Frank Walwyn is known for his resourceful approach to litigating some of the most challenging business cases in Canada and the Caribbean.
Frank is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is repeatedly named as one of Canada’s top lawyers in the area of Corporate and Commercial Litigation in The Best Lawyers in Canada, Who’s Who Legal, Benchmark Canada, the Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, and The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, among many others. In March 2019, Frank was selected to receive a Law Society Medal, the highest honour bestowed by the Law Society of Ontario. In 2018, he was named as one of the Top 25 Most Influential in the justice system and legal profession in Canada by Canadian Lawyer magazine. Frank has also received the 2016 Ontario Bar Association Award for Distinguished Service, and a 2016 Lexpert Zenith Award as a champion of diversity and inclusion. He recently completed a three year appointment as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education while maintaining his litigation practice.
Frank appears as counsel on complex multi-jurisdiction litigation matters. He is licensed to practise law in Canada, and is also a member of the bars of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Dominica, Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis. Frank is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. His advocacy covers a wide range of matters including challenges to restraint orders made pursuant to criminal Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties, multi-jurisdictional corporate disputes often involving shareholder rights and directors duties, forensic investigations into fraud and corruption, reciprocal registering and recognition of judgments from Canada, the UK, the US and the Caribbean, and complex offshore trusts and estates litigation. Many of the cases in which Frank is involved have led to important or precedent-setting judgments, including decisions in the areas of venue selection, procedural rights for appeals to the Privy Council, constitutional rights and freedoms, the court’s jurisdiction to grant relief involving foreign elements, and electronic discovery.
Frank is an active member of many legal and community boards and initiatives. He is a board member of Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO), a specialty clinic delivering public legal education to disadvantaged communities, Past President of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) and a current member of its Advisory Board, a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers Task Force on Mentoring, an immediate former member of the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee for appointments to the Ontario Court of Justice, and a former member of the Judicial Appointments Committee for the Ontario Superior Court of Justice – Greater Toronto Area. Frank is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for Queen’s University Faculty of Law.
Frank is also a sought after speaker in Canada, the US and the Caribbean on legal topics, and is frequently quoted in the legal press and general media.
Frank’s contributions to the legal profession and to the community have been formally acknowledged on many occasions, including: the Diamond Jubilee Medal presented by Command of Her Majesty The Queen in recognition of his contributions to Canada; the Law Society Medal―the highest honour of the Law Society of Ontario―in recognition of his significant contributions to the profession; The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Lincoln Alexander Award in recognition of his commitment to the public and its well-being through community service; the Ontario Bar Association’s Award for Distinguished Service, which recognizes exceptional career contributions and/or career achievements to jurisprudence in Ontario or Canada or to the legal profession, law or development of the law in Ontario or a significant law related benefit to residents of Ontario; the Alumni Achievement Award from Ryerson University awarded to Ryerson graduates who have excelled in their careers and have made a significant contribution to their profession and community; and the Vice Chancellor’s Achievement Award from The University of the West Indies given to individuals of Caribbean heritage who are “rising stars” in Canada.
Retained to represent a minority shareholder of a Nevis LLC worth over US$500 million with respect to a claim for relief from unfair prejudice in hard-fought litigation in Nevis and the Commercial Division of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in BVI, and in contemporaneous related actions in Belize and the US.
Retained to seek the discharge in Nevis of a worldwide freezing order made by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court affecting the assets of an Israeli law firm, a UK trust company and a Nevis trust company. The discharge application was successful and the retainer extended to defend the main action.
Acted for the trustees of a multi-million dollar estate in complex litigation to identify and secure estate assets, and to resist claims made against those assets. The litigation took place in Canada, and implicated jurisdictions included the Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, Bermuda, the USA and Canada.
Acted as co-counsel for many of the Roman Catholic hospitals across Ontario with respect to the restructuring of health care. This resulted in a significant number of reported decisions regarding administrative law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Acted as lead counsel for foreign investors in hard-fought, high-stakes litigation to recognize and register their Canadian judgment in the Caribbean. Currently engaged to execute on the judgment in the Caribbean. Conflict of laws issues included reciprocity in the recognition of foreign judgments, forum non conveniens, comity and lex situs challenges.
