Gavin Finlayson is a seasoned commercial litigator who solves complex problems for his clients, particularly in the insolvency and restructuring space.
Gavin provides strategic advice to court officers, creditors, and debtors across a broad range of business sectors, including bondholders, accounting firms, insurers, as well as cryptocurrency, broadband, therapeutic psychedelic and biotech companies.
Gavin also regularly advises cannabis companies on regulatory and litigation matters and has represented both LPs and provincial retail license holders in a variety of cannabis related litigation, from debt enforcement and contractual disputes to judicial reviews of regulatory decisions.
Gavin has been counsel before all levels of Canadian courts as well as a number of administrative and regulatory tribunals and has played a key role in many complex and notable Canadian restructurings, class actions and other complex litigation. Gavin has particular expertise in cross-border matters between Canada and the United States.
Gavin is a Fellow of the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals (INSOL), a course instructor for INSOL and a member of the editorial committee for the monthly INSOL International News Update Committee.
Gavin has been counsel in numerous reported decisions and regularly writes and presents on novel and notable legal developments.
Professional achievements & leadership
- Euromoney LMG Rising Stars; Restructuring and Insolvency
- A market leading cannabis company in its successful acquisition of a cannabis cultivation facility in disputed proposal proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
- A number of market leading cannabis companies in insolvency, debt enforcement, regulatory and litigation mandates.
- Representation of a selected applicant in the successful intervention on behalf of selected applicants resulting in the dismissal of a judicial review of the AGCO’s decision to disqualify certain other applicants in the Second Ontario Cannabis Retail Licensing Lottery.
- Representation of a number of cannabis companies, including retail license holders and LPs, as well as companies involved in research into therapeutic hallucinogens, in relation to regulatory and litigation matters.
- Representation of the former auditors of Buckingham Securities in the Superior Court of Justice and in the Ontario Court of Appeal in the successful defence of a class action, and in securing the dismissal of a negligence claim against the defendant accounting firm.
- Nortel Networks, representing bondholders with claims in excess of U.S. $4 billion in proceedings pursuant to the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act (the CCAA), including the first cross-border trial conducted between the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
- Smurfit-Stone, representing the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in litigation proceedings involving a $200 million intercompany claim.
- Indalex, representing noteholders in concurrent proceedings under the CCAA and Chapter 11.
- Bondholders in litigation against Crystallex International involving international investor protection treaties and Venezuelan law.
- Catalyst Capital Group Inc., in a bid to obtain a controlling stake in Canwest Global Communications Corporation in CCAA proceedings.
- New Solutions Financial Corporation, on behalf of the primary secured creditor in CCAA proceedings.
- Wachovia Capital Finance Corporation (now Wells Fargo), as lender in several Canadian and cross-border insolvencies.
- Toyota Boshoku America Inc., in the receivership of Stratford Plastic Components in various tooling, supply and receivables issues attendant on the sale of Stratford to a third party.
- Acting as trial counsel for the licensor of key intellectual proprietary assets in connection with the CCAA restructuring of a biotech company
- Paddon & Yorke Inc., in its role as proposal trustee to the MacLaren Art Centre under the BIA in MacLaren’s restructuring.
- Bard Canada, in multiple class proceedings and individual actions involving transvaginal urethral mesh products, IVF filters, and hernia mesh.
- Retrofoam, counsel to several parties in a class proceeding by homeowners in Ontario in relation to the installation of Retrofoam into residential homes.
- WIND Mobile, in succesful defense of a dismisse class-action alleging damages from exposure to RF radiation.
- The Receiver Plaintiff Reinsured, in the re-trial of a complex reinsurance matter.
- Applicants and defendants in a number of shareholder disputes and oppression remedy applications.
- Co-presenter, “Insolvencies of Cannabis Producers and Their Cross-Border Implications”, American Bankruptcy Spring Meeting, April 2021
- Presenter, “What’s Involved in a Corporate Restructuring in the Cannabis Space?”, May 28, 2020
- Co-author, “The scope of non-debtor third party releases between the U.S. and Canada: A distinction with a difference“, Financial Services & Restructuring Communiqué, February 3, 2022
- Co-author, “Levelling The Playing Field: The Rise Of Litigation Funding In Canada“, mondaq, November 1, 2021
- The “Reverse Vesting Order”: A New Variation on an Old Tool, INSOL International Monthly News Update, January, 2021
- Co-author, “Corporate Restructuring in the Cannabis Space”, Cannabis Prospect Magazine, November 2, 2020
- “Navigating Uncertainty: Restructuring and Insolvency in the Cannabis Sector”, January 13, 2020
- “The Balance of Convenience in Judicial Review Applications—A Lesson in the Cannabis Space”, November 7, 2019
- “Ontario Court of Appeal Affirms Limits on Auditor Liability”, September 7, 2018
- “Protecting Your Intellectual Property Interests and Finding Opportunities in Insolvency”, April 9, 2018
- “Insuring Autonomous Vehicles in the Fabulous New”, December 7, 2017
- “B.C. Court of Appeal Finds Google Subject to B.C. Jurisdiction” July 7, 2015
- “The Northern Rule of Law” June 2, 2015
- “Ontario Superior Court States Clear Rule on Pre-Certification Production of Medical Records in Class Actions”, May 19, 2015
- “Certification Denied: Product Liability Cases are not “Quintessential” Class Actions”, April 23, 2015
- “Ontario Court Reaffirms Extensive Franchisee Protection in Class Actions”, April 28, 2011
- The Advocates’ Society
- Fellow, International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals (INSOL)
Bar admissions & education
- Ontario Bar, 2001
- LL.B., University of British Columbia, 1999
- B.A. (with Honours), Queen’s University, 1993