He acts as counsel before administrative tribunals and the trial and appellate courts in many aspects of public law, including professional self-regulation and discipline, judicial review of government decision-making, freedom of information and privacy matters, municipal and provincial planning and environmental approvals, municipal assessment and taxation, health, education, alcohol and gaming, legislative drafting and government relations, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In addition, Jeff regularly litigates in matters relating to real property, including purchase and sale disputes, lease and contract interpretation, expropriation, valuation, taxation, boundary and ownership issues, Aboriginal land claims, and arbitration proceedings, including acting as an arbitrator and mediator.

Jeff has argued many of the leading cases – including in the Supreme Court of Canada – in the areas of tribunal jurisdiction and independence, Ministerial discretion, standard of judicial review, equality rights, constitutionality and interpretation of taxation and valuation legislation and remedies, freedom of information, aboriginal land claims and remedies, ownership of waterfront property, and the interpretation of commercial leases.

Jeff Cowan is recognized as one of Canada's leading public law litigators.

He acts as counsel before administrative tribunals and the trial and appellate courts in many aspects of public law, including professional self-regulation and discipline, judicial review of government decision-making, freedom of information and privacy matters, municipal and provincial planning and environmental approvals, municipal assessment and taxation, health, education, alcohol and gaming, legislative drafting and government relations, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In addition, Jeff regularly litigates in matters relating to real property, including purchase and sale disputes, lease and contract interpretation, expropriation, valuation, taxation, boundary and ownership issues, Aboriginal land claims, and arbitration proceedings, including acting as an arbitrator and mediator.

Jeff has argued many of the leading cases – including in the Supreme Court of Canada – in the areas of tribunal jurisdiction and independence, Ministerial discretion, standard of judicial review, equality rights, constitutionality and interpretation of taxation and valuation legislation and remedies, freedom of information, aboriginal land claims and remedies, ownership of waterfront property, and the interpretation of commercial leases.

Significant Cases

C.U.P.E. v. Ontario (Minister of Labour) – Jeff was co-counsel, along with WeirFoulds partner Greg Richards, for the Canadian Bar Association in its successful intervention before the Supreme Court of Canada in this leading case in administrative law involving judicial review of the Minister's discretionary decision to appoint retired judges as chairs of interest arbitration panels in the health care sector.

Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point v. Canada and Chippewas of Sarnia v. Canada – Jeff was successful counsel in these important decisions on aboriginal law and remedies in land claims, in the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

M. v. H. – Jeff was counsel for the United Church of Canada in this leading Supreme Court of Canada decision on equality rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Municipal Property Assessment Corp v. BCE Place Ltd. and Nesse Holdings Inc. v. Regional Assessment Commissioner – Jeff was counsel in these leading Court of Appeal for Ontario decisions on the interpretation of property assessment legislation.

Orlando Corp. v. Zellers Inc., and CT Securities Ltd. v. Oxford Properties. Ltd. – Jeff was successful counsel in these two Court of Appeal for Ontario decisions involving the interpretation of commercial leases.

Hewat v. Ontario – Jeff acted as counsel for the Canadian Bar Association as an intervenor in this Court of Appeal for Ontario decision dealing with the independence and appointment of members of the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

W.C.B. v. Ontario – Jeff was counsel for the Workers' Compensation Board in this Court of Appeal for Ontario decision dealing with the release of competitive information to third parties under freedom of information and privacy legislation.

Hudson's Bay Company v. Ontario – Jeff was successful counsel to numerous shopping centre owners in Toronto in this Court of Appeal for Ontario case involving the constitutionality of municipal legislation.

Freidberg Ltd v. City of Toronto – Jeff was successful counsel in this Court of Appeal for Ontario decision regarding taxpayer remedies against municipalities.

Rowntree Beach Association v. Ontario (Attorney General)- Jeff was successful counsel in this leading case on original Crown surveys and the ownership of waterfront property in Ontario.

Reported Cases

Michnick v. Bass Road Beach Association, 2015 ONSC 1936

Ellard v. Tiny Township, 2012 ONSC 280 

GlaxoSmithKline Inc v Municipal Property Assessment Corp. Region No. 15, [2011] OARBD No 234

James Dick Construction Ltd. v. Caledon (Town) (2010), 66 OMBR 263

Municipal Property Assessment Corp v. BCE Place Ltd (2010), 325 DLR (4th) 69

North Bay Plaza Ltd v Municipal Property Assessment Corp Region No 28 (2010), 66 OMBR 206

H & M Hennes & Mauritz Inc. v. T.E.C. Leaseholds Ltd., [2010] OJ No 1490

Begon v. Worrall, [2010] OJ No 210

KWH Nomineeco Inc. v. Kitchener (City), [2009] OARBD No 114

1518756 Ontario Inc. v. Municipal Property Assessment Corp. (2009), 309 DLR (4th) 250

Brookfield Properties Ltd. v. Municipal Property Assessment Corp. Region No. 09, [2009] OARBD No 28

