At Fogler, Rubinoff, we believe that making a difference begins with trust. Experience and sound judgment earn it. Client relationships are built on it. Results keep it.

Bill Hearn




Bill Hearn is an experienced business lawyer with expertise in corporate and commercial law and in specific areas of regulatory law.

He acts for businesses, governments, Crown agencies, charities and trade associations. The main industry sectors in which he works are agricultural, automotive, chemical, consumer products, construction, energy and resources, defence, financial services, gaming, liquor, life sciences, marine, pharmaceutical, sports and entertainment, and retail.

A recognized leader in many fields, Bill is ranked highly in Best Lawyers in Canada, Chambers Canada, Lexpert, Martindale-Hubbell, and Who's Who Legal. Chambers recognizes Bill as a "quintessential advertising and marketing lawyer", saying he "is talented and got years under his belt advising clients in the advertising and marketing area. He is highly regarded for his expertise in the food and pharmaceutical sectors." Who's Who Legal recognizes Bill as one of Canada's leading shipping and maritime lawyers saying he is "a gifted lawyer with a broad client base".

As a corporate and commercial lawyer, Bill's practice includes: private mergers and acquisitions (especially in highly regulated industries such as for-profit post-secondary education); corporate governance (for businesses as well as trade associations and charities); corporate reorganizations; and negotiating and drafting contracts (such as RFPs, tenders, licenses, co-promotion and services agreements).

As a regulatory lawyer, Bill's practice includes: advertising and marketing (with an emphasis on consumer protection, personal information and data protection, and Canada's anti-spam law (CASL) compliance and enforcement; competition (mainly deceptive marketing practices, unilateral conduct, pricing and distribution policies, and compliance programs and audits); international trade (i.e., sales and remedies); privacy (especially with respect to consumers in the marketing context); procurement (mainly hospital and defence); and transportation (with a focus on marine).

Bill is a frequent writer and presenter on topics relating to his specialized areas of practice.


JUNE 13 2017

Digital Native Advertising, Influencers and Reviews

Presentation to the LSUC's Six Minute Business Lawyer Seminar


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MARCH 01 2017

What's "Trending Now" in Digital Advertising & Marketing Law

 Seminar Materials.

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FEBRUARY 09 2017

Canadian Advertising & Marketing Law: An Overview Of The Rules, The Regulators And Their Powers

Canadian advertising and marketing law can sometimes be reduced to simple rules of thumb such as "tell the truth", "be clear", "play fair" and "get consent". But often "the devil is in the details" and such generalities may be a trap for the unwary...

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DECEMBER 01 2016

Some Privacy Implications of Digital Advertising

Presentation to Lexpert’s 8th Annual Information Privacy and Data Protection Conference


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OCTOBER 21 2016

Critical Claims Concerns - Truth in Advertising Under the Competition Act

 “Critical Claims Concerns - Truth in Advertising Under the Competition Act” Presented at the at the OBA Professional Development program “Advertising and Marketing Law: Social, Digital, Online Compliance.

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Chambers Canada Recognizes Bill Hearn as a Leading Advertising & Marketing Lawyer

Fogler Rubinoff is pleased to announce that Bill Hearn, is ranked in Chambers Canada  as a leading lawyer in Advertising & Marketing law. According to Chambers,  Bill is regarded as a "quintessential advertising and marketing lawyer."

To view the Chambers Canada rankings, please click here.

AUGUST 10 2016

Eight Fogler Rubinoff Partners recognized by The Best Lawyers in Canada

Fogler, Rubinoff is pleased to announce that the following lawyers were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada.

  • Steven A. Cygelfarb - Real Estate Law
  • Milton A. Davis - Legal Malpractice Law
  • Michael B. Fraleigh - Health Care Law
  • Jeffrey B. Goldenberg - Real Estate Law
  • Bill Hearn - Advertising & Marketing Law
  • Kenneth W. Movat - Construction Law
  • Sheldon Silver - Tax Law
  • Colleen Spring Zimmerman - Intellectual Property Law 

Best Lawyers compiles its lists of outstanding lawyers by conducting peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers.                            

