John Birch

John Birch
Telephone: 416 860 5225
Fax: 416 640 3057

Suite 2100, Scotia Plaza
40 King Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 3C2

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John Birch* is a partner whose practice focuses on insolvency litigation. For over 20 years, he has acted for debtors, creditors, receivers, and trustees 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 such as Target Canada. John is currently representing 12 former directors of Sears Canada Inc. in defending five major claims arising out of the payment of a $509 million dividend in 2013.

John has been involved with the Inter-Pacific Bar Association for many years and was recently appointed as Co-Chair of the Insolvency Committee and also as a member of the IPBA Council. The IPBA is an international association of business and commercial lawyers drawn from more than 65 jurisdictions around the world. He has also been an active participant with the International Insolvency Institute. John has been recognized by a number of legal publications including IFLR1000: Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms (2019) (recognized for Financial Restructuring) and in The Legal 500 Canada (for dispute resolution).

John is a frequent speaker at conferences including those hosted by the Canadian Bar Association, Osgoode Hall Law School, the University of British Columbia, 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 and a co-author of the Canada: Ontario and common law provinces chapter of Commercial Lending Law: Second Edition, published by the American Bar Association.

At Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, John acts as General Counsel of the firm and is a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee. He formerly served several terms as Co-Chair of the Advocacy Practice Group.

*denotes Professional Corporation



Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B., 1995

Schulich School of Business, MBA, 1995

University of Toronto, B.A. (with High Distinction) (Int'l Relations), 1991

Recent Work

Conferences, Speaking Engagements, Events

John Birch Discussing “Old Dogs and New Tricks: Bringing Insolvency Law into the 21st Century”

John Birch Discussing "The Impact of Insolvency on the License Agreement"

John Birch Speaking on "Groia Development" as part of the OBA's 6th Annual Professionalism Issues for Business Lawyers Program

John Birch Speaking on "The Impact of Insolvency on the License Agreement"

Call to the bar

Ontario, 1997


  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Toronto Lawyers Association
  • Inter-Pacific Bar Association (Co-Chair, Insolvency Committee and Member of IPBA Council)


  • The Legal 500 Canada (Dispute Resolution)
  • IFLR1000 (Financial Restructuring)


Financial Services
International Business
Restructuring & Insolvency