Lawyer Profile Detail

Neil Finkelstein






[email protected]



Harvard University
McGill University


Ontario, 1982


Neil Finkelstein is a partner in our Litigation Group in Toronto. Mr. Finkelstein has a national practice, having appeared in major cases in eight of Canada’s ten provinces, and has been lead counsel in numerous leading Canadian competition, constitutional, securities, pension, commercial cases at every level of court up to and including many appeals in the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Finkelstein has been counsel in 28 appeals in the Supreme Court of Canada, 54 appeals in courts of appeal across Canada, and 99 major trials and hearings in courts and senior administrative tribunals across Canada. He has acted as successful counsel in five of the six contested merger cases decided under the Competition Act.

Mr. Finkelstein has done numerous cross-border litigation cases for such clients as Microsoft, Merck, Lyondell, McDonalds, Sothebys and others, both in the class action and general contexts, which cases have involved numerous subject matters including the territorial jurisdiction of the courts.

Of Mr. Finkelstein’s 28 appeals in the Supreme Court of Canada, 16 have been in the area of constitutional law and of those, 8 have been in the area of the federal provincial division of powers pursuant to the Constitution Act, 1867. In the Competition law area, Neil was lead counsel in Southam, Superior Propane, Hillsdown, Labatt, and CP Ships.

Mr. Finkelstein was law clerk to the Right Honourable Bora Laskin, Chief Justice of Canada, in 1980–81, and senior policy advisor to the attorney general of Ontario in 1985-86. He is a life bencher of The Law Society of Upper Canada, a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and an honorary fellow of COMBAR (UK). He became an advocacy advisor to the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute in January 2007.

He has advised both federal and provincial governments on constitutional reform and taught constitutional law courses at Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. As well, Mr. Finkelstein was co-counsel to the Gomery Commission into Sponsorships and Advertising by the Government of Canada in 2004-05. In that capacity, he examined Prime Minister Paul Martin, the first time a sitting prime minister of Canada had been examined at a public inquiry since Sir John A. MacDonald at the Canadian Pacific Railway Commission in 1873.

Recently, Mr. Finkelstein was named by Canadian Lawyer as one of Canada's Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers of 2016, and one of the Top 50 Trial Lawyers in Canada by Benchmark Canada. The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory cites Mr. Finkelstein as one of the most frequently recommended lawyers in the areas of competition law, commercial arbitration, class actions and corporate commercial, directors' and officers' liability, public law and securities litigation. He is also listed in Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers CanadaLexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Competition and Antitrust Lawyers, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook, The Legal 500 - Canada and The Best Lawyers in Canada. He is listed as a leading lawyer in the areas of competition, litigation, and product liability defence in Who's Who Legal: Canada. He was profiled in the Financial Post Business Magazine, July/August 2008, "Special Report - The Best Lawyers in Canada," in administrative and public law, class action litigation, competition/antitrust law, corporate and commercial litigation, securities law and international arbitration.

Mr. Finkelstein has lectured extensively on constitutional law topics and published extensively in the areas of constitutional, administrative and competition law. His publications include Finkelstein, Laskin’s Canadian Constitutional Law (5th edition), Finkelstein and Finkelstein, Constitutional Rights in the Investigative Process and The Laskin Legacy: Essays in Commemoration of Chief Justice Bora Laskin (as co-editor).

Mr. Finkelstein earned his BA degree from McGill University in 1973, and his CA in 1975. He received his LLB from McGill University in 1979, and his LLM from Harvard Law School in 1980. He was called to the Ontario bar in 1982.

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