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.