Kimvar Enterprises Inc., Re (2009), 61 OMBR 293

KWH Nomineeco Inc. v. Kitchener (City) (2009), 61 OMBR 349

BCE Place Ltd. v. Municipal Property Assessment Corp., Region No. 9, [2008] OARBD No 278

Chrysler Canada Ltd. v. Municipal Property Assessment Corp. Region No. 15 (2008), 61 OMBR 57

Ontrea Inc. V. Municipal Property Assessment Corp. (2008), 51 MPLR (4th) 206

Kimvar Enterprises Inc. v. Innisfill (Town), [2008] OMBD No 927

Kimvar Enterprises Inc. v. Innisfill (Town), [2008] OMBD No 928

Kimvar Enterprises Inc. v. Innisfill (Town), [2008] OMBD No 459

Oxford Properties Group Inc. v. Toronto (City), 2008 CarswellOnt 1735

Kimvar Enterprises Inc. v. Simcoe (County), [2008] OMBD No 211

1518756 Ontario Inc. v. Municipal Property Assessment Corp. (2007), 39 MPLR (4th) 196

Ontario Harness Horse Assn. v. Ontario Racing Commission (2007), 229 OAC 307

Home Depot v. Municipal Property Assessment Corp. Region No. 09, [2007] OARBD No 638

Home Depot v. Municipal Property Assessment Corp. Region No. 3, [2007] OARBD No 606

Bell-Northern Research Ltd. v. Municipal Property Assessment Corp., Region No. 3, 9 and 19, 2007 CarswellOnt 5366

Cambridge (City) v. Municipal Property Assessment Corporation Region No. 21, [2007] OARBD No 589

Geranium Corp. v. Ontario (Information and Privacy Commissioner) (2007), 31 MPLR (4th) 229

Curtis Properties (Bridgeland) Inc. v. Toronto (City) (2006), 27 MPLR (4th) 140

Rocca v. Caledon (Town) Committee of Adjustment (2006), 54 OMBR 156

Erie Shores Golf and Country Club v. Essex (County), [2006] OMBD No 864

Tranchemontagne v. Ontario (Director, Disability Support Program, Ministry of Community and Social Services), [2006] 1 SCR 513

Werbeski v. Ontario (Director of Disability Support Program, Ministry of Community & Social Services), (April 21, 2006) S.C.C. 14

Georgian Glen Development Ltd. v. Barrie (City), [2005] 13 M.P.L.R. (4th) 194

Fox (In Trust) v. Caledon (Town) Committee of Adjustment, (July 20, 2004) 47 O.M.B.R. 385

Mississauga Business Park Inc. v. Mississauga Municipal Property Assessment Corp. Region No. 15 (May 28, 2004), 47 O.M.B.R. 442

Gioris v. Ontario (Director of Disability Support Program) (June 20, 2002), 161 O.A.C. 227

Carlro Holdings Ltd. v. Mississauga (City) and Municipal Property Assessment Corp., Region No. 15 (May 30, 2002), 44 O.M.B.R. 137

Ontario Property Assessment Corporation v. Praxair Canada Inc. (January 14, 2002), 155 O.A.C. 360

682056 Ontario Inc. v. Ontario (Minister of Finance)(February 23, 2001), 41 O.M.B.R. 455

Metropolitan Hamilton Real Estate Board v. Ontario Property Assessment Corp., Region No.19,(February 19, 2001) 41 O.M.B.R. 471

Four Seasons Hotel Ltd. v. Pacific Centre Ltd. (December 6, 1999) 48 C.P.C. (4th) 338

Toronto (City) Zoning By-law 1997-0321 (Re) (October 16, 1998) 37 O.M.B.R. 239

Darius Alain Holdings Inc. v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 9 (July 21, 1998) 37 O.M.B.R. 369

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 9 v. University/Elm Holdings Inc. (May 12, 1998) 37 O.M.B.R. 40

Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation v. Keppel (Township) (1998), 164 D.L.R. (4th) 511

Canadian Centre for Torture Victims (Toronto) Inc. v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 9 (February 4, 1998), 36 O.R. (3d) 743

Greyhound Canada Transportation Corp. v.Trentway-Wagar Inc., [1997] 35 O.R. (3d) 145

Trentway-Wagar Inc. v. Ontario (Highway Transport Board) (April 11,1997), 101 O.A.C. 293

Fanshawe Park Place (1988) Ltd. v. Sifton Properties Ltd. (April 7, 1997) 35 O.M.B.R. 28

Tarxien Corp., Re Court Ontario Securities Commission (December 13, 1996)19 O.S.C.B. 6913

Decaire v. Wahta Mohawks First Nation (December 12, 1996) 124 F.T.R. 241

Pickering (Town) Zoning By-law 4621/95 (Re) Ontario Municipal Board (September 18, 1996) 34 O.M.B.R. 138

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 17 v. Hunt (July 19, 1996) 34 O.M.B.R. 1

748093 Ontario Ltd. et al. v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 23 (May 27, 1996), 29 O.R. (3d) 106

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 21 v. Ontario (December 8, 1995) 33 O.M.B.R. 202

Canadian National Railway v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 9 (August 18, 1995) 32 O.M.B.R. 481

Mississauga (City) v. Ontario (Minister of Revenue), (April 12, 1995) 23 O.R. (3d) 1 (C.A.)

