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John Beardwood Toronto Lawyer

John P. Beardwood

Partner Fasken
Unlike many ongoing commercial relationships between parties, the service provider in an outsourcing becomes an integral, internal element of the customer’s business. The key is to negotiate arrangements that ensure that the requisite objectives are achieved without embittering the service provider with whom the customer will have this lengthy relationship.
Jurisdiction Ontario, 1998
Language(s) English
Office(s) Toronto


John is a senior partner who is Past Chair of the firm’s Technology practice group, and was Co-Founder of both the Outsourcing practice group and the Privacy and Access to Information practice group. His practice is focused on technology, outsourcing and procurement, and privacy law matters.

John works closely with clients in advising on and negotiating various technology-related transactions, including outsourcing/procurement, licensing, development, implementation, distribution, technology transfer, strategic alliance and e-commerce related transactions, including in the health care, financial/insurance institution and public sector contexts. John often advises clients on privacy law and access to information matters, and has been developing and implementing privacy compliance programs for more than twenty years.

The Who’s Who Legal - Data - Information Technology 2021 ranks John as one of only four “Global Elite Thought Leaders” in North America, and states that “John Beardwood focuses his top-drawer practice on technology, outsourcing and procurement and privacy law matters, areas in which he is highly sought after by clients”. The Who’s Who Legal - Data - Privacy & Protection 2021 also lists John as one of only four “Global Elite Thought Leaders” in North America, and notes that he “is endorsed for his first rate practice, which encompasses access to information, privacy law and implementation of compliance programs”. The Who’s Who Legal Canada 2020 - Data identifies John as a “National Leader”,  and one of the Top Six “Most Highly Regarded” leading figures in the Canadian market for his work in assisting clients in complex data protection, privacy, cybersecurity and IT matters, noting that “John Beardwood is celebrated for his 20-plus years of experience providing top-notch private compliance advice to a broad range of clients.” Chambers Global has identified John as “ very effective, efficient and remarkably accessible” and “a great lawyer”, while Chambers (Canada) has noted that John “very polished and has tremendous amount of experience.”  John has also received rave reviews as 'a go-to expert in Canada for privacy and IT law' from The Legal 500 John is consistently recognized in Best Lawyers in Canada.

Co-editor and contributing author of the only loose-leaf outsourcing publication Outsourcing Transactions: A Practical Guide [Rel.14], co-author of the Canada Chapter in PLC Outsourcing Handbook, co-author of the Canada Chapter in Proskauer on PrivacyHas prolifically spoken and published for more than 20 years on various outsourcing, technology and privacy/access topics. John has been interviewed by leading business-media outlets including The Globe and Mail, CBC Marketplace and Canadian Business Magazine. 


Client Work

  • eSSENTIAL Accessibility completes C$67 million Series B financing to meet increasing demand for accessible online content,
  • Economical Insurance and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions enter into first of its kind partnership in North America,
  • Symbility Solutions completes sale of its Symbility Health Division to TELUS Health,
  • Senior Advisor to Canada Health Infoway in implementing PrescribeIT,
  • Advise on various privacy matters, including on issues regarding disclosures to law enforcement., Ongoing since August 2017
  • Advising the client on various privacy matters, including advising on various membership management tools in order to update privacy policies and procedures., Ongoing since August 2017
  • Medgate receives large controlling strategic investment,
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers divests personal insolvency practice in Atlantic Canada to MNP,
  • Major financial institution completes system implementation of a Guidewire solution,

Career & Education


  • LLB University of Toronto
  • MA, Political Science McMaster University
  • BA (Honours), History and Political Science McMaster University

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Past President, permanent Advisory Board member, past-member of Board of Directors and past-Program Committee Chair, International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw)
  • Canadian Chapter Chair, International Association of Outsourcing Professionals
  • Board member since 1998, International Federation of Computer Law Associations
  • Founder & Past-Chair, Canadian Bar Association National Privacy & Access Law Section, and Executive Committee member, Chair of CLE Committee and Co-Chair of CBA National Symposium for Access and Privacy Law, for all four annual Symposiums since first created
  • Co-founder & Past-Executive Committee Member, Ontario Bar Association, Privacy Law Section
  • Co-founder, ex-Director and ex-Treasurer, Canadian IT Law Association


Fasken Institute



Speaking Engagements

Speaker 21st Century Cyber Risk: Protecting Your Enterprise - Seismic Changes in Cyber Liability CIBC
Moderator The Changing Face of Contractual Privacy Liability Under the New CPPA and Law 25 ITechLaw
Speaker Meet the New Boss (Not the Same as the Old Boss): A Full Compliance Briefing for Privacy Officers on the New Canadian Consumer Privacy Protection Act ITechLaw


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