Deborah E. Palter - Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP

Deborah E. Palter

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2016
Phone: 416-304-0148

Deborah is a partner practicing in the area of commercial litigation with an emphasis on disputes of complex commercial agreements.  She has been identified as a leading lawyer in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Litigation – Corporate Commercial), The Best Lawyers in Canada (Corporate and Commercial Litigation) and Benchmark Canada:  The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (Litigation Star in Ontario).  Deborah regularly acts for individuals, corporations and major financial institutions providing creative advice and strategies for resolving complicated business disputes.  Her significant mandates include matters involving director and officer liability, private equity transactions, commercial real estate disputes and securities related issues. She regularly appears in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List).


  • Defended a large international bank in a dispute over amounts owed under the terms of a carried interest plan and related private equity fund
  • Defended the former principal of Lakeport Brewing Corp. in the defence of a $50 million officer and director liability claim
  • Defended ICI Canada at trial in an action for specific performance of an agreement for the sale of land in Georgian Bay
  • Represented Oxford Developments in applications for the interpretation of commercial real estate contracts
  • Represented the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System before a major municipal judicial inquiry
  • Acted on behalf of a committee of contesting bondholders in the BCE privatization, which involved the world's largest leveraged buy-out with an enterprise value of $52 billion
  • Litigation counsel to the receiver, RSM Richter Inc., in the Norshield hedge fund scandal
  • Represented respondent Corpfinance International Limited ("CFI") in connection with the dismissal of a motion to vary a vesting order together with a substantial indemnity costs award in favour of CFI
  • Counsel to a variety of matters involving interim injunctive relief
  • Counsel on a number of multi-party mediations and arbitrations pertaining to contractual interpretation disputes


Deborah is a director of The Advocates' Society and Vice-Chair of Practice Groups Standing Committee. She was selected to be a member of the Commercial List Users Committee (CLUC) in 2015. Deborah is a frequent speaker at continuing professional development (CPD) programs and is active in mentoring young lawyers. Recent professional appearances include the following:

  • Co-Chair – The Advocates' Society Program "Breakfast Near Tiffany's - The Client." May 22, 2015.
  • Speaker –  "Practice Management at Trial: What You Need to Know." The Advocates's Society Program "Practice Management Essentials: Managing Your Way to Trial Success." April 30, 2015.
  • Co-Chair – The Advocates' Society Civil Litigation Skills Certificate Program: "Trial from A to Z." April 8, 2015.
  • Speaker – The Advocates' Society Courthouse Series: "Challenging Credibility." February 11, 2015.
  • Moderator  – The Advocates' Society Program: "Breakfast Near Tiffany's - Confidence in the Courtroom." October 2, 2014
  • Facilitator – Toronto Lawyers Association Program "Drafting Winning Motions." September 11, 2014.
  • Speaker  – "Practical Tips for Preparing Witnesses." The Advocates' Society Program 'Trial from A to Z." April 29, 2014.
  • Co-Chair and Moderator – Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) Program "Effective Litigation – Getting Things Done." April 4, 2014.
  • Chair and Moderator – LSUC Program "Complex Commercial Litigation Matters." March 28, 2013.
  • Mentor – Young Women In Law “Speed Mentoring” Event.  June 2012, 2013 and 2014.
  • Speaker and Panellist – “Recovery Techniques for Failed Investments – Working with the OSC to Minimize Investor Losses”.  The Advocates’ Society Securities Symposium.  September 13, 2012.
  • Speaker – “Civility – An Examination of LSUC v. Groia”  CPD Accredited.  TGF Lawyers’ Seminar.  September 5, 2012.
  • Speaker – "Conflicts of Interest." CPD Accredited.  TGF Client Seminar.  December 6, 2011.
  • Speaker and Panellist  – “Norwich Orders” – LSUC Program “Mastering the Art of Complex Civil Motions.”   March 31, 2011.

Deborah is member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section. She is a long-standing member of Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, and was actively involved in its Special Events Committee for over a decade. Deborah and the TGF relay team featuring Jim Grout and Rachelle Moncur are proud first place winners of the 2006 Around the Bay Corporate Mixed Relay 30 km race.

University of TorontoBA 1991Detroit MercyWindsorLL.B 1994
The Advocates' Society

Office Location

Suite 3200, 100 Wellington Street West
Toronto-Dominion Centre
P.O. Box 329
Toronto, ON M5K 1K7

Practice Areas

Corporate and Commercial Litigation