Kevin O’Brien

Kevin O’Brien

Partner, Litigation

Contact Information

tel: 416.862.4861



Kevin navigates clients and their businesses through their most difficult and sensitive cases. He is a consummate advocate and experienced trial and appellate counsel, whose strategic insight, pragmatism and courtroom skill make him go-to counsel for clients' toughest disputes. While most at home in a courtroom, Kevin appreciates that businesses and their stakeholders often prefer to avoid protracted disputes, and that doing so can be critical to their success. Where a quick and quiet exit better matches his clients’ objectives, Kevin brokers effective and protective settlements. 

Working predominantly in corporate/commercial, class action, securities, product liability and construction/infrastructure industry disputes, Kevin has particular expertise in reputation protection and defamation matters. Businesses and their stakeholders, finding themselves under the spotlight of media scrutiny or subject to the pressure of media investigations, rely on Kevin for his crisis management expertise and advice. For these clients, he is a consistent and reassuring force, working with public relations teams to manage reputational risk through immediate and effective response plans. Kevin helps clients achieve the delicate balance between their legal and public relations interests, and they appreciate his leadership, judgment and practical strategic guidance. Kevin also has significant experience in domestic and international arbitrations.  

Kevin is the Chair of Osler’s Legal Professionals Committee. He is also a committed Pro Bono Ontario supporter and volunteer.

    • Lead trial counsel in successful defence of action between two leading Toronto fertility clinics relating to entitlement to government funding for fertility treatments
    • Acting for a pharmaceutical company and national retail pharmacy chain in the defence of multiple class actions commenced across the country in respect of opioid products, including a novel statutory action commenced on behalf of the provincial governments
    • Representing the owner of a large wind farm project in arbitration with contractor relating to issues with an electricity transmission line
    • Counselling various prominent organizations and high-profile individuals in confidential defamation and internet libel matters and in responding to high-profile media investigations
    • Representing Royal Bank of Canada in application relating to complex commercial leasing arrangements
    • Successfully defending BP in a cross-border securities class action arising from the Deepwater Horizon explosion, a complex and lengthy proceeding which involved four separate precedent-setting decisions from the Court of Appeal for Ontario
    • Advising the Independent Electricity System Operator on matters arising out of renewable energy products and programs
    • Acting for the City of Toronto against Carillion Construction Inc. in complex, multi-party litigation arising out of the Union Station Redevelopment Project
    • Acting for GuestLogix Inc. in an ongoing secondary market securities class action
    • Acting for Greater Toronto Airports Authority in action relating to provision of security services at Pearson International Airport
    • Twice striking claims brought against Dundee Kilmer Development in relation to the development of the 2015 Pan/Parapan AM Games Athletes’ Village
    • Successfully representing dissenting shareholders of Aquam Corporation in successful application to fix fair value of their shares
    • Acting for AIG in a proposed class action under Ontario’s Securities Act arising from allegations of secondary market misrepresentations
    • Representing a Canadian mining company in successful international commercial arbitration conducted in Rome, Italy, arising from a dispute with a major Italian corporation concerning post-closing issues in a purchase agreement between the parties
    • Acting for Ventas, Inc. in its successful application for a declaration that Sunrise REIT was obligated under the purchase agreement between the parties to enforce the standstill terms of Sunrise REIT’s confidentiality agreement with a participant in its prior auction process. The decision of the Ontario Superior Court was upheld by the Court of Appeal for Ontario
    • Regularly counselling prominent organizations and high-profile individuals in confidential reputation management and defamation and internet libel matters, and responding to media investigations

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Recognized in Litigation - Corporate Commercial

  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • The Advocates' Society