Ontario (Ministry of Community and Social Services, Director of Income Maintenance Branch) v. Wedekind (1994), 21 O.R. (3d) 289 (C.A.)

Dome Petroleum Ltd. v. Ontario (Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 27) (July 24, 1992) 28 O.M.B.R. 47

Canada (Department of National Defence) v. Ontario (Workers' Compensation Board) (November 16, 1992) 98 D.L.R. (4th) 122

Royal Bank of Canada v. Niagara Falls (City) (May 11, 1992) 8 O.R. (3d) 220

Uniroyal Chemical Ltd., Re Ontario Environmental Appeal Board (February 4, 1992) 9 C.E.L.R. (N.S.) 85

Pensionfund Realty Ltd. v. Ontario (January 24, 1992) 7 O.R. (3d) 175

Royal Bank of Canada v. Niagara Falls (City) (January 14, 1992) 7 O.R. (3d) 147

Harbour Quay Developments Ltd. v Metropolitan Toronto (Municipality) (November 19, 1991) 6 O.R. (3d) 88

Myers v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 32 (June 5, 1991) 3 O.R. (3d) 488

United Church v. Anderson (February 6, 1991) 2 O.R. (3d) 304

Ontario (Ministry of Community and Social Services, Director of Income Maintenance Branch) v. Conway (December 12, 1990) 75 D.L.R. (4th) 564

Greenwin Property Management v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 10 (September 10, 1990) 24 O.M.B.R. 496

Evans v. Ontario Health Insurance Plan (June 25, 1990) 70 D.L.R. (4th) 486

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 9 v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada (April 27, 1990) 24 O.M.B.R. 460

Mod-Aire Homes Ltd v. Bradford (Town) (No. 2) (April 28, 1989) 23 O.M.B.R. 263

Tarailo v. Allied Chemical Canada Ltd. (April 4, 1989), 68 O.R. (2d) 288

Meyer v. Waycon International Trucks Ltd., McDermott (next friend of) v. Waycon International Trucks Ltd. (March 25, 1988) 38 O.A.C. 398

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 9 v. Christie Gardens (March 10, 1988) 21 O.M.B.R. 410

Farr v. Attwood (February 16, 1988) 63 O.R. (2d) 543 (C.A.)

Medwid v. Ontario (Minister of Labour) (January 22, 1988) 63 O.R. (2d) 578

Group R. Ltd., Re (December 30, 1987) 38 M.P.L.R. 300

Movel Restaurants Ltd. v. Ontario Regiona Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 9 (August 21, 1987) 20 O.M.B.R. 454

Allport Investments Ltd. v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, No. 11 (May 21, 1987) 20 O.M.B.R. 250

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 29 v. McLennan (April 9, 1987) 59 O.R. (2d) 318

Metropolitan Toronto School Board v. Metropolitan Separate School Board (February 26, 1987) 20 O.A.C. 400

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 9 v. Shelter Corp. of Canada (February 20, 1987) 19 O.M.B.R. 440

Sarnia (Township) Official Plan Amendment No. 21 (Re) (June 19, 1986) 19 O.M.B.R. 374

Serrie v. Vaughan (Town) (May 12, 1986) 19 O.M.B.R. 310

Temar Construction Ltd. v. West Hill Redevelopment Co. (January 29, 1986) 21 C.L.R. 156

Augustine Fathers (Ontario) Inc. v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 14 et al (November 12, 1985) 52 O.R. (2d) 536

Joshi v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 11 (July 23, 1985) 18 O.M.B.R. 88

Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 10 (March 27, 1985) 17 O.M.B.R. 311

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 19 v. Neo Industries Ltd. (January 15, 1985) 17 O.M.B.R. 125

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner Region No. 12 v. Regal Paper Products Ltd. (November 19, 1984) 17 O.M.B.R. 141

Salvation Army, Canada East v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 14 (February 15, 1984) 45 O.R. (2d) 263

Pattison et al. v. Sceviour et al (October 18, 1983) 43 O.R. (2d) 229

Emily (Township) v. Johnson (March 11, 1983) 15 O.M.B.R. 371

Salvation Army, Canada East v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 22 (March 7, 1983) 21 M.P.L.R. 99

Scanti Investments Ltd. v. National Bank of Canada (March 7, 1983) 33 C.P.C. 113

Muskoka Planning Area Official Plan Amendment 19 (Re) (June 10, 1982) 13 O.M.B.R. 374

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 9 v. Sutton Place Ltd. (November 19, 1981) 14 O.M.B.R. 364

London (City) Planning Area Official Plan Amendment 154, 159, 160 & 16 (Re) (October 5, 1981) 14 O.M.B.R. 48

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 21 v. Buildevco Ltd. (April 14, 1981) 12 O.M.B.R. 467

