Alf Kwinter was born in Vienna, Austria. He grew up in downtown Toronto and obtained his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1967 and his law degree from the University of Toronto in 1970. In 1974 Alf and his classmate Morris Singer founded the firm of Singer Kwinter. For the first 10 years of his career, Alf practiced mostly criminal law before switching to the civil side representing plaintiffs in personal injury, malpractice and insurance claims. His firm, Singer Kwinter, is consistently named by Canadian Lawyer magazine as a top personal injury firm in Canada.
Alf has appeared as counsel at all court levels including The Supreme Court of Canada, where he appeared on behalf of the successful plaintiff in the landmark decision of Oldfield v. Transamerica Insurance Company. In a trial involving a fire loss claim, the jury awarded Alf's client the amount of the claim plus $2,500,000 for punitive damages-a new Canadian record. He has appeared as counsel on a number of other ground breaking cases including Kamin v. Kawartha Dairy which changed the law on trip and fall and Degennaro v. Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital-the largest award in Canada for chronic pain. Alf is the only lawyer in Canada who has obtained a punitive damage award against an insurance company on three separate occasions.
Alf is a member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA), the Canadian Bar Association, the American Association for Justice and the American Bar Association. He has taught trial practice in the Bar Admission Course and has been invited to speak and chair numerous programs sponsored by The Advocates' Society (TAS), Osgoode Continuing Legal Education, OTLA, CBA, OBA and the LSUC. Alf is currently an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.
Alf has been certified as a specialist in Civil Litigation by The Law Society of Upper Canada and is a past director of the Advocates Society. In addition, Alf has also been consistently ranked as a “most frequently recommended” leading legal practitioner in Canada by his peers in the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory and Best Lawyers in Canada®. Alf was recognized as the Best Lawyers® Personal Injury Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in Toronto for 2016.
In May 2004, Alf was awarded the H. Bruce Hillyer Award by OTLA in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the cause of civil justice and for exemplifying the spirit of OTLA in fearlessly advancing the cause of individual rights by the effective use of trial advocacy.
Alf has delivered the keynote address at the Atlantic Trial Lawyers Association in St. John’s, Newfoundland. In 2008 he was again honoured by OTLA at its annual “Celebration of the Personal Injury Bar”. On June 6th, 2012 at TAS End of Term Dinner, Alf was presented with the Society’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Alf was the recipient of the 2015 OBA Award for Excellence in Insurance Law. This award celebrates his outstanding achievements, distinguished record of service and highest standards of integrity and civility.
Degennaro v Oakville Trafalgar Hospital — Largest award in Canada for a chronic pain case-3.5 million dollars.
Kamin v Kawartha Dairy — Landmark decision which changed the law of slip and fall in Ontario
Wong v Arnold — Key decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal regarding a dog attack