal Counsel to the Canadian offices of two global hedge fund managers. Lori began her career at Osler, where she articled and worked for five years in the Corporate Group with a focus on securities, investment funds and asset management.

Shahrzad Esmaili is a partner in Gowling WLG's Toronto office working in the Intellectual Property (IP) Group.

A registered patent agent in both Canada and the United States, Shahrzad has over 13 years of experience in patent prosecution and drafting, with an emphasis on patent and design applications relating to business methods, electrical and computer inventions, biomedical devices, mechanical devices, and consumer products. She also has significant experience in drafting freedom-to-operate, infringement and validity opinions for clients in view of potential litigation issues.

Shahrzad is regularly involved in educating start-up clients in the Toronto and Waterloo Region on developing their IP portfolios. Her strong technical background and skill-set in computer and electrical engineering is a particular asset to her high-tech clients operating in these areas.

Shahrzad's clients value her responsiveness, attention to detail and interest in strategizing to achieve optimal patent protection that is in line with their business needs.

Prior to entering the patent field, her professional experience included developing optical network solutions for clients of a large telecommunications firm.

Shahrzad has both a master of engineering (computer networks) and a master of applied science (electrical engineering) from Ryerson University. During her graduate studies, she was awarded various academic honours, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postgraduate Scholarship and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for high academic standing.
Kareem is a Partner in the Toronto office of the Advisory, Risk Consulting practice. Kareem brings over 16 years of professional services experience, and focuses in the areas of internal audit, IT governance, internal controls and risk management services. Kareem is a graduate of Concordia University, John Molson School of Business with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, majoring in Management Information Systems.

Kareem is leading many IT advisory and internal audit services in Toronto. In this role, Kareem’s services to clients included assistance with developing and executing their IT internal Audit plans including emerging IT risk areas such as RPA Assurance, Blockchain Assurance, Crisis Management, Cyber Security maturity and risk assessments, Mobile Governance/ Security, Data Governance/ management, Cloud Governance, Software Asset Management and others. Kareem’s other services to our clients included assistance with developing and executing their CEO/CFO certification and SOX programs, scoping and delivering on third party reporting requirements.

Kareem has worked with many organizations, across various industries, bringing them relevant various insights and leading practices not just from Canada but around the world, and shared IT internal audit hot topics and how organizations are addressing them.

Kareem is a frequent speaker at various conferences and delivered presentations on the topics of Cyber Security, IT Emerging Risks, Role of Internal Audit in Cyber Security and Disruptive Technologies.

James Kosa is a Partner at WeirFoulds with a practice focused on information technology and intellectual property law.

James offers his clients a wealth of knowledge and experience from across the spectrum of technology issues, including the protection and exploitation of computer and software technology, IT and IP licensing, privacy, security breaches and dispute resolution. James’ depth of experience means that he is able to offer his clients clear, practical and well-rounded advice by cutting through the technical jargon. He takes the complexity of technology law and turns it into practical knowledge and advice that his clients can easily understand.

James acts as technology counsel to technology companies in a wide variety of high technology fields, including telecommunications, cloud computing and artificial intelligence companies, software development companies (traditional and agile), hosting service providers and infrastructure as a service providers. He also represents consumers of technologies with procurement and negotiation of technology services, including financial institutions, governments and government agencies, and profit and non-profit companies in traditional fields with technology needs. James has assisted in negotiating outsourcings, wide area networks implementations, major data transport arrangements, and platform and content arrangements for television, satellite and mobile platforms.

He is also the President of the Canadian Technology Law Association and the Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section.

James is recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory as a leading lawyer in Computer & IT Law, and in Best Lawyers® in Canada as a leading lawyer in Information Technology Law and Intellectual Property Law.

Based in Marsh’s Toronto office as a placement specialist, Jonathan’s responsibilities include advising clients on issues related to cyber risk, developing client-specific product solutions and educational resources, contributing to conferences and industry-specific events, and negotiating with insurers.

In conjunction with his team, Jonathan is also charged with assisting Marsh offices and colleagues across the country and in all industry segments with their cyber needs.

Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer and Chief Privacy Officer of Coinsquare, Canada`s premier digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.

During her 20 year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks,where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs. Charlene has also worked at several 'Big 4' accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations.