Peterborough (City) Restricted Area By-law 1980-13 (Re) (March 6, 1981) 13 O.M.B.R. 253

Niagara Planning Area Official Plan (Re) (February 27, 1981) 11 O.M.B.R. 353

Weirdale Investments Ltd. v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (C.I.B.C.) (February 6, 1981) 32 O.R. (2d) 183

Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 21 v. 397298 Ontario Ltd. (December 17, 1980) 12 O.M.B .R. 77

Peterborough (City) v. Smith (Township) (November 24, 1980) 12 O.M.B.R. 158

Hotel Toronto v. Ontario Regional Assessment Commissioner, Region No. 9 (May 5, 1980) 11 O.M.B.R. 170

Campeau Corporation v. Gloucester (Township) (January 10, 1979) 22 O.R. (2d) 652

Publications

"Security for Appeal Costs: Litigation Tactics Through the Holistic Lens", November 2017

"Vacant Spaces: Challenges in the Economic Climate", WeirFoulds LLP, February 2016

"Quiz: Good Faith and Honest Contractual Performance", Canadian Lawyer Magazine, May 2015 (with Hayley Peglar)

"Junvir Investments Ltd. v. MPAC: Update", Canadian Property Tax Association Communication Update, March 2015

"Timing is Everything: Toth Equity v Ottawa (City)", Canadian Property Tax Association Communication Update, November 2014

"Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs: Where Leasing Law and Realty Tax Law Diverge", Canadian Property Tax Association Communication Update, September 2014 (with Angela Mockford)

"Similarity Breeds……Different Results: Junvir Investments Ltd. V. MPAC", Canadian Property Tax Association Communication Update, September 2014

"Public Interest Litigation: Do Not Get Slapped", Federated Press, July 2013 (with Robert Eisenberg and Robert Eisenberg*)

"Legal Ethics - Getting SLAPPed by Costs?", WeirFoulds LLP, December 2012

"Current Property Tax Issues", ICSC Canadian Law Conference, February 2011

"Rooftop Solar Panels - Good Business Sense or Not?", WeirFoulds LLP Leasing Update, January 2009 (with Lisa Borsook)

"Landmark Ruling Favours Commercial Taxpayers", Canadian Property Management Magazine, October 2008

"Municipalities Could Face Reduced Business Property Assessments ", WeirFoulds LLP Government Update, June 2008

"Business property tax assessments: This time it's technical", WeirFoulds LLP - Property Update, May 2008

JJ Carthy, W.A. D Millar & JB Cowan, Ontario Annual Practice 2016-2017 Edition (Canada Law Book, 2016).

"In Defence of Chippewas of Sarnia Band v. Canada (A.G.)" (co-authored with Paul M. Perell) (2002) 81 Canadian Bar Review 727

"Administrative Remedies: Tribunal Creativity and Judicial Control" (co-authored with T. D. Hancock) Law Society of Upper Canada, Special Lectures, 1995

"New Procedural Powers Given to Ontario Tribunals", Regulatory Boards and Administrative Law Litigation (1995), Vol. II, No. 1

"The Discretion of the Director of Ontario Securities Commission" (1975), 13 O.H.L.J. 735

Chapter on Canadian Securities Regulation in International Capital Markets and Securities

Article on Administrative Law in the Canadian Encyclopedia

Regulatory Boards and Administrative Law Litigation (Editor). (Montreal: Federated Press)

 

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Dispute Resolution Approaches - Mediation and Arbitration", Ontario Professional Planners Institute Conference, Collingwood, ON, October 5, 2017

Panelist, "New Rules of Procedure: Do or Die", Institute of Municipal Assessors, Annual Conference, Ottawa, June 19, 2017

Speaker "Top Recent Decisions Public Sector Lawyers Need to Know" OBA, Toronto, June 15, 2017

Co-Chair, "Charter Issues at Administrative Tribunals", OBA, Toronto, ON, June 7, 2017

Speaker, "Legal and Regulatory Issues Affecting Building Owners & Property Managers," Springfest, May 3, 2017

Roundtable Speaker, "Arbitration Clauses", International Council of Shopping Centers 2017 Canadian Law Conference, Toronto, April 28, 2017

Co-Chair, The Six Minute Administrative Lawyer, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, March 1, 2017

Speaker, "Administrative law – What Makes it Different ", Canadian Property Tax Association Ontario Open Forum, Toronto, February 13, 2017

Faculty, "MPAC Training Session: Negotiation Strategies and Techniques"  The Advocates' Society, September 20, 2016 , Toronto

Speaker: "Discovery-Past Present and Future Considerations ", The Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario , September 14, 2016, Toronto

Chair and Speaker, "Municipal Tax Applications and Rebates", Institute of Municipal Assessors Annual Conference, Niagara Falls, June 28, 2016

Speaker, "Special Purpose Properties: Market Value or Value to Owner", Cross Canada Update, AEC Property Tax Solutions, Toronto, June 15, 2016

Panelist, "Current Issues and Challenges", Ontario Property Tax Summit 2016, International Property Tax Institute, Niagara Falls, May 16, 2016

