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William McDowell

Lenczner Slaght LLP | Toronto, Ontario, Canada

A lawyer since 1987


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Lenczner Slaght LLP
130 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 3P5
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William C. McDowell, a distinguished partner at Lenczner Slaght, is renowned for his comprehensive legal practice that spans public law and commercial litigation, alongside a specialty in libel and media law. His work has made significant impacts, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in high-profile libel cases and advising Ontario universities on various legal matters.

McDowell's legal career is marked by his tenure from 2005 to 2008 as Canada's Associate Deputy Minister of Justice, where he spearheaded initiatives on civil litigation, national security, and federal agency-related issues. His leadership during the Aboriginal Days of Protest between 2006 and 2007 stands out as a testament to his capacity to navigate complex legal challenges.

Returning to private practice in 2008, McDowell took on key roles mediating for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Inquiry into Aboriginal residential schools and serving as Amicus in land occupation cases in Brantford. His pivotal role as Chief Commission Counsel during the City of Mississauga Judicial Inquiry further underscores his expertise in managing intricate legal inquiries.

McDowell's contributions to the legal community include receiving the Department of Justice National Award for his instrumental role in the resolution of Maher Arar v Canada and being acknowledged by the University of Toronto for his extensive volunteer work. His commitment to legal education is evident in his roles as a speaker, writer, and trial advocacy instructor at Queen's University and Osgoode Hall Law Schools.

An elected Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario for his third term as of May 2023, McDowell continues to shape the legal profession with his expertise and dedication.

He holds an LLB from the University of Toronto and a BA in Political Studies from Queen's University, emphasizing his profound grounding in law and political sciences. McDowell is also a celebrated Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, reflecting his esteemed status in the legal community.


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