Brent J. Arnold Partner

Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 2006 - Ontario

Primary phone: +1 416-369-4662

Fax: +1 416-862-7661


Download vCard

Primary office:  Toronto

Brent J. Arnold

Brent J. Arnold is a partner practising in Gowling WLG's Advocacy department, specializing in cyber security and commercial litigation. Brent heads the firm's Commercial Litigation Technology sub-group. In 2019, he co-authored the Canada chapter of Chambers Global Practice Guide: Data Protection & Cybersecurity, 2nd ed. In 2022, he co-authored the Canada chapter of the Chambers FinTech 2022: Trends and Developments report.

Brent's experience includes cyber breach coaching, cyber risk analysis, class actions defence, Web3 (including cryptocurrency and metaverse) and other technology, software and e-commerce disputes, administrative and insolvency law, shareholders' rights, class actions, employment contracts, and general contractual disputes.

He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, including the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, and has appeared before numerous administrative tribunals. In 2011, Brent appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in support of the federal government's constitutional reference regarding a Canadian Securities Act. In 2020, Brent was appointed to the E-Hearings Task Force established by The Advocates' Society, the Ontario Bar Association, the Federation of Ontario Law Associations, and the Ontario Trial Lawyers' Association to work with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to expand virtual access to the courts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and co-authored the Task Force's Best Practices for Remote Hearings.

Brent currently serves as a Director and Corporate Secretary for the Internet Society (Canada Chapter), and as Steering Committee Chair for the Cybersecurity and Data Privacy section of the US-based Defence Research Institute (DRI). He also chairs the Ontario Bar Association's Privacy and Access to Information Law section, having also served two terms on the Executive for the Civil Litigation Section of the Ontario Bar Association. He is a Vice Chair of the Cyber Security, Data Privacy and Technology Committee of the invitation-only International Association of Defense Counsel. He has chaired two committees of The Advocates' Society and was General Editor for its Advocacy Matters publication. Brent co-authored the Society's Paperless Trials Manual and is a frequent author and speaker on the topics of cyber security, courtroom innovation, and electronic trials. Brent is also a member of the Canadian Technology Law Association and the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2024

  • 2023

  • 2020

    • Career
      Member, E-Hearings Task Force (Ontario Superior Court of Justice)
    • Career
      Corporate Secretary, Internet Society (Canada Chapter)
    • Career
      Executive Member, OBA Privacy and Access to Information Law section
    • Career
      Vice Chair, Steering Committee, Defence Research Institute (DRI) Cybersecurity and Data Privacy section
  • 2019

    • Career
      Editor, The Advocates' Society's Advocacy Matters
    • Career
      Member, Steering Committee, DRI Cybersecurity and Data Privacy section
  • 2018

    • Career
      Chair, Advocates' Society 10+ Standing Committee
  • 2017

    • Career
      Member (Technology Liaison), OBA Civil Litigation Section Executive
    • Career
      Lead, Cyber Security, Financial Services Regulatory Group, Gowling WLG
    • Career
      Member, Gowling WLG Innovation Council
    • Career
      Member, InsurTech Group, Gowling WLG
    • Career
      Technology Sub-Group Leader (Com Lit), Gowling WLG
  • 2016

    • Rankings & Awards
      Osgoode Hall Law School Mentor of the Year
    • Career
      Vice Chair, Advocates' Society 10+ Task Force
    • Career
      Member (Technology Liaison), OBA Civil Litigation Section Executive
  • 2015

    • Career
      Partner, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
  • 2014

    • Community
      Chair, Advocates' Society Young Advocates' Standing Committee
  • 2013

    • Community
      Vice Chair, Advocates' Society Young Advocates' Standing Committee
  • 2009

    • Career
      Adjunct Faculty, York University School of Administrative Studies
  • 2006

    • Career
      Associate, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Ontario
  • 2005

    • Education
      Osgoode Hall Law School, JD
  • 2004

    • Career
      Senior Editor, Osgoode Hall Law Journal
  • 1999

    • Education
      Queen's University, MA in Political Studies
  • 1998

    • Education
      York University, BA (Hons) in Political Science


  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Canadian Political Science Association
  • Canadian Technology Law Association
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
  • Internet Society (Canada Chapter)
  • Osgoode Society
  • The Advocates' Society
  • Toronto Lawyers Association


