Skip Navigation

Michael E. Burke

Awards & Recognition

For over a decade, Michael has consistently been recognized by his peers and clients as one of Canada's top lawyers in the areas of securitization, equipment leasing and finance, and secured transactions.

Awards that he has received include:

  • Rated as a leading lawyer by senior in-house counsel in Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyers (formerly, Acritas Stars): Independently Rated Lawyers (2016–2022)

  • Named twice the Equipment Finance Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Toronto by Best Lawyers (2020 and 2015)

  • Inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers (ACCFL) for his substantial contributions to the promotion of learning, scholarship and legislative reform in commercial finance law (2016)

  • Selected as a "Member of the Year" by the Canadian Finance & Leasing Association (CFLA) for his extensive work in developing the Leasing Law and Leasing Documentation chapters for CFLA's Certified Education Program (2010)

Some of the notable Canadian and international publications in which Michael has been ranked as a leading lawyer in his areas of specialization are listed below.

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada – 2008–2023 (Equipment Finance Law; Structured Finance Law)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business – 2016–2022 (Securitization)

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business – 2008–2022 (Capital Markets: Securitization - Canada)

  • Who's Who Legal: Global – 2019–2022 (Capital Markets - Structured Finance)

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada – 2019–2022 (Banking; Capital Markets)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – 2006–2021 (Asset Equipment Finance/Leasing; Asset Securitization; Banking & Financial Institutions)

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada – 2017–2021 (Asset Securitization)

Professional Activities

Since 2018, Michael has been an adjunct professor at University of Toronto's Faculty of Law, where he co-teaches the secured transactions course. He regularly writes and speaks at conferences and seminars on securitizations, equipment and consumer leasing, and secured transactions.

Portions of Michael's article (listed under Publications and published in the Canadian Business Law Journal) that deals with the characterization of leases for PPSA and insolvency purposes have been quoted at length in a number of Canadian court cases. In addition, that article (which also deals with the Ontario PPSA's override of anti-assignment clauses in accounts and chattel paper) and his article on fixture financing (listed under Publications) have been mentioned in the leading Canadian textbooks on secured transactions.

Michael is also involved in a number of industry associations and legal professional organizations in Canada and the U.S. He is a member of the CFLA's Legal Committee, the board of directors of the Canadian Lenders Association and the board of regents of the ACCFL. He has also been a member of the board of directors of the CFLA (1997–2007 and 2015–2021).

On behalf of CFLA, Michael has had extensive dealings with governmental officials on a variety of issues relevant to CFLA members. He was a member of the Legal Committee of the U.S. Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) from 2011 to 2013, the first time that a Canadian lawyer was a member of that committee, and is a member of ELFA's International Subcommittee and other ELFA subcommittees dealing with motor vehicles, rolling stock, marine equipment and electronic chattel paper.

Michael is the longest-serving chair of the Personal Property Security Law Committee of the Ontario Bar Association (PPSL Committee) and has been a member of this committee since 1997. The PPSL Committee's submissions and discussion papers have been responsible for virtually all major amendments that have been made to Ontario's Personal Property Security Act over the last two decades.

  • Author: Fixture Financing under the PPSA: The Ongoing Conflict between Realty and Fixture-Secured Interests
    Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 24, No. 3, Article 3, pp. 547-604, Fall 1986. (Such article is recommended by two leading Canadian personal property security law textbooks in Cuming, Walsh and Wood, Personal Property Security Law, 2nd ed. (2012) at p. 612; and Ziegel and Denomme, The Ontario Personal Property Security Act: Commentary and Analysis, 2nd ed. at p. 291.)
  • Author: Ontario Personal Property Security Act Reform: Significant Policy Changes
    Canadian Business Law Journal, Vol. 48, No. 2, pp. 289-311, December 2009. (Portions from such article that deal with the characterization of equipment leases as “true leases” or “security leases” have been quoted in Re 843504 Alberta Ltd., 2011 ABQB 448; Royal Bank of Canada v. Cow Harbor Construction Ltd. and 1134252 Alberta Ltd., 2012 ABQB 59; and Connacher Oil and Gas Limited (Re), 2017 ABQB 769. Also recommended as “Further Readings” in Cuming, Walsh and Wood, Personal Property Security Law, 2nd ed. (2012) at p. 178.)
  • Co-author: Secured Transactions in Personal Property: Cases, Text, and Materials
    8th Edition, Edmond Publishing, 2022.
Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 1988
MBA, Schulich School of Business – 1986
LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School – 1986
BA, York University – 1982
More insights

Save Profile

Select sections to customize your PDF

Share Profile