William McNamara

Senior Partner

William McNamara


T:+1 416.216.3906

F:+1 416.216.3930

William (Bill) McNamara’s practice involves a broad range of commercial litigation matters, with emphasis on the defence of product liability class actions, infrastructure claims, anti-trust law (price fixing, bid-rigging, misleading advertising, illegal trade practices and deceptive marketing practices), banking law (wrongful realization of securities), insolvency, restructuring and corporate disputes.

He has appeared before the courts in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta; the Competition Tribunal; the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal; and numerous private arbitral panels. He is fluently bilingual in English and French, and completely at ease conducting trials or appellate advocacy in either language.

Mr. McNamara served as counsel to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Presence of War Criminals in Canada between 1985 and 1987. The commission’s report led to the adoption of amendments to various Canadian laws, including the Criminal Code. These have facilitated the prosecution of war criminals in Canada and, in at least two cases, led to the deportation of war criminals who gained entry into Canada illegally.

Mr. McNamara is an elective member of the firm’s partnership committee.

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  • Year of call
    British Columbia 2013
    Quebec 1986
    Ontario 1983
  • Law school
    B.C.L., McGill University, 1985
    LL.B., McGill University, 1981
  • Education
    B.A.(Hons.), History, Loyola College, Concordia University, 1977
  • Selected client work

    Mr. McNamara has acted in the following matters:

    • On behalf of innovative pharmaceutical manufacturers, numerous class action and single-plaintiff claims
    • On behalf of a manufacturer of construction materials, product liability and recall issues relating to asbestos-containing products
    • The defence of numerous class actions relating to allegations of price-fixing and anti-competitive behaviour in various industries, including automotive, compressors, graphite electrodes, carbon electrodes, air cargo and freight forwarding
    • Defence representation in connection with conspiracy charges and misleading advertising/ordinary price claims before the Competition Tribunal
    • Infrastructure and construction claims relating to the timeliness of project completion, design, building envelope integrity, heating and ventilation systems, tendering fairness and project costs
    • Representation of a leading financial institution in connection with claims relating to the interruption of bank processing services and claims relating to the realization of security
    • Numerous private arbitrations involving shareholder and other disputes
    • The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Presence of War Criminals in Canada between 1985 and 1987 (as counsel to the Royal Commission)
  • Rankings and recognitions
    • Who’s Who Legal, Canada 2014: Life Sciences
    • The International Who's Who of Life Sciences Lawyers, 2011-2013
    • PLC Cross-Border Life Sciences Handbook, 2007-2011
  • Memberships and activities
    • Law Society of Upper Canada 
    • Quebec Bar 
    • Law Society of British Columbia
    • The Advocates’ Society
    • Canadian Bar Association
      • Past President, National Construction Law Section
      • Former member, National Sections Council Executive
    • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar