Iris Fischer
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2408

Iris has a broad-based litigation practice, with experience ranging from complex commercial disputes to white collar crime, class actions, constitutional and regulatory matters. She also has extensive experience in the areas of media and defamation and privacy and access to information, as well as a specialization in crisis management.

Media organizations, such as the Toronto Star, frequently rely on Iris's expertise in free expression and court openness matters, including defending libel claims, opposing publication bans and getting access to court documents. She also regularly speaks and writes on openness issues.

Iris advises clients in a range of industries on domestic and international anti-corruption legislation, including in the medical device and pharmaceutical, financial services and resource industries. Her expertise includes preparing compliance programs, conducting internal investigations, and assisting clients with anti-corruption due diligence for commercial transactions. She has advised clients on everything from elections and sanctions legislation, to fraud allegations, to responding to search warrants and production orders.

Iris has appeared as counsel at all levels of courts in Ontario, the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Canada, as well as before administrative tribunals, arbitration panels and inquests.

SELECT EXPERIENCE

  • Regularly acts as media counsel in high-profile cases, including in the recent Jian Ghomeshi trial
  • Counsel on a number of current constitutional challenges, with issues ranging from freedom of expression to federalism/aboriginal rights
  • Currently acting as co-counsel in class action defence involving several prescription medicines
  • Acted as co-counsel for the Toronto Star in one of the first trials in Ontario on the new libel defence of responsible communication in the public interest
  • Acted as lead counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, A.B. v. Bragg Communications, involving social media, open courts and privacy rights
  • Acted in a range of arbitration disputes involving the mining industry
  • Co-counsel in Grant v. Torstar (2009), in which the Supreme Court of Canada adopted a new defence to libel - responsible communication in the public interest
  • Acts for both media and commercial clients in a range of access to information matters
AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Iris has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the following publication:

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2017 (Repeatedly Recommended in Litigation - Defamation & Media)

