A skilled advocate and trusted advisor, Adam helps clients achieve their objectives in complex disputes.
Adam Goldenberg is an associate in McCarthy Tétrault’s Litigation Group and its National Appellate Litigation Group, based in Toronto. His practice focuses on commercial disputes, public law, and appeals. He has been lead or co-counsel in 16 appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as at all levels of court in Ontario and in the Federal Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal of Alberta.
With experience in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, Adam provides strategic counsel in high-stakes disputes and regulatory controversies, as well as on emerging public policy issues. He has expertise in emergency law and, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has counseled myriad organizations across Canada on issues related to emergency response. He is the co-author of Emergency Law in Canada: Commentary & Legislation and the host of McCarthy Tétrault’s award-winning podcast, Law in the Time of COVID-19.
Adam also advises organizations and individuals on their legal obligations in the political sector, including ethical compliance, conflicts of interest, election finance, political advertising, and lobbying law. He worked with the federal Department of Justice on the modernization of its approach to legal risk management, and led McCarthy Tétrault’s partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to develop the Canadian business community’s position on the regulation of AI.
Early in his legal career, Adam was a law clerk to Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin at the Supreme Court of Canada, and to Justices James MacPherson, Janet Simmons, and Eleanore Cronk of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He previously served as chief speechwriter to the Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Canada, and as a senior advisor to a Cabinet minister in the Government of Ontario. Adam has taught appellate practice and procedure as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Toronto, and has lectured at law schools across Canada on constitutional and administrative law.
In his appellate practice, Adam has been counsel in leading cases on class actions, defamation, international arbitration, wrongful termination, privacy, judicial independence, freedom of expression, equality rights, public interest immunity, police powers, military justice, constitutional remedies, and administrative law. He has acted pro bono in significant litigation for a number of public interest organizations, among them Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Constitution Foundation, and the Canadian Mental Health Association (Ontario Division).
Adam’s scholarship and commentary have appeared in the Supreme Court Law Review, the Yale Journal of International Law, and the Michigan State International Law Review, as well as in the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Slate, Maclean’s, and Policy Options. He is the co-founder and a director of Teach For Canada, a non-profit organization that works with northern First Nations communities to recruit, prepare, and support teachers. He was selected to be an Action Canada Fellow in 2010 and is a member (and former Chair) of Action Canada’s Board of Directors. He was named a “Leader To Be Proud Of” by Start Proud, a national LGBTQ+ organization, in 2014, and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada in 2017.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Adam received his law degree from Yale, where he was a Kirby Simon Human Rights Fellow. He holds an undergraduate degree with high honours from Harvard, where he was a John Harvard Scholar and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honour society.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
- “Automation Not Domination: AI and Inclusion” (June 2019), published by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (with Michael Scherman)
- “Automation Not Domination: Legal and Regulatory Frameworks for AI” (June 2019), published by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (with Michael Scherman)
- “Automation Not Domination: AI and the Workforce” (June 2019), published by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (with Michael Scherman)
- “Religious Freedom: Taking Stock of the State of Constitutional Protections in Canada & the United States” (January 2019), panel at Runnymede Society annual conference (video)
- “If an autonomous vehicle has an accident, who is legally responsible?” (December 2018), Maclean’s
- “Why Canada’s Supreme Court appointments are nothing like America’s circus” (July 2018), Maclean’s
- “Unfinished Business: The McLachlin Court and the Standard of Review” (April 2018), presentation to University of Ottawa symposium on the legacy of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin
- “A Lawyer’s Judge: Justice Marshall Rothstein and the Rule of Law” (2017), 74 S.C.L.R. (2d) 51 (with Neil Finkelstein, Brandon Kain, and Richard J. Lizius)
- “Closing the Citizenship Gap in Canada’s North: Indigenous Rights, Arctic Sovereignty, and Devolution in Nunavut” (2013), 22 Mich. St. Int’l L. Rev. 23 (with Tony Penikett)