  • Book Chapter, "Best Practices for Paperless Trials," Rikin Morzaaria et al., The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Personal Injury Practice in Motor Vehicle Cases, Release No. 35, December 2020.
  • "Risks and Liability: Cybersecurity and Autonomous Vehicles," DRI For the Defense, December, 2020
  • "August 10 Update: Canadian Financial Regulatory Updates," Gowling WLG Fully Secured, Aug. 12, 2020
  • "Authorities Step up Cyber Awareness Efforts for COVID-19," Gowling WLG Tech News, July 17, 2020
  • "June 26 Update: Canadian Financial Regulatory Responses to COVID-19," Gowling WLG Fully Secured Special Bulletin, June 26, 2020
  • "Never Waste a Crisis: Ontario Courts Go Virtual with the Best Practices for Remote Hearings," Advocacy Matters (The Advocates Society), June 2020
  • "COVID-19: CCCS curates cyber security resources for businesses facing heightened risk," Gowling WLG White Collar Defence & Investigations, May 20, 2020
  • "E-Hearings task force releases its best practices for remote hearings," Gowling WLG Commercial Litigation Bulletin, May 13, 2020
  • "COVID-19: CCCS Curates Cyber Security Resources for Businesses Facing Heightened Risk," Gowling WLG Tech News, May 11, 2020
  • "Canadian Competition Bureau Moves to FTC-Style Action in the Privacy Sphere," Data and Security Dispatch, DRI (May 2020)
  • "Competition Bureau to Police Privacy Breaches?" Canadian Privacy Law Review, (2020), 17 C.P.L.R., April
  • "LCO recommends new regime for online defamation," Gowling WLG Commercial Litigation Bulletin, March 18, 2020
  • "COVID-19 raises cybersecurity risks," Gowling WLG Tech News, March 18, 2020
  • "Competition Bureau Flexes Muscles in the Privacy Sphere," Gowling WLG Commercial Litigation Bulletin, Feb. 14, 2020
  • "2019: The Year (So Far) in Canadian Cyber Security," Data and Security Dispatch, vol. 5(3), DRI (December 2019)
  • "IIROC Introduces Mandatory Cyber Breach Reporting," Gowling WLG Tech News, Nov. 13, 2019
  • "2019 Brings Guidance on Cyber in Canada," Gowling WLG Commercial Litigation Bulletin, Nov. 12, 2019
  • "Changes in Canadian Privacy Law May Impact U.S. Companies," Data and Security Dispatch, vol. 5(2), DRI (October 2019)
  • "Canada: Law and Practice," Chambers Global Practice Guide: Data Protection & Cybersecurity, 2nd ed., Chambers Global
  • "Privilege at the Border-Should Lawyers be Resorting to "Burner" Phones?," Advocacy Matters (The Advocates Society), May 2019
  • "Finding a co-ordinated approach to cyber-threats," Canadian Lawyer, April 30, 2019
  • "A Digital Hearing Workspace for the Commercial List," Advocacy Matters (The Advocates Society), March 2019
  • Brent J. Arnold, "2018: The Year (So Far) in Review in Canadian Cyber Security," Data and Security Dispatch, vol. 4(3), DRI (Dec. 27, 2018)
  • "Cyber security the focus of new OSFI advisory," Gowling WLG Tech News, Jan. 25, 2019
  • "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake: Smart toys and regulating the IoT in Canada," Gowling WLG Tech News, Dec. 17, 2018
  • "5 Tips for Electronic Trials and Arbitrations," Advocacy Matters (The Advocates Society), Winter 2018
  • "New Senate report on cyber security should "keep you up at night," Gowling WLG Tech News, Nov. 5, 2018
  • "Law Podcasts Redux-Twitter Mailbag Edition," Advocacy Matters (The Advocates Society), November 2018
  • "Canada hits "refresh" on cyber in 2018 with the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security," Gowling WLG Tech News, Oct. 11, 2018
  • "Law Podcasts for Lawyers on the Go," Advocacy Matters (The Advocates Society), Fall 2018
  • "Cyber Security in Canada: Structure and Challenges," Governing Cyber Security in Canada, Australia and the United States: Special Report, SERENE-RISC and the Centre for International Governance Innovation, 2018