In the face of allegations of deletion and purging of electronic documents, successfully obtained one of the earliest e-discovery orders in Ontario compelling the opposing side to retain an independent computer forensic specialist to forensically copy and inspect all electronic media with documents relating to the matters at issue, and to list all electronic records obtained for review by counsel.
One of the team of counsel representing WestJet in its hard-fought litigation with Air Canada. Played an integral role in the motion which resulted in the first published case discussing and applying the Guidelines for the Discovery of Electronic Documents in Ontario: Air Canada v. WestJet Airlines Ltd. (2006), 267 D.L.R. (4th) 483 (Ont. S.C.J.).
Acted as counsel to a Taiwanese company in successfully resisting a Mareva injunction claim in Ontario which sought to enjoin the company from removing a significant shipment of electronic equipment from Canada. This is one of many matters where seeking or discharging various forms of injunctive relief such as Anton Piller, Mareva or Anti-Suit injunctions formed the basis of the retainer.
Acted for a Caribbean-based hedge fund in complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation in the Caribbean (lead counsel) and the UK (supporting counsel). Before resolution, the matter generated in excess of 20 applications, cross-applications and appeals in two jurisdictions in less than a 12 month period, including one application for leave to appeal to Her Majesty in Council (Privy Council).
Acted as counsel in the Caribbean to a Canadian receiver appointed over the assets of a Nevis-based bank in an action for disclosure of bank records. The action was commenced following the arrest of several individuals in the U.S. on felony tax charges arising from securities fraud involving offshore tax accounts, and following the freezing of the bank’s assets by the British Columbia Securities Commission.
Retained as legal advisor to a team of forensic investigators engaged by the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago to assist the Special Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau in investigations into certain contracts entered into by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
Numerous retainers, past and current, involving challenges to, and removals of, trustees over breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty issues.
Ariza Technology Inc. v. Jonsa Technologies Inc. (2008), 169 A.C.W.S. (3d) 184 (O.N.S.C.)
Metz v. Tremblay-Hall (2006), 53 C.C.E.L. (3d) 107 (Ont. S.C.J.)
Conrade Estate, Re (2005), 21 E.T.R. (3d) 140 (Ont. S.C.J.)
Oldfield v. Hewson (2005), 18 E.T.R. (3d) 318 (Ont. S.C.J.)
Air Canada v. WestJet Airlines Ltd. (2005), 20 C.P.C. (6th) 141 (Ont. S.C.J.)
Simanic v. Ross (2004), 71 O.R. (3d) 161; 9 C.P.C. (6th) 262 (S.C.J.)
Oldfield v. Hewson (2005), 14 E.T.R. (3d) 290 (Ont. S.C.J.)
Air Canada v. WestJet Airlines Ltd. (2004), 72 O.R. (3d) 669 (S.C.J.)
Leadbeater v. Ontario (2001), 16 C.P.C. (5th) 119; 87 C.R.R. (2d) 326 (Ont. S.C.J.)
McLennan v. McLennan (2000), 36 E.T.R. (2d) 145 (Ont. S.C.J.)
Russell v. Ontario (Health Services Restructuring Commission) (1999), 121 O.A.C. 283; 175 D.L.R. (4th) 185 (C.A.)
Russell v. Ontario (Health Services Restructuring Commission) (1998), 114 O.A.C. 280; 13 Admin. L.R. (3d) 196 (Div. Ct.)
Wellesley Central Hospital v. Ontario (Health Services Restructuring Commission) (1997), 103 O.A.C. 199; 151 D.L.R. (4th) 706; 3 Admin L.R. (3d) 137 (Gen. Div.)
Strategic Resources International Inc. v. Cimetrix Solutions Inc. (1997), 34 O.R. (3d) 416 (Gen. Div.)
Many of Frank’s decisions in the Caribbean are in jurisdictions without formal legal reports. Several are listed below and are also available at: www.eccourts.org.
Dodge v. Simanic (1 September 2010), St. Christopher and Nevis SKBHCV 2001-0191 (High Court of Justice, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court).