JULY 05 2016

Getting the Deal Through: Advertising & Marketing 2016

Canada Chapter in Getting the Deal Through: Advertising & Marketing 2016.

Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through: Advertising & Marketing 2016, (published in May 2016; contributing editor: Rick Kurnit, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC) For further information please visit


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JUNE 28 2016

Eight Fogler Rubinoff Partners have been profiled as Leading Practitioners in the 2016 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory

The 2016 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory  has profiled eight Fogler Rubinoff lawyers as leading practitioners:

Steven A. Cygelfarb - Property Leasing

Milton A. Davis - Professional Liability

Michael B. Fraleigh - Medical Negligence

Bill Hearn - Advertising & Marketing Law

Martin L. Middlestadt - Property Leasing

Kenneth W. Movat - Construction Law

Colleen Spring Zimmerman - Intellectual Property

Michael S. Wolfish - Property Leasing

The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory ranks individual lawyers across 64 areas of expertise and firms in over 40 practice areas. Recommendations for lawyers in the annual publication are the product of an extensive peer review process, with firm rankings tabulated from the cumulative rankings of individuals within each practice area reviewed.

JUNE 24 2016

International Comparative Legal Guide to: Pharmaceutical Advertising 2016

Canada Chapter in the International Comparative Legal Guide to: Pharmaceutical Advertising 2016 

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JUNE 08 2016

Consumer Protection: Recent Developments

Consumer Protection: Some Important Recent Developments Pertinent to Ontario Business Lawyers


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JUNE 01 2016

Protecting Your Brand in the Digital Marketplace: Competition Law Compliance

Consumer demands for corporate accountability, stringent laws, and increased market competition are realities of today’s marketplace. Ensuring compliance with the Competition Act is one avenue through which organizations can enhance consumer trust in the digital marketplace.


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JANUARY 19 2016

Canadian Institute's 22nd Advertising and Marketing Conference, Toronto

Program - Bill Hearn, Co-Chair

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DECEMBER 01 2015

Programmatic Trading - Big Data - OBA

Presentation by Bill Hearn

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DECEMBER 01 2015

Enforcement of CASL’s Anti-Spam Rules by the CRTC

Presentation by Bill Hearn

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DECEMBER 01 2015

Lexpert's 7th Annual Information Privacy and Data Protection Conference, Toronto

Program - Bill Hearn, Keynote Speaker

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NOVEMBER 26 2015

The PAAB Code and Canadian Laws Prohibiting Deceptive Advertising of Healthcare Products

Presentation by Bill Hearn

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NOVEMBER 26 2015

PAAB 's Embrace Omnichannel Marketing & Advertising within the PAAB Code

Program - Bill Hearn, Speaker

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OCTOBER 09 2015

Canada Chapter in the International Comparative Legal Guide to Pharmaceutical Advertising, 2015, Published by Global Legal Group Ltd.

Author, Bill Hearn

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OCTOBER 08 2015

Canada Chapter in the Getting the Deal Through Advertising and Marketing Guide, 2015, Published by Law Business Research Ltd.

Author, Bill Hearn

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OCTOBER 07 2015

Bill Hearn joins Fogler, Rubinoff

We are pleased to welcome Bill Hearn to Fogler, Rubinoff.  Bill will add his expertise in corporate and commercial law and regulatory law to our Business Law Department.

Representative Work


Public Research Institution – Innovative Fundraising under Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy: Advising a public institution in consultations with Industry Canada on an innovative way to raise funds from the private sector in order to establish a new research centre through a public-private consortium involving the institution, a Canadian private sector company, and a defence contractor as members all to leverage financial contributions to the centre through the use of the contractor’s credits under the IRB policy applicable to the Canadian Government’s defence procurement projects. 

Federal Crown Corporation – Corporate Governance: Advising a corporation’s governance committee in resolving a difficult corporate governance matter that included navigating complex issues of law, ethics, public policy, government relations and public relations.

Renewable Energy Co-Operative: Advised limited partner in a project financing for a planned wind farm in Ontario that successfully closed.

