Byron is currently on a one-year leave of absence from McCarthy Tétrault to participate in the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP Visiting Lawyers Program in New York City.
Byron Shaw is a partner in our Litigation Group in Toronto. His practice includes complex commercial litigation, class actions and administrative and constitutional law.
Byron has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Courts of Canada, all levels of Court in Ontario, Courts of Appeal in other Canadian provinces, and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. He has represented clients in complex commercial arbitration proceedings and hearings before administrative tribunals. While at Paul, Weiss in New York, Byron has acted for major financial institutions and public and private companies in high-stakes securities, antitrust and commercial litigation.
Byron’s commercial litigation experience includes acting as trial counsel for the Canadian retirement savings plan administrator in Nortel Networks Corporation (Re), a case involving the allocation of $7.3 billion among the Canadian, U.S. and EMEA debtors of Nortel tried simultaneously before judges in Ontario and Delaware. Byron has acted for individuals and corporations in investment and employee fraud claims, contested take-over bid litigation and oppression and other shareholder disputes. He has also represented major companies in the public and private-sector in complex contractual disputes before Courts and arbitration panels. Byron has authored peer-reviewed articles on topics in contract law and was a lecturer in Advanced Contracts at the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law in 2016-2017.
Byron has considerable experience in class action matters in the area of securities, product liability and antitrust. He was counsel to National Bank in a secondary market securities claim dismissed at the leave stage and upheld on appeal: Goldsmith v. National Bank of Canada, 2015 ONSC 2746, aff’d 2016 ONCA 22. He acted for a former executive of an insurance company in a securities class action: Dugal v. Manulife Financial Corporation, 2013 ONSC 327. Byron has represented major pharmaceutical and device companies in complex, cross-border product liability matters and was counsel to the defendants in the first pharmaceutical class action to be defeated on summary judgment in Canada: Wise v. Abbott Laboratories, Ltd., 2016 ONSC 7275. While at Paul, Weiss, Byron has assisted with the defense of a public issuer in putative class action and derivative proceedings pending in the U.S. District and State Courts, as well as antitrust class actions and antitrust proceedings before the U.S. Department of Justice.
Byron is an expert in administrative and constitutional law. He is the co-author of Constitutional Law, 5th edition (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2017) with Justice Patrick Monahan and Padraic Ryan. Constitutional Law is frequently consulted by Canadian courts including the Supreme Court of Canada and was cited with approval in two historic constitutional reference cases: Reference re Senate Reform,  1 S.C.R. 704 (the “Senate Reform Reference”) and Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6,  1 S.C.R. 433 (the “Nadon Reference”). Byron has appeared before the Supreme Court in a Charter challenge concerning the right to a jury trial for individuals charged with Securities Act offences and a challenge to the legality of an employer’s random alcohol testing policy: R. v. Peers, 2017 SCC 13; R. v. Aitkens, 2017 SCC 14 and Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd.,  2 S.C.R. 458. He has represented corporations, individuals and trade organizations before administrative tribunals and in judicial review proceedings in Ontario, the Federal Court of Canada and New Brunswick. He frequently advises clients across a wide array of industries on federalism and Charter matters and has appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology regarding the implications of proposed federal legislation on freedom of commercial expression.
Byron is also a member of the firm’s medical-defence group and acts for physicians in medical-negligence cases.
A prolific author, Byron has published extensively in fields including constitutional law, conflict of laws and class actions. His articles have been published by the Supreme Court Law Review, Cambridge University Press, the Canadian Business Law Journal, the Canadian Class Actions Review, the U.B.C. Law Review, the Advocates Quarterly and The Advocate.
Byron clerked for the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2008-2009 where he worked with former Associate Chief Justice Dennis O’Connor and Justices Sharpe, Weiler and Gillese. He received his B.A. (Hons.) in Economics from the University of British Columbia in 2005 and his LL.B from the University of British Columbia in 2008.
Byron is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Advocates Society.
- Nortel Networks Corporation (Re), 2015 ONSC 2987, leave to appeal denied, 2016 ONCA 332 and 532 B.R. 494 (Del. Bankr. 2015), appeal dismissed, 2017 WL 3816026 (3rd Cir. 2017) – counsel to Canadian creditor interests in cross-border trial and related appeals concerning the allocation of $7.3 billion amongst the debtor estates of Nortel.
