Catherine Francis

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Catherine is a Partner in the Litigation Group and Bankruptcy and Insolvency Group. Her practice is devoted largely to corporate/commercial, real estate, banking, and insolvency litigation. 

Catherine has handled a diverse range of legal cases, including complex fraud investigations, lender liability lawsuits, oppression remedy applications, construction disputes, commercial tenancy disputes, environmental claims, employment-related matters, professional malpractice allegations against lawyers, accountants, appraisers and other professionals, and a wide variety of bankruptcy, receivership and other insolvency proceedings. She is extremely well-versed in the intricacies of bankruptcy and insolvency law and has represented debtors, receivers, trustees in bankruptcy, foreign representatives, and secured and unsecured creditors in numerous proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, Personal Property Security Act, Business Corporations Act, and other commercial and insolvency-related statutes. She is regularly consulted by other law firms and sole practitioners on insolvency-related issues.

Catherine has acted as lead counsel for both debtors and financial institutions in several major “lender liability” lawsuits. In the early and mid- 2000’s, she acted as counsel for the trustee in bankruptcy of Dylex Limited and spearheaded an extensive forensic investigation and legal action that resulted in the recovery of tens of millions of dollars for unsecured creditors. She has regularly achieved exceptional monetary recoveries for lending clients through fast and innovative approaches.

 She has appeared at all levels of courts in Ontario, including the Commercial List and the Ontario Court of Appeal, as well as in private arbitrations. In 2002, Catherine served as a member of the Oral Board of Examiners for licensing trustees in bankruptcy. She has sat for a number of years on the Commercial List Users Committee of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, including as a member of subcommittees dealing with the implementation of the rule changes under the Rules of Civil Procedure and dealing with issues related to Access to Justice.

Catherine has presented and published various papers and lectures on issues arising in the areas of commercial, banking and insolvency matters, including the rights and duties of directors and officers in insolvency, recognizing the warning signs of insolvency and recovering assets. 

Clients come to Catherine for her expertise and her no-nonsense attitude. She is approachable and frank with a strong reputation in the legal community and the judiciary for her integrity, oral and written advocacy skills and passion for the law. She approaches every case in a very detailed, analytical and tenacious fashion, with an unyielding determination to get the best possible result for her clients, whether through an early negotiated settlement or, where appropriate and necessary, litigating the issues by means of a full-blown trial and appeal process. 

Education & Memberships


Called to the Ontario Bar, 1987
University of Toronto, LL.B., 1985
University of Toronto, Bachelor of Arts (English and Philosophy), 1981


Canadian Bar Association
Law Society of Ontario
Board of Examiners for Licensing Trustees in Bankruptcy