Michael S. Polowin Partner Leader of National Municipal Law Group


Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 1985 - Ontario

Primary phone: +1 613-786-0158

Fax: +1 613-788-3485

Email: michael.polowin@gowlingwlg.com

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Primary office:  Ottawa




Michael S. Polowin

Michael Polowin is one of Ontario's leading lawyers in municipal and real property law. An Ottawa-based Gowling WLG partner with more than 30 years' experience, he can provide you with strategic advice and representation in the areas of development, municipal and planning law, and commercial real property, through the full spectrum of the acquisition, financing and development process.

He has acted for some of the largest developers in Canada and has been involved in developments throughout Ontario, appearing in Court and at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Michael also has extensive experience in development-related agreements, including subdivision, cost-sharing agreements and expropriation matters. Michael has also acted on real estate and land use issues for companies in the burgeoning cannabis industry.

He has been ranked by The Best Lawyers in Canada in the areas of municipal law and real estate, and is named a leading practitioner in the area of property development by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. He has also been recognized by Chambers Global Practice Guide for Real Estate: zoning/land use, and is regularly featured in various publications, electronic media and Canadian newspapers, providing commentary on key municipal and planning issues.

He has written extensively on municipal and planning law matters, and is the co-author of Manual for Elected Municipal Officials - Ontario, a comprehensive reference tool for municipal council members to consult when issues arise in the course of their duties.

Michael believes in giving back. He is a member of the Ottawa chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association, where he also serves as a member of the Government Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association, serving as a member of the Builder-Developer Council.

He is active in the community, sitting on the Boards of a number of charitable organizations and acting as a fundraiser for others. Michael is now chair of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. For 10 years, he was the chair of the Board of Directors for Camp B'nai Brith of Ottawa; he was president of the Ottawa Jewish Community School from 2017-2019, and chair of the annual fundraising campaign for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa for 2016 and 2017.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2019

  • 2018

  • 2017

  • 2016

  • 2015

    • Rankings & Awards
      September 2015
      The Best Lawyers in Canada 2016
    • Rankings & Awards
      July 2015
      Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2015
    • Rankings & Awards
       2015
      Lexpert - Property Development
    • Rankings & Awards
       2015
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Municipal Law
    • Rankings & Awards
       2015
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Real Estate
  • 2014

    • Rankings & Awards
      September 2014
      The Best Lawyers in Canada 2015
    • Rankings & Awards
      July 2014
      Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2014
    • Rankings & Awards
       2014
      Lexpert - Property Development
    • Rankings & Awards
       2014
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Municipal Law
    • Rankings & Awards
       2014
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Real Estate
  • 2013

    • Rankings & Awards
      September 2013
      The Best Lawyers in Canada 2014
    • Rankings & Awards
      February 2013
      The Best Lawyers in Canada® 2013
    • Rankings & Awards
       2013
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Municipal Law
    • Rankings & Awards
       2013
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Real Estate
  • 2012

    • Rankings & Awards
      February 2012
      The Best Lawyers in Canada 2012
    • Rankings & Awards
       2012
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Municipal Law
    • Rankings & Awards
       2012
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Real Estate
  • 2011

    • Rankings & Awards
      February 2011
      The Best Lawyers in Canada® 2011
    • Rankings & Awards
       2011
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Municipal Law
    • Rankings & Awards
       2011
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Real Estate
  • 2010

    • Rankings & Awards
      February 2010
      The Best Lawyers in Canada® 2010
    • Rankings & Awards
       2010
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Municipal Law
    • Rankings & Awards
       2010
      Best Lawyers in Canada, Real Estate
  • 1985

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
       1985
      Year of Call, Ontario
  • 1983

    • Education
       1983
      Osgoode Hall Law School, LLB
  • 1980

    • Education
       1980
      University of Ottawa, Bachelor of Social Science

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Building Owners and Managers Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • International Council of Shopping Centres
  • Lambda Alpha International, the Honorary Society for the Advancement of Land
  • Ontario Bar Association's Real Property Section and Municipal Law Section

Previous speaking engagements