Ontario Power Regulator: Drafting plain language re-write of complex master energy conservation agreement (and related program rules, guidelines and other documents) with Ontario's many independent electricity distributors.

US Private Equity Funds and US Private Universities & Career Colleges - Canadian M&A: Leading teams of corporate, tax, finance, employment and regulatory counsel (involving approvals under the Competition Act, Investment Canada Act and provincial private career college laws), working across borders with US and other foreign lawyers and establishing out-of-province ULCs and/or Luxembourg SARLs, to negotiate, draft and close many private M&A transactions where Canadian private career colleges have been either bought or sold.

National Charity: Conducting corporate governance review, drafting changes to constating and charitable registration documents, and preparing corporate governance manual for directors and officers.

Canadian Schedule I Bank - Co-Branded Debit Card Awards Program: Drafting complex and tailored agreements and advising on various commercial, trade-marks, privacy, banking and other regulatory legal issues to launch a first-of-its-kind national debit card awards program co-branding a major Canadian bank and one of Canada's leading retailers.

Canada Port Authorities - Establishment & Operation: Over an initial 12-month period, negotiating with Transport Canada and drafting the letters patent, by-laws, resolutions and other organizational documents and related agreements to commercialize a nationally significant port and establish it as a Canada port authority under the Canada Marine Act. Thereafter, advising that CPA and other CPAs from coast-to-coast on a variety of issues including amalgamation, infrastructure renewal, government funding and P3s, corporate governance, and PILTs.


Canadian Drywall Producer – International Trade Dispute: Representing an independent Canadian drywall producer against several multinational companies (with operations in both Canada and the United States) in a major anti-dumping hearing before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and lobbying the federal Minister of Finance on public interest issues following a federal Order-in-Council to review the CITT’s decision all to ensure the continued imposition of duties on dumped imports of US drywall into Western Canada so as to protect Canadian producers from injury due to unfairly traded goods.

Canadian Email Marketer: Settling high profile CRTC enforcement action regarding alleged violations of CASL and assisting client enhance its CASL compliance program to fulfill undertaking with CRTC.

Canadian Association for Marketers and Advertisers: Updating code of practice for members and providing advice on training programs for members.

US Wellness Coaching Company: Providing health professions regulation, privacy and extra-provincial corporate registration advice for launch of employee benefit wellness coaching program across Canada.

Telecommunications Company: Advising company in connection with Canada's Commissioner of Competition's litigation against Bell, Rogers, Telus and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association regarding alleged deceptive advertising of certain premium text messaging and rich content services.

Coalition of Health Care Providers: Advising as a registered lobbyist on proposed changes to Canada's direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising laws.

Canadian Oil & Gas Pipeline Proponent: Advising as a registered lobbyist on marine port regulatory matters related to proposed major pipeline project in Canada.

Canadian Sports and Entertainment Enterprise: Advising on range of advertising & marketing and sponsorship issues for promoting sports teams and other events, and helping it establish a CASL compliance program.

Major Hollywood Studio: Advising on range of advertising & marketing issues (including contests and promotions) and intellectual property protection issues relating to studio's new film releases.

Canadian Agri-Chemical Trade Association: Advising on range of corporate governance, competition law compliance, regulatory, public policy & government relations, and other matters including protection of proprietary interests in pesticides data and other intellectual property matters and working with Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

Global Family Entertainment, Media and Travel Enterprise: Providing Canadian advertising & marketing, consumer protection, commercial, pricing, privacy, payment card, anti-money laundering and unclaimed property law advice to a leading international family entertainment and media enterprise regarding its industry-leading global suite of online virtual worlds for kids.

Coalition of Ontario Canada Port Authorities - PILT Lobby: Lobbying the federal and Ontario governments to establish a new basis on which Canada port authorities would make payments in lieu of taxation (PILTs) to their neighbouring municipal governments.

Canadian Corn Producers - Trade War: Leading a multi-lawyer team in a three-pronged attack on dumped and subsidized US grain corn which included: launching anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings (culminating in an application for judicial review to the Federal Court in which there were 34 adverse parties including the United States Trade Representative), convincing Canada to launch a WTO complaint against certain US agricultural subsidies and lobbying federal and provincial governments for more robust risk management programs for Canadian corn farmers.

