Michael Torrance practises in all areas of contentious and non-contentious employment and labour law, human rights and health and safety matters. He has represented major Canadian companies in judicial review litigation, including in provincial and federal courts and courts of appeal. His litigation practice also includes employment-related civil litigation, discovery examinations, trials, human rights tribunal advocacy and defence of occupational health and safety prosecutions.
Mr. Torrance’s practice also includes compliance advice and training on global regulatory, business ethics and anti-corruption matters. This includes international standards of environmental and social risk management and human rights due diligence, particularly in the context of corporate and project finance. In 2012 Mr. Torrance was seconded to our Asia Pacific occupational health and safety team in Sydney, Australia, where he assisted in developing an occupational health and safety investigation training program and a compliance audit program for Equator Principles banks. Mr. Torrance has given presentations and delivered training on the Equator Principles and environmental and social risk management, in Australia, South Africa and Canada.
Mr. Torrance has been extensively published and quoted in the media on sustainability and corporate social responsibility topics. He is the editor and lead author of IFC Performance Standards on Environmental & Social Sustainability: A Guidebook, published by Lexis Nexis in 2012, and maintains a blog at http://www.lexsustineo.com/.
Year of call
LL.M., Osgoode Hall Law School, 2010
LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, 2005
B.Comm., University of Calgary, 2002
B.A., University of Calgary, 2002
Selected client work
Mr. Torrance has acted recently in the following matters:
- Development of an Equator Principles-compliant facility agreement to finance upstream oil and gas projects in Indonesia
- Development of a precedent for Equator Principles-compliant project finance facility agreements for the global practice
- Development of a compliance program used to audit for compliance with World Bank environmental, health and safety guidelines in the development of a Saudi Arabian chemical plant
- Development of an occupational health and safety investigation training program for use by the Australian mining and electrical industries
- A fatality investigation relating to federally regulated rail operations during a federal occupational health and safety investigation
- Development of anti-corruption policies for Canadian mining and oil & gas companies operating in Eastern Europe and North Africa
- Labour injunction proceedings before the Ontario courts, in which he represented a major Canadian telecommunications company
- Various highly contentious labour arbitration proceedings and labour negotiations in which he acted for Canadian media, pulp and paper and manufacturing companies
- Various human rights and employment litigation in which he represented a major Canadian financial institution
- Judicial review proceedings before the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal in which he represented a major Canadian financial institution
Memberships and activities
- Canadian Bar Association
- Law Society of Upper Canada
- Success Beyond Limits Program
Human rights impacts of business operations will attract scrutiny at home and abroad if not managed well. .
June 11, 2015
Ontario has released the final report of the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review (the Report)..
April 28, 2015
Michael Torrance writes the first of his new, regular columns on CSR for Canadian Mining Journal on the renewed CSR strategy for the Canadian mining sector..
January 06, 2015
Michael Torrance comments in a National Post story on the practical legal reasons for mining companies to have a corporate social responsibility strategy in place.
December 10, 2014