W. Colin "Colin" Empke

W. Colin "Colin" Empke

Blaney McMurtry LLP

Recognized since 2023

Toronto, Ontario

Practice Areas

Insurance Law

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Colin is a partner in Blaney’s Insurance Coverage Counsel Group. His primary practice area relates to insurance coverage opinions and coverage litigation. His secondary practice area involves insurance related defence work and subrogation claims.

As coverage counsel, Colin provides advice and litigates in relation to liability policies of every description, including commercial general liability, automobile, homeowner and directors’ and officers’ policies. He also provides advice in relation to first party property policies. As defence counsel, Colin represents insured persons in all manner of personal injury and property damage cases.

Colin has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Court of Appeal, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. Recently, Colin satisfied the Court of Appeal that the CGL automobile exclusion was applicable to an accident involving a ladder that fell off of a moving truck. The loading and unloading of the ladder were found to be automobile related activities and not a concurrent cause of the loss. (CUMIS General Insurance Co. v. 1319273 Ontario Ltd. 2008 ONCA 249)

Colin is widely published on insurance coverage issues. He has authored papers for and presented lectures at the Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Institute, Canadian Defence Lawyers, Osgoode Hall Professional Development, University of Western Ontario, Ontario Risk and Insurance Managers Society and the Insurance Institute of Ontario. He has had articles published in the Canadian Insurance Law Reporter, the Canadian Journal of Insurance Law and Claims Canada magazine. Topics have included allocation of defence costs, coverage for long-tail environmental and sexual abuse claims, advertising liability and directors and officers coverage.

Colin is a contributor to The Annotated Commercial General Liability Policy. Colin also contributes to Property Damage Claims Under Commercial Insurance Policies. Colin was one of the three original authors of Chapter 18 (Liability Insurance) of Insurance Law in Canada by Brown and Menezes, which has been favourably quoted by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Monenco case and by the Courts of Appeal of British Columbia, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

While at law school Colin received numerous academic prizes, scholarships and awards, including prizes in contracts law, criminal law, municipal law, advocacy and insurance law. Colin achieved the highest standing in first year and was on the Dean’s list for all three years of law school.

Contact & Links
  • 2 Queen Street East, Suite 1500
    Toronto, ON M5C 3G5
  • University of New Brunswick, LL.B., graduated 1995
  • Queen’s University, B.A., (Honours), graduated 1991
Bar Admissions
  • Ontario, 1997
  • Ontario, 1997
  • Canadian Defence Lawyers Association - Member
  • Defence Research Institute - Member
  • Law Society of Ontario - Member
  • Ontario Bar Association - Member
  • The Advocates' Society - Member

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2023 for work in:
  • Insurance Law
  • Ranked as a leading litigation lawyer in the 2021 Lexpert Special Edition – Canada’s Leading Litigation Lawyers
  • Rated by Lexpert® Canadian Legal Directory as Leading Practitioner (Consistently Recommended) in Commercial Insurance Litigation
  • Listed in Expert Guides' Guide to the World's Leading Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers

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