David T. Woodfield

David Woodfield is a partner in Gowling WLG's Toronto office, with a practice focused on commercial disputes. He has extensive experience as both a trial and appellate lawyer and has represented clients in a broad range of alternate dispute resolution forums, including multiple arbitrations and mediations.

David has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, as well as the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also appeared before other provincial courts and a variety of regulatory bodies.

His areas of expertise include class actions, shareholder disputes, consumer protection, directors' and officers' liability, professional negligence, product liability, construction and a variety of other corporate and commercial matters.

David is a member of the firm's U.S. and China and East Asia initiatives. He has been involved in many multi-jurisdictional disputes and has worked extensively with clients and counsel throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Mandats représentatifs

  • Class actions defence, including various multi-jurisdictional and cross-border claims, with an emphasis on product liability, particularly pharmaceutical and medical device claims
  • Construction claims, including claims by owners and contractors as well as providing advice on construction claims management
  • Corporate/commercial litigation, including a wide range of matters relating to contract disputes, shareholder remedies (oppression, derivative actions, etc.), fraud, plans of arrangement, breach of confidence and creditor/debtor rights
  • Directors' and officers' liability, including claims by creditors and shareholders
  • National and international alternate dispute resolution, including arbitrations and mediations as well as creative forms of alternate dispute resolution
  • Professional liability, both defending and prosecuting claims against a variety of professionals, including lawyers, financial advisers and accountants

Sector specific representative work:

Pharmaceutical class action

  • Counsel for a major pharmaceutical client with respect to various multi-jurisdictional class actions and individual claims concerning diabetes medication.
  • Counsel for a major pharmaceutical client with respect to various multi-jurisdictional class actions and individual claims concerning an anti-inflammatory medication.

Overtime class action

  • Lead counsel for an international outsourcing and collection company regarding claims for unpaid overtime.

Construction/breach of contract (energy sector)

  • Counsel for an owner/operator of a nuclear facility in arbitration proceedings relating to a multi-billion dollar construction project.

Contractual enforcement

  • Energy sector: Lead arbitration counsel for an energy efficiency and management company in an successfully enforcing its contractual rights for compensation relating to the management of a provincial energy program.
  • Services sector: Lead counsel for a multi-national uniform supplier with respect to multiple cases involving enforcement of its contractual rights.
  • Technology sector:
    • Lead counsel to a multi-national technology company with respect to a multi-million dollar dispute concerning payment for development of software for a major pharmaceutical chain of stores.
    • Lead counsel to the same supplier with respect to court and arbitration proceedings relating to a multi-million dollar dispute concerning payment for the development and management of infrastructure services for an international freight and delivery company.
    • Lead arbitration counsel to a multi-national technology company in arbitration proceedings relating to fees arising from data warehousing.


  • Lead counsel successfully defending clients in a decade-long case claiming over $10 million in damages for various claims, including fraud, deceit, and conspiracy. All of the claims, which related to the importation and selling of computer equipment and involved counsel and witnesses in multiple jurisdictions including China and the United States, were dismissed following a lengthy trial.

Confidential information and trade secrets

  • Counsel before the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada in a dispute relating to the confidentiality of the recipe for Clamato juice. The decision is one of Canada's leading cases regarding assessment of damages in a breach of confidence case.

Director and officer liability

  • Lead counsel at trial to several officers and directors in an oppression action brought by the company's former chief executive officer.

Pharmaceutical pricing/regulatory

  • Counsel for an international pharmaceutical company in a hearing before the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board regarding the pricing of its ADHD drug.
  • Lead counsel in a successful application by a pharmaceutical company to set aside a rejection by Health Canada of a New Drug Submission.

Product liability

  • Counsel for a major food manufacturer in successfully obtaining a multi-million dollar judgment against its supplier arising from a national outbreak of salmonella.