C. David Freedman, PhD Counsel Certified Specialist (Estates & Trust Law)

Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 1990 - Ontario

Primary phone: +1 416-862-4655

Fax: +1 416-862-7661

Email: david.freedman@gowlingwlg.com

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Primary office:  Toronto

Areas of expertise:

C. David Freedman, PhD

C. David Freedman is counsel at Gowling WLG's Toronto office and works within the global Private Client Services Group.

David has been certified as a Specialist in Estates and Trusts Law by the Law Society of Ontario. His practice is focused on litigious estate, trust and capacity matters in addition to complex trust planning and administration. As preferred counsel for LawPRO, David acts on matters of professional negligence with respect to estate and trust issues, including defending solicitor negligence claims. David has extensive experience in trial and appellate litigation as well as in arbitrations.

In addition to his work as a practising lawyer, David is also a tenured law professor in the Faculty of Law at Queen's University where he teaches Trusts, Wills & Estates Law, Estate Litigation, and Civil Procedure. He holds an undergraduate law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, a masters degree from the University of Oxford and a doctoral degree from the University of Cambridge.

David has published widely on estates and trusts topics and is co-author of Ooosterhoff on Wills, and has a book forthcoming titled Civil Practice And Procedure: Text, Commentary & Materials. For more information, please visit his academic website.

David is a member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners, The Advocates' Society, Ontario Bar Association, Frontenac Law Association, and the Canadian Tax Foundation.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 1990

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Ontario
    • Education
      Osgoode Hall Law School, LLB
    • Education
      University of Oxford, MA
    • Education
      Cambridge University, PhD


  • Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners
  • Advocates' Society
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Frontenac Law Association
  • Canadian Tax Foundation


  • The Law of Civil Procedure: Cases, Materials & Commentary (Thomson Reuters) [Forthcoming]
  • 'Drafting and Attacking a Charging Clause in a Will' (2017), 36 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 160
  • Oosterhoff on Wills and Succession, 8th ed. (Thomson Reuters, 2016) [contributor and co- editor]
  • The Law of Trusts, 3rd ed. (Emond Montgomery, 2015) [contributor]
  • 'Summary Judgment and the Law of Probate' (2014), 34 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 199
  • 'The 'Opinion, Advice, and Direction' of the Court: Principles, Procedures, and Judicial Blessings' (2013), 32 Estates Trusts and Pensions Journal 422
  • 'Disputes Amongst Multiple Trustees: What Rights Does A Minority Estate Trustee Have Against An Oppressive Majority?' (2012), 32 Estates Trusts and Pensions Journal 41
  • 'Misfeasance, Nonfeasance and the Self-Interested Attorney' (2010), 48 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 457
  • 'Unjust Enrichment Claims Against the Estate Based on the Provision of Services to the Deceased' (2009), 29 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 59
  • The Presumption of Advancement Retreats, Rebuttal Evidence Expands, And Estate Litigation Lawyers Rejoice' (2007), 27 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 5
  • [winner of the Widdifield Prize]
  • 'Reassessing Gratuitous Transfers by Parents to Adult Children' (2005), 25 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 174.
  • My academic interests extend to criminal law and intellectual property law as well, although I have restricted myself to estates and trusts law in recent years. In other areas I have published as follows:
  • 'The New Law of Criminal Organizations in Canada' (2006), 85 Canadian Bar Review 171.
  • 'Restoring Order To The Reasonable Person Test In The Defence Of Provocation' (1999), 10 King's College Law Journal 26.
  • 'The Extension of the Criminal Law to Protecting Confidential Commercial Information: Comments On The Issues' (1999), 13 International Review of Law, Computers and Technology 147; reprinted in DS Wall (Ed), Cyberspace Crime (Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2003).
  • 'Structuring Investigative Discretion' (1988), 12 Police Studies 139
  • 'Double Jeopardy Protection in Canada: A Consideration of Development, Doctrine and a Current Controversy' (1988), 11 Criminal Law Journal 3
  • 'Revising Canadian Database Protection: What Lessons from Europe?' (2002), 81 Canadian Bar Review 253; expanded, 'Should Canada Enact a New Sui Generis Database Right?' (2002), 13 Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal 35.
  • 'Software and Computer-Related Business-Method Inventions: Must Europe Adopt American Patent Culture?' (2000), 8 International Journal of Law and Information Technology 285.
  • 'Confidential Commercial Information and Breach of Fiduciary Duty: The Liability of Third Parties in Knowing-Receipt to Make Restitution' [2000] 2 Intellectual Property Quarterly
  • 208.
  • 'The Protection of Software in Copyright and the Law of Confidence' (2000), 8 International Journal of Law and Information Technology 25.
  • 'Beyond Technological Solutions for the Protection of Confidential Commercial Information on the Internet: The Legal Response'(1999), 10 Computers and Law 35.
  • 'Protecting Confidential Commercial Information' (1999), 4 Communications Law 87.
  • 'The Great Canadian Juice War' [1999] 58 Cambridge Law Journal 288.

