John L. Finnigan

John L. Finnigan

Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP

Recognized since 2015

Toronto, Ontario

Practice Areas

Corporate and Commercial Litigation

Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law

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John is a founding partner of TGF and has a broad practice in complex commercial litigation with significant experience in insolvency and restructuring litigation. John has been lauded as an "excellent commercial litigator" and "a very credible, no-nonsense litigator who is extremely effective in court" in Chambers Global. John is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top lawyers in the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, as a leading lawyer for US/Canada Cross-border Litigation in Lexpert and is recommended in dispute resolution (Canada) by Chambers Global. The 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory lists John as a leading lawyer in three practice areas: Litigation – Corporate Commercial, Insolvency Litigation and in Financial Restructuring.

Representative Work

  • Lead counsel to PwC in its capacity as Receiver and Manager of Bridging Financial Inc. and its related entities. This high profile mandate involves maximizing returns for 26,000 investors in the context of alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of tens of millions of dollars of investor funds.
  • Lead counsel for a Big Four accounting firm in the defence of nine figure auditor negligence claims arising out of the insolvency of Bondfield Construction.
  • Counsel to JTI-Macdonald Corp., one of the largest tobacco companies in Canada, in its proceedings under the CCAA with a goal to achieve a global resolution of the myriad of litigation claims against it exceeding $500 billion. The two other largest tobacco companies have also filed for CCAA protection resulting in unprecedented industry-wide proceedings.
  • Senior litigation counsel representing the Trustees of the U.K. Pension Plan and the U.K. Pension Protection Fund (on behalf of 42,000 U.K. pensioners with a US$3 billion pension plan deficit) in successfully obtaining a groundbreaking pro rata allocation among the global Nortel Networks insolvency estates following an unprecedented joint trial of the Canadian and US Courts, involving $7.3 billion in proceeds.
  • Senior litigation counsel on behalf of the UK Pension Claimants in successfully proving and obtaining an Order allowing a CDN$600 million claim against the Canadian Nortel estate, following its disallowance by the court-appointed Monitor.
  • Court-appointed counsel representing 630,000 policy holders in the demutualization of Economical Mutual Insurance Company. Mandate to represent policy holders in negotiation of the allocation of $2 billion in benefits among policy holders. Cutting-edge mandate in first-ever demutualization of a property and casualty company in Canada.
  • 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, ultimately appearing at the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • Court-appointed litigation counsel to the Litigation Trustee of Cash Store Financial Services Inc.
  • Acting on behalf of a power producer in a nine figure damage arbitration against a provincial government agency for the cancellation of a contract to build a power plant.
  • Acting on behalf of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System before a major municipal judicial inquiry.
  • Representing the former principal of Lakeport Brewing Corp. in the defense of a $50 million officer and director liability case. The case resulted in an $1.8 million cost award in favour of TGF's client.
  • Lead litigation counsel to KPMG Inc., in its capacity as receiver in the receivership and bankruptcy of the Portus Group of Companies, which involved over $800 million of investor funds at risk in Canada's largest hedge fund scandal.
  • Lead litigation counsel to the receiver, RSM Richter Inc., in the Norshield hedge fund scandal involving the tracing and attempted recovery of over $400 million in funds in several jurisdictions.
  • Counsel to a committee of unsecured bondholders of Calpine Corporation subsidiaries in oppression proceedings, as well as the subsequent cross-border restructuring of Calpine and its subsidiaries.
  • Represented General Motors Corporation in troubled supplier litigation to secure its automotive manufacturing supply chain.

John was a founder of the Canadian Chapter and a director of Worldwide Orphans Foundation of Canada, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of orphans throughout the world.

John is a member of The Advocates' Society, INSOL International, the Toronto Lawyers Association, the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section.


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

Bar Admissions

  • Ontario, 1984

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2022 for work in:

  • Corporate and Commercial Litigation
  • Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law

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