Alyssa Tomkins Partner

Speaks:  English, French

Year of Call: 2021 - Yukon Territory

Year of Call: 2007 - Ontario

Primary office:  Ottawa

Alyssa Tomkins

Alyssa Tomkins is a bilingual partner in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office. Her practice focuses on public law and commercial litigation, as well as appeals and judicial reviews.

Alyssa has argued cases as lead counsel at all levels of court in Ontario, in the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, in the British Columbia Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and in the Supreme Court of Canada. She has also acted as counsel in commercial arbitrations, before numerous administrative tribunals and in a public inquiry. 

Alyssa’s work cuts across practice areas and has engaged a diverse array of clients dealing with a wide variety of subjects. Her clients have included individuals, corporations, municipalities, Crown corporations, federal departments, a foreign state, a provincial law society, as well as numerous public interest advocacy organizations. Alyssa was lead counsel for the Law Society of Saskatchewan in its successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in Law Society of Saskatchewan v Abrametz, 2022 SCC 29.

Alyssa is active in the litigation bar and a frequent speaker in the areas of administrative law and civil litigation. She is the past chair of The Advocates’ Society Regulatory and Administrative Law Practice Group and currently teaches administrative law as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. Alyssa also taught appellate advocacy for ten years at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law as coach of the Laskin Moot (constitutional and administrative law) team.

Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Alyssa worked with a boutique litigation firm in Ottawa. She also clerked for the Honourable Michel Bastarache at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2007-2008.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2024

  • 2023

  • 2022

    • Rankings & Awards
      August 2022
    • Rankings & Awards
      Benchmark Litigation Future Star
    • Rankings & Awards
      Best Lawyers in Canada (Appellate Practice and Corporate Commercial Litigation)
    • Community
      The Advocates Society, Minority Language Rights Standing Task Force, Member
  • 2021

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Yukon Territory
    • Community
      The Advocates Society, Administrative Law Practice Group Leadership Committee, Vice-Chair (2021-2022)
    • Community
      The Advocates Society, Bill 96 Ad-Hoc Task Force, Member (July-August)
    • Rankings & Awards
      Benchmark Litigation Future Star
  • 2020

    • Rankings & Awards
      Benchmark Litigation Future Star
    • Community
      The Advocates Society, Administrative Law Practice Group Leadership Committee, Secretary (2020-2021)
  • 2019

    • Community
      The Advocates Society, Administrative Law Practice Group Leadership Committee, Member-at-Large (2019-2020)
    • Community
      County of Carleton Law Association Technology Committee, Member (2019-2021)
  • 2018

    • Community
      County of Carleton Law Association Working Group re ULCC Draft E-Discovery Rules, Chair
  • 2017

    • Community
      Ontario Bar Association Class Actions Section Executive, Regional Representative (2017-2019)
  • 2015

    • Community
      County of Carleton Law Association Technology Committee, Co-Chair (2015-2018)
    • Community
      Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario (AJEFO), Member of Organizing Committee for Conference in Lafayette, Louisiana
  • 2014

    • Rankings & Awards
      Amnistie internationale Canada francophone prize for exceptional contribution to the defence of human rights
  • 2012

    • Community
      Pro Bono Ontario, Law Help Ontario Clinic, Volunteer (2012-Present)
  • 2011

    • Community
      University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law, Laskin Moot (Constitutional & Administrative Law), Coach (2011-2021)
  • 2007

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Ontario
  • 2006

    • Education
      University of Ottawa, Faculty of Common Law, LL.B. (Summa Cum Laude, Gold Medal)
  • 2002

    • Education
      Queen's University, B. Sc. (Engineering Chemistry) & B. A. (Political Studies) (Distinction)


  • The Advocates Society
  • Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario
  • County of Carleton Law Association


  • Alyssa Tomkins, Employment Consequences of Criminal Charges and Criminal Convictions, 2018 CanLIIDocs 10828
  • Alyssa Tomkins and Albert Brunet, Best Practices for E-Discovery, 2017 CanLIIDocs 3819
  • Alyssa Tomkins & Ron Caza, Language Rights, in Principles and Pragmatism: Essays in Honour of Louise Charron 233 (Graham Mayeda & Peter Oliver eds. 2014)
  • Alyssa Tomkins, "Does Beaulac Reorient Judicial Bilingualism" in Joseph Eliot Magnet ed., Official Languages of Canada: New Essays (Markham, Ont.: LexisNexis Canada, 2008) 171

