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Neal Smitheman Toronto Lawyer

Neal J. Smitheman

Partner Fasken
Anticorruption regimes in Canada have undergone significant reform.
Jurisdiction Ontario, 1981
Language(s) English
Office(s) Toronto


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. 



  • Recognized in Ontario as a Litigation Star in Aboriginal, Commercial, and Environmental, Benchmark Litigation Canada 2017 to 2023
  • Recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in Aboriginal Law, Lexpert 2013 to 2022
  • Recognized for Indigenous Law, The Legal 500 Canada 2018

Client Work

  • 2274659 Ontario Inc. v. Canada Chrome Corp., 2014 ONSC 4446 (Div. Ct.),
  • City of Brantford v. Detlor et al., 2013 ONCA 560,
  • Seaway Marine acquitted of all charges,
  • Trelawney Mining and Exploration Inc. v. Sanatana Resources Inc.,
  • Wahgoshig First Nation v. Solid Gold Resources Corp., 2013 ONSC 632,
  • R. v. Fujitec Canada Ltd. 2013 ONSC 497,
  • Ontario Transportation v. 1520658 Ontario Inc.,
  • R. (Ministry of Labour) v. Stratford Chick Hatchery Ltd. (unreported),
  • Commissioner of Competition v. Toshiba of Canada Ltd., 2011 ONSC 949,

Career & Education


  • LLB McGill University
  • BCL McGill University
  • BA Sir George Williams University

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association
  • Served as Canadian Co-Chairs to the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Regional Sub-Committee (Canada) on White Collar Crime);


Fasken Institute



Article Canada: handling internal investigations The Investigations Review of the Americas 2015
Article Tsilhqot'in case: What it means for resource development in Ontario The Northern Miner, Volume 100 Number 28

Speaking Engagements

Critical Update – The Evolution of Consultation in Action: the Ring of Fire, Northern Gateway Pipeline, and Miners United Forum on Engaging and Negotiating with Aboriginal Communities, The Canadian Institute location location Toronto


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