WILLIAM C. MCDOWELL is a partner at Lenczner Slaght.
In his wide-ranging practice, Will has appeared as counsel in many important cases focusing on issues of public law and commercial litigation. He is also a leading practitioner of libel and media law, having acted for both plaintiffs and defendants in numerous noteworthy cases. In addition, he has acted as counsel to several Ontario universities.
From 2005 to 2008, Will was Canada's Associate Deputy Minister of Justice, with responsibility for civil litigation, national security and issues involving federal central agencies. He led a Department of Justice team that addressed a complex series of issues surrounding the Aboriginal Days of Protest in 2006–2007.
Upon his return to private practice in 2008, Will was appointed by the Chief Justice of Ontario to mediate issues arising from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Inquiry into Aboriginal residential schools. He was subsequently appointed to an Amicus role by the Superior Court in connection with a series of land occupations in Brantford. In 2009 he was named Chief Commission Counsel to the City of Mississauga Judicial Inquiry, which delivered its report in October 2011.
Will was a joint recipient of the Department of Justice National Award for his work in resolving the high-profile Maher Arar v Canada case. He has also been honoured by the University of Toronto for many years of volunteer efforts on behalf of his alma mater. A frequent contributor to professional conferences as a speaker as well as a writer, he has taught trial advocacy at Queen's University and Osgoode Hall law schools.