Caroline Abela specializes in complex business and estate litigation matters.

Focusing on commercial and corporate litigation and estates, trusts and capacity litigation, Caroline represents clients ranging from large corporations and institutions to small business owners and professionals. Caroline has appeared as counsel before all levels of courts in Ontario and the Federal Court of Canada.

Caroline has been named in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory for the practice area of litigation–corporate commercial. She was selected as a Litigation Lawyer to Watch in Lexpert‘s 2014 US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Guide. Caroline was also named one of Canada’s 2013 Lexpert® Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40.

As the Co-Chair of the International Private Client Committee, American Bar Association – Section of International Law, National Representative (Canada) for the International Association for Young Lawyers, and a member of the OBA Council and Chair of the current OBA Executive, Estates and Trusts Section, Caroline is actively involved in the legal community. She has been an adjunct professor at the University of Western Law School and is a regular speaker on a variety of legal topics.

In 2017, Caroline was named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF). The ABF is an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty and legal scholars whose careers have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in their communities and legal profession. Membership is limited to one percent of lawyers admitted to practice in Canada with worldwide fellowship limited.

Shaw v. Shaw, [2007] O.J. No. 2758 (S.C.J.): was successful in obtaining an anti-suit injunction restraining the plaintiff and defendants by counterclaim from continuing with actions in the United States notwithstanding the defendants were not parties to that litigation.

Shaw v. Shaw, [2006] O.J. No. 1716 (S.C.J.); leave to appeal denied [2007] O.J. No. 73 (Div. Crt): was successful in obtaining an injunction restraining the plaintiff from interfering in or compromising foreign litigation. Also successful in obtaining carriage of the foreign litigation.

Grass (Litigation guardian of) v. Women’s College Hospital, [2007] O.J. No. 2918 (C.A.): co-counsel for the intervenor the Children’s Lawyer dismissing an appeal to set aside a settlement which was not approved by a judge.

Law Society of Upper Canada v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (2006), 59 Imm. L.R. (3d) 179 (Fed. Trial Div.): co-counsel for the Law Society of Upper Canada in its attack against the regulation establishing the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (an organization responsible for governing immigration consultants).

John Doe v. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, [2005] O.J. No. 3013: co-counsel to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario dismissing an application for judicial review.

Uniform Custom Countertops Inc. v. Royal Designer Tops Inc., [2004] O.J. No. 3306 (S.C.J.): successfully set aside an Anton Piller order.

Reichmann v Reichmann (2015), 48 BLR (5th) 37 (Ont Sup Ct)

Foss v. Foss 2013 ONSC 1345

Orfus Estate v Samuel & Bessie Orfus Family Foundation, 71 ETR (3d) 210, 208 ACWS (3d) 224, 2011 ONSC 3043 (Ont Sup Ct).

Orfus Estate (Re) (2010), 62 ETR (3d) 290 (ONSC).

Law Society of Upper Canada v Canada (Minister of Citizenship & Immigration), 295 DLR (4th) 488, 72 Imm LR (3d) 26, 2008 FCA 243 (FCA).

Former Student of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ontario) v Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ontario), 140 ACWS (3d) 1052, 200 OAC 293, 2005 CarswellOnt 3113 (Ont Sup Ct).

  • Recognized as a leading lawyer in the Asset Recovery category in Who’s Who Legal: Canada, 2018.
  • 2018 Lexpert® Zenith Award Celebrating Mid-Career Excellence.
  • Named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF), March 2017.
  • Recognized as a leading practitioner in Estate & Personal Tax Planning Law in the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, 2016, 2019
  • Named as Litigation Lawyer to Watch in Lexpert® 2014 US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Guide.
  • International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), 52nd Congress Prague 2014 Past Presidents’ Award for Best National Report, Private Client and Immigration Working Session (with Hayley Peglar).
  • 2013 Lexpert®Top 40 Under 40 Leading Lawyer.
  • Law Society of Upper Canada Award (University of Western Ontario Law School for outstanding cumulative achievement in the top 10 percent of graduating class).
  • Dean’s Honour List (University of Western Ontario for top 15 per cent of the third year class).
  • Australian Government and Politics Award (Faculty of Law, Bond University).
  • Shibley Righton Tax Award (University of Western Ontario).
  • J. Edward Chamberlain Graduation Award (University of Toronto for cumulative achievement in literature).
  • All Souls Historical Essay Award (University of Toronto for outstanding historical research essay).
  • Chair, Estates Litigation Practice Group, The Advocates’ Society (2019-2020)
  • Vice-Chair, Estates Litigation Practice Group, The Advocates’ Society (2018-2019)
  • Chair, Ontario Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section (July 2017 to June 2018, July 2018 to June 2019)
  • Council Member, Ontario Bar Association (July 2017 to June 2018)
  • Co-Chair, International Private Client Committee, ABA Section of International Law (September 2016 – Present)
  • Vice-Chair, Ontario Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section (July 2016 to June 2017)
  • Vice-Chair, International Private Client Committee, ABA Section of International Law (September 2015 – Present)
  • Secretary, Ontario Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section (September 2015 – June 2016)
  • Extended Bureau, National Representative of Canada, International Association of Young Lawyers (September 2016 – Present)
  • Chair, Ontario Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section, Statutory Review Committee (2014 – 2015)
  • Executive Board Member-at-large, Ontario Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section (2013 – present)
  • Committee Member, Ontario Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section, Statutory Review Committee, (2012 – 2013)
  • Extended Bureau, National Representative Canada, International Association for Young Lawyers (2010 – September 2013)
  • Member, Advocates’ Society, Sub-Committee on Advocacy and Practice (May 2012 – Present)
  • Active Member, Young Advocates’ Committee, Advocates’ Society, (2008 – 2010)
Called to the Bar
  • Ontario (2002)
Education
  • LL.B., University of Western Ontario, 2000
  • Mediating Disputes Workshop, Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation, 2015
  • B.A. (Hons.), University of Toronto, 1997
  • Exchange Program, Bond University, 2000
  • French Program, Université de Laval, 1996
Affiliations
  • Vice-Chair of the Estates Litigation Practise Group of The Advocates' Society
  • TEP (Trusts & Estates Professional) Designation, STEP Canada
  • The Advocates' Society
  • International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA)
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Women's Law Association
  • Women in Capital Markets