Roundtable Speaker, "Arbitration Clauses", International Council of Shopping Centers 2016 Canadian Law Conference, Toronto, April 22, 2016

Speaker, "Legal and Regulatory Issues Affecting Building Owners & Property Managers," Springfest, April 7, 2016

Co-Chair, The Six Minute Administrative Lawyer, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, March 3, 2016

Co-Chair, Ontario Bar Association Annual Institute, Administrative Law "Balancing Transparency, Privacy, and Expediency in the Digital Age", Toronto, February 4, 2016

Speaker, Law Society of Upper Canada, "Discoveries: Five Years Post-Change"- Toronto, November 26, 2015

Chair, "Cross Canada Legal Update", Canadian Property Tax Association National Workshop, Halifax, September 29, 2015

Panelist, "Assessment Case Law: Significant Assessment Decisions in the Past Year", Institute of Municipal Assessors, Annual Conference, Ottawa, June 15, 2015

Panelist, Roundtable on Legal and Regulatory Issues for Property Managers and Owners, 21st Annual Springfest, Toronto, April 30, 2015

Steering Committee and Speaker, "Hot Cases and Leading Cases", Planning & Development Law Forum, Cambridge, April 16-17, 2015

Roundtable Speaker, "Realty Tax Grants",  International Council of Shopping Centers 2015 Canadian Law Conference, Toronto, April 15, 2015

Co-Chair, The Six Minute Administrative Lawyer, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, March 10, 2015

Speaker, "Avoiding conflicts of interest: how the new Rules affect you", Canadian Property Tax Association Ontario Open Forum, Toronto, February 10, 2015

Steering Committee and Speaker, Planning & Development Law Forum, Cambridge, April 10–11, 2014

Roundtable Speaker, "Arbitration Clauses"  International Council of Shopping Centers 2014 Canadian Law Conference, Toronto, March 27, 2014

Co-Chair, The Six Minute Administrative Lawyer, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, March 20, 2014

Panelist, "Safeguarding Real Estate Transactions", Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, November 13, 2013

Speaker, "Active Adjudication and Civility"  SOAR Annual Conference, Toronto, November 7, 2013

Moderator, "New ARB Rules of Procedure: Challenges and Opportunities," Institute of Municipal Assessors, Annual Conference, Kingston, June 24, 2013

Administrative Law Refresher and Overview, Administrative Law Practice Essentials, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, May 16, 2013

Steering Committee and Speaker, Planning & Development Law Forum, Cambridge, April 11–12, 2013

Chair, Clusters' Update - Current and Emerging Issues, Ontario Bar Association, Toronto, March 6, 2013

Co-Chair, The Six Minute Administrative Lawyer, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, March 6, 2013

Speaker, Planning and Building on Professionalism: Dos and Don'ts for the Municipal Law Specialist, OBA Toronto, December 6, 2012

Co-Presenter, Legal and Regulatory Issues for Property Managers and Owners, Property Management Exposition & Conference, Toronto, November 28, 2012

Co-Chair and Speaker, Fundamentals of Administrative Law & Practice, The Canadian Institute, April 19-20, 2012

Steering Committee & Speaker, Planning and Development Law Forum, Cambridge, April 12–13, 2012

Co-chair, The Six Minute Administrative Lawyer, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, February 24, 2012

"A Guide to Judicial Review" , OBA Annual Institute, Toronto, Administrative Law Practice: Back to Basics, February 10, 2012

Speaker, "Legal Framework Governing Administrative Hearings: Procedural Fairness" 2nd Annual Fair Hearing Conference, Federated Press, Toronto, September 12, 2011

Speaker, "Devising Tribunal Rules That Work", Canadian Institute, 11th Annual Advanced Administrative Law and Practice Conference, Ottawa, October 25-26, 2011

Speaker, WeirFoulds LLP 2011 Professional Development Series, Your Cornerstone Relationships; Your Practice, Your Colleagues and the Law Society, Toronto, October 13, 2011

Facilitator, Law Society of Upper Canada and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Professionalism and Practice Issues for Junior Litigators, Toronto, October 12, 2011

Co-chair, Ontario Bar Association, Annual Update on Judicial Review, Toronto, October 4, 2011

Speaker, "Equity in the Assessment World", Institute of Municipal Assessors, 55th Annual Conference, Niagara Falls, June 7, 2011

Speaker, "Winning Written Submissions", The Advocates' Society, Brown Bag Series: Winning Oral and Written Submissions, Toronto, May 25, 2011

Steering Committee and Speaker, Planning & Development Law Forum, Cambridge, April 14–15, 2011

Chair and Speaker, Fundamentals of Administrative Law & Practice, The Canadian Institute, April 12-13, 2011

Co-presenter, Roundtable on Legal and Regulatory Issues for Property Managers and Owners, 17th Annual Springfest, Toronto, April 6, 2011

Co-chair, The Six Minute Administrative Lawyer, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, February 23, 2011

Chair, "Cross Canada Legal Update", Canadian Property Tax National Valuation & Legal Symposium, Toronto, February 7–8, 2011

