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A fierce and pragmatic advocate, Christine relies on her extensive courtroom experience to help clients resolve their most complex challenges.
Christine Wadsworth is a partner in our Litigation group in Toronto. She maintains a broad litigation practice with an emphasis on commercial litigation, professional liability, internal investigations and white collar defence. Christine acts as counsel for professional accounting firms and is one of the leaders of McCarthy's national accounting firm initiative.
Christine has served as lead counsel at both the trial and appellate level. She has tried cases before judges, juries and arbitrators. She has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, including the Commercial List in Toronto and the Ontario Court of Appeal. She has also appeared before the Competition Tribunal, the Discipline Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board, and the Consent and Capacity Board. She regularly acts as a Prosecutor before the Ontario College of Teachers’ Discipline Committee and Fitness to Practise Committee. No matter what forum, Christine weaves each piece of evidence into a compelling narrative to achieve results for clients. When disputes are best resolved outside of the courtroom, Christine applies these same skills to negotiations with opposing counsel.
Christine’s commercial litigation experience includes:
- Representing companies in proceedings on the Commercial List
- Acting for financial institutions at the motion, trial and appellate level
- Representing The Toronto-Dominion Bank at trial and on appeal in a $5.5 billion action arising from the collapse of Stanford International Bank (McDonald and Dickson v. TD Bank, 2021 ONSC 3872, aff’d 2022 ONCA 788, leave to appeal denied 2023 CanLII 64851)
- Representing a large construction company in a confidential arbitration proceeding for a breach of contract claim
Christine’s professional liability experience includes:
- Representing professional accounting firms in auditors’ liability cases
- Defending physicians in professional liability cases tried by both judges and juries
- Representing physicians in disputes with patients’ family members over end-of-life treatment
- Representing the defendant physicians at trial and on appeal in a case which confirmed that “but for” causation is required to establish liability for breach of fiduciary duty (Stirrett v. Cheema, 2020 ONCA 288, leave to appeal denied). The decision was cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in Southwind v. Canada, 2021 SCC 28.
- Representing the respondent in the leading Canadian case on the definition of death, which confirmed that the medical and legal definition of death includes death by neurological criteria (McKitty v. Hayani, 2019 ONCA 805)
- Representing the defendant physicians at trial in a case focused on whether physicians were obligated to offer CPR where it was not medically indicated (Wawrzyniak v. Livingstone, 2019 ONSC 4900)
- Prosecutor for the Ontario College of Teachers’ Discipline Committee and Fitness to Practise Committee
Christine’s criminal and investigations experience includes:
- Defending clients in criminal proceedings at the trial and appellate level
- Counsel on an internal investigation for a public company
Christine is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer in her areas of practice, including being named a Lexpert Rising Star – Canada’s Leading Lawyers Under 40 and a Precedent Setter by Precedent Magazine.
Christine serves as co-director of McCarthy Tétrault’s pro bono criminal defence program, which is a partnership with the University of Toronto’s community legal clinic Downtown Legal Services. This program provides pro bono representation on criminal trials and appeals. Christine has also acted as pro bono counsel to the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.
A dedicated mentor and teacher, Christine brings her passion for storytelling to both the courtroom and the classroom.
Christine teaches trial advocacy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Christine has taught Evidence at Osgoode Hall Law School in the Common Law LLM program. She has also presented at continuing professional development sessions run by the Law Society of Ontario and the Canadian Bar Association.
Prior to joining McCarthy Tétrault, Christine was a consultant for a defence team at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague and worked in Judges’ Chambers at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Christine received her JD from the University of Toronto and participated in an exchange to the University of Amsterdam. Christine received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with Distinction in Political Studies from Queen's University. At Queen's, she was a Loran Scholar and a recipient of the Chancellor's Scholarship. In university, Christine was an active member of the competitive mooting program and competed in five debating World Championships.
Christine is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association, the Advocates’ Society, the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the Women’s White Collar Defense Association.
- “When You Know, You Know: The Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies the Degree of Knowledge Required for Discoverability”, Canadian Appeals Monitor, August 3, 2021
- “Court of Appeal Applies But For Causation in Fiduciary Duty Claim”, Canadian Appeals Monitor, May 7, 2020
- “Ontario Court of Appeal Overturns Divisional Court’s Decision in CPSO v. Peirovy”, Canadian Appeals Monitor, June 12, 2018
- "Recent Developments in Competition Private Actions", co-written with Sarah W. Corman, Annual Review of Civil Litigation 2014, Thomson Reuters, December 2014
Best Lawyers in Canada
Ones to Watch - Corporate and Commercial Litigation
Best Lawyers in Canada
Ones to Watch - Professional Malpractice Law
Benchmark Litigation Canada 2022
Impact Case Award for McDonald and Dickson v. TD Bank, 2021 ONSC 3872
Lexpert Rising Stars
Canada’s Leading Lawyers Under 40
Precedent Setter Award