John Birch


 | Toronto

John Birch* is a partner in the Restructuring & Insolvency Group at Cassels. For more than 25 years, John has acted for debtors, creditors, receivers, monitors, trustees, and directors in a wide variety of proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, including some of the most significant Canadian insolvencies in recent years. He also regularly represents creditors’ committees and other official committees in cross-border insolvencies. John has repeatedly acted as court-appointed representative counsel for members of the public who are affected by the insolvency of investment firms and real estate developers.

In addition to his work as an insolvency litigator, John handles a wide range of commercial litigation, including creditors’ remedies, contractual disputes, shareholder litigation, Aboriginal litigation, and corporate insurance matters.

In recognition of this work, John has been acknowledged as a leader in his field by such legal publications as IFLR1000 (Insolvency), Legal 500 Canada (Litigation), and Lexpert (Insolvency and Insolvency Litigation).

John has been involved with the Inter-Pacific Bar Association for many years and recently completed a four-year term (2018-2022) as Co-Chair of the Insolvency Committee and a member of the IPBA Council. Before that, John was Vice-Chair of the IPBA’s Insolvency Committee (2014-2018). The IPBA is an international association of business and commercial lawyers drawn from more than 65 jurisdictions around the world. John has also been involved with the International Insolvency Institute for about the past 20 years.

John is a frequent speaker at conferences including those hosted by the Canadian Bar Association, Osgoode Hall Law School, and the IPBA. He is the author of chapters on litigation and arbitration in the Canada-U.S. Commercial Law Guide, a loose-leaf service published by Thomson Carswell, a co-author of the Canada: Ontario and common law provinces chapter of Commercial Lending Law: Second Edition, published by the American Bar Association, and author of the insolvency commentary in Q&A Overview of Construction Projects in Canada published by Thomson Reuters for Practical Law.

John previously spent nine years as the firm’s General Counsel while simultaneously maintaining a full-time billable practice.

*Services provided through a Professional Corporation

  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Insolvency – Financial Restructuring; Insolvency – Insolvency Litigation)
  • IFLR1000 (Financial Restructuring)
  • Legal 500 Canada (Dispute Resolution)
  • LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, 1995
  • M.B.A., Schulich School of Business, 1995
  • B.A. (with High Distinction) (Int’l Relations), University of Toronto, 1991
  • Ontario, 1997
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Inter-Pacific Bar Association, Co-Chair, Insolvency Committee (2018-2022) and Member, IPBA Council
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Toronto Lawyers Association