Neal Smitheman’s practice is focused on civil and criminal litigation. Frequently appearing before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal, Neal often acts for clients on short notice on matters ranging from corporate oppression to derivative actions to commercial injunctions.
As a result of Neal’s commercial litigation experience and knowledge of environmental law, he regularly acts for clients in significant toxic tort cases currently before the Ontario Superior Court Justice.
Neal has also developed a criminal and quasi-criminal practice. Successfully defending individuals under the Criminal Code of Canada, he assists clients on matters ranging from impaired driving to criminal negligence to sexual and aggravated assault.
Neal’s criminal practice extends to white collar and corporate criminal matters. Currently the Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Regional Sub-Committee (Canada) on White Collar Crime, he also represents clients being investigated and charged under regulatory statutes including the Competition Act, Environmental Protection Act, the Fisheries Act, the Electricity Act, and the Atomic Energy Act.
As Chair of the Toronto Indigenous Law Practice Group, Neal represents clients in this specialized area of law. He currently works with several mineral companies, and municipalities in high-profile cases in Ontario involving, among other things, significant land claims.
Beyond his work defending individuals and corporations charged under various regulatory statutes, Neal is retained to represent clients in administrative law matters and before specialized tribunals.
Recent experience includes:
- Successfully convincing the Mining Commissioners at a hearing under the Ontario Mining Act to refuse to grant easements to a large multi-national mining company over mining claims registered in the name of an Ontario mining company.
- Landmark decision under the Environmental Assessment Act resulting in the first private proponent approval for a large waste management system to service southeastern Ontario.
- At the Ontario Energy Board, Neal convinced the Board at a re-hearing to adopt a new approach to the unbundled cost of power distribution resulting in a significant cost saving.
Neal's Civil Law Degree allows him to negotiate with, and assist, lawyers practicing civil law and, in certain instances, to represent multi-national clients in the Province of Quebec.
Neal’s expertise is recognized by Chambers Global, Benchmark Canada, and the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.
Rankings and Award
- Benchmark Canada 2017 as "Litigation Star" in Aboriginal and Environmental Law and Commercial Litigation in Ontario
- Chambers Global 2013-2017 for Aboriginal Law (Canada)
- ROB/Lexpert Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers, November 2016
- Legal 500 Canada 2016 for Energy: Mining
- Lexpert® Ranked Energy Lawyer, Report on Business, November 2014
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2013-2017, Aboriginal Law
- Chambers Canada 2016 and 2017 for Aboriginal Law
- Benchmark Litigation 2013-2014 as a "Local Litigation Star" and "Litigation Star" for Aboriginal law in Canada
- Benchmark Litigation 2012 as an "Aboriginal law star," "Competition litigation star" and "International arbitration litigation star" and as a "local litigation star" for Aboriginal law, commercial litigation, competition and environmental law in Ontario