Debra McKenna is a litigation partner and the co-chair of the Professional Self-Regulatory Bodies Practice Group at WeirFoulds LLP.

Debra’s practice is focused on professional self-regulation and civil litigation. She provides strategic advice and acts as counsel for a number of regulatory bodies, as well as public and private sector clients, in relation to regulatory issues, complaints and discipline, and civil litigation matters. She has appeared at all levels of court in Ontario, including the Ontario Court of Justice, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Divisional Court, the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as before the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Grievance Settlement Board, and a variety administrative tribunals.

Debra is a committed and effective advocate for her clients, and she brings extensive practical experience and know-how to her legal practice. Prior to attending law school, she worked for several years as a litigation law clerk assisting on a number of notable, complex cases, including as commission staff for Justice Stephen Goudge on the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario and as part of the legal team representing the Ontario Provincial Police Association and its members at the Ipperwash Inquiry.

  • For the College of Chiropodists of Ontario as prosecuting counsel for discipline matters
  • For the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers as prosecuting counsel for discipline matters
  • For the LCBO in its litigation with Magnotta Winery Corporation and related Magnotta companies.
  • Park v. Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, 2021 ONSC 8088
  • Saugeen First Nation v. The Attorney General of Canada, 2021 ONSC 4181
  • Magnotta Winery Corporation v Ontario (Alcohol and Gaming Commission), 2021 ONSC 178
  • Magnotta Winery Corporation v. Ontario (The Alcohol and Gaming Commission), 2020 ONSC 561
  • Taylor v. Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, 2018 ONCA 108
  • Ontario Public Service Employees Union v Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services), 2016 CanLII 48167
  • R. v. Smith, 2015 SCC 34
  • Terceira v. Labourers International Union of North America, 2014 ONCA 839
  • Cumming v. Peterborough Police Association, 2013 ONCA 670
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada as a leading lawyer in Health Care Law, 2023

  • LL.B., Windsor Law, 2010
  • The Advocates' Society
  • Ontario Bar Association

Community Involvement

Director, Making Way Project

Volunteer Duty Counsel, Pro Bono Law Ontario Law Help Clinic at the Superior Court of Justice

Volunteer Duty Counsel, Pro Bono Law Ontario Appeals Assistance Program

Volunteer, Ontario Justice Education Network, Student Mock Trial Program

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Privilege for Litigators", The Advocates' Society, Online, March 29, 2022
Speaker, "Expertitis: Are We Obsessed with Experts?", CNAR 2021 Conference, October 21, 2021
Speaker, “Nuts and Bolts of Decision-Writing”, Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation, Quebec City, QC, October 28, 2019
Speaker, “Emerging Legal Issues in Regulation”, Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation, Toronto, ON, May 29, 2019
Speaker, “Nuts and Bolts of Decision-Writing”, Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation, Banff, AB, October 15, 2018
Speaker, "Hot Topics in Regulation", Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation, Toronto, ON, June 27, 2018
Law Society of Upper Canada, Six-Minute Labour Lawyer Program, The Taint of Anti-Union Animus, June 2017
Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers Annual Conference, The Intersection of Labour Law and Insolvency, June 2017
Police Association of Ontario Employment Law Conference, The Role of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) in Police Complaint Investigations, February 2017
Ontario Bar Association Institute (Constitutional, Civil Liberties Human Rights Program), Policing Services and Section 1 of the Human Rights Code, February 2017

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment