civil and commercial litigation lawyers, appeals lawyer

Ravinder Sawhney, ESQ.
B.A., LL.B., LL.M. (Cornell)
Barrister and Solicitor.
Attorney-at-law, New York
  "Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternativesóchoice, not chance, determines your destiny." Aristotle
Practice areas

What sets us apart
  • We listen
  • We are passionate about the law
  • We resolve problems and find solutions
  • We believe justice should be accessible
  • We work tirelessly
  • We value the trust you put in us
  • We care

It will always be a tall order to meet Aristotle's words of wisdom with one's daily actions.  But one of the foremost enlightening philosophers in human history must have had it right in stating how it is "choice, not chance" that determines our destiny.  A friendship gained, a relationship born, an idea germinating, a crisis averting, a strategy emerging, are all so related to our choices made that it seems most obvious to assert how these choices when added up indeed shape our lives.  

Our destiny is thus manifested in our choices rather than any stroke of luck that could excuse the labour of comparing and choosing people in our lives, including advisors, in the course of our important decisions. Choosing entails comparing, holding off, rejecting and finally deciding the one that is most suitable. Whatever objective criteria we may adopt, our gut instinct plays a great part in our decision-making process.  

Letting this gut instinct be shaped by diligent effort in choosing and comparing is important in settling on the lawyer of choice. And letting oneself be governed by "high intention, sincere effort and intelligent execution" in this process, is a worthwhile reminder by the great Greek sage.  Observing Aristotle's dictum will ensure that one's eventual choice of excellence will become, not by accident, a small part of personal destiny. 

At Sawhney Law Office we believe that it is our job to listen and understand your issue, offer a reasoned legal strategy, and put together a plan to solve your problem. We are sensitive to your needs in a time of crisis and are committed to keeping costs down, guided by the principle that access to justice should be a right for all citizens.  With 30 years of experience as a lawyer, and 21 years of protecting the rights of Ontarians in a variety of litigation and appeal matters, I am able to handle a large variety of simple to complex matters that occur in daily life.
Being involved in a legal issue can be a difficult time.  The confusion and stress of the process and outcome often raise more questions than answers. Not knowing who to seek advice from can be stressful.   We recognize choosing a lawyer is not an easy job.  It is important to feel comfortable in asking questions and expecting answers.  We believe listening to your problem with compassion, and having a passion for the law, are our strengths that guide us in solving your legal issue.

We have a strong belief in giving back to the community and strive to make the law work for everyone whom we are in a position to assist. The greatest service one can render is to help someone in need. Occasionally, we are able to provide pro bono services to those who may not be in a position to access legal services due to difficult life circumstances. Making a difference matters to us. 

If there is one thing lawyers of distinction emphasize, it is the benefit of overall experience in diverse practice areas that enables one to undertake novel matters that challenge existing precedent. Law breaks new ground every now and then, but we believe this is easier done by lawyers who have substantial experience in court matters of trials and appeals. My wide-ranging experience in civil and commercial litigation as well as appeal matters in the courts and tribunals in Ontario, allows me to represent you effectively. Our four steps to achievement are: Plan, Prepare, Proceed, Pursue.

I received an Honours degree in Economics in 1980 from Delhi University, and then obtained my LL.B. in 1983 from Delhi Law School. In 1985, I graduated with an LL.M. from Cornell Law School. In 1991, I completed one year of law school at the University of Ottawa, through the Joint Committee on Accreditation, after which I articled with a Bay Street law firm, and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1993. I am also a member of the New York State Bar.  

During my Masters in Law degree program, I had the opportunity to research constitutional legal principles to compare the functioning of judicial systems in different democracies for my thesis.  This study laid the foundation of my deep interest in bringing justice to my clients through tapping a range of remedies through patient and persuasive techniques rooted in constitutional and other fundamental law that have stood the test of time in whichever courts they may arise.  

My thesis study of the U.S. constitution in relation to the due process of substantive and procedural law has assisted me in appreciating the unique and rapid development of Canadian law under the Canadian Charter by the courts in the last thirty years, which informs our Canadian legal system in its modern day context in which active litigation takes place. 

I have appeared before courts and tribunals at various levels in my wide range of practice areas and have conducted trials and motions in Brampton, Toronto, Milton, Oshawa, and other GTA courts.   My courtroom success and longstanding experience includes corporate litigation of complex matters including corporate partnership, punitive damages award at a personal injury hearing, family law trial resulting in vesting of home in name of applicant, outstanding mediation success in personal injury and long term disbability court litigated matters, dismissal of action in a multiparty litigation matter on Limitations Act and specious discovery of cause of action grounds, setting aside of tax penalties and dismissal of government assessment amounts in the Tax Court of Canada, establishing defendant's grounds in sale of professional business, settling mortgage proceedings in court, obtaining a tribunal determination of mental capacity for professional continuity of applicant's livelihood, obtaining court determination of public guardianship, obtaining prior order of lack of grounds for professional conduct hearing, establishing proper disclosure of pre-existing medical condition for collecting on life insurance, establishing grounds for negligent misrepresentation and special relationship test in tortious liability matters, litigating property disputes in legal and beneficial ownership matters, amongst many other civil and commercial matters.  

In tribunal litigation, I have conducted national and provincial precedent-setting administrative hearings in employment insurance, disability and workers compensation matters. I have on various occasions brought  constitutional challenges in legal interpretations before the courts and the tribunals where circumstances warrant.

I fight hard for the underdog, and have often over-extended himself in championing such cause. In a landmark case, I succeeded in having deputed by the Regional Senior Judge, a single judge in the Superior Court of Justice to hear the whole case to retain the judicial economy of resources and legal cost instead of the potentially contradictory and time consuming process of having to schedule different motions before different judges in the court system.

In early 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada  emphasized the significance of single judge case management in civil matters.
 The highest court has proclaimed now that all the courts in the country should shake up their scheduling systems to bring about efficient, effective and feasible access to justice by simplifying procedures, and by early court review of fact findings that permit early judicial relief under a more flexible and more accessible summary judgment procedure.

The wider ramifications of the decision in all areas of the law are welcoming indeed. The Court of Appeal has recently adapted to this "cultural shift" in judicial thinking to decide without the need for a full-blown trial where summary judgment was not even requested.  The shake up will be seen and felt throughout Canada in this new forward thinking of bringing the judicial system within the reach of ordinary citizens.

I am privileged to have fought for this judicial thinking in the courts as one of the only and earliest proponents of such reasoning amongst lawyers.  My successful court application a few years ago, with detailed reasons relating to the impact of such a procedure on access to justice for ordinary litigants, the only one on court record of its kind, and a precursor to the single judge case management prescription by the highest court, is available for review for readers, and is a matter of public record with the subscription-based Quicklaw legal database.  

In all civil and commercial litigation matters, I always try to seek shorter relief measures to simplify procedures. I adopt my clients' insights to devise strategies relevant to the issues at stake. My experience also tells me how often the client overrates certain views that harden due to being too close to a situation, which makes it necessary to inject objectivity in assessing facts.

Many important decisions where I acted as the lawyer, are reported in the Ontario civil procedure Digest, as well as court and tribunal databases.  I have a long list of clients I have served for years with constant support through the thick and thin of legal process.  These clients can be privately consulted prior to retaining me  I will happily discuss your legal matters and encourage you to contact me.  

I personally write all website and blog content which is for general understanding and is not legal advice to be relied upon, since such advice must always be specifically sought for all particular situations.  I also encourage those with a special interest in the legal system, with or without a legal matter,  to contact me for issues of general public interest involving the law.  I have an abiding interest in the broader legal system and how I can do my part in improving it.   Check back from time to time to see updates on commentary sections.  Updated commentary is often integrated with the website material and may not be separate.

I  encourage comments and your valuable suggestions to improve the website and your input into what topics would be useful and in what depth.

When not practising law, which is a very brief period, I humor my clients to lift the weight of the law, enjoy family time with my wife and university-attending kids, have fun and laughs with friends, listen to a range of music, love to read philosophy and history, walk, and play chess.  I love talking to people with a view to understanding their legal probems, and  focusing on what I could do to help.

Matters handled include:

  •  Court appeals including Federal Court appeals in Tax Court, CPP disability claims, and immigration matters
  •  Divisional Court appeals of small claims court matters
  • Hearings in Accident Benefit Claims before Financial Services Commission of Ontario
  • Appeals at the WSIB, WSIAT, and Judicial Reviews of Workers Compensation, Labour Board, and Accident Benefit claim decisions
  • Public Guardian court applications and issues of substitute decision making
  • Family law diputes
  • Civil and commercial litigated matters including franchisor-franchisee disputes, commercial lending disputes, mortgage litigation, construction lien matters, contracts, commercial tenancy litigation, shareholder disputes, insurance litigation of all types such as business insurance, long term disability, and life insurance disputes in matters such as disclosure of pre-existing conditions
  • Hearings before professional regulatory bodies such as those for engineers, doctors and pharmacists
  • Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario matters
  • Appeals to the Ontario Court of Appeal
  • Supreme Court of Canada leave to appeal matters.

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