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Objection to Issuing a Certificate of Appointment", Osgoode Professional Development’s Estate Litigation Program, Toronto, May 21, 2019
Speaker, "When Estate Law Meets Business Litigation", Scarborough Estate and Financial Planning Council, Scarborough, ON, December 4, 2018
Discussion Leader, "Who Pays The Piper Calls The Tune: The Effect of Costs Consequences on Estate Litigation Strategy", Cambridge Estates & Trusts Practitioners' Forum, Cambridge, ON, November 6, 2018
Panel Member, "Dealing with Challenges in Will and Trust Administration", STEP Toronto Seminar, October 10, 2018
Panel Member, "Intergeneration Transfers: Lessons to be Learned from Family Owned Enterprises in Transition – Avoiding the Family Breakdown: Minority Shareholder's Rights and Oppression Claims in Context of Intergenerational Transfers", American Bar Association 2018 Spring Conference, New York
Speaker, "Estate Tax Planning Gone Awry", B'nai Brith Canada, Toronto, ON, May 30, 2018
Instructor, "Cross-Examination", The Advocates' Society, Toronto, ON, January 30. 2018
Panel Member, "Experts in Contested Passings of Accounts – Ethics regarding Communication with Experts", Estate Accounting Program, Law Society of Upper Canada, January 15, 2018
Instructor, "Leading Your Case: Opening Statements and Examination-in-Chief", The Advocates' Society, Toronto, ON, December 15, 2017
Speaker, "The Agreement: The Key Components of an Effective Shareholder Agreement", FEX Cafe Lunch Series Presentations, Toronto, ON, December 7, 2017

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Additional Publications:

  • Author, “Success and Failure: The Advocate’s Road Map to Domestic Contracts in SLRA Applications”, B’Nai Brith Canada, May 30 2018
  • Co-author (with Mike McDonald), “Avoiding the Family Breakdown: Minority Shareholder’s Rights and Oppression Claims in the Context of Intergenerational Transfer”, American Bar Association 2018 Spring Conference, New York
  • Co-Author (with Shalome Barrow), “Expertly Passing the Ethics Test: Experts, Ethics and Passing of Accounts”, Law Society of Upper Canada, Estate Account 2018, January 15, 2018
  • Co-Author (with Lia Boritz), “Top Ten Reasons Wills are Litigated”, Editorial for the OBA’s Make a Will Month, Lawyers’ Weekly, November 2017
  • Co-Author (with Lia Boritz), “Subtle, Secret and Circumstantial Evidence: The Intricacies of Winning an Undue Influence Case”, The Advocates’ Quarterly, Volume 48, Issue 1, February 2018 (also presented at the 20th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, LSUC, October 16, 2017)
  • Co-Author (with Nabila Khan), “The Impact of Alternative Fee Structures on Settlement”, The Advocates’ Quarterly, Volume 47, Number 1, June 2017
  • Co-Author (with Robert Bell), “A Lawyer’s Duty to the Court”, The Advocates’ Society, January 2009 (Cited in: The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation for the Diocese of Sault St. Marie v Axa Insurance (Canada), 2015 ONSC 4755, and Healthy Lifestyle Medical Group Inc. v. Chand Morningside Plaza Inc., 2019 ONCA 248)