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Appellate Litigation

We are leading appellate litigators

McCarthy Tétrault handles many of Canada’s most important appeals and judicial review proceedings. We appear frequently in the Supreme Court of Canada and in appellate courts across the country.

Our appellate litigators have the skills and experience required to attack and defend judgments and government decisions at all levels. We bring exceptional written and oral advocacy to bear on our cases, backed by a deep understanding of the evidence, careful legal research and reasoning, and a knack for presenting complex facts and principles simply and persuasively. Our advocates are sought after for appellate representation not only in commercial disputes, but also in constitutional and administrative cases.

McCarthy Tétrault offers a comprehensive range of services, including:

  • acting for appellants and respondents in appeals, references, and judicial reviews, including where we did not act as counsel in the proceedings below;
  • acting for interveners in proceedings before appellate courts;
  • acting for applicants and respondents in procedural matters, such as leave to appeal applications;
  • arguing complex motions and preserving appeal rights in courts of first instance;
  • assessing the viability of potential appeals;
  • assisting other lawyers and law firms in the preparation of appeals; and
  • offering opinions on complex legal issues.

Our National Appellate Litigation Group provides clients with a nationally integrated platform. We collaborate with other practice areas to deliver teams that support the unique needs of each case, regardless of geography. With the firm’s strategic focus on delivering industry-specific expertise, we also provide clients with deep knowledge across the industries that drive the Canadian and global economies.

Our lawyers have appeared in some of the most high-profile and precedent-setting cases in Canadian legal history. Since 2013, McCarthy Tétrault has acted in 28 of the cases listed among Lexpert’s ‘Top 10 Business Decisions’.

The National Appellate Litigation Group has over 64 members seamlessly integrated across Canada, with offices in major commercial centres including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montréal. The Group draws upon the experience of over 67 McCarthy Tétrault lawyers who have served as judicial law clerks, including 18 in the Supreme Court of Canada, and 37 in the Courts of Appeal for Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Québec. Additionally, appellate courts frequently cite scholarly publications by McCarthy Tétrault lawyers.

Our active lawyers have argued over 1040 appellate cases in nine out of ten provinces and one territory. These include 124 appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada. In the past two years alone, McCarthy Tétrault lawyers have appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada 18 times — five times as counsel for a party, and 13 times as counsel for an intervener.

Volume of Appeals Across Canada – Current to February 2022

Alberta - 47 appeals
British Columbia - 124 appeals
FCA - 106 appeals
New Brunswick - 2 appeals
Nova Scotia - 3 appeals
Ontario - 331 appeals
Ontario - 116
Quebec - 187 appeals
SSC - 124 appeals
Saskatchewan - 1 appeal
Yukon - 3 appeals

For a list of appeals for all the regions above, please click here.

Our appellate lawyers have represented numerous clients, including corporations, financial institutions, trade groups, non-profit associations and professionals. We have appeared in some of the most high-profile, precedent-setting cases in Canadian legal history, spanning many industries and legal fields, including: aboriginal; administrative; bankruptcy and debt; Charter of Rights; communications; competition; constitutional; construction and real estate; corporate; criminal; energy; financial services; health; insurance; intellectual property; labour and employment; manufacturing; media; procedure; professions; tax; torts; and transportation law.

For a list of significant SCC Appeals, please click here.

We often work in conjunction with other practice groups to create integrated client service teams to support your unique needs. These teams help us focus our efforts on you, without emphasis placed on geographic considerations. Members of the Group include both junior and senior litigators, enabling us to offer cost-effective legal services tailored to your needs.