Dodge v. Simanic (11 October 2009), St. Christopher and Nevis SKBHCV 2001/0191 (High Court of Justice, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court).
Reeves v. Platinum Trading Management Limited (25 February 2008), St. Christopher and Nevis HCVAP 2007/022 (Court of Appeal).
Golfview Development Limited v. St. Kitts Development Corporation (20 June 2007), St. Christopher and Nevis Civil Appeal No. 17 of 2004 (Court of Appeal).
St. Kitts Development Corporation v. Golfview Development Limited (31 March 2005), St. Christopher and Nevis Civil Appeal No. 15 of 2004 (Court of Appeal).
Ross v. Bank of Commerce (Saint Kitts Nevis) Trust and Savings Association Ltd (in liquidation),  UKPC 28.
- Recipient of the 2019 Law Society Medal, the Law Society of Ontario’s highest award of recognition
- Recognized by Canadian Lawyer as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada, 2018
- Recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2018 as a leading practitioner in Asset Recovery
- Repeatedly recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada as a leading lawyer in Corporate and Commercial Litigation
- Repeatedly recognized by Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading lawyer in Litigation – Corporate Commercial
- Repeatedly recognized in the Lexpert Special Edition – Canada’s Leading Litigation Lawyers
- Recognized in 2016 and 2017 Benchmark Canada, the Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys
- 2016 Lexpert Zenith Award for demonstrated excellence, action and thought leadership in ways that have advanced diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and in society at large.
- 2016 Ontario Bar Association Award for Distinguished Service (20 April 2016). The Ontario Bar Association’s Award for Distinguished Service recognizes exceptional career contributions and/or career achievements by Members of the Ontario Bar Association
- Professional Excellence Award, Planet Africa (8 November 2014). The Planet Africa Professional Excellence Award is presented to individuals of African heritage in recognition of a career marked by hard work, excellence and professionalism, and who have made a profound difference in the lives of people of African heritage globally
- 2013 Lincoln Alexander Award (The Law Society of Upper Canada)
- 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award
- Vice Chancellor’s Achievement Award, The University of the West Indies (UWI) (10 March 2012). The Vice Chancellor’s Achievement Award is presented to individuals of Caribbean heritage who are rising stars in their organizations and have made outstanding achievements and contributions in their chosen fields nationally and internationally
- Alumni Award of Distinction, Ryerson University (16 February 2012), 2012 recipient of the Alumni Award of Distinction from Ryerson University, conferred in recognition of a career marked by outstanding professional achievement and distinguished personal service in the community. The award is given to alumni who reflect and recognize, in action and deed, the importance of their education at Ryerson and by their stature, integrity and ability, inspire faculty, staff and students
- Legal Excellence Award Recipient, Black Law Students’ Association: Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (13 March 2010)
- 2008 Catalyst Award Recipient, The Black Law Students’ Association of Canada (BLSAC) (23 February 2009)
- Award Recipient, Community Unity Alliance, Operation Black Vote and TNT Eagles (4 February 2006)
- Listed in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2: Black Success and Black Excellence in Canada by Dawn P. Williams (Toronto: D.P. Williams & Associates, 2006)
- Member, Egerton Ryerson Presidential Task Force
- Member, American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), International Committee
- Member, American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), Emil Gumpert Award Committee
- Member, American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), Task Force on Fellow Engagement
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) – The American College of Trial Lawyers comprises the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada.