- Wise v. Abbott Laboratories, Ltd., 2016 ONSC 7275 – represented the defendants in the first pharmaceutical class action to be defeated on summary judgment in Canada.
- Goldsmith v. National Bank of Canada, 2015 ONSC 2746, aff’d 2016 ONCA 22 – successfully resisted motion for leave in a secondary market securities claim, upheld on appeal.
- Dugal, Murphy v. Manulife Financial Corporation, 2013 ONSC 32 – represented a former CFO on a motion in a class action involving alleged inadequacies in the company’s public disclosure.
- Ont. First Nations L.P. v. Ont. Lottery and Gaming Corp., 2013 ONSC 4166 – successfully represented Ontario Lottery and Gaming in a motion to stay an action involving allegations of breach of contract.
- Dean v. Mister Transmission (International) Limited, 2011 ONCA 670 – successfully represented Mister Transmission in an appeal before the Ontario Court of Appeal from the dismissal of a consumer class action.
- R. v. Peers, 2017 SCC 13; R. v. Aitkens, 2017 SCC 14 - counsel for intevener in constitutional challenge regarding right to jury trial for individuals charged with Securities Act offences.
- Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd., 2013 SCC 34 – appeal counsel in a challenge to an employer’s random alcohol testing policy.
- Holmes v. White, 2013 ONSC 4225; CN v. Holmes, 2011 ONSC 483 – successfully represented police officers in a motion to dismiss an application to compel an investigation into alleged police misconduct.
- Air Canada v. Toronto Port Authority, 2010 FC 774; Air Canada v. Toronto Port Authority, 2011 FCA 347 – counsel to Air Canada in a judicial review application and subsequent appeal regarding the granting of slots to commercial passenger airlines at the Toronto Island Airport.
- Lennox v. Burns, 2016 ONSC 2993 – successfully defended general surgeon in medical malpractice trial involving allegations of negligence in relation to a colostomy reversal procedure.
- Fowlow v. Gupta, 2012 ONSC 6531, aff’d 2014 ONCA 193 – successfully defended vascular surgeon in medical malpractice trial and appeal involving allegations of negligence in relation to a vascular bypass procedure.
- Constitutional Law, 5th ed. (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2017) (co-authored with Justice Patrick Monahan and Padraic Ryan).
- Constitutional Law, 4th ed. (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2013) (co-authored with Patrick Monahan).
- “Questions About Leave Test for Secondary Market Claims Remain Unanswered after Court of Appeal Decision in Rahimi v SouthGobi Resources Ltd” (forthcoming in The Canadian Class Actions Review).
- “A Wise Development? The Growing Trend Towards Summary Judgment in Class Actions” (2017) 47 Advocates’ Q.164 (co-authored with Neil Finkelstein and Brandon Kain).
- “Summary Judgment Prior to Certification in Class Actions: How Microsoft and Hryniak Have Changed the Landscape” (2015) 44 Advocates’ Q. 229 (co-authored with Neil Finkelstein, Brandon Kain and Eric Block).
- “Developments in Private International Law: The 2011-2012 Term - The Unfinished Project of the Van Breda Trilogy” (2012), 59 S.C.L.R. (2d) 277 (co-authored with Brandon Kain and Elder C. Marques).
- “Mapping the Serbonian Bog: The Territorial Limits of Secondary Market Securities Act Claims Under the Canadian Constitution – Part I” (2012) 53 Can. Bus. L.J. 63 (co-authored with Brandon Kain).
- “Mapping the Serbonian Bog: The Territorial Limits of Secondary Market Securities Act Claims under the Canadian Constitution - Part II" (2012) 53 Can. Bus. L.J. 233 (co-authored with Brandon Kain).
- "The Impact of Extra-Judicial Service on the Canadian Judiciary: The Need for Reform", in H.P. Lee, ed. Judiciaries in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011) (co-authored with Patrick Monahan).
- "Indemnities for Acts Done at Another’s Request" (2011) 44(2) U.B.C. Law Rev. 331-379.
- "Supreme Court of Canada Affirms the Request Principle in R. Imperial Tobacco", (2012) 45(1) U.B.C. Law Rev, 247.
- "The Arbitrability of Oppression Claims" (2011) 69(1) The Advocate21.