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Profile

IAN BINNIE, C.C., Q.C. is counsel at Lenczner Slaght.

One of Canada's most respected advocates, the Honourable Ian Binnie served for nearly 14 years as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. When he retired in 2011 he was described by The Globe and Mail as "arguably the country's premier judge" and by La Presse as "peut-être le juge le plus influent au Canada dans la dernière décennie."

During his time on the country's top court (as only the second modern Justice appointed directly from the bar) Ian authored more than 170 opinions, including on landmark cases involving issues of patent interpretation and validity, protection of trade-marks, media law, commercial disputes, punitive damages, expert evidence and many aspects of constitutional, criminal and administrative law.

In his role as Counsel with Lenczner Slaght, Ian shares strategic and practical advice, as well as his dispute resolution expertise, with his colleagues and the firm's clients. In doing so he draws not only on his judicial insights, but also his wealth of courtroom experience as one of Canada's top litigators. Over the course of three decades, he argued cases in most of the common law provinces and appeared regularly before the Supreme Court on a range of constitutional, civil and criminal matters

Throughout his career as a litigator, Ian has often taken on public service roles as well. In the early 1980s he served for four years as Canada's Associate Deputy Minister of Justice. He was later appointed Special Parliamentary Counsel to the Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on the Meech Lake Accord. An elected member of the International Commission of Jurists, he has appeared before the International Court of Justice and various international tribunals in governmental litigation matters, and has acted as Canadian representative in high-profile disputes involving France and the U.S..

Bar Admissions:
England (1966)
Ontario (1967)
International Court of Justice (1984)
Yukon (1985)
British Columbia, Alberta (occasional), (1986)
Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland (occasional) (1997)

Education:
University of Cambridge (1988) LLM
University of Toronto (1965) LLB
University of Cambridge (1962) LLB
McGill University (1960) BA