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 Bruce Leonard



t: 416 869 5757
f: 416 640 3027

Suite 2100, Scotia Plaza
40 King Street West
Toronto, ON  M5H 3C2

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Year of Call

Ontario, 1970


LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, 1968

B.A., University of Manitoba

Bruce Leonard

Bruce Leonard is Senior Counsel in the firm's Restructuring and Insolvency Group and is a veteran in the field of international insolvency.  In addition, Bruce has been prominently involved for many years in many major international associations.

Bruce is the Founding Member, Chair and Director of the International Insolvency Institute, a non-profit limited-membership invitational association of leading insolvency professionals, academics and judges from over 60 countries world-wide.  He is active in promoting the III’s NextGen Leadership Program, a program designed to identify the best and the brightest younger insolvency practitioners and academics in the world.  Bruce served for many years as a Delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in relation to its work on its Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency and Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law.

Bruce is the only International Conferee of the United States National Bankruptcy Conference, an invitational association comprised of the most senior and prominent bankruptcy practitioners, academics and judges in the United States and serves as Chair of the Conference’s International Committee. He was the second Canadian to ever be elected as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and served for several years on the College’s Board of Directors, as Chair of the College’s International Committee and as Chair of the College’s International Fellows Nominating Committee. He served as Chair of the International Bar Association's Committee on Insolvency and Creditors' Rights (comprising 1,200 lawyers from 80 countries); Founding Member, Chair and Director of The Insolvency Institute of Canada, a limited membership invitational organization of senior insolvency professionals in Canada established in 1990; Chair of the Insolvency Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association and Vice-Chair of the International Bankruptcy Subcommittee of the American Bar Association's Business Bankruptcy Committee.

Bruce is a Member of the American Law Institute where he was the Chair for Canada and Co-Reporter for Canada for the Institute’s Transnational Insolvency Project.  He currently serves as Co-Chair of the ALI/International Insolvency Institute Project on Global Principles of Co-operation in International Insolvency Cases. He is a Life Patron Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and past Director of the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Bruce serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto in teaching the International Insolvency component of the University of Toronto’s Global Professional Masters of Law Program.  He served as Co-Director of the LL.M. Program in Insolvency Law at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University which was Canada’s first graduate program in Insolvency Law.  The Insolvency Institute of Canada established in Bruce’s honour the Bruce Leonard Prize in Insolvency Studies at five leading Canadian universities.

Bruce is a frequent writer and speaker on international insolvency and reorganizational topics and serves as International Editor to Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practiceand as a Contributing Editor to the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal.  His published books include The Guide to Commercial Insolvency in Canada (Butterworths), Current Developments in International Insolvencies and Reorganizations (Graham and Trotman) and Multinational Commercial Insolvency (American Bar Association).

Bruce has been involved in many of the most significant reorganization cases in Canada and internationally, for over 35 years, including among others: Olympia & York, Confederation Life Insurance, Johns-Manville, Cadillac-Fairview, Dome Petroleum, Campeau Corporation, Massey-Ferguson, Bramalea Inc., Everfresh Beverages, Standard Trustco, Eaton’s of Canada, Canadian Airlines International, Ivaco Inc., Stelco Inc., Air Canada, AbitibiBowater, Nortel Networks Limited, Refco Inc., and Blockbuster Inc. Bruce also acted as lead agent for the Federal Government of Canada in connection with the restructurings of both General Motors and Chrysler. The transaction involved over US$12.5 billion of new Canadian Government financing and included a host of extremely time-sensitive issues, including cross-border bankruptcy, M&A, financing and litigation.

Bruce enjoys a AV Pre-Eminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been named for many years to the Euromoney Expert Guide’s “Best of the Best” in the Insolvency and Restructuring category worldwide as one of the top 25 insolvency lawyers in the world.  He is a Chambers Top-Ranked Eminent Practitioner and has been named for many years to the International Insolvency Who’s Who of Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers (most Highly Regarded – Global) and is listed regularly in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

Bruce was named as Canadian Restructuring Lawyer of the Year for 2013 by Corporate INTL out of London, England and the firm’s Restructuring and Insolvency Group was named as Canadian Restructuring Firm of the Year in 2013 by Corporate INTL of London and Bankruptcy Law Firm of the Year in Canada for 2013 by Global Law Experts (U.K.).  Bruce is also a long-standing Member of Mensa Canada.

  • Chambers Global 2014 (Restructuring/Insolvency)
  • Chambers Global 2013 (Restructuring/Insolvency)  
  • Chambers Global 2012 (Restructuring/Insolvency)
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 2010-2012 (Insolvency & Restructuring)
  • Euromoney Expert Guide's "The Best of the Best 2008"
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV PreeminentTM rating
  • Euromoney Expert Guide's "The Best of the Best 2006"
  • The International Who’s Who of Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers (Most Highly Regarded – Global)
  • Euromoney Expert Guide to the World's Leading Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers, 2005
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2004
  • Euromoney Expert Guide's "The Best of the Best 2004"
  • Euromoney Expert Guide's leading lawyers 2003
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2003
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • American Bar Foundation (Life Patron Fellow)
  • American College of Bankruptcy (Fellow and first Canadian elected to the Board of Directors)
  • American Law Institute
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Insolvency Institute of Canada (Past Chair)
  • International Committee of the United States National Bankruptcy Conference (Chair)
  • International Insolvency Institute (Chair)
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • United States National Bankruptcy Conference 
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