  • Worldwide: "Equustek again: BC Supreme Court upholds worldwide injunction despite US refusal to enforce," (2017-18), 19 I.E.C.L.C., July 2018
  • "Legal Tech for Litigators," Advocacy Matters (The Advocates Society), Summer 2018
  • Canada: "Equustek again: BC Supreme Court upholds worldwide injunction despite US refusal to enforce," Gowling WLG Tech News, May 2018
  • "E-filing is Here-Use it!," Advocacy Matters (The Advocates Society), May 2018
  • "Equustek Again: BC Supreme Court Upholds Injunction Despite US Refusal to Enforce," MLRC Media Law Letter, April 2018
  • "Yahoo! Cyber breach settlement gives shareholders cause for cheer," Gowling WLG Tech News, April 2018
  • "Apps for Lawyers" Advocacy Matters (The Advocates Society), Spring 2018
  • "Cybersecurity compliance burdens increase for Canadian investment dealers and advisers," Gowling WLG MarketCaps, October 2017
  • "Early cybersecurity derivative actions miss Target," (2015-16), 17 I.E.C.L.C., August 2016
  • "Early cybersecurity derivative actions miss Target," Gowlings Commercial Litigation Bulletin, July 2016
  • "Ransomware poses complex legal and reputational risks," Globe and Mail, April 2016
  • "McDonald's: U.S. 'joint employer' case sounds alarm for Canadian franchisors," Gowlings Franchise and Distribution, April 2016
  • "Ransomware threat to Canadian businesses broadens," Gowlings Commercial Litigation Bulletin, April 2016
  • "A big bite of the Apple: "Backdoor" orders, privacy and burdens on non-litigants," Gowlings Commercial Litigation Bulletin, February 2016
  • "Ontario court clarifies franchise issues in Trillium Motor v. General Motors," Gowlings Franchise and Distribution, July 2015
  • The Advocates' Society Electronic Trials Symposium: "The Advocates' Society Paperless Trials Manual: A Preview," June 2015
  • The Advocates' Society Paperless Trials Manual, released May 2015
  • "Ontario Court of Appeal narrows franchisor obligation to disclose litigation in Caffé Demetre case," Gowlings Franchise and Distribution, April 2015
  • "Québec Court of Appeal upholds liability, reduces damages in Dunkin' Brands Canada Ltd. v. Bertico Inc.," Gowlings Franchise and Distribution, April 2015
  • "Restrictions On Communication With Experts: Advocacy Groups Provide Guidance On Moore v. Getahun," Gowlings Commercial Litigation Bulletin, July 2014
  • "Courts Clean House with SCC's A.I. Enterprises v. Bram Enterprises," Toronto Law Journal, July 2014
  • "Achilles Motors - Temporary Dissolution is no Achilles' Heel," Gowlings Commercial Litigation Bulletin, April 2014
  • "The Pendulum Swings on Summary Judgment in Hryniak v. Mauldin," Toronto Law Journal, April 2014
  • "Hryniak v. Mauldin: Supreme Court Loosens Restrictions on Summary Judgment Imposed by Combined Air," Gowlings Commercial Litigation Bulletin, January 2014
  • "The 'Communications Revolution' in Our Courts," Toronto Law Journal, January 2014
  • "Jury Still Out on Digital Court Recording," Keeping Tabs, October 2013
  • "A Supreme Limit? The Division of Powers and Securities Regulation," paper for The Commons Institute, Supreme Court & Constitutional Litigation, June 27-28, 2013
  • "Too Soon to Tell if Changes to IIROC Arbitrations Process will Increase Use by Investors," Gowlings Commercial Litigation Bulletin, December 2011
  • "Supreme Court Releases Decision on Proposed Securities Act - Details," Gowlings Commercial Litigation Bulletin, November 2011
  • "Legal Solutions to Ontario's Organ Shortage: Redrawing the Boundaries of Consent," (2006) 13 Health L.J. 139, January 2006
  • "Does the Charter Matter?" (2005) 11 Rev. Con. Stud. 37, January 2005