She currently teaches courses on AML/ATF Compliance and cryptocurrency at the graduate level with University of Toronto and York University, and is a frequent speaker on the subject within the Toronto cryptocurrency community. She appeared as a speaker at Toronto's 19th annual Ideacity Conference, and as a panelist at Untraceable's Blockchain Futurist Conference, among many others. Charlene also sits on the Advisory Board of Canada's National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association (NCFA), and has recently been asked to join the Program Advisory Council (PAC) for Ryerson University The Chang School's blockchain program. She holds a Master’s degree in Criminology from the University of Toronto, is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), and was an original founder of the Toronto ACAMS Chapter.

As Manager – Legal Affairs (Procurement, IT, and IP) for Intact Financial Corporation, Mr. Cates leads Intact’s in-house legal team responsible all procurement, IT, patent, trademark and copyright matters. Prior to joining Intact in 2019, Mr. Cates had many roles during his 20 year tenure with BCE Inc/Bell Canada including serving as BCE Inc’s Assistant General Counsel – Procurement & Patents (from 2014-2018). Mr. Cates has published articles in multiple journals with respect to intellectual property matters and has given numerous presentations in respect of IT, patent and procurement strategy. Mr. Cates is a Six-Sigma “Black Belt” and obtained his LLB (1999) and LLM (2003) from Osgoode Hall Law School. Mr. Cates was called to the Ontario Bar in 2001.

David provides practical, business-oriented advice to clients who are implementing digital transformation projects, maintaining their regular day-to-day IT operations, or negotiating other technology-related contracts.David specializes in commercial agreements involving information technology (IT), outsourcing, cloud computing, software licensing, system implementations, mobile apps, cybersecurity and data sharing. He also handles all technology aspects of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), including post-closing transitional services arrangements.

Representative IT/commercial experience includes advising:
  • Financial institutions on their digital transformation projects in collaboration with FinTechs and InsurTechs
  • Energy producers and distributors on the outsourcing of their corporate-wide information technology and cybersecurity services
  • Technology providers on their customer agreements for software, technology services, cloud solutions, cybersecurity solutions, or system implementations
  • Polymath on the establishment and launch of their Security Token Standard on the Ethereum blockchain
  • Various other clients in a range of industries who are leveraging ‘big data’, mobile apps, blockchain, and other innovative technologies in order to increase customer engagement and capitalize on new business opportunities
Representative M&A experience includes providing technology and transitional services-related advice to:
  • Kinder Morgan Canada on its proposed C$4.5-billion sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and expansion project to the Government of Canada
  • Suncor Energy Inc. on the $1.13-billion sale of its Petro-Canada lubricants division to HollyFrontier Corporation
  • The Bank of Nova Scotia on the sale of the business and assets of Roynat Lease Finance, a division of its subsidiary Roynat Inc., to Meridian Credit Union Limited
  • Standard Life on the C$4-billion sale of its Canadian insurance business to Manulife
  • Transamerica/AEGON on the C$600-million sale of its Canadian insurance business to Wilton Re/CPPIB
  • Ericsson Canada on its acquisitions of Telcocell and ConceptWave Software
  • Audax Private Equity on its acquisition of the physiotherapy, rehabilitation and medical assessments businesses of Centric Health Corporation
  • Just Eat plc on its acquisition of SkipTheDishes Inc., one of Canada's largest online food delivery marketplaces
  • Meltwater on the acquisition of the Infomart media monitoring business from Postmedia Inc.

North is a venture-funded scale-up company. It developed and launched Focals, the first all-day everyday smartglasses that look like glasses. Among North’s biggest investors are Intel, Amazon and Fidelity. North was also behind the Myo armband.

Jacob Glick is the General Counsel of North Inc. (formerly Thalmic Labs), a scale up company based in Kitchener-Waterloo, developing and manufacturing the next generation of computers in the form of smartglasses. He is also a senior executive fellow at CIGI and a global leader on complex issues at the intersection of technology, public policy and law. Previously he served as the Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Rogers Communications Inc., reporting directly to the CEO.

Jacob joined Rogers from Google Inc., where he was the Head of the Central Public Policy and Government Relations team, based at Google’s headquarters in California. Prior to that, he founded and led Google Canada’s Public Policy and Government Relations team.

He also served as General Counsel, Director of Policy Development and Corporate Secretary at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) and was a litigator with McCarthy Tétrault LLP. In 2017-2018 he was a distinguished visiting executive fellow at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, Centre for Law, Technology and Society.

Jacob holds a bachelor of arts with high distinction and a bachelor of laws, both from the University of Toronto.

