Nadia Chiesa specializes in commercial litigation and multi-jurisdictional disputes in Canada and the Caribbean.

Nadia is Chair of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group at WeirFoulds LLP. She is part of a team that focuses on multi-jurisdictional litigation involving complex corporate and commercial disputes in various jurisdictions including the Eastern Caribbean, Central America and the US.

Nadia has advised clients on a wide variety of matters, including multi-jurisdictional corporate disputes involving shareholder rights and director’s duties, the registration and enforcement of foreign judgments, commercial disputes, and offshore trusts and estates matters. She is also a member of WeirFoulds’ Anti-Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering and Regulatory Compliance group, and advises clients in these areas, including on extra-territorial freeze orders pursuant to anti-money laundering legislation, MLAT enforcement, treaty rights and obligations in these areas, and general due diligence relating to offshore banking and trusts requirements.

Nadia also has a keen interest in Constitutional litigation and spearheads WeirFoulds’ pro bono human rights litigation initiative in the Caribbean which contemplates Constitutional challenges to current legislation offending fundamental rights in international law.

Nadia is called to the bar in Ontario, as well as St. Kitts and Nevis, BVI and Belize.

Acted in a constitutional challenge to the eligibility of the Leader of the Opposition in St. Kitts and Nevis to continue to hold his seat in government. The case involved the interpretation of a provision found in the Constitutions of most common law Caribbean countries, and resulted in the first reported decision on that question.

Litigated the discharge of extra-territorial freeze orders registered in the Eastern Caribbean pursuant to anti-money laundering legislation and advised on Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) enforcement, and treaty rights and obligations in these areas.

Represented the minority shareholder of a Nevis LLC 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.

Acted for the Israeli protector and UK-based trustee of a Nevis international trust in an action alleging misappropriation of trust funds, breach of fiduciary duty and professional misconduct. After successfully challenging several procedural applications by the claimant, and obtaining an order for security for costs, the action was recently dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Successfully defeated an application to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for permission to appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeal for the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, bringing to an end almost twenty years of litigation before the courts in Canada and the Eastern Caribbean involving a dispute over valuable property in the Caribbean and clarifying the law on the registration and enforcement of foreign judgments.

Acted as counsel to a client in an Eastern Caribbean country charged under laws criminalizing private consensual sexual activity between adult men. After commencing an application challenging the constitutionality of the laws, the criminal charges were withdrawn.

Represented a government employee in an Eastern Caribbean country facing disciplinary charges arising out of a failure to accommodate her Constitutional right to freedom of conscience, thought and religion, and following various hearings, was instrumental in obtaining an accommodation for the employee from her employer.

Advised the majority shareholder of one of the largest privately held corporations in the Caribbean with respect to corporate governance issues arising from a government financial intervention.

Acted for a minority shareholder of a closely-held corporation in a claim in arbitration for oppression under the Ontario Business Corporations Act and wrongful dismissal.

Retained as counsel to a Canadian-based company in a claim against a Barbados corporation for breach of contract. Successfully revived the defendant company which had been improperly dissolved. The action is ongoing.

Defended the majority shareholder of a closely-held corporation against a claim for oppression under the Ontario Business Corporations Act.

Retained to defend an Ontario corporation and its directors in an oppression and breach of fiduciary duty claim by a minority shareholder.

Advised a group of homeowners who entered into partnership contracts (mortgages) to finance their homes that complied with Shariah law with respect to their rights when the mortgage provider went into receivership.

  • Recognized in the Lexpert Special Edition – Litigation, 2021
  • Recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Leading Lawyer to Watch in Litigation – Corporate Commercial, 2021
  • Recognized as one of the Lexpert Rising Stars – Leading Lawyers Under 40, 2020
  • Member-at-Large, Commercial Litigation Practice Group, The Advocates’ Society (2019-2020)
  • Member, 10+ Standing Committee, The Advocates’ Society (2021-2022)
Called to the Bar
  • Ontario (2011)
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Belize
  • St. Kitts and Nevis

Education
  • J.D., Osgoode Hall Law School, 2010
  • Legal Education Certificate, Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad
  • Bach. of Journalism (Hons.), Ryerson University
Affiliations
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • The Advocates' Society
  • International Bar Association
Languages
  • French
  • Spanish (conversational)

Community Involvement

Alumni Mentor, Osgoode Hall Law School’s Osgoode Mentor Programme

Speaking Engagements

Moderator, "Litigating in the New Normal: What’s Next", WeirFoulds LLP, Online, November 30, 2021
Speaker, "Expert Reports", Civil Litigation Refresher 2021, Law Society of Ontario, Online, October 4, 2021
Speaker, "Women in Business Law Panel", Osgoode Women’s Network , Online, February 24, 2021
Speaker, "EDLS Workshop on Remote Hearings", Eugene Dupuch Law School, Online, January 15, 2021
Speaker, "Rescuing, Reorganizing & Liquidating Businesses During A Crisis", MonaLaw Master Class Series, University of the West Indies, Online, September 2020
Speaker, “Law and Borders: A Discussion on International Business Law, From Canada to the Caribbean”, Ryerson University Law and Business Student Association, Webinar, July 2020
Presenter, “Best Practices for Virtual/Remote Hearings”, Legal Aid Clinic at Hugh Wooding Law School, Online Workshop, June 2020
Presenter, "The Emerging International Cannabis Trade: Opportunities and Legal Challenges in the Caribbean", The University of the West Indies, Jamaica, March 11, 2020
Panelist, "Women in Law", Law and Business Conference, Law and Business Student Association, Ryerson University, February 2020
Presenter, “Cannabis, Cash and the Caribbean: Recent Trends in the Decriminalization and Legalisation of Cannabis”, Jamaican Bar Association’s Annual Weekend Conference, Montego Bay, Jamaica, November 14-17, 2019

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Additional Publications:

  • Co-author (with Max Skrow), “Interlocutory Orders, Interim Recovery of Personal Property and Medical Examinations of a Party”, Civil Procedure & Practice in Ontario, September 7, 2021