Speaker, "Municipal Property Taxes: New Complexities, Pitfalls, Opportunities and Strategies", Federated Press, 12th Tax Planning for Real Estate Transactions, Toronto, January 26–27, 2011

Speaker, "Human Rights Code and Charter Jurisdiction", Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario Training Seminar, Toronto, November 29, 2010

Speaker, "Emerging Issues from the Supreme Court", Conference of Ontario Boards & Agencies (COBA), 22nd Annual Conference, Toronto, November 4, 2010

Speaker, "Equity and Assessments", Assessment Review Board Training Seminar, Toronto, October 6, 2010

Co-leader and Speaker, "Fair Hearings", Federated Press, Toronto, September 29–30, 2010

Speaker, "How to be a Good Expert Witness", Canadian Property Tax Association, Inc., National Workshop, Quebec City, September 26–29, 2010

Speaker, "Roundtable on Legal & Regulatory Issues Facing Property Managers", PM Expo Springfest, Toronto, April 28, 2010

Chair and Speaker, "Fundamentals of Administrative Law & Practice", The Canadian Institute, April 19–20, 2010

Steering Committee and Speaker, Planning & Development Law Forum, Cambridge, April 15–16, 2010

Coach, "Do a Trial", The Advocates' Society, March 27, 2010

Chair, "Riparian Rights", Ontario Bar Association, March 24, 2010

Speaker, "Taxes for Dummies (and Smart People Too), International Council of Shopping Centres, Canadian Law Conference, February 25–26, 2010

Speaker, "4th Decision Writing Workshop", Ottawa, February 23–24, 2010

Co-chair, The Six Minute Administrative Lawyer, The Law Society of Upper Canada, February 23, 2010

Speaker, "National Valuation and Legal Symposium", Canadian Property Tax Association, Inc., February 8–9, 2010

Speaker, "2009 National Roundtable on Administrative Law", The Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, Halifax, May 29, 2009

Steering Committee and Speaker, Planning & Development Law Forum, April 28–29, 2009

Co-chair and Speaker, "Fundamentals of Administrative Law and Practice", The Canadian Institute, April 23–24, 2009

Co-chair, The Six-Minute Administrative Lawyer, The Law Society of Upper Canada, February 24, 2009

Speaker, "Aboriginal Law, Consultation and Accommodation", The Canadian Institute, February 18–19, 2009

Speaker, "Administrative Law 2008", Ontario Bar Association, 18th Annual Operation Update, October 3, 2008

Speaker, "Standard of Review", The Law Society of Upper Canada, Administrative Law Update 2008, September 17, 2008

Speaker, "Administrative Law Update", Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals (CCAT), Gatineau, June 27, 2008

Steering Committee and Speaker, Planning & Development Law Forum, June 9–10, 2008

Co-chair, Fundamentals of Administrative Law & Practice, The Canadian Institute, April 28–29, 2008

Speaker, "Administrative Tribunals and Aboriginal Law Matters: Practical Tips and Strategies", Ontario Bar Association, Toronto, April 28, 2008

Speaker, "Arbitration (clauses): Do's and Don'ts", International Council of Shopping Centers, Canadian Law Conference, March 6, 2008

Speaker, "A Guide to Judicial Review", CATC, Justice is Appealing: Effective Appellate Litigation, February 5, 2008

Speaker, "Privacy Issues Regarding Databases", Canadian Bar Association, 2nd Annual Privacy Law Summit, November 5, 2007

Speaker, "The New Administrative Law", The Law Society of Upper Canada, October 24, 2007

Speaker, "Hot Topics in Constitutional, Charter and Human Rights Law: What's New? What's on the Horizon?", The Canadian Institute, Advanced Administrative Law & Practice, October 19, 2007

Moderator, Cross Canada Legal Update, CPTA National Workshop, Victoria, October 1, 2007

Steering Committee and Speaker, Planning & Development Law Forum, May 8–9, 2007

Speaker, "Bias and Lack of Independence: Substantive Issues", The Canadian Institute, Fundamentals of Administrative Law Practice, April 19–20, 2007

Speaker, "Property Tax Issues", International Council of Shopping Centers, 2007 Canadian Law Conference, March 1, 2007

Speaker, "Bits ‘n Bites: Additional Bill 51 Amendments", The Planning Forum, One-Day Conference: The Planning Act: Bill 51, February 19, 2007

Speaker, "First Nations' Ancestral Sites and Legal Issues", Ontario Professional Planners Institute, Conference on Planning & Archaeology, Utopia, February 16, 2007

Speaker, "Getting Beyond the Backlog: Understanding Aboriginal Title, the Claims Process, Compensation Issues and Implementation Challenges", Canadian Institute, National Conference: Aboriginal Law and Consultation, February 14, 2007

Speaker, "Pre-Trial Remedies: An Overview", Ontario Bar Association, 2007 Annual Institute of Continuing Legal Education - Civil Litigation, February 5–6, 2007

Guest Instructor, LL.M. Programme in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Osgoode Hall Law School, October 2006

