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About Elder

Elder is an experienced litigator and trusted advisor who has worked with leading domestic and international businesses on critical questions of legal liability, risk management, regulatory approvals, foreign investment reviews, national security issues, crisis response, public law, and public policy.

He is a seasoned trial lawyer with considerable experience before judges, juries, and administrative tribunals. His litigation work includes a broad range of complex commercial disputes, shareholder activism cases, class actions, defamation, regulatory matters, and professional liability matters.

Elder also advises on the management of internal and regulatory investigations into a range of alleged forms of misconduct, particularly in situations of high reputational or legal risk. He has provided systemic risk management advice to sophisticated Canadian and multinational clients in various sectors.

Elder brings deep private- and public-sector experience to bear on his clients' problems. Prior to joining Blakes, he served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development from 2016 to 2017, Chief of Staff to the Minister of Finance from 2019 to 2020 (the period of time which included the federal government's emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic) and as Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister from 2017 to 2019.

In all of those roles, Elder worked on a range of high-stakes files in areas such as the management of sensitive litigation, Canada's industrial and innovation policy, foreign investment reviews, national security issues, and international trade and foreign policy. He was deeply involved in files that had direct impact on many leading corporations.

Prior to joining the Government of Canada and Blakes, Elder was a partner at another major national law firm in Toronto. From 2005 to 2006, he served as law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada.

Awards & Recognition
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2023 (Class Actions, Competition Law)

  • Award for Professional Excellence 2016, Federation of Portuguese-Canadian Business & Professionals

  • Sir James Woods Award for Community Development 2015, West Neighbourhood House (formerly, St. Christopher House)

Professional Activities

Elder has been involved in numerous professional associations and previously served as a vice-chair of the American Bar Association's Business and Corporate Litigation Subcommittee on Class and Derivative Actions.

Elder has taken on pro bono cases for individuals and public interest organizations at both the trial and appellate levels. He has also served on several charitable boards, with a focus on community development, newcomer services and the promotion of education. He previously served as president of the board of St. Christopher House/West Neighbourhood House and served for many years on the board executive of the London Goodenough Association of Canada.

Elder is an active member of the Luso-Canadian community in Ottawa and Toronto and has served on the executives of both the Federation of Portuguese-Canadian Business & Professionals (FPCBP) and the Portuguese-Canadian Lawyers Association.

Elder was previously an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law, where he taught shareholder activism.

Publications
Education

Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 2006
JD (Hon), University of Toronto – 2005
MSc (With Distinction, Public Administration and Public Policy), London School of Economics – 2002
BSocSc (Hon., Summa Cum Laude, Political Science), University of Ottawa – 2001

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