JohnF

John L. Finnigan

jfinnigan@tgf.ca
416.304.0558416.304.0558

Bio

John has a broad practice in complex commercial litigation with significant experience in insolvency and restructuring litigation. John has been lauded as “a spectacular lawyer in huge insolvency proceedings” 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 2021 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory lists John as a leading lawyer in three practice areas: Litigation – Corporate Commercial, Insolvency Litigation and in Financial Restructuring.

Representative Mandates

  • 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 UK Pension Plan and the UK Pension Protection Fund (on behalf of 42,000 UK 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 U.S. 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 defence 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.

Representative Mandates

JTI-Macdonald Corp.

TGF acts as counsel to the Applicant in its CCAA proceedings. JTIM’s CCAA proceedings are related to the CCAA filings of both Rothmans, Benso...

Nortel Networks UK Pension Claimants

Canadian Insolvency Counsel for the UK Pension Claimants, the largest single creditor in the worldwide Nortel Networks proceedings - $4 Billion.

Cash Store: Court-appointed litigation counsel to the Litigation Trustee of Cash Store Financial Services Inc.

Court-appointed litigation counsel to the Litigation Trustee of Cash Store Financial Services Inc. 

Lakeport Brewing: A D&O liability claim that resulted in a $1.8 million award

Defended the former principal of Lakeport Brewing Corp. in the defence of a $50 million officer and director liability claim.

Represented General Motors Corporation in troubled supplier litigation to secure its automotive manufacturing supply chain

Represented General Motors Corporation in troubled supplier litigation to secure its automotive manufacturing supply chain. 

Bell Canada reorganization

Acting on behalf of a committee of contesting bondholders in the BCE reorganization, which involved the world's largest leveraged buy-out with an enterprise value of $52 billion.

Calpine: Counsel to a committee of unsecured bondholders of Calpine Corporation subsidiaries in oppression proceedings

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

Norshield

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. Involved cross-border proceedings in the United States, Barbados and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. 

Counsel to the Receiver: Portus Group of Companies

Lead litigation counsel to the receiver of the Portus Group of Companies, which involved over $800 million of investor funds at risk in Canada's largest hedge fund scandal.

Portus: Counsel for the Court-appointed Receiver of the Portus Group

TGF represented the Court-Appointed Receiver of the Portus Group of Companies appointed upon the application of the Ontario Securities Commission pursuant to the Securities Act (Ontario). Investors were owed approximately $790,000,000.  They recovered 93.13 cents on the dollar of their claims. The largest asset of the Estate were principal protected notes issued by a Canadian Bank which, after extensive negotiations, agreed to prepay the notes on a commercially reasonable basis. The case also involved pursuing monies misappropriated from the Portus Group by one of its principals through various jurisdictions in the Caribbean, Europe, Hong Kong and Israel arising out of the Portus insolvency.

Professional Involvement

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
  • Toronto Lawyers Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section

Recognition

John is recognized as a leading lawyer in:

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada® 2022 (Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law)
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2021 (Litigation – Corporate Commercial and Insolvency & Financial Restructuring)
  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys 2021 (Litigation Star in Ontario)
  • The 2019 Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyers for Dispute Resolution
  • Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada 2017

News

Education

  • J.D. (Western), 1982