Gowlings strengthens advocacy team with addition of securities litigator Usman Sheikh

16 September 2015

Usman SheikhGowlings is pleased to announce that Usman Sheikh has joined its Toronto office as a partner and member of its firm-wide Commercial Litigation and Class Actions groups.

Sheikh’s practice is focused on securities litigation, professional liability claims, class proceedings and general corporate commercial litigation. His counsel spans a number of key areas, from securities enforcement, cross-border litigation and white collar defence to shareholder activism, M&A disputes and oppression remedy claims.

Along with his private practice experience, Sheikh also spent four years working in-house at the Ontario Securities Commission. As a prosecutor in the Enforcement Branch, he investigated and prosecuted all forms of securities violations, including insider trading, tipping and market manipulation.

“Usman is a rising litigation star with exceptional advocacy skills and an impressive background in securities law,” said Scott Jolliffe, Gowlings chair and CEO. “We’re delighted to welcome Usman to Gowlings, where he’ll be a part of a team that offers practical, strategic litigation advice to help clients get back to business as quickly as possible.”

Fluent in both English and French, Sheikh has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada and all levels of court in Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia, as well as a wide range of administrative tribunals. He has served as counsel on a number of precedent-setting cases, including the Ontario Securities Commission’s recent successful insider trading prosecution.

“The Gowlings Advocacy Group is renowned for its top-tier litigation expertise, innovative approach and ability to obtain the best outcomes for its clients in difficult situations,” said Sheikh. “I’m proud to join Gowlings and become part of a formidable litigation team that has the in-depth regulatory skill and experience to protect clients in today’s challenging business environment.”

Sheikh is an active member of the Canadian and international legal communities, and was recently named the inaugural co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Securities Litigation Sub-Committee for Canada. He is also a past co-chair of The Advocates’ Society’s Securities Litigation Practice Group, one of the largest collectives of securities litigators in Canada.

Author of numerous legal and academic publications, Sheikh is a frequent lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School and McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business. He is also regularly invited to speak at various continuing legal education seminars and conferences.

Gowlings is a leading Canadian and international law firm, with over 700 legal professionals delivering a full range of business law, litigation and intellectual property law services to a global clientele. The firm recently announced that it is joining forces with U.K.-based Wragge Lawrence Graham and Co to create a new international legal practice called Gowling WLG.

When it launches in January 2016, Gowling WLG will have more than 1,400 professionals in 18 cities across Canada, the U.K., Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It will provide clients with world-class legal expertise and multi-jurisdictional support in key global sectors, and will be the first international legal combination to be co-led by a Canadian firm.