About the Roundtable The Members
Arbitration is better.

Joel Richler
Joel Richler, B.C.L., LLB., FCIArb
Partner, Toronto Office, Blakes
Direct: (416) 863-2735
Facsimile: (416) 863-2653

[ Profile ] [ Relevant Arbitration Experience  ] [ Professional Experience ] [ Recent Publications ] [ Recent Professional Activities ] [ Recent Media Appearances ] [ Education ]


Joel Richler is a senior member and past Co-chair of the Litigation Group of the Blakes Toronto office. He currently heads the Firm’s International Dispute Resolution Initiative. His practice is devoted to all aspects of commercial dispute resolution, and he has, since 1980, acted in a wide variety of complex commercial matters, including many trials, appeals, arbitrations (international and domestic) and mediations.

Joel is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the ADR Institute of Canada, a member of the Arbitration Round Table of Toronto and he is certified by The Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in civil litigation. He has practised before all levels of the courts in Ontario and New Brunswick, including trial and appellate courts, the Federal Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. In addition, Joel has appeared before many administrative tribunals, including the Canadian, Ontario and New Brunswick human rights commissions, The Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, the Ontario Racing Commission and the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal.

Joel's practice is wide-ranging. He has arbitrated, tried and mediated cases involving contract disputes, product liability, shareholders' rights, technology and software disputes, procurement, securities, construction, professional liability and many other areas.

Joel has been recognized by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory for several years as a leading practitioner in corporate commercial litigation, construction law, securities litigation, directors’ and officers’ litigation and professional liability law.

Joel is cited in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2008 in the areas of corporate and commercial litigation, directors and officers liability, legal malpractice law and construction law. He has an AV rating in Martindale-Hubbell and has been ranked in Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business since 2005. Joel is also a founding Fellow and a current member of the Board of Governors of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers.

Joel is an active advocate and his opinion evidence as an expert in trial practice has been accepted by an Ontario trial court.

Relevant Arbitration Experience

Joel led the successful prosecution of an international commercial arbitration claim for royalty payments and copyright infringement arising from a software licensing agreement and he obtained an award of more than USD 90 million, which was sustained on judicial review.
Joel acted as claimant’s counsel in a multimillion-dollar product liability and construction international arbitration on behalf of a major steel manufacturer.

Joel has conducted several matters relating to software and technology issues, both in litigation and in arbitration.

Completed arbitration and litigation cases of significance include:

MPI Technologies v. Xerox - Successful arbitration of software royalty and copyright infringement issues.

S v. A and J - Successful resolution of a multimillion-dollar product liability and construction claim.

HA v. AA - Arbitration of claims arising from interpretation of unanimous shareholders agreement.

B v. SAA - Arbitration of claims arising from business process software modification and installation.

Singer v. Candy - Successful settlement of international (International Chamber of Commerce) arbitration of dispute between Italian and Turkish companies.

Andersen Consulting v. Hudson's Bay Company - Mediation of complex claim for damages arising for consulting engagement.

Optiglass v. Zellers Inc. - Mediation of a claim arising out of the termination of licensing arrangements in the defendant retail chain.

Linamar v. Giuliani – Mediation of cross-border claims arising from design, fabrication and commissioning of defective manufacturing equipment.

In re Biovail – applications arising from contested Annual General Meeting of a public corporation.

Halifax Shipyard v. Minister of Public Works - Successful defence of a judicial review application seeking to overturn the award of a CAD 35-million naval contract.

Casurina v. Rio Algom - Successful defence of an oppression claim made by holders of convertible debentures arising from the hostile take-over of Rio Algom.

Martin v. Artyork - Successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of an investor seeking to enforce the statutory indoor management rule by suing a company on an instrument forged by a dishonest director.

Carosi Construction v. Niagara Region - Successful defence of a claim arising from procurement of two construction contracts.

Bemar v. Toronto Transit Commission - Defence and settlement of complex construction contract and performance claims.

Hackman v. HAS Novelties - Successful resolution of a shareholders dispute in a privately held corporation, using the oppression remedy and winding-up provisions of the Business Corporations Act (Commercial List).

Bronfman v. TaxSave Consultants - Defence of claims relying on the oppression remedy and winding-up provisions of the Business Corporations Act.

Welch Foods v. Cadbury Beverages - Trial and appeal of a licence agreement dispute.

