Patrick Flaherty


Telephone: 416-855-0403
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Assistant: Janine Brown
416-855-0401 ext.0500 | | Download Janine's Vcard

Pat Flaherty has a broad civil litigation practice, with an emphasis on corporate/commercial, securities litigation, international arbitration, class action defence, product liability, intellectual property, and privacy. Before founding Chernos Flaherty Svonkin LLP with David Chernos and Stuart Svonkin, Pat practised at Torys LLP in Toronto for more than twenty years, the last 14 years as a partner. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and in the Federal Court of Canada, and he has extensive trial experience, both in court and as counsel in domestic and international arbitrations in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. Pat has also acted as an arbitrator, including regularly as a panelist in domain name disputes under the auspices of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority Dispute Resolution Rules.


Lexpert/Thomson Reuters' Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, since 2012 – Consistently Recommended practitioner in litigation, corporate commercial; Repeatedly Recommended practitioner in litigation, securities; Repeatedly Recommended practitioner in commercial arbitration

Legal Media Group's Benchmark Canada, since 2012 – Litigation Star, Ontario; Leading litigator for general commercial, intellectual property and product liability

Lexpert's Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada (US Litigation Guide), 2012 - 2017 – Leading corporate commercial litigation lawyer

Best Lawyers in Canada, 2016 - 2017 – Class Action Defence

Lexpert's Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada (US Litigation Guide), 2007 – One of Canada’s litigators to watch

Representative Counsel Matters

  • a Canadian bank and credit card issuer in defending claims seeking damages in respect of class actions alleging conspiracy, unlawful interference and anti-competitive behavior in relation to interchange fees
  • a senior executive of a public company in proceedings before the OSC alleging breach of the Securities Act arising out of alleged material misstatements and related proposed class actions
  • a leading Canadian manufacturer in defending class actions for conspiracy to fix prices in the vitamins industry
  • a Canadian Bank in arbitration proceedings regarding the alleged wrongful termination of a services contract
  • a leading Canadian technology company in respect of claims of market manipulation and related class proceedings
  • a mining company in multiple international arbitrations arising out of disputes related to the development of a mine in Central America
  • a multi-national tobacco company in class proceedings
  • a Canadian Bank in claims against a group of former employees for breach of confidence, conspiracy to injure, inducing breach of contract and other claims
  • a multi-national manufacturing company in claims against a former executive and related parties for breach of confidence, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty
  • a leading energy company in defending claims by competitors of breach of confidence, trade libel and unlawful interference with economic interests
    an international franchisor in its claims of defamation and trade libel against former franchisees
  • a public company in defending allegations by its competitors of conspiracy and breach of confidence
  • a mining company in international arbitrations relating to the development of mining properties in Rwanda and Tanzania
  • a Canadian investment bank in defending claims of negligence and breach of duty regarding the rendering of a fairness opinion
  • multi-national pharmaceutical companies defending class proceedings and product liability claims
  • a leading chain pharmacy in complaints before the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • an individual and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in proceedings before the Federal Court regarding the unauthorized disclosure of personal information to a foreign government
  • a multi-national finance corporation and its senior executives in defending claims by a municipality of fraud, negligence and conspiracy
  • a Canadian ethanol producer in disputes with a petroleum company under a long-terms supply arrangement
  • a Nova Scotia company in a claims for specific performance of an agreement to purchase a control block of shares in a public company
  • an analyst firm in defending claims by a public company alleging defamation, unlawful interference and negligence
  • a multinational corporation in disputes under a software licensing agreement arbitrated under the Ontario International Commercial Arbitration Act
  • an ISP in resisting access to its customers' identities in claims brought by the Canadian Record Industry Association relating to music downloading and copyright infringement
  • an international corporation in class action claims concerning conspiracy to price-fix and the Competition Act
  • a former NHL hockey player in his successful action against Alan Eagleson, his agent and former director of the NHLPA

Professional Involvement

Pat has taught in the trial advocacy programs in several Canadian law schools, and he has written and spoken extensively on a wide range of legal subjects. He lectures at Osgoode Hall Law School, having most recently taught in its LLM program on Protection of Intangible Business Interests.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Privacy Class Actions Against Financial Institutions: Emerging Trends, Real Risks and Mitigation Strategies
CLHIA 2013 Legal Section Annual Meeting
October 4, 2013

Privacy Class Actions: Anticipating Emerging Trends
14th Annual Forum on Class Actions, Canadian Institute
September 24, 2013

Privacy Class Actions in Canada: Are Plaintiffs Banking on Financial Institutions?
National Banking Law Review, 32 Nat. B.L. Rev, Vol. 32, Number 4,
August 2013