Speaker, "Cross Canada Legal Update – Ontario", Canadian Property Tax Association, National Workshop, Montreal, September 23–27, 2006

Moderator, "Special Taxing Regimes Pros and Cons", Canadian Property Tax Association, National Workshop, Montreal, September 23–27, 2006

Commentator, "Exclusive and Concurrent Jurisdiction", Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice Roundtable, Ottawa, June 9, 2006

Speaker, "Unauthorized Delegation and Fettering of Discretion", Ontario Bar Association, Municipal Law Section program, Current and Upcoming Local Government Issues, June 6, 2006

Steering Committee and Speaker, Planning & Development Law Forum, May 9–10, 2006

Co-chair, "Fundamentals of Administrative Law & Practice", The Canadian Institute Conference; Speaker, "Independence and Impartiality - Recent Developments", Toronto, April 27–28, 2006

Speaker, "Bill 53: A Template for New Municipal Taxation?", Canadian Property Tax Association, April 12, 2006

Co-chair, New Directions in Administrative Law & Practice, Osgoode Hall Law School, National Forum, September 20–21, 2005

Speaker, "Best Practice(s) before the Divisional Court", Ontario Bar Association, Administrative Law Section Program, June 13, 2005

Steering Committee, First Annual Planning and Development Law Forum, Cambridge, May 10–11, 2005

Co-chair, Fundamentals of Administrative Law & Practice, The Canadian Institute Conference, Toronto, May 2–3, 2005

"Best Practices and Procedures in Corporate, Commercial and Civil Litigation Case Management", Insight Information Co., 3rd Annual Law Clerks' Forum, Toronto, March 7–8, 2005

"The Tax Provisions", WeirFoulds LLP Conference, Ontario's New Brownfields Law, Toronto, October 27, 2004

Co-chair, Fundamentals of Administrative Law & Practice, The Canadian Institute, Toronto, April 22–23, 2004

"Impartiality and Independence of Administrative Decision-Making", The Canadian Institute, Fundamentals of Administrative Law and Practice, Toronto, April 22–23, 2004

Chair, The Public Inquiry: Public Accountability or Distraction? Ontario Bar Association, Administrative Law Section Program, March 30, 2004

"Property Tax Allocation Issues", International Council of Shopping Centers, Canadian Law Conference, March 4, 2004

"Aboriginal Claims", The Law Society of Upper Canada, Best Practices for Recreational Property Transactions, March 3, 2004

"The Constitution and Administrative Discretion", Ontario Bar Association, The Constitution in Your Administrative Law Practice, March 2, 2004

"Determining the Standard of Review: The Pragmatic and Functional Analysis", Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice Seminar, Standard of Review in Administrative Law, May 29, 2003

Co-chair, Meeting Your Obligations Under Ontario's New Safe Drinking Water Act, The Canadian Institute Conference, April 7–8, 2003

"Standards of Judicial Review", Annual Update on Judicial Review, January 21, 2003, Ontario Bar Association, Administrative Law Section program, cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in Toronto (City) v C.U.P.E., Local 79 [2003] 3 S.C.R. 77

"The Standard of Review: The Common Sense Evolution?" The Canadian Institute, Administrative Law & Practice, October 7, 2002

"The Municipal Revenue Function under the New Municipal Act, 2001", The Canadian Institute, Ontario's New Municipal Act, June 10–11, 2002

"Effectively Using Motions to Attack an Opponent's Case", The Canadian Institute, Advanced Civil Procedure Conference, Strategically Deploying the Ontario Rules to Build and Win Your Case, April 8, 2002

"Recourse for Clients: New Areas of Litigation", The Law Society of Upper Canada, Property Tax Assessments 2002, February 27, 2002

Moderator, "Effective Advocacy", Ontario Bar Association, Annual Institute, Fundamentals of Administrative Law and Practice, January 25, 2002

"How to Successfully Argue a Judicial Review Application", The Canadian Institute, December 4, 2001

"Getting Behind the Numbers: A Focus on Taxation of Real Property", Canadian Property Tax Association, October 30, 2001

"Municipal Tax and Property Assessment Reform in Ontario", Ontario Bar Association, Annual Institute, February 1, 2001

"Taking the Ontario Municipal Board to Court", Ontario Bar Association, March 2001

"Leasehold Tax Apportionment", The Law Society of Upper Canada, Property Tax Assessments, January 18, 2001

"Practical Considerations in Divisional Court", Ontario Bar Association, Taking the Tribunal to Court, October 20, 2000

Co-chair, "Administrative Tribunals 2000", Osgoode Hall Law School, June 10, 1999

"Appealing Property Taxes", Osgoode Hall Law School, Tax Appeal Procedures 1998 and Beyond, January 19, 1998

"The British Columbia AVA System", Infonex, Property Tax and Assessment Reform, September 18–19, 1997

"Complaints and Disciplinary Proceedings Under the Regulated Health Professions Act", The Canadian Medical Legal Conference and Dental Legal Update, June 5–6, 1997

