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Peter Downard

Peter A. Downard

Partner Fasken
It is crucial to address the unique aspects of defamation on the internet, as well as the roles and liabilities of third parties.
Jurisdiction Ontario, 1986
Language(s) English
Office(s) Toronto

Peter Downard is a senior litigator and expert in defamation matters. With extensive experience acting as defamation counsel throughout litigation proceedings, he has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, Ontario Court of Appeal for Ontario,  trials and numerous mediations and advisory matters. Peter also has comprehensive experience in commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

Peter is the author of The Law of Libel in Canada, referred to as an authority on libel law in numerous court decisions, and of the volume Defamation in Halsbury’s Laws of Canada.

Peter was one of three appointed members of the Attorney General of Ontario’s Advisory Panel on Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP), whose work resulted in the enactment of the Ontario Protection of Public Participation Act 2015

Peter has been repeatedly recognized as a leading practitioner in defamation litigation in Lexpert, the  Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada, Best Lawyers in Canada, and by Benchmark Canada as a ‘Litigation Star’
Peter also has extensive experience as counsel in a wide range of civil litigation, administrative proceedings and public inquiries

  • For Defamation and Media Law , The Best Lawyers in Canada 2018 to 2019
  • Recognized for Litigation - Defamation & Media, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2010 to 2019
  • Named in Benchmark Litigation Canada, 2019 to 2018
2010 to 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory Recognized for Litigation - Defamation & Media
Named in Benchmark Litigation Canada Recognized as a "Litigation Star" in Defamation in Ontario


  • LLB University of Toronto
  • BA University of Toronto

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association
Defamation Law in the Internet Age: Essentials for In-House Counsel Toronto Fasken Martineau Mini-Symposium, Fasken Martineau Institute location location Toronto
Fundamentals Part 1: The Essential Elements of Libel Defamation Law in the Internet Age: Essentials for In-House Counsel, Osgoode Professional Development location location Toronto
Defamation Law in the Internet Age: Essentials for In-House Counsel Osgoode Professional Development location location Toronto


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