Usman Sheikh is a partner in Gowling WLG's Toronto office. Named in 2018 as one of the "Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers" by Canadian Lawyer and one of the top three fintech lawyers in Canada by Chambers, he serves as the national head of the firm's Blockchain & Smart Contracts Group, as well as the national litigation lead of the firm's Securities, Compliance & Investigations Group.

As leader of the firm's Blockchain & Smart Contracts Group, Usman oversees a diverse team comprising more than 80 practitioners. Among the group's many accomplishments is the listing of the very first blockchain company in the world.

Usman's practice focuses on complex corporate/commercial litigation, with an emphasis on securities litigation, cryptocurrency litigation (Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies), professional liability claims and class proceedings. He also provides legal advice on blockchain advisory mandates, including cutting-edge token sales, cryptocurrency exchanges and others. His clients include Canada's largest banks, the co-founders of Ethereum, nine of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world, as well as several blockchain pioneers.

A highly sought-after thought leader on blockchain and distributed ledger technology, Usman has briefed the offices of several prime ministers, as well as ministers, on blockchain's disruptive power, and is regularly invited to speak to business leaders and at global blockchain conferences throughout the world. He has lectured at the International Monetary Fund and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, co-lectured with the heads of blockchain for Nasdaq and the TMX, and has also presented to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, the Law Society of Ontario, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, and several other regulatory organizations.

In 2019, Usman is set to publish The Law of Blockchain Technology (Thomson Reuters).

In addition to blockchain, Usman's litigation expertise includes:

  • Securities enforcement proceedings
  • Shareholder activism
  • Corporate governance issues
  • Corporate transaction and M&A disputes
  • Cross-border litigation
  • Corruption claims
  • Compliance matters
  • Securities class actions
  • Accounting & auditing matters
  • Crisis management & internal investigations
  • Market conduct/trading disputes
  • White collar defence (criminal & quasi-criminal)
  • Shareholder disputes & oppression remedy claims

Usman has served as counsel on several precedent-setting securities and commercial cases in Canada, including cases before the Supreme Court of Canada. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia, as well as before a wide variety of administrative tribunals, including the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and IIROC.

Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Usman spent four years as a prosecutor in the OSC's Enforcement Branch, including within the specialist Insider Trading/Market Manipulation Unit. In this role, he investigated and prosecuted all forms of securities law violations, including the largest criminal case of insider trading in Canadian history, as well as a recent regulatory case of insider trading for which the highest sanctions in Canada were ordered.

Usman was appointed as the inaugural co-chair of the American Bar Association's Securities Litigation Sub-Committee for Canada. In April 2016, the ABA Section of Litigation honoured Usman with the 2016 Outstanding Subcommittee Chair Award, making him first ever Canadian recipient of this award. He formerly served as co-chair of The Advocates' Society's Securities Litigation Practice Group, one of the largest collectives of securities litigators in Canada.

Author of over 25 legal and academic publications, he is a frequent lecturer at the C.D. Howe Institute, the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law and Rotman School of Management, Osgoode Hall Law School, the Ted Rogers School of Business Management at Ryerson University and the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. In addition, he is a regular speaker at various continuing legal education seminars and conferences. In 2019, Usman will also be serving as an Adjunct Professor with the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

In 2016, Usman was recognized by Benchmark Canada's Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a "Future Star" in litigation. More recently, in 2018, he was distinguished in the 2018 edition of Benchmark Litigation's "Under 40 Hot List" and the 2018 Acritas Stars rankings. That same year, he also received the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) Legal Excellence Award, which recognizes South Asian lawyers who have achieved excellence in their areas of practice and exceptionally contributed to the legal profession. In 2018, he was recognized as one of the "Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers" by Canadian Lawyer and also identified in Chambers FinTech 2018 as one of top three fintech lawyers in Canada.

Usman has completed the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) and the Trader Training Course (TTC).

Community involvement:
Usman currently serves as a member of the Ontario Securities Commission Securities Proceedings Advisory Committee (SPAC).Usman currently serves as the national president of the Canadian Friends of the LSE (CFLSE), the national alumni association for the London School of Economics and Political Science in Canada. He also co-founded the Ontario Securities Commission Litigation Assistance Program (LAP), a pro bono program - the first of its kind in North America - that provides free legal advice to unrepresented respondents appearing in OSC enforcement proceedings. Usman has also served as a director of several non-profit organizations, including the London Goodenough Association of Canada (LGAC).