John Chapman’s practice is in corporate and commercial litigation, and includes contract disputes, real estate litigation, shareholder remedies, fiduciary obligations, insolvency and class actions.
John has appeared before all levels of trial and appellate courts and before domestic and international arbitral tribunals. A significant percentage of his practice is in the Ontario Commercial Court. He has also represented members of the National Hockey League in salary arbitrations with their players.
He has successfully acted as lead counsel on multi-million dollar disputes, which have included: the supply of defective equipment in an Australian zinc refinery; cost overruns and delays in a hazardous waste decontamination project; litigation surrounding the closure of major anchor supermarket tenants in retail malls; the restructuring of a major beverage manufacturer plagued by highly acrimonious shareholder relations; delay and deficiency claims pertaining to gas co-generation facilities; failed automotive joint ventures; the enforcement of security by major Canadian financial institutions; and mass investor frauds.
Many of his cases involve the need to organize complex financial, technical or scientific facts so that they can be properly understood by the court.
Given his experience with such diverse and complex litigation matters, he is comfortable working with clients to create and monitor litigation budgets and in using technology to minimize litigation costs where possible.
John has written many articles on topics encountered in complex commercial litigation published in leading Canadian law journals.
Professional achievements & leadership
- The Best Lawyers in Canada – Corporate and Commercial Litigation, 2018, 2019
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, Corporate Commercial Litigation, 2013 – 2015, 2018
- Wilfred v. Dare 2017 ONSC 1633 (successful defence of oppression remedy claim seeking share buyout of $55 million).
- City of Oshawa v. Hazco Inc. (2014) (recovery in excess of $5 million after lengthy arbitration involving environmental site remediation work)
- Frank v. Farlie, Turner & Co., 2012 CanLII 57561 (ON SC); 356 D.L.R. (4th) 540 (case establishing punitive damages not available for statutory claim under Securities Act)
- Romspen Investment Corporation v. Woods Property, 2011 ONCA 817; 346 D.L.R. (4th) 273 (priority of ground lease in insolvency)
- The Economical Insurance Group v. Andrus et al., 2011 ONSC 2184; 84 B.L.R. (4th) 289 (proxy contest involving mutual insurance company)
- Bank of Montreal v. Carnival National Leasing, 2011 ONSC 1007 CanLII; 74 C.B.R. (5th) 300 (appointment of court receiver)
- R.J. Zayed v. Cook, (2009) 62 C.B.R. (5th) 114 (recognition of SEC receivership)
- Iovate Health Sciences v. NxCare Inc.,  O.J. No. 4498 (order striking statement of claim in confidential information action)
- 1175777 Ontario Inc. v. Magna International Inc.,  CanLii No. 39907; appeal dismissed  O.J. No. 1991 (successful defence after 16 day trial of action in which over $20 million was claimed for breach of an alleged lease)
- Neste Canada Inc. v. Reichhold Ltd.,  O.J. No. 3572 (35 day trial involving the recovery of $5.93 million in case involving alleged soil and groundwater contamination at a formaldehyde plant in the Province of Quebec.)
- Seed v. ING Halifax Insurance,  78 O.R. (3d) 481 (Div. Ct.) (review of arbitrator’s award)
- Re AT&T Canada Inc.,  O.J. No. 5086 (equitable subordination of shareholder claims)
- Re Air Canada,  O.J. No. 5525 (impact of restructuring on aircraft lease arrangements)
- Haskett v. Equifax Canada Inc. et al,  63 O.R. 3d 577 (Ont. CA) (class proceeding)
- Despault v. King West Village,  O.J. No. 2933 (successful application for class certification)
- 1175777 Ontario Limited v. Magna International et al (2001), 200 D.L.R. (4th) 521 (Ont. C.A.) (pleadings motion with respect to adding a claim against the chairman of board of auto parts manufacturer)
- Jason Woolley v. Buffalo Sabres (1999) (player’s salary request of $2.05 million, Club offer of $800,000; award of $950,000)
- Isgaard International Corp v. Citibank Canada (1997), 46 C.B.R. 210 (successful defence of improvident sale claims; damage of $15 million claimed)
- McKinlay Transport v. MTIRB (Ont. Gen. Div., Feb. 13, 1996) (successful defence of conspiracy action after 30+ day trial)
- Ensco Inc. v. M.O.E.E. (R.E. Holland arbitration, March, 1995) (environmental matter – recovery of $5.4 million by contractor after 30+ day hearing)
