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 conducting internal investigations, advising on compliance programs 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
  • Conducting regulatory or international anti-corruption investigations for multinational clients

  • Recently represented a media applicant at the Ontario Court of Appeal, where the court affirmed the right to access names of doctors billing the public healthcare plan, under access to information legislation

  • Recently represented a media applicant in a successful constitutional challenge to laws restricting access to tribunal records

  • Co-counsel in class action defence involving several prescription medicines

  • Represented a coalition of US-based media organizations and non-profits in Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., where the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a world-wide injunction requiring Google Inc. to globally de-index certain websites

  • Represented the Toronto Star in John v. Ballingall, where the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that an online newspaper is still a “newspaper” for the purposes of the notice and limitation provisions in the Libel and Slander Act

  • Regularly acts as media counsel in applications to unseal court records

  • Counsel on a current constitutional challenge relating to federalism/aboriginal rights

  • 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

  • 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 publications:

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - 2018 Edition (Future Litigation Star - Litigation & Dispute Resolution)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2018 (Repeatedly Recommended in Litigation - Defamation & Media)

  • Benchmark 40 & Under Hotlist – Canada, 2018

PUBLICATIONS
Show Past:
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Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, August 13, 2018.
Co-author: Corporate and Financial Crimes – Criminal Law 101
Canadian Corporate Counsel, Vol. 27, No. 5, June/July 2018.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, February 8, 2018.
Co-author: The So-called "Right to be Forgotten" - A Selection of Case Summaries
Ontario Bar Association's Institute, Toronto, Ontario, February 7, 2018.
Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance , December 5, 2017.
Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, October 30, 2017.
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.
Co-author: Ontario court finds cellphone tower "metadata" is private
Lexology, January 20, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, January 20, 2016.
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PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCES
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Moderator and Speaker: Anti-Corruption Worldwide Update: Review of Regimes and Enforcement trends in Canada, China, Ecuador, Germany and Mexico
Lex Mundi Live Webinar, June 19, 2018.
Speaker: Managing Litigation Risk in Foreign Acquisitions: What Every Buyer Should Know
Blakes Seminar, Toronto, Ontario, March 7, 2018.
Speaker: Resolving Defamation Disputes Without Resorting to Litigation
Ontario Bar Association's Institute, Toronto, Ontario, February 7, 2018.
Speaker: Cybersecurity for Directors, Officers and Transactional Lawyers
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Toronto, October 27, 2017.
Speaker: Dealing with Corruption and Regulatory Risks and Enforcement
Benchmark Women in Litigation conference, Toronto, October 18, 2017.
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.
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MEDIA APPEARANCES
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Quoted: Project Houston officers investigated murders years before Bruce McArthur arrest: documents
Article by Sumran Bhan and Rachael D'Amore, CP24.com, Toronto, Ontario, September 28, 2018.
Quoted: Ontario’s tribunals ‘fundamentally different’ from courts, province argues
Article by Brendan Kennedy, Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario, April 5, 2018.
Quoted: Ontario Court of Appeal to decide if names of top-billing doctors will be made public
Article by Theresa Boyle, Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario, November 8, 2017.
Interviewed: Pull Quotes Podcast – Episode 1: Free Press?
Ryerson Review of Journalism, October 3, 2017.
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:
Mentioned:
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.
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