John E. Callaghan
John Callaghan is a partner in Gowling WLG's Toronto office with a broad practice in civil and commercial litigation and regulatory offence work. He is a past leader of the firm's Commercial Litigation Group.
John has acted on an array of different matters. He regularly acts for large corporations, financial institutions and government and regulated industries. He has appeared at both the trial and appellate level, and has reported cases in such areas as contract, environmental law, elections law, corporate, competition, constitutional, statutory interpretation and class actions. Of particular interest, John was lead counsel for Bombardier on contentious litigation with Metrolinx in Ontario. The litigation involved complex contractual interpretation issues and required significant knowledge of Bombardier’s manufacturing and contracting methods.
John has been recognized by several publications as a leading commercial counsel in Canada, including Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 lawyers in Canada; Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to The Leading 500 Cross-Border Lawyers in Canada; Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys; the Best Lawyers in Canada and Financier Worldwide Litigation and Adjudicator Resolution Handbook.
John was a governor of the legal profession in Ontario having been a Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario, the governing body of lawyers in Ontario, for eight years. In his capacity as a Bencher, John adjudicated professional misconduct allegations against lawyers. At the Law Society, John served in many capacities, including Chair of Government Relations for several years.
John is the second-longest-serving member of the Civil Rules Committee in Ontario, having been appointed by successive Chief Justices of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The Rules Committee is responsible for drafting and revising the Rules of Civil Procedure for the Province of Ontario. In this capacity, John has conducted numerous reviews regarding the civil justice system, and has been involved in most of the major procedural reforms in Ontario over this last two decades.
John is co-author of Class Actions: Law and Practice (Lexis/Nexis). The text is the leading authority on the subject of class actions in Canada and has been frequently cited with approval by the Supreme Court of Canada and other appellate and trial courts across Canada.
John is a frequent lecturer on issues of procedure and trial advocacy. He has chaired several of the leading class action conferences in Ontario. He has also spent a number of years as an instructor of trial advocacy with the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto.
Involvement in the legal profession
- Chair, Government Relations and Public Affairs, Law Society of Ontario
- Vice-Chair, Audit and Finance, Law Society of Ontario
- The Advocates' Society, Director (2007-2009)
- Chair, The Advocates' Society - International Conferences to The Hague (2004) and Ireland (2006)
- Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Trial Advocacy (1996-2000)
- Rules Committee (1995-present)
- Chair, Simplified Rules Review Committee (1995-1998)
- Chair, Cost Review Committee (2002-2004)
- Chair, Appellate Delay Committee (1996)
- Member, Civil Procedure Reform Implementation Committee (2010)
- Director, Institute of Clinical and Evaluative Studies (2007-2013)
- Fox Scholar (1989-90)
- Class Action Editor, Toronto Law Journal
- Hockey coach - best job of all!