Deborah is a commercial litigator practising at Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP. She acts for individuals, corporations and financial institutions providing creative advice and strategies for resolving complicated business disputes. Deborah routinely advises and represents clients on cases involving complex commercial agreements, director and officer liability, banking litigation, commercial real estate disputes, fraud claims, shareholder and partnership disputes and securities-related issues. She appears as counsel in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) and in the negotiation, mediation and private arbitration of commercial disputes. Deborah is recognized as a leading lawyer in several publications. She is a member of the Board and Executive Committee of The Advocates’ Society. Deborah is a frequent speaker and moderator at Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1996 and the Bar of New York in 1997.
- 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
- Acted for a U.S. subsidiary claiming indemnification for pre-arrangement taxes arising out of a Plan of Arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act with a $400 million transaction value. Defended the responding Application seeking rectification of the tax indemnity agreement executed in connection with the Plan of Arrangement
- Court-appointed litigation counsel to the Litigation Trustee of Cash Store Financial Services Inc.
- 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 Treasurer of The Advocates’ Society and has served as Chair of the Society's Education Committee and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Advocacy and Practice. She chaired The Advocates’ Society Task Force on the precedent setting constitutional case Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada and Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University. Deborah sat on the Commercial List Users’ Committee (2015-2019). She is a frequent speaker at continuing professional development (CPD) programs and is active in mentoring young lawyers. Recent professional appearances include the following:
- Moderator – Commercial List Users’ Committee Annual Retreat panel “What’s Happening on the Commercial List?” Jun 05, 2019.
- Speaker – The Advocates’ Society program “Commercial List Advocacy.” May 15, 2019.
- Speaker – The Advocates’ Society program “Leadership Skills for Litigators.” Mar 29, 2019.
- Speaker – Lexpert’s in-class program and live webinar “Litigation Funding: A Tool for Risk Mitigation and Revenue Generation.” Nov 20, 2018.
- Co-chair and Moderator – The Advocates’ Society program “Negotiation Strategies for Litigators” on the panel entitled “Negotiating an Enforceable Deal.” May 08, 2018.
- Speaker – The Advocates’ Society Program “Leading Your Case: Opening Statements and Examination-in-Chief” on the panel entitled “Mastering Opening Statements.” December 15, 2017.
- Co-chair – The Advocates’ Society 2017 Fall Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. November 1 – 5, 2017.
- Mentor – The Advocates' Society 7th Biennial Women in Litigation Symposium. October 27, 2018.
- Chair – The Law Society of Upper Canada Program “Getting the Most Out of the Rules of Civil Procedure.” February 28, 2017.
- Speaker – The 2017 Toronto Courthouse Series on the topic “Previewing Your Story in Your Opening Statement.” February 23, 2017.
- Speaker and Panelist - The Advocates’ Society Program “Motions Advocacy.” February 7, 2017.
- Co-chair and Moderator – The Advocates’ Society Program “Cross-examination: Strategies for Success.” January 20, 2017.
- Speaker – The Advocates' Society Fall Convention in California regarding "Update on The Advocates' Society Policy Initiatives and Interventions." November 12, 2016.
- Co-chair – The Advocates' Society Program "Breakfast Near Tiffany's VI - Public Interest Litigation and Advocacy." September 30, 2017
- Co-chair and Moderator – The Advocates' Society Program: "Insolvency Litigation." June 20, 2017.
- Speaker – The Advocates' Society Program "Summary Judgment Motions." May 27, 2017
- Co-chair and Moderator – The Advocates' Society 6th Biennial Women in Litigation Symposium: The Powerful Advocate. October 23, 2017.
- Speaker and Panelist – The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) Program "At Issue for Civil Litigators - What is Trending Now." October 22, 2015.
- 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.
Deborah is member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section.