Conference presentations


  • 'Top Estate & Trusts Cases 2017' and 'The Court's Rectification Power in Contracts, Trusts, and Wills: Is There a Difference?' [Law Society of Upper Canada, 20th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]


  • 'Making and Attacking Charging Clauses' [Law Society of Upper Canada, 19th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]


  • 'Accessorial Liability for Breach of Trust and Fiduciary Duty' [Law Society of Upper Canada, 18th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]
  • 'Why Passing of Accounts Matter' [Law Society of Upper Canada, 15 February 2014]


  • 'Trends in the Application of the Limitations Rules in Trusts & Estates Litigation' [Law Society of Upper Canada, 17th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit] - Presented
  • 'Why Passing of Accounts Matter' [Law Society of Upper Canada, 15 February 2014] Halton County Law Association - Estates and Family Law Seminar [May 9, 2014]


  • 'Variation of Trusts' [Law Society of Upper Canada, 16th Annual Estates and Trusts
  • Summit]
  • 'Mediation of Estate Disputes' [Estates Planning Council of Eastern Ontario, 25 Sept. 2013]
  • 'Care of the Frail Elderly: Navigating the Maze' [Centre for Studies in Aging and Health, 5 June 2013]
  • 'Legal Issues Affecting Residents and Families of Residents in Long-Term Care' [Reach Canada, Ottawa, 23 May 2013]
  • 'Civil Law Seminar: Persons and Property from Cradle to Grave (and Beyond)' [National Judicial Institute, 14-15 May 2013]
  • 2nd Annual East Region Estates and Trusts Seminar: (1) The Use of Insurance Trusts and other Family Trusts in Estates; (2) Review of Mutual and Mirror Wills; (3) Exculpatory Clauses [Perth/Lanark Law Association, 1 May 2013]
  • 'Civil Litigators Series - Wills and Estates' [Law Society of Upper Canada, 22 Feb. 2013]


  • 'The 'Opinion, Advice, and Direction' of the Court: Principles, Procedures, and Judicial Blessings' [Law Society of Upper Canada, 15th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]
  • 'Mutual Wills', and, 'Lapse & Anti-Lapse'. Both at the County of Lanark Law Association East Region Estates and Trusts Seminar


  • 'The Developing Law of Unjust Enrichment: Cohabitational Relationships' [Frontenac Law Association, Estates & Trusts Section]
  • 'Addressing Oppressive Conduct by Jointly-Appointed Estate Trustees' [Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, 14th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]
  • 'The Implications of Alberta v Elder Advocates of Alberta Society for Elder Law' [41st Annual Workshop on Commercial and Consumer Law, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto]


  • 'Misfeasance, Nonfeasance, And The Self-Interested Attorney' [Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, 13th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit] 'Elder Law' [Elders Gathering, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte]
  • 'The Fiduciary Principle at the Intersection of Private and Public Law' [Estates & Trusts Section, OBA, Ottawa]
  • 'Elder Law and Elder Abuse' [PEAN, Belleville]
  • 'Power of Attorney Issues' [Estate Planning Council of Eastern Ontario]