Philip Kennedy Partner

Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 2008 - New South Wales, Australia

Year of Call: 2002 - Ontario

Primary office:  Hamilton

Philip Kennedy

Based in the Hamilton office, Philip (Phil) Kennedy is a partner in Gowling WLG's Advocacy Department. An experienced and versatile corporate and commercial litigator, he seeks to create and leverage opportunities for favourable and pragmatic outcomes at all stages of business disputes, both before and after the interested parties resort to litigation. Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Phil worked in two other major international law firms – in Toronto, Ontario, and in Sydney, Australia. He also has experience working in-house for the retail and small business banking division of a major bank.

In addition to litigating a broad range of corporate and commercial matters at all levels of court up to and including the Ontario Court of Appeal, Phil has specific expertise and interest in resolving franchise disputes, and has assisted both franchisors and franchisees in different contexts, including the sale and acquisition of franchises.

Clear and persuasive written and oral advocacy are hallmarks of Phil's practice, along with a strong client service ethic. This latter quality was particularly developed in recent years, when Phil was the principal of, and a partner in, a small independent law firm.

Although comfortable and adept in working with highly sophisticated clients who operate on a national, international or global scale, Phil has a special understanding of the needs and operating constraints of start-ups, small business, and medium-sized enterprises. Clients depend on Phil to provide consistently high-quality service and advice in the most economic and efficient manner.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2017

    • Career
      Principal, Partner – Suregrant Professional Corporation and Graham Stephenson Kennedy LLP
  • 2011

    • Career
      Senior Associate, Advocacy Department – Gowling WLG
  • 2009

    • Career
      Senior Legal Counsel, Personal and Business Banking – Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Sydney)
  • 2008

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2007

    • Rankings & Awards
      LexisNexis Prize for 1st place in Australian Constitutional Law, University of Sydney
  • 2006

    • Career
      Senior Associate – Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney, Australia)
  • 2002

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Ontario
  • 2000

    • Education
      University of Victoria, LLB
    • Career
      Articling Student and Associate - Norton Rose Fulbright (Toronto)
    • Career
      Norton Rose Fulbright (formerly Ogilvy Renault, Toronto), Articling Student, Associate (2000-2006)
  • 1987

    • Education
      University of Sydney, NSW, Australia, B.App.Sc (Speech Pathology)


  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Canadian Franchise Association
  • Hamilton Law Association

Representative Work

A few examples of Phil's recent work include:

  • Successfully acting for a demolition company in a commercial list matter concerning a dispute over rights to certain large industrial transformers, where the client's rights were not recognized by the trustee in bankruptcy and by the purchaser of certain related assets;
  • Achieving a favourable settlement for a consultant to an international VPN provider in a dispute over the consultant's entitlement to certain valuable share options, and the proper valuation of same in the context of a consolidated, closely-held enterprise;
  • Acting for multiple individual defendants to a franchise rescission claim, each of whom participated in a now defunct Quick Service Restaurant franchise system;
  • Representing the sellers in the sale of franchised clinics in the Niagara Falls, Ottawa, and Burlington areas;
  • Successfully acting for a conservation authority in prosecutions under the Conservation Authorities Act with respect to unauthorized development on a valley slope and in protected wetland areas;
  • Successfully prosecuting an offence under the Building Code Act relating to the defendant's failure to obtain a building permit and breach of an Order to Comply; and
  • Favourably settling a decade-old flooding claim by a commercial condominium corporation against a neighbouring railway company, with the resolution including major rectification of the source of the flooding and the payment of damages.