- Chatham Centre Mall Ltd. v. A&P Canada (1994), 40 R.P.R. (2d) 124 and 566719 Ontario v. New Miracle Food Mart (1994), 41 R.P.R. (2d) (successful defences of specific performance claims brought by landlords)
- Bakorp Management v. Pepsi-Cola Canada and Crown Cork & Seal Canada Ltd.,  O.J. No. 873 (summary judgment dismissing $200 million claim against can manufacturer)
- Am I My Partner’s Keeper?, The Canadian Bar Review, 2015
- The Protective Shield in a High Stakes Game, Lawyers Weekly, 2013
- New Tool has Historic Pedigree – Time for Class-Action Lawyers to Brush up on Ye Olde Statute of Monopolies?, The Lawyers Weekly, 2013
- Waiver of Tort: a Judicial Cri de Couer for Certainty, Lawyers Weekly, 2012
- Where the Buck Stops in Fraud Cases, Lawyers Weekly, 2012
- Uncertain Future for Class Fund, Lawyers Weekly, 2012
- Professor Take the Stand, Lawyers Weekly, 2011
- Rethinking Class Action Settlements, Lawyers Weekly, 2011
- Non-Traditional Claims for Privilege, The Advocates Quarterly, 2011
- Tax Accountant Privilege, Lawyers Weekly, 2010
- Eight (Unanswered) Questions on the New Limitations Act, The Advocate’s Quarterly, 2008
- Institutional Activism: Current Trends and Emerging Legal Issues, 44 Canadian Business Law Journal, 2007
- Class Proceedings, Gains-based Claims and Deterence, Canadian Class Action Review, 2007
- Limitations Act Implications: Ford Motor Co. of Canada v. OMERS, The Advocate’s Quarterly, 2004
- Joinder of Corporate Directors, Officers and Employees, The Canadian Bar Review, 2001
- An Alternative to Common Law Misrepresentation Claims, Selected Topics in Corporate Litigation: Proceedings of the 7th Queen’s Annual Business Law Symposium (Kingston, ON: Queen’s University), 2000
- Mistake, Sharp Practice, Equity and the PPSA, The Canadian Bar Review, 1999
- Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth: Estate Freezes Thirty Years Later, Estates and Trust Journal, 1996
- Corporate Oppression: Structuring Judicial Discretion, The Advocates Quarterly, 1996
- Judicial Scrutiny of Domestic Commercial Arbitral Awards, The Canadian Bar Review, 1995
- Class Proceedings for Prospectus Misrepresentations, The Canadian Bar Review, 1994
Bar admissions & education
- Ontario Bar, 1983
- LL.B., University of Toronto, 1981
- B.Sc. Mathematics, Queen’s University, 1979
Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2019
In the just released 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada, 144 Miller Thomson lawyers from across the country have been recognized for their expertise in 47 areas of law. This includes 6 lawyers who were awarded “Lawyer of the Year” in...
Miller Thomson recognized in 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
In the recently released 2018 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, 90 Miller Thomson lawyers across 35 areas of law have been recognized for their industry-leading advisory expertise. These rankings are the culmination of an extensive annual peer review process...
Miller Thomson recognized in 2017 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
In the recently released 2017 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, 79 Miller Thomson lawyers across 30 areas of law have been recognized for their industry-leading advisory expertise. These latest rankings are the culmination of an extensive annual peer...
Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in 2013 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory
Miller Thomson is thrilled to announce that 43 of the firm’s lawyers from across Canada were recently recognized in 25 categories in the 2013 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory. These rankings, based on extensive annual peer-review surveys, identify leading lawyers in Canada across...
John Chapman presents at the 2nd Annual In-House Counsel Summit.
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The Protective Shield in a High Stakes Game
The Lawyers Weekly
New Tool has Historic Pedigree
The Lawyers Weekly
Time for class-action lawyers to brush up on ye olde Statute of Monopolies?
Waiver of Tort: a Judicial Cri de Couer for Certainty
Where the Buck Stops in Fraud Cases
Uncertain Future for Class Fund
Professor Take the Stand
Rethinking Class Action Settlements
Non-Traditional Claims for Privilege
The Advocates Quarterly
Tax Accountant Privilege
To read the article, click here.
Eight (Unanswered) Questions on the New Limitations Act
The Advocate’s Quarterly
Nesscap Energy completes arrangement with Maxwell Technologies
Counsel to Nesscap Energy Inc.