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Panel, "Competitive Advantage: Legal Strategies for Success in Canada's Sports Industry," GWLG (Webinar), Jan. 27, 2021
  • Lecture, "Cross-border & International Data Privacy Issues," Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel (Webinar), Jan. 26, 2021
  • Panel, "The Art of The Set-Up: How to Look and Sound Your Best," The Advocates' Society The Art of Virtual Persuasion (Webinar), Jan. 22, 2021
  • Lecture, "Cybersecurity 2021 – Threatscape & Protecting Your Internal Business Client," Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel (Webinar), Jan. 21, 2021
  • Panel, "Preparing Your Case in a Digital Age," The Advocates' Society A Litigator's Guide to Case Preparation Program (Webinar), Dec. 9, 2020
  • Panel, "Taking Charge After a Cyber Attack," GWLG-Accenture (Webinar), Oct. 27, 2020
  • Panel, "Using the Cloud for a Dispersed Workforce – Risks and Opportunities," Canadian Lawyer LegalTech Summit (Webinar), Sept. 15, 2020
  • Panel, The Advocates' Society Introduction to Thomson Reuters – CaseLines, Aug. 13, 2020
  • Panel, "E-Hearings: Perspectives from the Front Lines," Association of E-Discovery Specialists (Webinar), June 25, 2020
  • Panelist, "The Shape of Litigation to Come: What's Worked What Hasn't, and What's to Expect in the Post-COVID Courts," Toronto Lawyers Association (Webinar), June 1, 2020
  • "Cyber Breaches: Legal Issues & Resources for SMEs," Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (Webinar), May 14, 2020
  • "Cyber Security and Privacy Risks in a Remote Work Environment," Canadian Credit Union Association (Webinar), April 29, 2020
  • "Industry 4.0: Legal Considerations for Emerging Technologies," Conference Board of Canada (Webinar), April 21, 2020
  • "Contractual Implications of COVID-19 for Brand Marketers," Association of Canadian Advertisers (Webinar), April 14, 2020
  • "Cyber Security and Privacy Risks in a Remote Work Environment," GWLG (Webinar), April 9, 2020
  • Moderator, "Litigation Issues in Internet Law," Ontario Bar Association (Webinar), April 7, 2020
  • Panelist, "Litigating From Home: A Starter Kit," The Advocates Society (Webinar), March 27, 2020
  • Panel, "Institute 2020: Civil Litigation—How to Prepare for and Conduct Digital Hearings," Ontario Bar Association, February 6, 2020
  • Panel, "Data protection in the EU: What Canadian Businesses need to know," Gowling WLG, Toronto, Oct. 8, 2019
  • Panel, "Cyber Security & Personal Data," World Legal Summit (Toronto), Toronto, Aug. 1, 2019
  • Panel, "International Data Protection," Association of Corporate Counsel Conference, Philadelphia, April 24, 2019
  • Panel, "Electronic Trials," Ontario Bar Association Anatomy of a Trial, Toronto, April 29, 2019
  • Panel, "International Data Protection," Association of Corporate Counsel In-House Counsel Conference, Philadelphia, April 24, 2019
  • Lecture, "Privacy: Protecting Yourself and Your Organization," Ontario HIV Network, March 4, 2019
  • Lecture, "Technology in the Multi-generational Workplace: New Technologies, Legal Risks, and Practical Strategies," Conference Board of Canada, Toronto, Jan. 31, 2019
  • Lecture (with Christopher Oates), "Significant Regulatory Developments," Janus Conferences Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, Toronto, Nov. 6, 2018
  • Lecture, "Your Privacy and the Law in Canada," Digital Privacy Expo, North York Central Library, Sept. 22, 2018
  • Panelist, "Cybersecurity: Defending Your Digital Business," Economic Club of Canada, Toronto, June 25, 2018
  • Lecture, "Preparing the Organization for a Data Breach and Aftermath," Conference Board of Canada / BlackBerry Secure World Tour, Ottawa, May 8, 2018
  • Lecture, "The Advocates' Society Paperless Trials Manual: Primer & Update," The Advocates' Society Electronic Trials and Arbitrations program, Toronto, April 9, 2018
  • Lecture / Panelist, "Cyber Security-Incident Response & Insurance," University of Toronto Law School, Toronto, March 14, 2018
  • Panelist, "Technology in the Courtroom," The Advocates' Society Courthouse of the Future Symposium, Toronto, Nov. 21, 2017
  • Panelist, "Cybersecurity: The Impenetrable Topic," Technology in Practice 2017, Toronto, Nov. 9, 2017
  • Lecture, "Digital Privacy: Protecting Yourself in the Digital Age," Toronto Public Library, Fairview Branch, Toronto, Oct. 17, 2017
  • Panelist, "Managing Risk: Cyber Security Preparedness and Breach Response," Scalar Security Roadshow, Vancouver-Calgary-Toronto, October 2016
  • Lecture, "Technology and Ontario's Courts," (presentation to a Chinese judicial delegation), Toronto, Sept. 29, 2017
  • Panelist, "Cyber Security," Gowling WLG Waterloo Oatmeal Seminar, Waterloo, May 17, 2017
  • Lecture, "Boilerplate," The Osgoode Certificate in Entertainment Law course, Toronto, Feb. 8, 2017
  • Lecture, "The Cyber Security Legal Landscape: An Update," Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange Symposium, Toronto, Dec. 7, 2016
  • Lecture, Lecture, "The Advocates' Society Paperless Trials Manual: Primer & Update," Sudbury and District Law Association Colloquium 2015, Sudbury, Oct. 22, 2015


