Linda Phillips-Smith
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Linda Phillips-Smith

Tel: 416.594.4680

Linda carefully listens to client desires, considers the issues, and explains possible outcomes at the action’s outset, permitting the client to evaluate their goals and fully instruct on strategy.

Informations about


Linda relishes her role in resolving client problems.  She views that too often litigation is simply treated as a game of checkers, the moves being made automatically in response to the opponent. Linda views it more as a game of chess with real world human considerations affecting any strategy.  As such, Linda carefully listens to the client desires, considers the issues and explains to the client the possible outcomes at the action’s outset permitting the client to evaluate their goals and fully instruct on strategy going forward.

Linda started her academic life in sciences, pursuing graduate work at University of Toronto as an Immunologist, publishing in her field, presenting her work at International Symposia and receiving awards for her research. After careful consideration, she left that career to enter law school, studying at Dalhousie University (now Schulich School of Law) and completing her law degree at University of Toronto in 1989, receiving a number of awards for her legal scholarship including an award for excellence in insurance law. Linda initial interest was in corporate law and securities, however, given Linda’s background, following her articles, she was retained to represent a multi-national pharmaceutical corporation at the Krever Commission on tainted blood in Canada and defend it in the various class actions and mass tort actions.  That experience developed in Linda a deep affinity for litigation, which combined with her interest in insurance and contracts, led to her career in insurance defence and coverage.  Linda loves solving complex issues and enjoys working as a team with insureds and insurance examiners in their resolution.

Over the years, Linda has developed a very broad practice, which, in addition to regularly providing coverage analysis to insurers in areas of Property, CGL and D&O, has included working for financial institutions and corporations where she defends the corporations and their directors and officers in a wide variety of actions including securities litigation, sexual assault, negligence, and products liability. She also regularly has defended actions against municipalities in automobile and personal injury. Throughout, her career Linda has also utilised her knowledge and experience in medicine by regularly defending hospitals and nurses.  Linda has written for and spoken at numerous events for insurance companies over the years, the CBA, OBA and other legal symposiums and events. Most recently, Linda was asked to develop a law course for engineering students at University of Toronto, where Linda is currently appointed as a Lecturer, teaching law since 2019.

Representative Work

Significant Cases

  • Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Blood System (the “Krever Commission”) into tainted blood supply in Canada, participated as counsel to Armour Pharmaceutical (Canada (Attorney General) v. Krever, 1996 CanLII 11757 (FC); Canada (Attorney General) v. Canada (Commissioner of the Inquiry on the Blood System), 1996 CanLII 3924 (FC), [1996] 2 FC 668; Canada (Attorney General) v. Canada (Commissioner of the Inquiry on the Blood System), 1996 CanLII 4069 (FC), [1996] 3 FC 259)
  • National and International counsel to Armour Pharmaceutical in tainted HIV and Hepatitis blood cases in Canada, U.S. and overseas, leading to successful defence of Armour, resolution of multi jurisdicational cases and class actions, and contributing to successful defence, acquittal and pronouncement of innocence and lack of negligence in criminal charges (E.G. See: Robb v. St. Joseph’s Health Care Centre, [1998] O.J. No. 5394 (Gen. Div.))
  • Tolofson v. Jensen; Lucas (Litigation Guardian of) v. Gagnon, 1994 CanLII 44 (SCC), [1994] 3 SCR 1022 – represented Intervenor in seminal conflicts case, writing submissions to SCC for oral hearing into appeal
  • Varcoe v. Sterling (1992) 10 OR (3d) 574 (Ont C.A.) Leave to SCC refused-Securities case which set duty of care for broker notice to clients. became new standard of practice
  • Hosh v. Black 2003 Can Lii 9947 (Ont SC): Set practice standard for disclosure of expert evidence in medical malpractice cases at discovery that practice still in use today. That case later resolved based upon Pierrenger (one of earliest uses in Ontario) which was challenged and successfully upheld
  • Peel Law Assoc. v. Royal Insurance (2013) ONSC 2312 (CanLii) Coverage case: Seminal decision as to what constitutes notice to insurer of claim or potential claim
  • Cavanaugh v. Grenville Christian College (2012) ONSC 2992, appeal denied- 2012 ONCA (Canlii) Successfully argued certification ought to be denied against Diocese. Wrote factum and argued with Steve Stieber. Sexual abuse class action involving private school run by ordained personnel.  Limits of liability by Diocese over those it ordains
  • Logan v. Harper (2005) CanLii 21684 Defended hospitals in actions involving TMJ implants and class action involving dental surgeons, Federal Government and hospitals. This decision dealt with complexity of document productions and set rules for federal government disclosure
  • – 1229965 Ont Inc v. York Condo Corp 263 (2020) ONSC 3202 (Can Lii) Brought and won SJ in case defending all unit owners and condo corp – involving issues of trespass and easements – setting ownership and exclusive right boundaries within building existing for over 40 years
  • Lombard v. Zurich Ins. 2009 CanLii 37703 (ONSC) overturned 2010 ONCA 292 (CanLii) Coverage issue involving contingent lessors’ policy and fleet policy. While overturned on appeal based upon applicable automobile’s listing status, successfully maintained right of fleet policy to demand listing of cars in fleet prior to insurance attaching
  • 1044589 Ont (Nantucket Business Centre) 2008 Can Lii 39435 (ONSC) Successfully defended subrogated action of landlord against Tenant applying lease obligations and rights of protection from subrogated claims even where tenant at fault for fire
  • Barik v. Tomlack 2006 Can Lii 21773, 2006 CanLii 6905 (ONSC)  Successfully argued SJ motion which denied Federal Government’s defence it had no private law duty of care
  • J.D. Irving v. Siemens, 2016 FC 69: Multi-million dollar shipping action, successfully defended McPherson achieving early agreement to dismissal in Federal Court and related Ontario Superior Court action, in action where a nuclear turbine fell into St John’s Harbour on way to installation at plant
  • Crombie v. McColl Frontenac (2015) ONSC 6560, overturned on re-application of facts 2017 ONCA 16 (Canlii), leave to appeal SCC denied Successfully argued SJ motion to deny right of action based on application of limitation period and buyers notice of existence of pollution at time of purchase in complex environmental case. While overturned on facts, sets new law for facts new buyer must be aware of in order to commence running of limitation period in environmental cases
  • Travassos v. Tattoo (2011) ONSC 2290 Successfully defended and resolved Municipal Public Health in class action involving hepatitis in tattoo parlour – duty of care of public health to inspect and warn, and involving subsequent analysis of closure and damages arising from notice to patients of possible infections and infections
  • Durling v. Sunrise Propane 2012 ONSC 6328 (CanLii) Successfully defended manufacturer of Propane tanks in class action arising from Toronto gas explosion as storage facility-involving complex engineering and scientific experts
  • Vandaele v. CBI 463/04, 2004 ONWSIAT 2292 Successfully defended civil action commenced against physiotherapy clinic by writing the application to bar action based upon provisions of WSIA, not before argued in similar circumstance