Published Works


"Canada" chapter in Getting the Deal Through, Advertising & Marketing Guide, 2016.

"Canada" chapter in Global Legal Group, Comparative International Pharmaceutical Advertising Guide, 2016.

"Misleading Advertising and Marketing Practices" chapter in Fundamentals of Canadian Competition Law, Carswell, 2015.

Pro Tips from the Early Days of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation, Lexpert CCCA Corporate Counsel Directory and Yearbook, 2014.

Ontario's Proposed Unclaimed Intangible Property Program, Marketing Magazine 2013.

"Procurement and Tendering" chapter in Construction Law in Canada, LexisNexis, 2012.

Speaking Engagements


Speaker, "Effective Online Disclaimers - Making Fine Print Enforceable" and "Digital Native Advertising - Distinguishing Advertising from Editorial Content" - What's Trending Now in Digital Advertising & Marketing Law Seminar, February 28, 2017. 

Speaker and Chair, Canadian Institute’s 23rd annual Advertising & Marketing Law Conference, January 23 2107.

Speaker and Course Leader, "Viewing and Being Viewed - Minimize Digital Risk",  Lexpert Information Privacy & Data Protection Conference, Toronto, December 1, 2016.

Speaker, "Critical Claims Concerns" OBA Advertising and Marketing Law: Social, Digital, Online Compliance, October 21, 2016 

Speaker, "Consumer Protection: Some Important Recent Developments Pertinent to Ontario Business Lawyers", The Six Minute Business Lawyer, Law Society of Upper Canada, June 8, 2016

Speaker, "Protecting Your Brand In the Digital Marketplace: Competition Law Compliance", Canadian Marketing Association webinar, June 1, 2016

Co-Chair Canadian Institute, 22nd annual Advertising & Marketing Conference, Toronto, January 19-20, 2016.

Speaker on "CASL Enforcement" and "Programmatic Advertising, Online Behavioural Advertising and Big Data", Lexpert Information Privacy and Data Protection Conference, December 1, 2015.

Speaker, Pharmaceutical Advertising and the PAAB Code, Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (PAAB) annual national training seminars, November 24 and 26, 2015.

Speaker, "CASL Compliance for Pharmaceutical Companies", Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (PAAB) webinar, March 2015.

Co-Chair, Canadian Institute, 21st annual Advertising & Marketing Conference, Toronto, January 2015.

Speaker, "CASL Compliance", Lexpert Information Privacy & Data Protection Conference, Toronto, December 2014.

Speaker, "Competition Law Risks of Trade Associations", LSUC 6 Minute Business Lawyer, June 2013.

Speaker, "US and Canadian Perspectives on Ad Interpretation", American Bar Association Consumer Protection webinar, March 2013.

Speaker, "Accountability and the Code of Conduct for Directors and Officers of Canada Port Authorities", Association of Canadian Port Authorities, Governance Conference, 2011.


Law Society of Upper Canada

Canadian Bar Association

Ontario Bar Association

American Bar Association

Advertising Standards Canada

Canadian Marketing Association, Ethics & Privacy Committee Member, 2004-present

Canadian International Council - Toronto Chapter, member and event host & moderator, 2008-present

Association of Canadian Port Authorities, Law Committee Member, 1999-2012

Awards & Distinctions

Martindale and Hubbell - High BV® Distinguished - Business Law

Chambers Canada - Leading Advertising & Marketing Lawyer

Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – Leading Advertising & Marketing Lawyer

The Best Lawyers in Canada – Leading Advertising & Marketing Lawyer

Who’s Who International Legal - Canada – Leading Shipping & Maritime Lawyer


Cambridge University, LL.M., International Business and Trade Law, 1989 

Called to Ontario Bar, 1988

University of Toronto, LL.B., 1986

University of Toronto, Trinity College, B.A. Hons., International Relations & Economics, 1983

Community Service

Former Chair, Board of Trustees, Armour Heights Presbyterian Church.

Former Director and Executive Committee Member, National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS)


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