  • Interview, Alex Boutilier, "Could driverless cars have hackers behind the wheel?" The Toronto Star, Jan. 5, 2021
  • Interview, Tim Wilbur, "Legal tech's silver lining in pandemic: a new openness from lawyers to solutions," Canadian Lawyer, Oct. 15, 2020
  • Interview, Jack Hauen, "'Some Semblance of the 21st Century'" Lawyers Pleased with Plan to Move Court Docs Online," Queen's Park Briefing, July 30, 2020
  • Interview," Adapting to the new normal: Cyber security in the age of COVID-19," Mallory Hendry, HRD Magazine, May 29, 2020
  • Interview, Alex Boutilier, "Hackers are working to scam Canadians out of COVID-19 benefits, cyber agency finds," The Toronto Star, May 26, 2020
  • Interview, David Paddon (The Canadian Press), "Employers will have to show they prepared workers to avoid breaches, lawyer says," The Toronto Star, April 1, 2020
  • Guest, The Digital Forensics Files Podcast, DFI Forensics, Jan. 16, 2020

Representative Work

Technology and Cyber

  • Represented Amazon Web Services in the Capital One data breach class action.
  • Advised several US educational, health and non-profit organizations victimized by Blackbaud ransomware attack.
  • Breach coach for a professional firm and construction company victimized by REvil ransomware attack.
  • Represented a veterinary consulting company in intellectual property dispute.
  • Arranged and supervised penetration and forensic testing for a FinTech company.
  • Breach coach for a waste disposal contractor struck by a ransomware attack.
  • Breach coach for a paving company struck by a ransomware attack.
  • Represented a device manufacturer in a data privacy class action.
  • Breach coach for a province-wide medical diagnostics company struck by a ransomware attack.
  • Breach coach for an online loan company subjected to a targeted phishing attack.
  • Advised a bank in a potential dispute with a customer defrauded in a phishing attack.
  • Counsel for a travel software developer in a software implementation dispute with a major travel company.
  • Represented a travel company sued for non-payment by a hosted email service provider.
  • Represented a manufacturer in a dispute with a licensee making illegal use of the manufacturer's confidential information.
  • Advised a software vendor on data privacy and contractual rights issues in a dispute with municipal transportation network.
  • Acted for a vendor of car dealer management software in an implementation dispute with a customer.
  • Advised an online managed services provider on regulatory and insolvency issues regarding a customer.
  • Represented online auction and classified ads companies in various consumer disputes, including complaints to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
  • Advised on cyber security issues in due diligence for the financing of a digital currency company.
  • Acted as breach coach for an online lender compromised by a phishing attack.
  • Defended senior management for a software company against complex oppression claims in a commercial arbitration.
  • Successfully defended software company directors from an oppression action by a former investor.
  • Represented cleantech company in dispute with activist shareholders.
  • Represented an American celebrity in an action against a Canadian company illegally using the celebrity's likeness on drug paraphernalia.
  • Counsel for a home alarm company in a dispute with a competitor over allegedly stolen customer data.

General Commercial Litigation

  • Advised a provincial regulator in a contract dispute with its cloud hosting provider.
  • Represented trustees for a charity in a real estate dispute with a foreign government.
  • Successfully defended clients implicated in a complex fraud action involving multiple defendants and jurisdictions.
  • Resolved a dispute between a commercial tenant and its landlord.

Financial Services and Insolvency

  • Represented a large trust company in a class action and related actions and applications involving alleged breaches of the Consumer Protection Act.
  • Counsel for the monitor in a complex insolvency proceeding establishing the right of monitors to act as plaintiff in oppression actions.
  • Defended a bank's advisory practice sued for negligence by an auto parts company.
  • Counsel for trustee in bankruptcy in complex recovery proceedings.

Administrative and Constitutional

  • Represented a provincial new home builder regulator in numerous complex administrative and civil proceedings.
  • Counsel to several municipalities in a constitutional dispute with a national railway.
  • Counsel to animal rights groups in a judicial review of provincial hunting legislation.
  • Appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada in support of the federal government's constitutional reference regarding a national securities regulator.
  • Represented a large online used car dealer in disciplinary proceedings involving alleged regulatory breaches.


  • Represented a region and several municipalities in jurisdictional dispute with a national railway in litigation linked to a federal environmental assessment proceeding.
  • Defended a heating equipment manufacturer from multiple actions involving oil leaks from residential heating equipment.
  • Obtained injunction preventing a landlord from destroying evidence of environmental contamination.
  • Represented landowner in a dispute with neighbouring polluters.