PUBLICATIONS
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Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, July 13, 2017.
Co-author: Canada Chapter
International Comparative Legal Guide to Corporate Investigations, Global Legal Group, March 2017.
Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Blakes Business Class, December 6, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, November 28, 2016
Co-author: Anti-Corruption & Bribery in Canada
Lexology, October 11, 2016
Author: In Support of Open Courts
The Advocates' Journal, Summer 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes Investigations & Compliance, and Litigation & Dispute Resolution, April 25, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, January 20, 2016.
Co-author: Ontario court finds cellphone tower "metadata" is private
Lexology, January 20, 2016.
Co-author: Hacked: Responding to a Cross-Border Cybersecurity Breach
DRI International, Volume 3, Issue 2, December 19, 2014.
Co-author: Corporate Crime, Fraud and Corruption: Overview "Practice Note"
PLC/Carswell, 2014
Co-author: Warrant Required to Produce Internet Usage Information to Police: Supreme Court
Canadian Privacy Law Review, Volume 11, Number 10, September 2014.
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PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCES
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Speaker: Yes Santa, there is Anti-Corruption Enforcement in Canada
Compliance and Ethics Committee Webinar, Association of Corporate Counsel, December 20, 2016.
Panellist: ESI in the Headlines
e-Discovery Institute 2016, Toronto, Ontario, October 25, 2016.
Co-speaker: From Calamity to Confidence: Best Practices for Effective Crisis Management
Blakes Calgary & Vancouver, October 18 & 19, 2016
Speaker: Privilege: What In-House Counsel Need to Know
Blakes Client Seminar, Toronto, Ontario, September 28, 2016
Speaker: Enterprise Risk: Minimize Probability. Mitigate Impact
Canadian Corporate Counsel Association webinar, Toronto, Ontario, June 8, 2016.
Panellist: The State vs. Journalism: Veritas debate added to cross-border Investigative journalism conference
Toronto, Ontario, May 14-15 2016
Speaker: Cyber Security Litigation: What You Need to Know in 2016 LIVE Webcast
Toronto, Ontario, February 2, 2016.
Speaker: Privacy and Cybersecurity Class Actions: Update and Strategic Considerations
Blakes Class Action Business Class Seminar, Toronto, January 27, 2016.
Panellist: Copyright - Fair Dealing/Fair Use, "Hot News" and other Topics
Ad IDEM/Canadian Media Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario, November 14, 2015.
Panellist: Canadian and global anti-corruption enforcement effort and how best to prevent being targeted
Global Anti-Corruption & Compliance in Mining, Toronto, Ontario, October 8, 2015.
Speaker: Anti-Corruption in the Life Sciences - What the Authorities Expect on Both Sides of the Canada/US Border
Blakes Business Class Seminar: Prescription for Law: The World of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, Toronto, Ontario, October 7, 2015.
Co-speaker: Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation: How to Be Prepared for a CRTC Investigation
Blakes Toronto, Vancouver & Calgary, June 9-11, 2015.
Guest Speaker: Investigative Journalism course
Ryerson University School of Journalism, Toronto, Ontario, March 25, 2015.
Guest Lecturer: Media & Defamation Law course
University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, Toronto, Ontario, March 18, 2015.
Speaker: Ethics in Internal Investigations
Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Conference, Toronto, Ontario, April 19, 2015.
Speaker: From Calamity to Confidence: Best Practices for Effective Crisis Management
Blakes Business Class client seminar, Toronto, Ontario, February 24, 2015.
Speaker: Cyber Security Litigation: What You Need to Know in 2015 Webcast, The Knowledge Group, Toronto, Ontario, January 13, 2015.
The Knowledge Group, Toronto, Ontario, January 13, 2015.
Speaker: Privilege Update 2.0 - What In-House Counsel Need to Know
Blakes Business Class, Toronto, Ontario, December 3, 2014.
Speaker: Privacy Class Action
Blakes Class Action Client Seminar, Toronto, Ontario, November 20, 2014.
Speaker: Defining Defamation in the Online Sphere
Ontario Bar Association, Toronto, Ontario, November 6, 2014.
Speaker: Hacked: Responding to a Cybersecurity Breach
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Toronto, Ontario, October 8, 2014.
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MEDIA APPEARANCES
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Quoted: Doctors propose plan to reveal top OHIP billers
Article by Theresa Boyle, Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario, August 15, 2017.
Quoted: Ontario doctors plan to appeal court decision to identify top-billers
Article by Theresa Boyle, Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario, July 6, 2017.
Quoted: Doctors urge court not to allow 'naming and shaming' of top OHIP billers
Article by Theresa Boyle, Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario, June 21, 2017.
Quoted: Publication bans too often 'a bit of a guessing game'
Article by Alyshah Hasham, Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario, January 2, 2017.
Quoted: Canada SC sets a higher bar for enforcement agencies to overcome privilege claims
Global Investigations Review, Article by Euan Conley, December 9, 2016.
Interviewed: Publication bans on victims, new challenge for court reporting
Global News, Toronto, Ontario, December 5, 2016.
Quoted: Man arrested in connection with triple murder in Toronto
Anchor Lisa Laflamme, CTV News Online, August 30, 2016.
Quoted: Calgary judge denied victim's request to have statement read aloud in court
Toronto Star, August 16, 2016.
Quoted: Superior Court of Ontario to notify media of publication ban requests by email
Toronto Star, June 27, 2016.
Quoted: Advancing Women in the Legal Profession
Lexpert Online, May 24, 2016.
Quoted: Name of Ghomeshi 'psychotherapist' kept secret; Defence, Crown agree to unusual move to deny information to media and public
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario, May 14, 2016.
Quoted: Why was a publication ban imposed on Melissa Cooper's identity?
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario, May 10, 2016.
Quoted: Fight for publication ban in police trial
Law Times, May 2, 2016.
Co-author: Court Orders Vice Media to Deliver Source Communications to Police
Inform, April 2016.
Interviewed: Implications of Ontario Superior Court decision upholding production order against Vice Media
570 News, Eric Drodz Show, Kitchener, Ontario, April 1, 2016.
Quoted: Vice reporter must give RCMP texts from suspected terrorist, judge rules
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario, March 31, 2016.
Quoted: Why the media lawyer was pushing the Ghomeshi judge to reveal a bikini photo
National Post, February 4, 2016.
Quoted: Media outlets lose battle for bikini photo in Jian Ghomeshi case
CBC News, February 4, 2016.
Quoted: Ghomeshi witness questioned about emails, goodnight kiss she shared with radio host
Article by Alyshah Hasham, Toronto Star, February 4, 2016.
Quoted: Judge turns down media request for bikini photo of Ghomeshi's accuser
The Canadian Press, February 4, 2016.
Quoted: Judge rejects release of Ghomeshi accuser's bikini photo
Toronto Sun, February 4, 2016
Quoted: 10 photos as relevant to the Ghomeshi trial as a bikini shot
Article by Danielle Groen, Chatelaine, February 4, 2016.
Quoted: Ontario court expands scope of privacy tort to include 'revenge porn'
Canadian Lawyer Magazine Online, February 1, 2016.
Quoted: Nurse accused of snooping into patient records loses bid for secret hearing
Toronto Star, January 19, 2016.
Quoted: Behind the headlines
Canadian Lawyer Magazine (Online), January 4, 2016.
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