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Radnoff departs Lerners, joins Dickinson Wright

|Written By Anita Balakrishnan
Radnoff departs Lerners, joins Dickinson Wright
Brian Radnoff is known for high-profile cases on defamation and corporate espionage.

Lawyer Brian Radnoff, who previously practised at Lerners LLP, is moving to Dickinson Wright LLP in Toronto.

Radnoff says he plans to leverage the firm's cross-border business to take advantage of the U.S.client base and, in turn, help Dickinson Wright LLP's Toronto office expand its reach in commercial litigation.

"Thankfully, given that we still have a free trade deal with the U.S., or at least we expect to, I think this is a really good opportunity for me to expand that area of my practise," Radnoff says. "Now that things are a bit more settled, I think that there's going to be a lot more investment going both ways. Any time you have business dealings, you have the potential for disputes, and you need people like myself ... My observation from reading has been there has been a lot of fear about investment in both countries because of the uncertainty, and I think a lot of that has now been resolved."

Dickinson Wright LLP’s announcement on Monday cited Radnoff’s involvement in “one of the largest corporate espionage cases in Canada” and “in a defamation action that resulted in one of the ten highest defamation damage awards in Canada.”

In the defamation case Astley v. Verdun, 2013ONSC 6734, for example, the court awarded awarded $650,000 to Robert Astley, then-president of Mutual Life of Canada and, later, president of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Radnoff was one of the lawyers representing Astley. Radnoff also represented Air Canada in Air Canada v. WestJet Airlines Ltd., 2004, which alleged that WestJet used confidential information from a website that Air Canada operated for the benefit of its employees.

More recently, Radnoff represented intervenor Canadian Civil Liberties Association in  R. v. Vice Media Canada Inc., 2017 ONCA 231, a case over whether a Vice Media reporter must provide the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with background from three articles about a former Calgary resident allegedly involved with ISIS. That case appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada earlier this year.

Radnoff’s new firm, which deals with business cases across the Canada-U.S. border, also noted Radnoff’s background in professional negligence and discipline cases, appeals, class actions and estates.

As for upcoming trends, Radnoff says the marijuana business is likely to see some cross-border legal action.

"One area that this firm has been involved in — the marijuana industry — is obviously going to be a huge thing, particularly given the different legal structure in the U.S. and Canada. I think a lot of U.S. companies are going to be looking at Canada," Radnoff says.

Law Commission of Ontario counsel Sue Gratton has worked with Radnoff on a project called “Defamation Law in the Internet Age.”

“Brian has a wealth of expertise in defamation law and practice. He has been a valuable resource for the Law Commission of Ontario,” Gratton said in an emailed statement, adding, “His new firm is lucky to have him.”

Editor's note: Story updated Nov. 13, 2018 to included additional comments from Brian Radnoff.


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