WeirFoulds LLP

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WeirFoulds LLP
TypeLimited Liability Partnership
Founded1860 in Toronto
ServicesLegal services
Number of employees
c. 225

WeirFoulds LLP is a Canadian law firm based in Toronto, Ontario. The firm specializes in litigation, corporate, property and government law. It is one of Canada's oldest law firms.[1]


In 1860, Theodore H. Spencer, LL.B., began his practice and opened the firm's first office at 20 Toronto Street, site of the Masonic Temple, built in 1858 by William Kaufman.[2]

WeirFoulds is deeply rooted in Canadian history, stretching back to when Toronto became the industrial center of Ontario in the late 1800s. The firm was founded initially as Spencer and MacDonald in 1870.[3] The firm is currently located in the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower, at 66 Wellington Street West, in Toronto, Ontario.

In 1883, partner John Rose became the first of 13 lawyers from the firm to be appointed as a federal judge, in the court of Common Pleas.[4] Eight of these judges were appointed to courts of appeal in Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

A number of other WeirFoulds partners became judges.[5] These include former Ontario Chief Justice George Alexander Gale; former SCC justice Roy Kellock; former Ontario Court of Appeal justices John Arnup, who was also a treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada, James Carthy and Allan McNiece Austin; Canadian Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell (Canadian jurist); and Ontario Superior Court justices Joan Lax and Paul Perell.

In 1966, the firm prevailed in Leitch Gold Mines v. Texas Gulf, a dispute over vast mineral wealth. At the time, it was the longest civil trial in Commonwealth history.[6] The firm's corporate practice represented the T. Eaton Company in 1920 to develop what was then the largest department store in Canada, beginning a long relationship with the company that lead the firm, in 1965, to act on its behalf to assemble the land for the Eaton Centre in Toronto, the largest urban redevelopment project in Canada at the time. In 2003, Derry Millar of the firm was appointed lead counsel[7] in the Ipperwash Inquiry concerning the events surrounding the death of Dudley George who died in 1995 during a First Nations protest at Ipperwash Provincial Park, see Ipperwash Crisis.

In 2009, the firm was criticized by a judge for spending "excessive" time when acting for the Ontario government in a case involving allegations of corruption at Ontario's real estate arm.[8]

The current executive partner (and previous managing partner) of WeirFoulds, Lisa Borsook, was one of the few women managing partners of any of Canada's major law firms.[9]

Notable members and alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Global reach, regional focus". Canadian Lawyer. Retrieved 20 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Bruce Bell (2009-05-16). "The Bulletin is Downtown Toronto's Best Read Community Newspaper". Retrieved 2011-11-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ City of Toronto Directory, 1870, Spencer & MacDonald partnership formed
  4. ^ "Former Judges of Ontario Courts". Retrieved 2012-02-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Former Judges of Ontario Courts". Retrieved 2012-02-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Leitch Gold Mines limited v. Texas Gulf Sulphur Company". Retrieved 2012-02-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "The Ipperwash Inquiry: Commission Counsel". Retrieved 2012-03-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Law firm bills Ontario up to $850/hour". Toronto Star. 17 Feb 2009. Retrieved March 20, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Jim Middlemiss (2007-04-01). "Managing Partner: Managing Success". Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Retrieved 2012-02-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ a b c "Former Judges". Retrieved 2011-11-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]