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Seeking Leave to Appeal,” The Advocates’ Society, Written Appellate Advocacy, December 6, 2023.
  • Speaker, “Shifting Fairness,” Canadian Bar Association Administrative Law, and Labour and Employment Law Conference, Ottawa, ON, November 17, 2023.
  • Speaker, “’But There is More’: An Update on Good Faith Contractual Performance,” County of Carleton Law Association, Civil Litigation Updated 2023, Mont-Tremblant, QC, November 3, 2023. 
  • Speaker, “To Preclude or Not to Preclude: Understanding an Appellant’s Right to Appeal,” Canadian Institute Advanced Administrative Law and Practice, Ottawa, October 25, 2023.
  • Speaker, “The Advocates’ Society Advocacy Panel: Objections at Trial,” Kingston and the 1000 Islands Legal Conference, Gananoque, September 23, 2023.
  • Speaker,"Yatar v. TD Insurance Meloche Monnex : impliqué dans un accident d'auto? Who you gonna call? une avocate de droit administratif!", Congrès annuel de l'AJEFO, Ottawa, June 10, 2023.
  • Speaker, "Summary Judgment Skills Workshop: Advocacy Primer #2," Ontario Bar Association, May 31, 3023.
  • Moderator, "Fireside chat with the Hon. Justice McHaffie," The Advocates' Society, May 8, 2023.
  • Program Chair and Moderator, "L'essentiel de la pratique en droit administratif," Law Society of Ontario, April 25, 2023.
  • Moderator, "Dealing with delay in regulatory prosecutions: The impact of Abrametz", The Advocates' Society Prosecutors' Network, February 1, 2023.
  • Speaker, "Top Cases in Regulatory & Administrative Law 2022", The Advocates' Society, January 30, 2023.
  • Speaker, "Applications of White Burgess: Employees", Evidence Update for Litigators, Law Society of Ontario, October 3, 2022.
  • Speaker, "Déontologies et technologies : analytique juridique," Congrès annuel de l'AJEFO, Toronto, June 11, 2022.
  • Speaker, Advanced Judicial Seminar in Administrative Law, "The National Significance of Law Society of Saskatchewan v. Abrametz," Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, June 3, 2022.
  • Speaker, "Top Insurance-Related Appeals: Pandemic Years in Review," Ontario Bar Association, April 5, 2022.
  • Co-Moderator, "A Fireside Chat with Justice Rennie and Justice Nadon", The Advocates' Society, March 30, 2022.
  • Speaker, Law Society of Ontario, Six-Minute Administrative Law and Practice 2022, March 1, 2022.
  • Speaker, Osgoode Professional Development 16th Annual National Forum in Administrative Law and Practice, "Cases To Watch in 2022", October 6, 2021.
  • Speaker, "The alcohol abstinence rule and liver transplantation: The applicability of the human rights laws under the Charter and the Human Rights Code", Key Policy Issues in Organ Donation & Transplantation, uOttawa Health Law, June 18, 2021.
  • Speaker, "Litigating Administrative Law Post-Vavilov", Runnymede Society National Conference 2021, March 13, 2021.
  • Co-Chair, "The Art of Settlement", The Advocates' Society, Virtual Program, February 22, 2021.
  • Speaker, "Written Advocacy for Litigators: Drafting Affidavits", The Advocates Society, Virtual Program, February 19, 2021.
  • Speaker, "Une mise à jour essentielle sur l'impact de la pandémie en 2020 sur le droit de la faillite", Ontario Bar Association, Webinar, November 5, 2020.
  • Speaker, "Navigating the Ambiguities Post-Vavilov: Practical Tips for Counsel", Canadian Institute, 20th Annual Advanced Administrative Law & Practice, October 28-29, 2020.
  • Speaker, "Annual Round Table: Towards a Unified Theory of Administrative Law", Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, Webinar, May 29, 2020.
  • Speaker, CCLA Virtual Round Table: Lawyers Working From Home: How Technology Can Help, CCLA, Webinar, May 25, 2020.
  • Speaker, OBA Civil Litigation Section: Remote Litigation Series, Ontario Bar Association, Webinar, May 7, 2020.
  • Moderator, "Bell and Vavilov: The SCC's impact on standard of review, administrative law and arbitration decisions", The Advocates' Society, Tele-seminar, February 14, 2020.
  • Speaker, "Top Cases of 2019 in Regulatory and Administrative Law", The Advocates' Society, Toronto, ON, Jan 14, 2020.
  • Moderator and Speaker, "What do the Clients Think? The Perspective of Clients: Plaintiffs and Defendants", OBA Class Actions Colloquium, Toronto, ON, Dec 2, 2019.
  • Moderator, "Crash Course in Arbitration for IP Lawyers", Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, Webinar, July 25, 2019.
  • Speaker, "Imeson c. Maryvale : Une mise à jour concernant les experts participants", Congrès de l'Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario, Sudbury, ON, June 22, 2019.

Representative Work

  • Lead counsel for a provincial law society in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada dealing with delay before administrative tribunals (appeal heard November 8, 2021, on reserve)
  • Co-lead counsel for a municipality in a precedent-setting case dealing with the liability of municipalities in tort (2021 ONCA 410)
  • Lead counsel for a foreign state in a successful motion to stay a $16.5M claim (2020 ONSC 2246)
  • Lead counsel for three individual defendants on a successful motion to strike a $13M claim by trustee in bankruptcy (2020 ONSC 682)
  • Co-counsel on a successful motion to strike a $1B oppression claim (2020 ONSC 411)
  • Lead counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association for an intervention at the Supreme Court of Canada relating to the application of the Charter to corporations (2020 SCC 32)
  • Lead counsel for a pro bono litigant successfully resisting the government's attempt to convert his Charter challenge into a judicial review (2019 ONSC 6159)
  • Lead counsel for the Canadian American Bar Association in an intervention before the Supreme Court of Canada in Uber v. Heller, 2020 SCC 16
  • Lead counsel for a coalition of economic organizations at the British Columbia Court of Appeal in the Pipeline Reference (2019 BCCA 181)
  • Lead counsel for a federal organization in successfully responding to an appeal relating to document disclosure (2019 FCA 252)
  • Lead counsel in a successful pro bono judicial review relating to the disclosure of clinical trial data (2018 FC 710)