"Minimizing Taxes on Commercial Properties", Insight, Reducing Municipal Property Taxes, February 28, 1995

"Shopping Centre Apportionment", The Canadian Institute, Real Property Assessment and Business Taxes, November 23, 1994

"Administrative Law in the Charter Era – An Overview", Ontario Bar Association, Charter Issues in Administrative Proceedings ­ 1990 and Beyond, February 8–10, 1990

"Plans of Subdivision, Site Plan Agreements, Levies and the Ontario Municipal Board", The Law Society of Upper Canada, The OMB for the Non-Specialist: Keeping It In-House, 1989

"Challenging Government Action: The Charter and Administrative Law" (co-authored with M.J. Dougherty), The Law Society of Upper Canada, Administrative Law: Deflecting the Glacier, 1988

Awards & Recognition

Recipient of Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators Medal for outstanding service to the administrative justice system of Ontario

Dedicated Service Award, Canadian Bar Association – Ontario

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2018 as a leading lawyer in Administrative and Public Law and Real Estate Law

Recognized in the 2017 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading lawyer in Litigation - Public Law and Property Development

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2017 as a leading lawyer in Administrative and Public Law and Real Estate Law

Recognized in the 2016 Canadain Legal Lexpert® Directory as a leading lawyer in Aboriginal Law, Litigation - Public Law and Property Development.

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2016 as a leading lawyer in Administrative and Public Law and Real Estate Law

Rated by Martindale Hubbell Ratings as "pre-eminent" (AV)

Managing Partner of WeirFoulds from 1999-2003

Professional Activities

Member, International Property Tax Institute

Member and Past President, Canadian Property Tax Association

Member of the Secretariat, Civil Rules Committee

Member, Law Society of Upper Canada (Barristers' Advisory Group – Bar Admission Course)

Member, Ontario Divisional Court Bench and Bar Committee

Member of Administrative Tribunals Committee, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice

Course Director, Policy-Making in Administrative Tribunals, Osgoode Hall Law School Graduate Program in Law (LLM), Winter 2011 and Summer 2012

Head of Section for Public Law in the Law Society of Upper Canada's Bar Admission Course from 1986 to 2005, prior to the Course changing to licensing examinations in 2006

Past Chair and current Executive Member, Administrative Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association

Affiliations

The Advocates' Society (past Director)

Ontario Bar Association (Executive member and past Chair of Administrative Law section and past Council member)

ADR Institute of Ontario, Inc.

Lambda Alpha International (Honorary Land Economics Society)

Corporate Directorship

Canadian Property Tax Association, Inc. (Past President)

Partner*

Toronto
Direct 416.947.5007
Fax 416.365.1876
jcowan@weirfoulds.com

* Partner through a professional corporation

Practice Areas

Litigation

Government

Property

Called to the Bar
Ontario (1978)
Education
Osgoode Hall Law School
LL.M. 1983

University of Oxford
Dip.L. 1977

Osgoode Hall Law School
LL.B. 1975

University of Toronto
B.A. 1972

Awards & Recognition

Recipient of Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators Medal for outstanding service to the administrative justice system of Ontario

Dedicated Service Award, Canadian Bar Association – Ontario

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2018 as a leading lawyer in Administrative and Public Law and Real Estate Law

Recognized in the 2017 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading lawyer in Litigation - Public Law and Property Development

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2017 as a leading lawyer in Administrative and Public Law and Real Estate Law

Recognized in the 2016 Canadain Legal Lexpert® Directory as a leading lawyer in Aboriginal Law, Litigation - Public Law and Property Development.

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2016 as a leading lawyer in Administrative and Public Law and Real Estate Law

Rated by Martindale Hubbell Ratings as "pre-eminent" (AV)

Managing Partner of WeirFoulds from 1999-2003

Professional Activities

Member, International Property Tax Institute

Member and Past President, Canadian Property Tax Association

Member of the Secretariat, Civil Rules Committee

Member, Law Society of Upper Canada (Barristers' Advisory Group – Bar Admission Course)

Member, Ontario Divisional Court Bench and Bar Committee

Member of Administrative Tribunals Committee, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice

Course Director, Policy-Making in Administrative Tribunals, Osgoode Hall Law School Graduate Program in Law (LLM), Winter 2011 and Summer 2012

Head of Section for Public Law in the Law Society of Upper Canada's Bar Admission Course from 1986 to 2005, prior to the Course changing to licensing examinations in 2006

Past Chair and current Executive Member, Administrative Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association

Affiliations

The Advocates' Society (past Director)

Ontario Bar Association (Executive member and past Chair of Administrative Law section and past Council member)

ADR Institute of Ontario, Inc.

Lambda Alpha International (Honorary Land Economics Society)

Corporate Directorship
Canadian Property Tax Association, Inc. (Past President)

Called to the Bar

Ontario (1978)

Education

Osgoode Hall Law School
LL.M. 1983

University of Oxford
Dip.L. 1977

Osgoode Hall Law School
LL.B. 1975

University of Toronto
B.A. 1972