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (LCA)
- Member, American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) Task Force on Mentoring
- Diversity Liaison – Ontario Committee, American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL)
- Member, Dean’s Council, Queen’s Faculty of Law, Queen’s University
- Member, Law and Business Advisory Council at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University
- Member, Awards and Ceremonial Committee at Ryerson University
- Member, Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee (JAAC), Ontario Court of Justice, Province of Ontario (2009–2018)
- Member, Judicial Advisory Committee for Federal Judicial Appointments, Superior Court of Justice – Greater Toronto Area (2013–2015)
- Member, James R. Johnston Chair (JRJ Chair) National Advisory Committee. The JRJ Chair is a national, tenured, senior academic post covering all of Canada and based at Dalhousie Univeristy, honouring the distinctive historical presence and unique experiences of African Nova Scotians
- Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Former Member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University (2012–2015)
- Listed in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2: Black Success and Black Excellence in Canada by Dawn P. Williams (Toronto: D.P. Williams & Associates, 2006)
- Member, Ontario Bar Association (OBA)
- Past President and current Advisory Committee Member, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL)
- Member, International Training Committee, The Advocates’ Society
- Former Director, The Advocates’ Society
- Board Member, Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
- Past Board Member, Sir William Campbell Foundation (SWCF)
- Member, Steering Committee of DiverseCity: The Toronto Leadership Project, which is aimed at diversifying Toronto’s leadership landscape
- Past Member, Equity Advisory Group (EAG) (2006–2009)
- Past Member, The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Treasurer’s Liaison Committee
- Member, Chief Justice of Ontario’s Advisory Committee on Professionalism
- Member, Attorney General of Ontario’s Selection Committee for the David W. Mundell Medal (2009–2012)
- Member, Routes to Freedom Endowment Senior Advisory Board
Called to the Bar
- Ontario (1995)
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands (BVI)
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- LL.B., Queen's University, 1993
- B.A., University of Toronto, 1987
- Certificate of Business Administration, Ryerson University, 1989
- Certificate of Legal Education, The Eugene Dupuch Law School, Nassau, The Bahamas, 2000
- Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
- Fellow, The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
- The Law Society of Ontario
- The Advocates' Society
- Canadian Association of Black Lawyers
- Canadian Bar Association
- Ontario Bar Association
- Commercial Bar Association of England and Wales (Honorary Member)
- National Bar Association (USA)
- St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association
- Organization of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Associations
Speaker, Planting the Seeds – Recognizing the Contributions that Individuals have made in Advancing the Cause of Equality within a Diverse Community, Nelson Mandela Festival at Cedarbrae Public Library, 17 July 2015
Speaker, R.I.S.E.: Reaching to Strive, Innovate, and Empower, 16th Annual University of Toronto Black Students’ Association High School Conference, Toronto, 5 May 2015
Speaker, Looking Forward Leveraging Diversity, Graduation Ceremony of third cohort of the Internationally Trained Lawyers Program, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, 29 April 2013.
Speaker, Caribbean Studies Luncheon, University of Toronto, New College, Toronto, 20 November 2012.
Speaker, Passages to Canada Talk to Grades 5-8, Holy Name Catholic School, Toronto, 14 February 2012.
Speaker, Black History Month Assembly, James Cardinal McGuigan High School, Toronto, 22 February 2011.
Speaker, Equity and Diversity Distinguished Speaker Series, Osgoode Hall, West Indian Law Students Association (WILSA), 17 January 2011.
Participant, Beyond the BRICS: Developing Economies of the Caribbean & South, Toronto CFA Society, 20 October 2010
Toronto Police Service Black History Month Kick-Off Celebration, “The Recollection of How, When and Where it all Happened”, 28 January 2010.
Presenter, The Slam Dunk Career & Mentorship Fair, Durrant Basketball in association with the York District School Board, Milliken Mills High School, 30 May 2009.
Participant, Consultation Session on Law Society Governance, Governance Task Force The Law Society of Upper Canada, 20 May 2009.
Sharing Your Story, Black History Month Presentation to Students at General Crerar Public School, 9 February 2009.
Speaker, I’M POSSIBLE, The University of Toronto’s Black Students’ Association 10th Annual High School Conference, 16 April 2009.
Toronto Police Service Black History Month Kick-Off Celebration, 31 January 2007.
Promoting Economic Action and Community Health (PEACH) Sustainability Think Tank Meeting, 18 January 2007.
Tropicana Community Services Event for Youth in Scarborough, 18 October 2006.
Participant, Review of the System of Complaints by the Public Regarding the Police by The Hon. Patrick J. LeSage, Q.C., Summer 2004.
Expert Panel Member, Delphi Process, New Skills Training Program for Bar Admission in Ontario, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Summer-Fall 2004.
Member, Consultation Group on Bar Admission Course Reform, The Law Society of Upper Canada, 4 February 1999.