Privacy Breach Guidelines: Post-Breach Best Practices
Federated Press 7th Managing Privacy Compliance
March 7, 2013

Stormy Weather: Jurisdiction Over Privacy and Data Protection in the Cloud – Part 2
Internet and E-Commerce Law in Canada, vol. 13, no. 10
February 2013

Stormy Weather: Jurisdiction Over Privacy and Data Protection in the Cloud – Part 1
Internet and E-Commerce Law in Canada, vol. 13, no. 9
January 2013

Stormy Weather: Jurisdiction over Privacy and Data Protection in the Cloud
World Library and Information Congress, International Federation of Library Associations Conference and Assembly
August 13, 2012

Ontario Medical Device Product Liability Case Shows Class Action Trial's Immense Scope
Westlaw Journal: Medical Devices, vol. 19, issue 11
July 16, 2012

Privacy Protection in the Digital Workplace
Canadian Privacy Law Review, vol. 9, no. 8
July 2012

Customer Data: Opportunity or Minefield
Canadian Telecom Summit
June 5, 2012

Libel Law
Osgoode Hall Law School, Part-time LLM Program, Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution
May 31, 2012

Privacy Class Actions: Once More into the Breach?
Class Action Defence Quarterly, vol. 6, no. 3
March 2012

Critical Privacy Law Update
Canadian Institute 7th Annual Forum on Payments Compliance in Canada
February 15, 2012

The Twelve Minute Civil Litigator: Privacy Law Pitfalls in Civil Litigation
Law Society of Upper Canada

Ontario Companies Doing Business with Hospitals May Become Subject to Access-to-Information Requests
Westlaw Journal: Medical Devices, vol. 18, issue 8
June 2011

Privacy Class Actions Are Here, But Do We Need Them?
Canadian Privacy Law Review, vol. 8, no. 3
January 2011

Seize the Day and a Bunch of Important Evidence: Anton Piller Orders
Osgoode Professional Development Injunctions Conference
April 2010

To Notify or Not to Notify
OBA Privacy Law Review, Eye on Privacy, vol. 8, no. 3
May 2008

Critical Tips for Effectively Managing a Privacy Investigation to Minimize Reputational Fallout
Privacy Compliance: Meeting Your Obligations and Challenges, Canadian Institute, Toronto
May 2006

Freedom of Expression: The Growing Implications for Commercial Enterprise
AIPPI Canada Annual Meeting, Mont Tremblant, Quebec
October 2005

Complaints Handling Under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
Canadian Institute conference, Toronto
June 2005

Patent Damages
University of Toronto Centre for Innovation Policy Technology Symposium

Requests to Admit and Admissions: Unpolished Gems
Law Society of Upper Canada Civil Litigation Forum, Toronto

Patent Damages in the United States and Canada
Licensing Executives Society International Fall Convention, Toronto

Liability of Corporate Directors, Officers
Ontario Bar Association Annual Institute, Toronto

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act: A Comprehensive Guide
Co-author, Canada Law Book

Selected Media Highlights

June 3, 2013: Pat Flaherty comments on evolving perceptions of data storage under the U.S. Patriot Act

May 1, 2013: Patrick Flaherty comments on internet privacy issues around apps and cloud computing, in Lexpert

January 21, 2013: Patrick Flaherty comments on how PIPEDA can affect the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in litigation, in Law Times

November 21, 2012: Patrick Flaherty comments on issues of privacy and legal jurisdiction with regards to cloud computing, in Financial Post

October 29, 2012: Patrick Flaherty comments on the CRTC’s approach to Canada’s anti-spam guidelines, in Law Times

October 24, 2012: Patrick Flaherty comments on Supreme Court decision on employee privacy, in Lexpert

October 11, 2012: Patrick Flaherty and Molly Reynolds comment on the CRTC’s first information bulletin on Canada’s anti-spam legislation, in Financial Post

September 25, 2012: Patrick Flaherty comments on the Privacy Commissioner’s report on online privacy in Financial Post

August 14, 2012: Patrick Flaherty weighs the legal risks and benefits of cloud computing for libraries, in American Libraries, The Magazine of the American Library Association

June 6, 2012: Risk of class-action litigation against collectors of personal details especially palpable, says Patrick Flaherty in Financial Post

January 30, 2012: New privacy ruling should not be a major worry to business, says Patrick Flaherty in Law Times

October 1, 2004: Patrick Flaherty catalyzed the opening of the Airbus scandal proceedings, says William Kaplan in A Secret Trial


The Advocates' Society
The Osgoode Society
London Court of International Arbitration

Bar Admissions

Ontario, 1993


JD, 1991
Queen's University

BA, 1988
University of Toronto