Awi solves problems.
Awanish (Awi) Sinha is a partner in our Litigation group and the Head of our Government Law & Political Risk team.
Awi has unique expertise advising organizations and leaders in acute circumstances outside of ordinary operations. He works with clients to minimize exposure and maximize opportunities when events have displaced “business as usual”.
Clients value Awi’s ability to see around corners, separate information from noise, and situate legal issues in a holistic, multi-dimensional context. Especially in high-stakes scenarios, he is adept at making quick decisions, identifying core issues, and mapping risks.
When matters central to business strategy, reputation, and public opinion are on the line, clients trust him to exercise discretion and deliver results.
Awi draws on his wealth of continuing experience in complex commercial litigation to provide his clients with broad strategic advice.
Awi advises high-profile political and business leaders on legal matters in the political sector. He is one of Canada’s premier experts on political ethics law, conflicts of interest, election finance, and lobbying. He represents both high public office holders and major corporations before federal and provincial Parliamentary Commissioners and Parliamentary committees and acts as special advisor to Boards of Directors on sensitive political matters. He understands the personal, reputational, and strategic significance of these proceedings.
Awi also serves clients when disaster strikes. He has provided crisis readiness and response strategies to clients grappling with physical disasters, corporate violations of public trust, and executive malfeasance. Awi specializes in practical, real-time legal advice to coordinate with – not compete with - business priorities and public communications responsibilities. Clients include public figures and major corporations.
Awi also serves as a strategic legal advisor on complex projects. In such circumstances, regulation is often catching up with new realities created by technology, revolutionary business models, and major shifts in public policy. Clients rely on Awi to navigate uncharted legal waters with creativity and multi-lateral thinking. As needed, he also coordinates legal experts within McCarthy Tétrault and requisite external subject matter advisors.
During the 2020 pandemic, Awi navigated many clients through the uncertain circumstances of regulatory business suspensions and eligibility for financial supports. In a unique mandate, he provided legal and strategic advice for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s winning bid to the host the National Hockey League (NHL) “Playoffs Bubble” in Toronto, liaising with public health officials and guiding negotiations with the NHL and all levels of government. Similarly, he advised Major League Soccer on its return to play during the 2020 pandemic.
Some of Awi’s other notable strategic engagements are for: Uber Canada on its Canadian activities; Ontario Cannabis Stores on its establishment and evolution; Canopy Growth on its national retail strategy; and Department of Justice Canada on its modernization of risk management project.
Awi also maintains a leading commercial litigation practice, specializing in large-scale infrastructure, energy, and innovation projects that have a significant public policy component. He appears before courts and arbitration panels in scenarios where public reputation and strategic direction contribute to defining litigation success. Awi’s Project Litigation clients include Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), Infrastructure Ontario (IO), Enbridge Pipelines, York University, and Carillion Construction.
He is one of Lexpert Magazine’s 2020 Leading Lawyers in Infrastructure and was a finalist for Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s 2020 list of Most Influential Lawyers in Canada in the Government/Association category.
Awi is also deeply involved with community and social issues, serving on McCarthy Tétrault’s National Diversity Task Force as its ambassador to Legal Leaders in Diversity, serving four years as the firm’s United Way Campaign Co-Chair and, in 2014, achieving the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) Legal Excellence Award.
Currently, he also serves as a board member of the Canadian Club: Toronto.
In 2019, Awi served as the volunteer head of the Election Day Issues Response Team for the Liberal Party of Canada.