Current and Unreported Cases:

  • Represented and representing hospitals in multiple individual actions and a class action involving implanted materials including cases of Transvaginal mesh and  other surgical implants
  • Represented and representing hospitals and nursing homes in multiple individual actions and a class action involving sexual assaults and negligence in provision of care
  • Represented and representing institutions such as School Boards, religious institutions and Children’s Aid Societies in historic and current sexual abuse cases
  • Represented various insurers in Residential School cases advising as to coverage and settlement
  • Provided D &O coverage opinions and represented insurer in large coverage action arising from securities actions in U.S
  • Provided D&O coverage opinion and represented insurers in coverage matters arising from multi-million dollar conspiracy and fraud actions in Ontario
  • Provided D&O coverage opinions and acted as coverage counsel respecting Ontario and extra-jurisdictional complex claims involving the gaming industry
  • Provided D&O coverage opinions in large multi million dollar actions involving libel and slander
  • Provided opinion respecting CGL and its endorsements in claim involving intellectual property issues including patent and trademark actions
  • Provided CGL and Wrap Up coverage opinion involving multi million dollar claims against large developers in downtown Toronto
  • Provided opinion regarding interplay between CGL and Wrap-up on large construction policy where Wrap-Up had large deductible
  • Provided CGL coverage opinion respecting multi- million dollar Alberta action arising from design and construction of plant for municipality
  • Provided coverage opinions in first party property claims, including large commercial claims arising from destroyed operations and resultant loss of sales
  • Provided numerous coverage opinions and acted in coverage matters arising from sexual and physical abuse actions against various religious organisations across Canada
  • Acted for various religious organisations, school boards, hospitals, charities and commercial companies in sexual and physical abuse actions and class actions, including actions of sensitive natures against international charity and major international technical corporation, requiring sensitive handling of press and press inquiries
  • Acted in large commercial D&O case requiring private and confidential resolution
  • Represented major international insurance broker in multi-million dollar (USD) negligence action arising from coverage issues relating to actions in U.S. and Canada of directors and officers of international vulture capital corporation and its subsidiaries by shareholders and trustees of distressed and undervalued corporations taken over and sold
  • Acted as both referee and an Umpire in property action under dispute
  • Provided coverage opinion and successfully defended insurer in large coverage action involving multi-building commercial loss


  • Bachelor of Laws, Dalhousie University, 1989
  • B.Sc. (Hons) with distinction, University of Toronto
  • Admitted to the Ontario Bar, 1991