Four Embarcadero Center Venture v. Mr. Greenjeans - A series of cases in the Ontario Courts dealing with the enforcement of foreign judgments.

Distribulite Ltd. v. Toronto Board of Education Staff Credit Union Ltd. - Trial of a series of actions on forged letters of credit. The issues included the liability of directors, the enforceability of forged instruments and the power of credit unions to issue letters of credit.

Jonert Investments v. Rothmans - Represented purchasers at trial in an action relating to an aborted commercial real estate transaction. The case dealt with tender and latent defect issues.

Mercantile Bank of Canada v. Leon's - Trial and appeal of an action against the purchaser of appliances from an insolvent manufacturer. The courts dealt with the right of the purchaser to assert set-off against the holder of Bank Act security.

Woodglen & Co. Ltd. v. Owens - Successful defence at trial and on appeal of a CAD 10-million claim against a law firm, involving complex real estate, planning and municipal law issues, based upon limited retainer and sophisticated client. The case stands as authority on the "duty to warn."

835039 Ontario Inc. v. Fram Development Corporation - Defence at trial of a CAD 20-million claim against a law firm, involving complex development and planning issues.

Bacher v. Obar - Represented a dentist seeking to enforce a restrictive covenant. The case dealt with the issue of the rights and obligations of professionals in "associate" practice with each other.

Hudson's Bay Company v. Minister of Revenue and Bomberry v. Minister of Revenue - Two cases involving the application and interpretation of tobacco tax legislation in Ontario.

Professional Experience

Joel has written extensively on arbitration and civil litigation. Joel was for several years an editor of the Construction Law Reports and a contributing editor of the National Insolvency Review. He has presented papers on a wide range of topics and he has participated in many seminars and programs presented by The Law Society of Upper Canada, The Advocates' Society and private organizations. Joel has participated as an instructor at the bar admission course in Ontario, The Advocates' Society and as a guest instructor at the Osgoode Hall intensive advocacy course. As well, Joel has instructed at training programs presented by clients in-house.

He is a member of the International Bar Association, the ICC Canada Arbitration Committee, the Canadian Bar Association, the American Bar Association and The Advocates' Society. He is currently a director of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and he was a member of the Toronto Advisory Committee of the Civil Justice Reform Project. Joel is a regular faculty member at the Willem C. Via International Commercial Arbitration Moot (Vienna).

Joel was for several years a member of the advisory board of the Canadian Lawyers' Liability Assurance Society (CLLAS), and is a past chair of its claims committee and member of its executive committee. In these capacities, he has advised CLLAS on the resolution of several multimillion-dollar claims against CLLAS members, and he has co-operated actively with the primary insurers on risk management activities. All of these cases deal with complex commercial and corporate issues.

Joel has played an active role in the management of Blakes since becoming a Partner in 1986, having served on its Executive Committee, Partnership Committee, Compensation Committee, Technology Committee, Conflicts Committee and others.

Recent Publications
 Co-author - "BCE Bondholders Claims Rejected by Quebec Court", Blakes Bulletin on Mergers & Acquisitions, April 2008.

Canada Chapter on International Arbitration, Asia-Pacific Arbitration Review, 2008, (Global Arbitration Review).

Canada Chapter on International Arbitration, Asia-Pacific Arbitration Review, 2008, (Global Arbitration Review).

Co-author - "Canada Chapter, International Arbitration - A Country-by-Country look at Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods Around the Globe", Published by Aspatore Books, December 2005.

Recent Professional Activities
“Setting the Stage for Arbitration”. Law Society of Upper Canada Program on Advanced Commercial Arbitration, April 30, 2007

“Out of Court Litigation: Practical Strategies for Success in Commercial Arbitration”. 2008 OBA Institute.

Recent Media Appearances
Interviewed – “Canadians More Involved in the International Arena”, Law Times, April 21, 2008

Interviewed - "Xerox Loses Challenge", Global Arbitration Review, January 12, 2007.
Interviewed - "A Rare Peek into Case of Arbitration", Article by Jacqui McNish, Bar Talk, The Globe and Mail, P. 9, December 6, 2006.


Dipl. CIArb, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration
Certified as Specialist in Civil Litigation - 1991
Admitted to the Ontario Bar - 1980
LL.B., McGill University - 1978
B.C.L., McGill University - 1977