MacKenzie Barristers is a boutique litigation practice concentrating on civil appeals and issues of professional responsibility and liability.

We are frequently retained by other lawyers for advice or representation on legal ethics issues and professional responsibility disputes; to act as independent counsel for a third party or affected person in continuing litigation; or to collaborate or act as counsel on a motion or an appeal.

We can help provide an objective perspective, sound judgment, thoughtful analysis, and excellent written and oral advocacy.

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What we do
Ethics & Professional Responsibility
Appellate Advocacy & Opinions

We are often retained advise and act as counsel on appeals, both in respect of interlocutory motions and final judgments. 

We have significant experience in appellate courts acting for and advising appellants, respondents, and interveners in appeals, motions for leave to intervene, and applications for leave to appeal in the Supreme Court of Canada, and preparing arguments and appearing as counsel on behalf of both appellants and respondents in several appeals before the Federal Court of Appeal and Court of Appeal for Ontario. 
We know that effective advocacy requires careful analysis and a clear, concise, and focused argument. We consider the big picture and identify the problem(s) at the heart of the case, then focus our argument on the issues troubling the court.

Our firm regularly collaborates with other lawyers in co-counsel arrangements, particularly where the referring lawyer has been acting on a matter and wishes to remain involved in the case, but recognizes that specialized advocacy expertise or a fresh, objective perspective is required.

If you are considering whether to appeal an unfavourable decision or required to respond to an appeal after a successful motion or trial decision, we are available to assist in the background, act alongside existing counsel, or assume representation entirely. Of course, we respect all referrals.

Our firm provides advice, opinions, and representation on professional responsibility and liability issues, including on potential conflicts of interest, ethical dilemmas, privilege and confidentiality, partnership disputes, and fiduciary obligations.

We are frequently engaged to act on motions to disqualify counsel, and have appeared on such motions before all levels of court, including recently in the leading cases from the Supreme Court of Canada and Ontario Court of Appeal.

Our firm is often retained to provide expert reports and testimony on standard of care issues in solicitors' negligence litigation. We have acted as counsel for plaintiffs and for defendants in professional negligence actions, and for lawyers and other professionals in regulatory investigations and disciplinary proceedings.

Gavin MacKenzie is the author of Lawyers & Ethics: Professional Responsibility and Discipline, which has been published by Carswell since 1993. The practitioners' edition is supplemented at least annually, and the sixth Student Edition was published in 2018.

Practice Areas

 Contact us for advice or representation on:

  • Civil appeals, including:

    • Medical malpractice

    • Contractual disputes

    • Torts and personal injury

    • Trusts and equitable remedies

    • Employment law 

  • Administrative law

  • Constitutional law

  • Commercial litigation

  • Summary judgment motions

  • Conflicts of interest

  • Disqualification of counsel

  • Professional liability and discipline

  • Privilege and
    confidentiality issues

  • Fiduciary obligations

  • Regulation of professions

  • Expert opinions